Looking at our options
Putting aside all the contract nuances aside, the Washington Redskins will either have Kirk Cousins at quarterback next season or they won’t. There is an argument for drafting a young passer in either scenario, though the one where Cousins exits leads to greater urgency.
Unless there’s a Robert Griffin III type deal, the Redskins won’t have a shot at projected top-5 selections Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Sam Darnold (USC). Considering the amount of QB-needy teams early in the draft, it’s conceivable 4-5 options are off the board before Washington’s No. 13 selection.
Yet the Redskins are likely positioned nicely for a quarterback selection in round one should they so desire. There are always options on Day 2 and 3. Before the various pre-draft bowl games and NFL Combine take place, here’s a look at some of the realistic quarterback options for the Redskins in 2018.
The First Rounders: Josh Allen
Wyoming, 6-foot-5, 222 lbs
2017 Stats: 11 games; 1,812 yards; 16 touchdown passes; 6 interceptions; 56.3 completion percentage
The former teammate of Redskins center Chase Roullier is the best bet to become a third QB selected in the top five, yet not all are in love. The arm strength and impressive size in the pocket standout. So does that suspect completion percentage. Roullier was not the only Wyoming player to graduate after the 2016 season, which is key when realizing Allen played this past season with a very inexperienced offense. Factor that into any analysis, though Allen only completed 56.0 percent of his passes in 2016. There’s a reason why he might be most polarizing player in the draft.
The First Rounders: Baker Mayfield
Oklahoma, 6-foot-1, 220 lbs
2017 Stats: 14 games; 4,627 yards; 43 touchdown passes; 6 interceptions; 70.5 completion percentage
Included the 311 rushing yards with five touchdowns on the ground and the dynamic plays that helped lead the Sooners to the college football playoffs and you see why Mayfield easily won the Heisman.
That he is not a classic pocket passer either hinders his potential or makes him pertinent for the modern game depending on one’s take. One NFL executive told Yahoo, “Mayfield has enough arm strength to make any throw. His accuracy on the move is very impressive. Now with where the game is going, there’s only so many Tom Brady's and Peyton Manning's [in terms of dropback style]. The defenses are getting so fast, you have to survive with your legs and he can. As for that cocky that vibe that turned Mayfield into one of college football villains, the executive said, “He may be a [bone]-head or a bad person, but I like the whole package. I like what I see from his talent.”
The First Rounders: Lamar Jackson
Louisville, 6-foot-3, 211 lbs
2017 Stats: 13 games; 3,660 yards; 27 touchdown passes; 10 interceptions; 59.1 completion percentage
The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner did not live up to that lofty status this season though he rushed for 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns. Whether Jackson has the goods as a passer for the NFL level now is the question.
From ESPN’s Todd McShay: "On the positive side, we all know it: He's an electrifying athlete. He can do some things with the football in his hands that most quarterbacks cannot do. …He has improved. He improved in terms of his poise and patience in the pocket this year. I thought he improved his accuracy overall. …But by coming back to school and continuing to work on his mechanics and continuing to get bigger and stronger so his frame will hold up at the next level if he does have to run as much as he does, I just think that would be the best thing for him." In terms of the Redskins, neither Jackson nor Mayfield are immediate fits into Jay Gruden’s system. That doesn’t mean the head coach can’t tweak if the organization believes in Jackson’s talent. Just not sure that’s what Gruden has in mind entering his fifth season and after missing the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Looking at our options