Not Just a Quarterback Away

Everyone has their own opinion about what the Burgundy and Gold should do in the 2012 NFL draft. However, with all those opinions out there there seems to be one common belief: draft the best available quarterback. While I agree with this sentiment, I’m not totally convinced on the strategy.

The Redskins lack of depth was as apparent as ever this season. Going into last years draft, Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen addressed this by stockpiling draft picks and building depth were they could. I believe this strategy would serve the Redskins well again.

The Redskins will likely fall somewhere between the 7th and 13th pick in the April draft. Many suspect that if Washington finishes 7-9, they will trade up to take either Robert Griffin III from Baylor University or Matt Barkley from the University of Southern California. I believe it would be a good move for the ‘Skins to sit tight and continue building the foundation of the team.

Start by taking an offensive lineman in the first round. Offensive Tackle Jonathan Martin from Stanford University would be an ideal fit for Shanahan’s scheme, and would give Washington two young very athletic tackles. Being able to protect against end rushers in the NFC East would be huge for Washington. Add to the fact that Willie Smith could serve as a valuable backup and you have a line that would begin to take shape.

The ability to protect the quarterback is essential, especially a young one. I fully expect the Redskins to resign Rex Grossman and I fully expect it to be a 2-3 year deal. Tough to stomach, but it makes sense to bring him back and either start him to keep the seat warm for a rookie, or at least let him teach the rookie the nuances of Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

With this in mind, there will be quarterback available in the second round of the draft, or even later. There are a couple of players who have had solid collegiate careers who have been overshadowed by the three headed monster of Andrew Luck, Griffin, and Barkley. Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M and Russell Wilson from Wisconsin both pop into the mind when thinking of quarterbacks who could fit into the Redskins scheme. There are knocks on each, but both would fit and that is more important to Mike and Kyle.

The knock on Tannehill is his overall lack of polish. He has a strong arm and good mobility, but at times will miss receivers or make less-than-optimal decisions. Other than that, however, he has a strong arm, outstanding athleticism, and showed glimpses of great potential in A&M’s pro-style west coast offense. Tannehill would need some time before taking the reins, so sitting behind Grossman and learning the offense would go a long way in benefiting his development and the future of Washington.

With Wilson, the knock has to be his size (he’s listed at 5’11). Wilson is not the biggest quarterback by any means, but he is roughly the same size as Drew Brees. Smaller quarterbacks are usually overlooked (remember that Brees dropped to the 2nd round himself), but Wilson could thrive in Washington. For starters, he would be somewhat of a home town kid. From Richmond, Virginia, Wilson starred at both North Carolina State and Wisconsin by using his smarts, accuracy, and mobility. Like Tannehill, he would fit the Shanahan’s system and could blossom under the tutelage of Rex and Kyle Shanahan.

With this strategy the Redskins would be able to add more depth in rounds 3-7. Like last year, the ‘Skins could add high character guys who are willing to get the job done. 10 of the 12 drafts picks from last year have seen significant time this year and continue to grow. The draft is where good teams are made. Take note of both Green Bay and Pittsburgh. Hopefully, Washington has taken note and understands the need for quality young players who can grow in a coaches system.

Granted, if Shanahan and Allen pull together a reasonable trade and grab Luck, Barkley, or Griffin, I’ll be as excited as anyone; I’d most likely buy their jersey that day. However, I don’t see Shanahan sacrificing to much to trade up in the draft. After all, he has a history of hoarding picks.

If the Colts can find a way to beat the Texans on Thursday night for their second win, then I could see some movement if St. Louis or Minnesota wind up with the first pick.

I am all for going after the young gun because of the way the NFL is dominated by quarterbacks, but I still believe that it behooves Washington to sit tight and add quality depth to a roster that is slowly coming together.

The Redskins were never going to make the playoffs this year and could contend next year, but they are most likely two years away. I am on board with Mike Shanahan and hope theĀ ‘Skins realize that after 10 years of poor decisions for the here and now…that the long term is indeed more important.

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Editor’s note: This article was written before Matt Barkley announced his decision to stay and the Colts victory. So quickly, let’s revisit the strategy now:

I still believe that addressing the quarterback position later than the first round is definitely the way to roll. Barkley is out of the picture, and rumor has it that Griffin is now beginning to follow suit and stay in school.

Plus, the Colts win over the Texans last night potentially changes everything.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Redskins would consider trading up if the St. Louis Rams or Minnesota Vikings secure the first pick in the draft (the Colts, Rams, and Vikings are all tied at 2-12, worst in the NFL). Despite this, Indianapolis still has the in road to the #1 pick and I don’t see them giving up that pick.

The draft will become much more clear once Griffin announces his decision (he indicated he’ll do so right after Baylor’s bowl game is completed), but the chances of getting him remain slim.

With all this said, I can’t help but envision a young Redskins team oozing with talent found in the draft. A quarterback will come; I want one now just like the rest of Redskins nation, but at what cost? Hopefully we will get one, but if we don’t, let’s continue to build this team into a contender for years to come.

Don’t give up on the Burgundy and Gold. There is something going on in DC, and I am on board.


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4 Responses to “Not Just a Quarterback Away”

  1. Tim says:

    spot on!

  2. […] Not Just a Quarterback Away Everyone has their own opinion about what the Burgundy and Gold should do in the 2012 NFL draft. However, with all those opinions out there there seems to be one common belief: draft the best available quarterback. While I agree with this sentiment, … […]

  3. 007 says:

    Agree. With MATT BARKLEY off the table, and neither JONES nor GRIFFIN worthy of a high pick in my estimation, I would trade back from the seven slot if I could.

    If not able to trade however, I would take a WR seventh with a RT in the second round.

    If able to trade down, I would take NT – AL TA’AMU in the first.
    Right OT in the second.
    SS in the third
    FS in the third {comp from trade partner].
    OG – LONNIE EDWARDS in the fourth
    A.J. JENKINS – WR in the fourth
    Fifth [2], seventh – best available with an eye to finding replacements for

    a – JOHN BECK
    b – ERIC COOK

    And please, find one more undrafted FA steal like WILLIE SMITH.

    O-Line for 2012

    WILLIAMS, LICHTENSTEIGER, MONTGOMERY, CHESTER, [Draft pick]
    BROWN, SMITH, [EDWARDS] – cut HURT.

    D-Line for 2012

    CARRIKER [re-sign], COFIELD, BOWEN
    JENKINS, [TA’AMU], NEILD, GOLSTON – cut SCOTT.

    In 2013

    1 – get MATT BARKLEY by trading up
    2 – and a center to run with MONTGOMERY – cut COOK
    3 – SS-ILB to begin the search for FLETCHER’s replacement.

    2014

    Top pick – trade up for a ILB if not successful in 2013.

  4. blackqbwhiterb says:

    I have been impressed with how Willie Smith and Hurt have come along, and I would keep them, and see how they do after getting some experience this season, and a full off season and training camp. I wonder if the ‘skins shouldn’t draft a RT AND another LT, because if Trent keeps getting stoned, there will be trouble. Jamaal Brown simply gets beat and can’t stay healthy. Oh, and Erik Cook as backup center? No good.
    But 1st and foremost, we must see a QB come in who doesn’t cause so many reckless turnovers. That by itself will change a few games. Add a couple big time O-Linemen, and this team will be competitive. Add a Safety or two, and a corner, get the guys on IR back healthy, this team will be very good very soon. It will be interesting to see who leaves via free agency also-Landry? Fletcher I would definitely hope stays…