Nobody would be surprised if the Redskins traded out of their selection at No. 5 overall in the NFL draft next week. It has been widely known that they have been shopping to pick to the rest of the league.
Most scenarios focus on the Redskins trading down to get more selections. The only questions seem to be who the trading partner might be and what additional picks Scot McCloughan would have to work with after the deal.
However, trading down is not the only option. According to veteran NFL reporter Mike Freeman, some NFL personnel men believe that Washington will move up from the No. 5 spot to the second pick overall.
Before you head down to the comments and start pounding out how ridiculous this is, take a look at the possible scenario. It does not involve the Redskins ending up with quarterback Marcus Mariota except perhaps for a brief period of time.
Freeman talked to five NFL personnel men. All of them believe that Mariota, considered to be the second-best quarterback in the draft behind Jameis Winston, will end up playing for the Titans this year. But they were split over how Mariota would arrive in Nashville.
The differences in the responses came with how they thought the Titans would select Mariota. Three of the sources believed the Titans would stay at No. 2 and take him there. The other two thought the Titans would trade with Washington, which would take USC's Leonard Williams at No. 2, leaving the Titans to pick Mariota at No. 5—one spot before the quarterback-thirsty Jets.
There has been plenty of talk that the Redskins would be happy to take Williams, who visited Redskins Park on Wednesday. Many evaluators believe that he is the best player in the draft. But scenarios that put Williams in burgundy and gold have him dropping to the fifth pick, not the Redskins going up to get him.
If the Titans want to make sure they end up with Mariota they would not be able to do a straight draft pick trade with the Redskins. Although the Jaguars and Raiders, the two teams picking in between the Titans at 2 and Washington at 5, aren’t likely to pick a quarterback they could pull off a trade with someone who will snatch Mariota. So the Titans would have to take Williams, the Redskins would take Mariota (causing major tremors in the DC region) and then the trade would be executed.
While it’s easy to see why the Redskins would want Williams on their team, the price to move up would be staggering. If you go by the draft trade value chart, the Redskins would have to give up their second-round pick this year and their first-round pick in 2016 or something equivalent to that. It wouldn’t quite be the ransom they paid to move from No. 6 to No. 2 in 2012 but it still would strip them of draft picks they need to build the team.
Perhaps the Titans would be willing to let the pick go for less than sticker price. But Washington would still have to part with a premium pick. It’s hard to see McCloughan believing that the Redskins would be better with just Williams than they would be with, say, Dante Fowler Jr. and whoever they might take in the second round.
Perhaps the personnel men who said they believe such a deal would happen heard something or maybe they were just speculating. The best news of all here is that we only have six more days until we see how it plays out.