Redskins

Redskins

No position in team sports carries the importance of a quarterback in football. Not one. 

A good quarterback gives his team a chance, and a great one changes the equation of every football field he steps on. 

Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy last season at the University of Oklahoma. On the college level, he was a great QB. He showed accuracy, completing nearly 70 percent of his throws, and play-making skills, connecting on 42 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. He's insanely quick, has good feet in the pocket and was able to rush for another 1,000 yards and 12 more TDs. 

Still, despite the gaudy stats and impressive run at Oklahoma, Murray may not be a good NFL quarterback. 

It's a hard league, and it's particularly hard for small passers. Murray goes 5-foot-10, and only weighs 190 pounds. 

His size is easily the most damning part of his game for NFL scouts. He checks every other box. Still, the size, or lack of it, is a big deal. One big hit from the likes of Von Miller or Khalil Mack can have serious repercussions on the most sturdy of QBs, let alone a small-saturated passer like Murray. 

The point here isn't to debate Murray's chances of success in the NFL. 

It's to present Murray as a viable selection for the Redskins with the 15th pick in the NFL Draft. 

After a terrible broken leg injury to Alex Smith last fall, the 'Skins have a serious hole at quarterback. Veteran backup Colt McCoy knows Jay Gruden's offense inside and out, but McCoy has also struggled to stay healthy and is only under contract for one more season. 

 

Washington needs to draft a quarterback this year, everyone knows that. Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins will be gone long before the Redskins pick at 15, but it's possible Murray is sitting there. 

The Redskins have a number of other needs beyond quarterback, but a need at quarterback is far more important than a need at any other position.

On the most recent edition of the Redskins Talk podcast, Mitch Tischler and Pete Hailey made the contention that even if Murray is there, the Redskins can't afford to take him. The team must fill other holes first and deal with a quarterback later. 

The premise, as best understood, is that it's too easy to miss on a first-round QB, and Washington must add talent in other areas of need. Like the secondary. Or the linebacker group. Or edge rusher. Or left guard. 

Boil it down, however, and that is the stance of the scared. That isn't attacking success. 

Should the Washington brass decide Murray is their guy, that he is capable of making plays on the highest level, and pass on him because the rest of the roster needs work? 

That would be lunacy. 

Again, it's entirely possible Murray isn't the guy.

It's entirely possible Washington isn't enticed by his tape, and is scared off by his lack of size. But in a changing NFL with rules that protect the quarterback, no time has never been better than right now for a QB like Murray to work in the NFL. Look around the league, not every passer is 6-foot-5 and statuesque in the pocket. 

The Redskins need a lot this offseason, both in the draft and in free agency. One pick won't fix everything, and a modest approach to rebuilding the roster could pay dividends down the road. 

Or the team could miss on a first-round pick, regardless of position. 

In the past five drafts, the 15th pick has hardly been a certainty.

The best player of that spot came in 2015 when the Chargers took Melvin Gordon. He's been great. A year later, the Browns took Corey Coleman. A total bust in Cleveland, he's since been cut by the Patriots and the Bills before catching on with the Giants this fall. 

The point is no pick is a certainty in the NFL. Not the first overall, not Mr. Irrelevant. 

Suggesting that the Redskins shouldn't take a quarterback because they have too many other holes is shortsighted. 

To be clear, the Redskins should absolutely not reach for a quarterback. The team does not have to select a passer in the first round this year. 

 

But if they like somebody, and he's there, it would be foolish not to select that player because of other holes on the roster. 

Quarterbacks impact the game more than any other player. They can make a bad team good and a good team great. They can't make a bad team great, just ask Archie Manning or Sonny Jurgensen, but you can't play it scared with signal callers. 

Washington might not like Murray as its quarterback of the future. There are months of pre-draft workouts to determine his faults, tape to grind, questions to ask. 

That's fine. 

But if the Redskins want Murray, and he's there at 15, they better be sure to take him. Anything else is playing scared. 

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