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Jay Gruden on drafting a QB: No developmental process here

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on December 30, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

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With Alex Smith recovering from last season’s severe leg injury, Washington is heading into the season with Case Keenum and Colt McCoy as the two quarterbacks on the roster.

Given the uncertainty about Smith’s future and the fact that neither of the other quarterbacks fit the bill as a player to build around for the future, there’s been some speculation about whether the team will draft a quarterback in the first round.

Head coach Jay Gruden didn’t rule that out when asked about the possibility during this week’s league meetings, but he also didn’t make it sound like anything close to a sure thing. Gruden said “you can’t reach for the quarterback of the future” and suggested that the team won’t be willing to put up with any growing pains from a young player.

“There is no developmental process here. This is not Triple-A baseball where we’re trying to develop a pitcher here,” Gruden said, via the team’s website. “We’re trying to win a game right now. If we feel like we draft a quarterback in the first, second, third or seventh round and he’s going to start Day 1, we expect great things from him and the players will expect great things from him. Ryan Kerrigan is not expecting us to come out and just build for the future; we’ve got to win now. Josh Norman, same way. Landon Collins didn’t come here to be good in 2034. They came here to be good and compete and win a Super Bowl this year. So whoever that player is, that position of quarterback, high expectations for us from us. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

Patrick Mahomes’ success with the Chiefs has had the Giants and others cite the “Kansas City model” as one to follow at quarterback, but the Chiefs were coming off a playoff berth when they selected Mahomes. Winning now for Washington will likely require more immediate contributions from their first-round pick and that may lead them elsewhere unless they think there’s a sure thing for their starting lineup.