Trading Luck

If this is what the second pick is worth, I can only imagine what the first pick is worth.

Seriously, that is a lot of picks to give up for a college quarterback. The Browns made a similar offer, only to be outbid! Couldn’t the Redskins (or the Browns) have gotten an above average NFL QB for that price instead? What if Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin get hurt? What if they just aren’t any good? If I were the Colts, I would trade the first pick too and let someone else gamble on Luck.

11 responses to “Trading Luck

  1. Pah. The Redskins are not known for their savvy HR moves. Cf. one Bert Haynesworth, one Sexy Rexy Grossman, etc.

  2. Luck is 1 of the highest potential and highly polished college QBs since the last QB the Colts took in the draft… it would be foolish not to take a chance on him.

    Plus the NFL rewards losing so much that even when teams swing and miss high in the draft (San Diego- Ryan Leaf, I know he was the 2nd pick), they inevitably suck again, and can drop the bad contract a few years later and get a few more highly coveted picks (Tomlinson & Rivers).

  3. What do you think the Colts could get in exchange for the 1st pick, though? After the Redskins/Rams trade, I feel like a QB at Romo/Rivers’s level (plus a pick or two) isn’t out of the question. Imagine getting one of those guys plus a later first round pick in a deep QB draft. While Luck is potentially better, I would take a solid QB and a strong backup over the risk inherent to a single option.

    I agree that you could get a shot at a replacement in a couple years (the Panthers are another team that did this with Newton after Clausen sucked, though he was a second rounder), but I would argue that you should trade the pick again in that situation. Very few dynasties are built around a 1st or 2nd pick QB. Historically, their odds of success are slightly higher than later picks, but not so much as to justify the Redskins trade (in my opinion).

  4. Luck *could be* 1 of the best pro QBs ever, and the Colts would be criticized forever if they traded him away… can you imagine the backlash on a 2-14 team who cut Peyton Manning AND traded away the rights to Andrew Luck??

    Very few franchises are willing to trade an established Pro Bowl-level QB like Romo/Rivers for a draft pick, so the Colts would likely be trading for more draft picks, which means they’d be taking even more chances on probably a few mid-first round draft picks (RG3 was worth 2 1st rounders and a 2nd rounder) and committing a ton of cap space to unproven players instead of FAs.

    And from an owner perspective–
    #1- if it doesn’t work out, people will blame Luck, not Indy. If Luck does becomes one of the GOAT, people will never forget that Indy traded him away.

    #2- Luck jerseys will DEFINITELY sell. Whoever they trade for won’t have that name brand…

    Mangini’s talk at Sloan was all about how coaches basically go all in on a few roster personnel. I don’t blame Pagano for going all in with Luck on his side…

  5. A couple thoughts:

    1. I call it timidness if you’re worried about getting skewered later because of a possible downside as a GM/owner. If I were in charge, I would view my job as maximizing our expected wins each year, not just thinking about downside. Although Luck has a high ceiling, I’m not convinced guys like him work out on average. Also, I still think the alternative is pretty good because…

    2. Are you sure they wouldn’t trade a pro bowl QB for that pick? I bet the Colts haven’t asked.

    3. How far can we really trust the Man Genious?

    Anyway, they won’t trade it, and he’ll probably work out fine, but I wonder what they could get in return. People are so high on this guy. Just as you say, he could be one of the greatest QBs ever. I think a few teams would give up a pro bowler (and picks) for that.

    Also, because I like to nit pick, most jersey sales revenue is shared (except for the Cowboys). All those Luck jerseys would still be great advertising though.

  6. Well, Stanford football players have a very good record for living up to or exceeding their potential. Luck not only has a high upside, but not much of a downside. He has elite athletic ability, polished QB skills, high football IQ, an incredible work ethic, great character and amazing leadership skills. His teammates LOVE him because he’s a no ego, team player who makes everyone better and trys to deflect the attention and credit to his teammates and coaches. I think he’s just a guy that smart owners really need to take a chance on. To trade for a bunch of good players may seem smart, but to me that’s timid in these circumstances. He’s just a totally special guy …

  7. Andrea – I think what you’re saying highlights the angle I’m arguing here. The general opinion of Luck is so high that the Colts could get established, high level players in exchange for him. I think that’s the better route because – even though Luck seems to be a sure bet – there’s still uncertainty with every draft pick (upside and downside). We think Luck will be good, but he could flame out (he could also be incredible). Maybe more realistically, he could get injured. By making a trade, the Colts could get players that they know are good (with much more certainty) and spread their injury risk over a few different guys. As it stands, if Luck gets injured, they are surely screwed.

    • No, I understand your point completely, but disagree with it. I really think trading him is the wrong move. I do see why some people would think that is somehow the smart business, better way to do it. I don’t think it is the smart thing for a team to do because the role of quarterback can be so central for a team … Not just athletic ability and getting a good arm. The potential that Luck has in terms of leadership, team glue, media and community presence, in addition to being a great quarterback in the game is worth taking a “gamble” because, after settling in, he can mean so much more to the team than a bunch of picks including a good quarterback in terms of the athletic skills. To me trading the pick is timid … I think it’s smarter to go for someone who might make the team great rather than a bunch of picks that is likely to help make the Colts a solid team. I’d go for the best in search of excellence rather that take the safe route.

  8. I’m not sure I would say it’s bold to draft Luck, since that’s what everyone thinks they should do. We can agree to disagree, though.

    I looked at all number one QB picks in the last 20 years in an earlier post: It’s worth noting that very few of these guys turned out to be excellent (really just the Mannings). Also, it’s worth remembering that people debated whether Peyton or Ryan Leaf should be chosen first, and we know how Ryan Leaf turned out. I don’t mean to compare any of these guys to Luck directly, but Leaf (and others) had very high expectations as well — probably too high in general.

    • andreaallennyc

      Yes, we can agree to disagree. It may not be bold of them to take Luck, but I do think it is smart and would be timid and bad business to go for the multiple picks. Yes, that would really raise the odds of getting at least one very good nfl player because there would be more chances. But it’s not like the second pick in the draft or the third has turned out better than the first, there are just, obviously, hundreds more players each year who are not 1st than are 1st and they are subject to less scrutiny. I think the safer choice is not necessarily the best choice. Reminds me of the Stanford coach’s tendency to make the safe play … Like going playing for a field goal at the end of regulation in the Fiesta Bowl instead of letting Luck go for a TD, which he certainly had time and downs to try for.

      Well, I’m probably not as critical of the #1 pick quarterbacks as you are. I think the two Stanford #1 picks, though a while ago, we’re both pretty good, that’s Elway and Plunkett. I do blame the Patriots for Plunkett being a bust in the beginning (Injuries due to no offensive line, other stuff), but I’m sure others just think he was a bad pick. Took Al Davis to give him the time to get really healthy and get his confidence back … So that worked out very well for the Raiders and gave Plunkett a well deserved great end to his career. I think NE could have had a franchise quarterback if they had handled him differently. A Yankee contract gave Elway the bargaining power to avoid that fate. So I’d really prefer Luck go to a better team, or at least one with a better offensive line than the Colts so I hope the Colts take care of Luck than NE did of Plunkett. In any case, Luck now holds most of Stanford’s quarterback records, even though Plunkett and Elway were in pass first offenses, and Luck is stronger at many of the intangibles than either of those two (and more mobile than Plunkett).

  9. Pingback: Some questions and some predictions | Causal Sports Fan

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