This is going to be my last note on this for a while, so pardon the long-windedness...
This could supplant the "Vick Argument" that can go on for years and years with numbers and anecdotes being mixed and matched to make the same virtual point ad infinitum. Thank you, TD, as the expiration date on the Vick Argument is past.
It might go on for years and years, but the answer will be known at the end of this year. Because again, I think this move was for short-term benefits, despite Cyril's denial about that. Everything this team has done in the past two off-seasons screams an "all-in" mentality as opposed to building long-term. The dichotomy between the Falcons offseason approaches early on and the past two years is much too stark to say it's just "business as usual." The team has gone from 11 to 8 to 7 to 6 picks the past two years. If this team was in a "let's build long-term" mindset, then that would be the wrong way of executing that plan.
We may reach a point at some time in the future where Julio Jones stands alongside Megatron and AJ Green among others as being considered the best WR in the game. And a guy like Carimi may just wind up being more like Marc Colombo than a true bookend OT. And DeCastro may be a good guard, but not the sort of anchor a unit a la Hutchinson in his prime, Logan Mankins, or Carl Nicks that people think he will be. And Torrey Smith will be a dangerous explosive playmaker, but not a true, reliable No. 1 that can carry an offense similar to DeSean Jackson.
And people may look at that and prefer to have the truly elite No. 1 WR than 3 pretty good players. But for me, that is sort of what he has to be to make it worthwhile. He can't just be only as good as Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe, or Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson, Miles Austin, etc.
But even if the 3-4 guys I think we could/should have gotten with those picks don't live up to their potential, it's still not a worthwhile trade. Because if he's only that caliber of WR, then you still didn't need to give up what we gave up to get him. Because that caliber of WR is consistently found in the latter part of Round 1, in Rounds 2, 3, and now with increasing frequency in later rounds. Going back to the point I've tried to stress to Cyril among others over the years in that if all that was required was the acquisition of a good WR, then you didn't need to give up that many picks (as I've shown with examples like Torrey Smith and Denarius Moore emerging from that draft).
And many might read that and think that doesn't make sense. If Julio > Carimi/Smith/DeCastro, why then is the trade still not worth it?
Well think about it this way...
Think back to the 2007 draft, we used the 8th overall pick on Jamaal Anderson. That was a 1st round that produced a number of top players including Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis, Leon Hall, Jon Beason, etc. all taken after we took Anderson. If we had used the pick on one of those guys, it would have been a coup for us. Because we got a guy that could be a foundation player on defense for years and years. And everybody agrees that Anderson was a bust, and the Falcons got very, very little return on their investment.
But I offer the question, what would have happened if the Falcons would have used the pick not on a bust like Anderson, nor on a superstar like Willis, but someone in between? How would we evaluate whether or not that pick was worthwhile?
What would happen if that 8th overall pick was used on Marshawn Lynch, or Anthony Spencer, or Joe Staley? Would that have been worth a Top 10 pick? Certainly, in comparison to Anderson. But is that the sort of value you are still looking for with a Top 10 pick? You would say that we got a decent to good player with that pick, so it wasn't a complete waste, but we still didn't get a return on that investment. With a Top 10 pick, I don't want a decent to good player, I want a good to great player.
It's the same with Julio Jones. He can't just be a good player. He has to be a great player. There is an intrinsic value to what we gave up, even if the alternative isn't particularly better. There's an intrinsic value to a Top 10 pick, so you're expecting a bit more of a return on your investment. It's the same with the picks we gave up.
As is, Julio Jones is having a season comparable to players like Marques Colston and Miles Austin. Would you give up a 1st, 2nd, and two 4ths right now for either of them? No, you wouldn't. If you were to be asked what you'd give up that sort of compensation for, you'd probably answer that would only be worth it if I was getting a Larry Fitzgerald or Megatron in return.
That's because of the intrinsic value those picks have.
So Cyril is wrong when he says that there is no way I'll change my opinion about the trade. I've said numerous times how that can happen, if Julio Jones begins to inch closer to that level of player where he's an elite or nearly elite WR.
But the thing is, that will be extremely hard to do because he's playing alongside an elite WR in Roddy White, and TE Tony Gonzalez, and thus there is only 1 football that is being shared between them.
These were conditions that were known at the time, and thus should have probably signalled to TD that it would have been smarter decision to spend less on a lesser receiver that won't have the pressure of living up to high standards, and a guy like Denarius Moore can go around and be Denarius Moore, and no one bats an eye about whether or not you got a return on your investment of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th round pick in him. And that coupled with the potential that you could use those other traded picks to potentially upgrade other spots (whether they actually work out or not) is the better strategy because you're solving 2, 3, or 4 problems as opposed to one.
But as was discussed in a previous debate about Brent Grimes, people tend to only look at results
to determine whether a decision was correct or not. But in truth, it should be both process
. The example I prefer is if you've been out drinking and drive home is that a good decision? No. But if you're determining solely by results
, if you made it home then it was a good decision (or at least wasn't a bad one). Yet if you factor process
in as well, then you know the fact that you got behind the wheel of a car drunk just increased the chances you didn't make it home by a significant amount. That makes it a bad decision.