“I think you play to win,” Crennel said Wednesday. “Whether you win or lose, that’s what everybody looks at and that’s what counts. Nobody puts an asterisk in that win-loss column, saying they lost because they wanted the first pick, something like that.”
The Chiefs and Jaguars are both desperate for a quarterback in a year in which the crop of players at football’s marquee position is thin. West Virginia’s Geno Smith, USC’s Matt Barkley and North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon are considered the top talents available, but most analysts have been putting their value somewhere in the mid-20s of the first round.
“This year, there’s no strength at the top,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said on a recent conference call with reporters. “You don’t have the quarterback, you don’t have the running back, you don’t have the cornerback or safety.”
The Colts managed to snag the former Stanford quarterback with the first overall pick, giving them a flawless bridge from their Peyton Manning past to their Luck-filled future.
Now, after losing 14 games last season, Indianapolis is back in the playoffs.
That’s right where the Redskins could be this weekend after choosing Griffin, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, at No. 2. Washington needs to beat the Dallas Cowboys or have the Vikings and Bears both lose Sunday to get into the postseason.
Just how valuable is that franchise quarterback?
“It’s hard to win in this league if you don’t have one,” said Bruce Arians, who served as the Colts’ interim coach until Chuck Pagano’s return this week.
The gap between choosing first and second has proven sizeable some years. In 2009, the Lions landed Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick. The Rams at No. 2 wound up with offensive tackle Jason Smith, who has started just 26 games and is already on his second team.
It was a similar story in 2004, when the Chargers picked Eli Manning first and then shipped him to the Giants. Oakland had the second pick and grabbed offensive tackle Robert Gallery, who has been a productive player but far less valuable than Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP.
Whoever is in charge has to get it right, too, for the first pick to matter.
The Raiders failed to do that in 2007, when they chose JaMarcus Russell first. He was out of the league after three years, while the Lions’ second overall pick, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, just broke Jerry Rice’s record for yards receiving in a single season.View Entire Story
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