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Need to Know: Will the Redskins draft a quarterback?

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins draft a quarterback?

INDIANAPOLIS—Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 19, 19 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Question of the day

While I’m here at the NFL Combine this week, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to pose the question each morning centered around the draft and the position group that will be talking to the media on that day. You can find the daily schedule here. Up today, the quarterbacks.

Will the Redskins draft a quarterback?

The Redskins may be getting ready to hop on the quarterback carousel. Robert Griffin III is in the last year of his contract and there are strong, serious doubts that he will be the answer going forward. Kirk Cousins had his shot last year but he couldn’t protect the football well enough. He’s also under contract only through the 2015 season.

If you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have anything, the saying goes. Will Scot McCloughan dip into the draft to see if he can get a signal caller for the future?

One issue is that this is not a great year to be doing that. There are serious questions about the consensus top two picks. Character and interception issues surround Florida State’s Jameis Winston. Nobody is sure that Oregon’s Marcus Mariota can make a successful transition from Oregon’s spread-style offense.

The question marks grow bigger from there as you go into the next tier of QB prospects. If Griffin is having a tough time transitioning from Baylor’s offense, Bryce Petty, his successor in Waco, is likely to have the same issues. UCLA’s Brett Hundley—stop me if you’ve heard this one—is not comfortable working in the pocket.

Perhaps the Redskins can find a project a bit deeper in the draft, someone like Grayson Garrett. The Colorado State product shows poise in the pocket and has great accuracy on the deep ball. He has a lot of mechanical things that he needs to work on like a slow release. Scouting reports say that he needs to process faster and make quicker decisions. Is that something he can be taught? You don’t know until you try.

McCloughan has his work cut out for him at the quarterback position. With Griffin playing as well as he was in 2012 nobody had any notion that the Redskins might be back in the market for a quarterback so soon. Even in 2013 it was easy to write off his spotty performance to issues stemming from the knee injury he suffered late in 2012.

If Griffin bounces back or Cousins can get a handle on the turnover issues, both will not be back in 2016. So even if the starting position doesn’t need to be addressed the backup spot will be. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Redskins draft a QB sometime on Saturday in the draft (rounds 4-7) and see what he can develop in to. But if they’re banking on this draft to find their QB of the future they could well be out of luck in 2015.

Timeline

—It’s been 53 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 206 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 19; Redskins offseason workouts start 60; 2015 NFL Draft 70

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.

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In case you missed it

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An ankle injury has ended Terrelle Pryor's first, and probably last, season with the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

An ankle injury has ended Terrelle Pryor's first, and probably last, season with the Redskins

As high hopes for the Redskins season seem to be slowly slipping away, the high hopes for wide receiver Terrell Pryor can now officially end.

Jay Gruden announced Monday that Pryor will undergo ankle surgery and be placed on the injured reserve. That means Pryor will not be eligible to play for at least eight games, and considering it’s already late November, that closes the book on Pryor’s 2017 season.

When Pryor signed with Washington this offseason, fans grew quite excited. The 6-foot-5, 240 lbs. wideout went for more than 1,000 receiving yards last year on a terrible Browns team, and most expected that production to increase playing with Kirk Cousins.

It never happened.

MORE: KIRK COUSINS ISN'T THRILLED WITH NFL'S APOLOGY FOR MISSED CALL

In nine games for Washington, Pryor grabbed only 20 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown. What made matters worse for the former quarterback-turned-receiver, Pryor displayed subpar hands, and drops plagued him throughout the season. He was targeted 37 times, and barely caught more than 50 percent of those passes.

As things deteriorated for Pryor, he maintained a respectful professionalism. Eventually his ineffective play led him to the bench and reduced snaps, and in his final game of the season against the Vikings, Pryor did not even land a target.

Signed to a one-year deal, Pryor rolled the dice on a season in Washington to boost his free agent profile in 2018. It didn’t work, and now after surgery, it seems unlikely either the player or the organization would pursue a second contract.

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After awful collapse, NFL apology on bad call little more than hollow gesture for Kirk Cousins, Redskins

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After awful collapse, NFL apology on bad call little more than hollow gesture for Kirk Cousins, Redskins

NEW ORLEANS — Collectively, the Redskins squandered a great road win on Sunday.

The team coughed up a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, and allowed Drew Brees and the Saints to pull off an incredible, unbelievable comeback win. 

The Redskins deserve the blame. The players and coaches. But they're not alone. 

The referees made a terrible intentional grounding call late in the fourth quarter that cost the Redskins precious time and real estate.

Kirk Cousins very obviously threw the ball away to stop the clock, and the quarterback was very obviously not under duress from the Saints pass rush.

In no fashion was the throw grounds for a flag.

None. 

RELATED: WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LOSS TO SAINTS

Yet, the refs penalized Cousins and the Redskins. As much as replay bogs down the sport, Jay Gruden had no recourse, the flag could not be challenged, and the 'Skins were thrust out of field goal position.

Late Sunday night, a report showed that NFL officials contacted Redskins team president Bruce Allen to say the call was wrong. Whoop de do. That means nothing, and Cousins knows it. 

"Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.," Cousins said Monday speaking on 106.7 the Fan

And he's right.

RELATED: DEAR FANS, STOP WITH THE 'FIRE GRUDEN' TALK

"This is our careers, this is our livelihood," Cousins said. "It is frustrating when a letter is really all you get when it has such a major impact on the direction of our lives."

Cousins' future, Gruden's future, countless other players and coaches, they don't get to hang a sign that says, "The NFL blew a call."

For the third straight offseason, Cousins will be without a contract, and a long-term deal remains anything but certain. This loss, and that call, could impact those contract talks. 

This loss, and that call, could impact coaching changes or draft strategy too. By dropping to 4-6, the Redskins seem unlikely to push for a playoff spot now. Might the organization think differently of their franchise QB if the team fails to make the playoffs for consecutive seasons? Sure, that could definitely happen. Should it happen? Probably not. Could it happen? It could. 

Don't misunderstand: The Redskins blew a 15-point lead in three minutes. That's abysmal. That's absurd. One penalty flag didn't change that. 

But it was a huge penalty, and it was a terrible call. 

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Cousins played nearly flawless in New Orleans, connecting for three touchdowns and more than 300 yards. His most important pass, however, was one that was harmlessly into the ground, with no intended receiver. 

"I'm thinking, well [Jamison] Crowder and [Josh] Doctson are over there. If I literally throw it over their heads, they're in the area, they're eligible receivers. Not to mention, if I'm not under pressure, it's not intentional grounding," Cousins said. 

It's not intentional grounding. Cousins knows it. The NFL knows it. But it doesn't matter now. 

"The difference between a team that’s patting everybody on the back at the end of the season and a team that everybody gets fired, the difference can be a few plays, it can be a call by a referee," Cousins said. "It's a very fragile thing."

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