Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 12, 49 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.
Depth chart pre-free agency
Now that John Clayton’s report that the Redskins will draft Marcus Mariota if he is still on the board when the fifth pick in the draft has had a day to circulate around Redskins fans and media, let’s take a look at what we have here.
The conventional wisdom is that the whole thing is a smokescreen. The Redskins, many say, have no intention to take Mariota, that the whole thing is being set up to try to drive up the value of the fifth pick in the draft so that they can get a bigger haul in a trade.
That is a logical explanation for it and it’s a very reasonable and it’s likely to be true. But that doesn’t mean that it is true. You can’t rule out the possibility that the Redskins do intend to draft Mariota if he is on the board.
We can’t rule it out because we have no idea what Scot McCloughan’s evaluations of Robert Griffin III and Mariota are. It’s really quite simple. If McCloughan believes, based on his film evaluation, that Griffin will not cut it as an NFL quarterback and that there is a very good chance that Mariota will, it’s a move that he almost has to make.
Why? I’m not sure if this is Charley Casserly’s quote but I’ve heard him say it a lot: “If you don’t have a quarterback you don’t have anything.”
In other words, if the Redskins have a need at quarterback, that trumps any other needs they have. They would almost have to take Mariota if McCloughan believes he can be a franchise type QB.
The best thing for the franchise would be if Griffin works out. But if the GM and coach determine that it just won’t happen for him (or for Kirk Cousins) the sooner they move on the better. And if they think that Mariota is the answer they need to take him should the opportunity arise.
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—It’s been 74 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 185 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 39; 2015 NFL Draft 49; Redskins training camp starts 140
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.