Yesterday, Grantland’s Bill Barnwell released part 2 of his third annual NFL Trade Value column.
Not only did Barnwell link a cover32 article in there (in the Von Miller section), he also ranked everyone’s favorite Bernie-dancing defensive end Robert Quinn as the seventh most valuable trade asset in the league. The only non-quarterback to appear ahead of Quinn is Houston’s J.J. Watt, which is probably fair. Still, that makes Quinn the most valuable NFC defensive player in terms of trade value, at least in Barnwell’s eyes.
Here’s an excerpt of what Barnwell had to say about no. 94:
“Here’s the YouTube compilation of his 19 sacks from 2013, tracked, for some unearthly reason, to “Y.M.C.A.” And those sacks came despite the fact that teams only threw 521 passes against St. Louis last year, the sixth-smallest total in the league. Quinn sacked opposing quarterbacks once every 30.2 dropbacks last year, the 15th-best rate since 1983 (when sacks were first officially tracked).
Maybe it’s a fluke year. Maybe Quinn gets a ton of support from having Chris Long and Michael Brockers up front next to him, a group that will add first-rounder Aaron Donald to the mix in 2014. Anything’s possible. But it’s awfully hard to find a player who was as good as Quinn this young who didn’t turn out to be a superstar for years to come. Maybe he ends up as a peak Osi Umenyiora, which would make him a perennial Pro Bowler. More likely, we’re looking at the next (DeMarcus) Ware. Quinn had more sacks last year than (Everson) Griffen has in his entire career, and Griffen just got $20 million guaranteed. The Rams have Quinn for less than $10 million combined over the next two seasons.”
It may not surprise you to know that no other Ram showed up on Barnwell’s top-50 or even his pretty extensive honorable mention. But that could change next year if Quinn can replicate last season’s performance and elevate his teammates’ performance.
Anyway, go read the whole article for some context about how Barnwell compiled his rankings and why Quinn deserved the no. 7 spot.