The Redskins will host Duke quarterback Daniel Jones for a pre-draft visit next week, sources informed NBC Sports Washington.
That will be the second high-profile passer from the 2019 draft class to visit the team's Ashburn headquarters in April. Missouri QB Drew Lock visited the Redskins practice facility on Wednesday, according to sources.
Washington also sent a sizable cadre of executives and coaches to Ohio State's pro day in March to watch QB Dwayne Haskins including team president Bruce Allen and head coach Jay Gruden.
Focusing on rookie quarterbacks makes a ton of sense for the Redskins as the team only has veteran passers Case Keenum and Colt McCoy signed for 2019. Alex Smith is signed long-term, but after a significant leg injury sustained last November, there are real questions about his ability to ever play football again.
Despite the obvious need to bring in a young quarterback, Redskins coach Jay Gruden cautioned that his team can't be too eager to land a new signal caller
"You can't reach for the quarterback of the future. He has to be the right fit and has to fit what you think that quarterback is," Gruden said. "If we don’t feel like as an organization this guy fits that criteria then we can’t reach and take him just because he’s a quarterback."
Jones presents a more realistic situation than Lock or Haskins.
Both Lock and Haskins are sure fire first-rounders, and could easily both be drafted before the Redskins selection with the 15th pick. Does Washington want to move up for one of those QBs? The team has a ton of holes, and giving up draft capital could be a lateral, at best, move for the entire organization.
On the other hand, it seems like Jones will be available at 15. If he's there, and the 'Skins want him, maybe he's the Redskins new future face of the franchise.
"You’ve got to hit on those first-rounders to be a successful franchise," Gruden said. "You can’t just reach and hope to goodness that’s your guy of the future. You have to be right on those guys."
Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Redskins Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams called drafting a QB at 15 "the easy choice" assuming it matches up with the team's draft board.
At 6-foot-5 and 225 lbs., Jones has prototype size to be an NFL quarterback.
In three seasons starting at Duke, he completed 60 percent of his passes while throwing 52 touchdowns against 29 interceptions. His team didn't have the most talent at the skill positions, but the offense moved. He showed sneaky athleticism and the ability to read defenses while in college but questions remain about his deep ball abilities against pro secondaries.
Where Jones lands on the Redskins draft board will go far to determine if the Peyton Manning/David Cutcliffe disciple will land in Washington.
And next week's visit will go far to determine where Jones lands on the Redskins draft board.
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