The Puzzling Trade of Laurent Robinson

It seems Laurent Robinson just arrived in Atlanta.  Well, he’s already on his way to his second NFL team – St.Louis.  I couldn’t believe it when I read the news that Robinson was out.  He’s was a promising receiver that had a couple bad injuries his rookie season, but was going to be a real player for years for the Falcons in my mind.  Well, the front office thought otherwise and sent him to the Rams.  That’s not the worst part – they didn’t even get picks for him!  Yes, Atlanta and St.Louis are merely switching picks in this year’s 5th and 6th rounds, essentially 20 picks up for Atlanta in both rounds. 

Yes, I think Dimitroff and company are going to use the draft effectively.  But you had a guy drafted #75 overall and showed lots of promise before injuries in 2008.  Yes, we had Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Harry Douglas and Brian Finneran still on the team.  But injuries happen and you need horses in the stable.  Just like running back and cornerback.  Look at Denver last year…. if you are short at a position and injuries happen, that can derail the season.  If you are in the situation where, god forbid, you have too many talented receivers you can always dominate with 4-receiver sets all day long and (LIVE) with that.

Here’s the positives that I will assume are true to make the trade valid in my mind.  #1 – Douglas and Jenkins are getting better all the time and ready for more prominent roles and production in 2009.  #2 – Brian Finneran is back to his old self.  #3 – Moving 20 picks up in two rounds of this year’s draft is almost a full round, so in essence it’s Atlanta’s 5th and 6th round picks for St.Louis’ 4th and 5th rounders.  #4 – Those picks will be defensive guys that could be on the field quite a bit in 2009 helping the team win.  #5 – Robinson’s hamstring and concussion injuries could be the beginning of a recurring pattern in his career.  Hamstrings are the worst lingering injury for receivers – it seems like day-to-day status turns into 2 weeks and half the season.

I will assume all those things are true which would validate the trade and make it worthwhile for Atlanta.  We will see how it plays out in 2009 and beyond.