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Two teams hold the key to Redskins pick at #10

Continuing my assumption that Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert sits atop the Redskins wishlist of guys whom they have a realistic shot of acquiring, as news begins to develop & unfold today, it becomes more clear that two teams really hold the keys to how the top 10 of the draft will proceed:

The Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers.

Consider the following:

– Rumor has it that Buffalo has four guys atop their draft board: Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Von Miller, and Marcel Dareus. Newton is going #1, and one of those remaining three guys (likely Dareus, but maybe Miller) will also be gone when Buffalo is up. If Denver shocks everyone and takes Von Miller at #2 – I don’t see that happening, personally – I can see Buffalo could pass on Dareus and take Gabbert. Bills GM Buddy Nix has been pretty open about his desire to draft a top-flight quarterback and give the Bills the “face of the franchise” it’s been lacking for well over a decade.

So this is one potential “landing spot” for Gabbert. But for the sake of argument, lets say the Bills do take Dareus, or Miller if he’s available.

– I’m holding firm on my stance that the Cardinals will not take Gabbert at #5. I’ve been saying it since February, and i’m not changing that belief. Larry Fitzgerald means just as much to that team off the field, in terms of marketing and PR, as he does off the field, and he’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want to wait around for a rookie QB to develop. That team is a steady veteran QB away from reclaiming the top of the NFC West.

– So that brings us San Francisco. Assuming Gabbert is still on the board, there’s really one of three directions they could go in: taking the best cornerback available (Patrick Peterson of LSU will likely be gone, so that would be Prince Amukamara of Nebraska), the best pass rusher available (likely Robert Quinn of UNC), or Gabbert. From the 49ers sources I follow, the team seems to be favoring drafting a defensive player more than Gabbert.

However, the 49ers could always “blackmail” the Redskins into thinking they’ll take Gabbert, fully knowing that Washington has been barking up numerous trees to move up into the top 10 to take him. The 49ers could easily trade back to #10 and realistically still get Quinn or Amukamara; both could actually still be on the board.

What would it cost to execute such a move? According to the NFL Draft Pick Value Chart, it would cost about 200 “points,” roughly the value of a mid-grade 3rd round pick. Now, as we’ve discussed before, the Redskins don’t have picks in the 3rd or 4th round this year. So what if the Redskins sent their first and second round picks to San Francisco, in exchange for San Francisco’s 1st and 3rd round pick? Or if the Redskins swapped picks with the 49ers, and agreed to send a 2nd round pick next year to San Francisco? Trading up to #7, instead of up to #5 with Arizona or #2 with Denver, seems to be a lot more palatable of a cost to pay.

Regardless, Redskins fans need to keep a keen eye on the news & developments coming out of Buffalo & San Francisco, because what they do in their picks will really dictate who the Redskins end up with at #10

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