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2019 NFL Mock Draft: If Redskins focus on quarterback at No. 15 they should call Cardinals for Josh Rosen

2019 NFL Mock Draft: If Redskins focus on quarterback at No. 15 they should call Cardinals for Josh Rosen

Let’s make this simple. If the Redskins are strongly considering drafting a quarterback with the No. 15 overall selection, they should instead trade the pick for Josh Rosen.

The discussion involving compensation for a deal involving the Cardinals QB largely centers on picks outside of the first round. At least that’s the case when the analysis includes the Redskins.

NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay reported earlier this month that the first-round pick is not involved in any potential offer for Rosen, but an offer involving other selections is possible.

This makes perfect sense from the Redskins perspective – but only if they do intend on drafting Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock or Daniel Jones at No. 15.

There’s a long-term need, but the latest NBC Sports Washington 2019 NFL mock draft has the Redskins going with a defender rather than a quarterback.

Let’s take a step back. Rosen only becomes available should Arizona, as widely assumed, select Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray with the first overall selection or the Cardinals land another starting QB option in the draft via trade.

At that point, the Cardinals would presumably deal away Rosen, whom they selected No. 10 overall in 2018 after acquiring the pick for three selections (15, 79, 152).

It’s possible some combination of Haskins, Lock and Jones are available when the Redskins are on the clock in the middle of round one. If the Redskins plan on using the first round pick on a young quarterback even with Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and Alex Smith on the roster, then they should take the best option.

For several league sources, that option is Rosen.

“Rosen hands down,” a former NFL general manager told NBC Sports Washington. “He would be No. 2 in this quarterback class behind (Kyler Murray).”

What’s interesting is the scant traction for this trade concept even though other draft thinkers it’s an obvious call.

“I would give up the 15th pick in a second for Josh Rosen if I’m the Washington Redskins,” ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper said on a recent edition of the “First Draft” podcast.

The original public idea of a Day 2 selection for Rosen, likely based on the notion of the Cardinals dealing from a position of weakness by drafting Murray, created the “don’t deal a first” narrative.

On another episode of “First Draft,” Kiper’s counterpart, Todd McShay, also advocated Washington dealing No. 15 for Rosen.

“I keep waiting for a deal to be made,” McShay said. “I keep waiting for Washington to wake up.”

Some fans hit the snooze button when it comes to trading for Rosen. His rookie season performance wasn’t great – but neither was the team. Arizona struggled so much the organization fired its first-year head coach. The offensive line defined porous.

Whatever the struggles, those that liked Rosen coming out of UCLA in 2018 largely remain positive, but concerns exist.

<<2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT 20.0: IS DREW LOCK THE 2ND QB OFF THE BOARD?>>

One NFL analyst balked at the idea of using No. 15 for any of the passer options, but added, “It would be less risky to trade 15 for Rosen than to take a rookie.”

Rosen’s often-dissected personality comes into play for a former NFL offensive coordinator.

“(I) don’t know the personality of the Redskins’ QB coach (Kevin O’Connell). If not offended by a guy who is going to ask ‘why’ all the time, then I would trade for Rosen,” the former OC said. “If that personality rubs him wrong, I would go Lock.”

The primary downside for adding Rosen over the incoming rookies is the loss of a year on the rookie contract. Any 2019 first-round selection’s contract includes a fifth-year team option. Rosen is down to a maximum of four years, but with a noted benefit.

The Cardinals already paid his signing bonus. What’s left are modest salaries (less than $2 million for the 2019 season) and cap hits. Based on those numbers, almost any team selecting No. 13 thru No. 32 should consider trading for Rosen.

If any of these passers work out, the two sides will, in theory, work toward a long-term extension, so one year lost on Rosen isn’t an issue.

“Doesn’t make sense to let that (Rosen) opportunity slip,” said a league source. “That’s why if it’s truly there, you take it.”

It’s likely both sides are waiting for the deadline pressure, one league source told NBC Sports Washington. The three-day NFL Draft kicks off April 25.

The same league source, who has insight into the Redskins’ mindset, believes Washington remains keen on adding Rosen. NFL Network insider Mike Garofolo reported Friday he doesn’t get the sense the Redskins are “actively pursuing” a trade for Rosen.

<<2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT 20.0: IS DREW LOCK THE 2ND QB OFF THE BOARD?>>

There is another hurdle: The Cardinals selecting Murray.

On Monday, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah lowered his confidence of Murray to Arizona from 90 percent to 60 percent.

NBC Sports Washington’s began slotting the Heisman Trophy winner to the Cardinals with the March 4 mock draft and each time included some form of “Do not consider this a lock just yet.”  

Remember that while there’s a new coach in Arizona, the same GM and owner behind the original Rosen decision remain.

Defensive lineman Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams are worthy of the first overall pick. Selecting Murray means not just trading Rosen, but bypassing those two linemen.

The same is true for the Redskins on the other side. It’s no lock Rosen or any of the rookie passers starts in 2019. Gruden already stated that the Redskins, who last made the playoffs in 2015, need an immediate impact from their first-round choice. Pass rusher Brian Burns and guard Cody Ford are among the potential targets at No. 15 likely capable of helping from Day 1. Perhaps such help comes via a Day 2 pick in return from Arizona with Rosen.

For now, the idea of Murray going first overall remains the best bet. Should that occur, the Rosen talks presumably heat up. Lock, Haskins and Jones have their backers, but if the Redskins are focused on adding a quarterback, it’s time everyone stops trying to win the trade and focus on the best option with the 15th pick.

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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott handcuffed by police at Vegas music festival

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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott handcuffed by police at Vegas music festival

LAS VEGAS -- Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott was handcuffed by police, but not arrested, after a scuffle involving event staff at a Las Vegas music festival.

Police Officer Laura Meltzer said Monday that the 23-year-old running back was detained briefly early Saturday during the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Cellphone video posted by celebrity website TMZ appeared to show Elliott speaking with a woman and then with several security and event staff members, including one who falls backward over a metal parking area barricade.

Elliott's attorney, Frank Salzano in New York, told TMZ that event security misconstrued the situation and overreacted and that Elliott left Las Vegas for Dallas after the incident to be at his youth football camp Sunday.

Salzano didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

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Young Redskins defensive backs take advantage of first-team reps during Monday's OTAs

Young Redskins defensive backs take advantage of first-team reps during Monday's OTAs

Monday marked the first day of the Redskins optional Organized Team Activities, and many projected starters were absent. 

One of the most notable position groups missing key players was the secondary, as all four projected starters were either a no-show or unable to compete due to injury. Safety Landon Collins, who signed a six-year, $84 million contract with Washington in March, was present but did not participate in any drills. He's rehabbing from a shoulder injury, but head coach Jay Gruden expects him to be back for training camp.

Cornerback Quinton Dunbar was also present at Redskins Park, but he has been dealing with a nerve issue in his hamstring since last season, leading the Redskins staying cautious with him for now. He did not participate in any drills.

"He's running, he's doing very, very well," Gruden said on Dunbar. "We're just being very cautious right now. He had that nerve [last season]. We just want to make sure that thing is strengthened. He's running full speed; he feels good. We just want to make sure we take the cautionary route and make sure he's 100 percent."

Cornerback Josh Norman and safety Montae Nicholson were not present.

While OTA's can be frustrating at times for coaches since the workouts are optional, according to the current collective bargaining agreement, the absence of many starters provided the opportunity for some of the younger players to get more reps, including first-team ones. Second-year defensive backs Greg Stroman and Troy Akpe both spent time with the first unit, as well as veteran safety Deshazor Everett.

Stroman, a seventh-round pick in 2018, had the opportunity to show what he was capable of early on during his rookie season, as the Redskins' secondary was plagued by injuries for much of last season. Stroman played in 15 games for the Redskins as a rookie, starting three.

Now, with his rookie year behind him, he's ready to contribute even more in 2019, both on defense and special teams. He added weight during the offseason and was eager to hit the field on Monday.

"Getting back fully healthy, getting strong and just recovering from the season," Stroman said on how he's spent his offseason thus far. "Just getting strong, putting on some weight. Just ready to go play."

Asked what he wanted to improve most entering his sophomore season, his answer was rather simple.

"Everything," Stroman said. "I want to get better at everything. Overall, everything."

Stroman wasn't the only seventh-round pick that stood out on day one. Jimmy Moreland, who the Redskins selected this past March, had a big day as well. He recorded the first interception of OTA's, and broke up several plays when challenged one-on-one.

Toward the end of the session, Moreland was lined up on the outside against fellow rookie Kelvin Harmon with no safety help. Gruden verbally challenged Moreland to make a play before the snap, and while Harmon did catch the ball, he was well out of bounds as Moreland broke up the play.

Gruden had plenty to say about Moreland, pleased to see that the rookie stepped up to the challenge.

"Jimmy? Jimmy got the first pick of the day today," Gruden said on Moreland. "Figured it would have been him. He's got great ball skills, and he's got great confidence."  

The praise then led to Gruden cracking a joke about Moreland's size, which might have been his first smile of the day. The seventh-rounder is one of the smallest players on the roster, listed at 5'10 and 174 pounds.

"I told him this is his type of day you know?" Gruden joked. "Non-contact, Jimmy, because he is a smaller type guy. I knew he was going to shine today. Just wait, Jimmy, just wait. But he is a great competitor. I love the energy that he brings. When the pads do come on for real, I think he'll be right there in the mix with everybody."

While some veterans were missing, ninth-year linebacker Mason Foster was a full participant in Monday's activities. The linebacker is entering his fourth season with Washington, and what was expected to be a diminishing role compared to past seasons may have gotten much larger with the injury to Reuben Foster on the third play of Monday's OTAs.

Mason Foster was pleased with what he saw from the younger players.

"[OTA's] are important for everybody, but especially when [the young guys] get their opportunity," he said. "The more opportunities they get, the more chance they get to show what they've learned and if they're transferring the stuff from the classroom to the field. I think they did a great job of that."

Last week, the rookies had their own minicamp. Foster, who turned 30 in March, watched the whole thing on film. 

"I watched the rookie minicamp on my iPad, and these guys were making plays," he said. "The interesting thing for them is going to be translating the stuff in the classroom -- because we have great coaches -- onto the field. How much can they retain? I think they're doing a great job."

While Monday's OTAs will be headlined by the injury to Reuben Foster, there is a lot to like from the plethora of young defensive backs, who will all be competing all summer for the final roster spots come September.

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