Almost every year it happens: A quarterback emerges after the combine, after the workouts, and begins to build serious momentum in the week leading up to the draft. This year is no different, and the player driving up draft boards is Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes.
Last season as a junior for the Red Raiders, Mahomes threw for more than 5,000 yards to go with 41 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions. He completed more than 65 percent of his passes, and added another 285 rush yards and another 12 TDs on the ground.
In a draft with more questions than answers at quarterback, Mahomes is generating a lot of buzz.
Word is Bill O'Brien of the Texans 'absolutely loves' Mahomes, and the passer is high on the radar of other teams as well.
Keep hearing the same about Cardinals and Chiefs. Mahomes is a hot property. https://t.co/1PLsdmJ1Uo— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 17, 2017
What does this mean for the Redskins? Could be very good news.
To start with, the Cardinals draft in front of the 'Skins. Should Arizona make a move for Mahomes at 13, that means one more good player will slide down the board, giving Washington more options at pick 17.
If Arizona determines 13 too high for Mahomes, a few things could happen by the time the 'Skins get on the clock. Knowing multiple teams are interested in the rookie passer, perhaps a trade market emerges for the 17th pick. It doesn't seem that there is any one player Washington brass is locked in on at 17, and trading down could make sense.
The 2017 Draft is quite deep in good spots for the Redskins: edge rusher, linebackers, safeties and running backs. Many draft evaluators have suggested trading back makes sense for the 'Skins, and increased attention in Mahomes could accelerate that possibility.
The Chiefs draft 27th, the Texans 25th. Between them and the 'Skins, the only team that might consider a first-round QB could be the Giants, trying to find Eli Manning's successor. With that much interest, and maybe more lurking, trade talks could blossom.
Even without a trade, Redskins fans should root for a run on QBs early in the draft. The more passers that get taken in front of Washington, the better the chances get of a player previously thought a Top 10 lock to slip all the way to 17. That could include guys like Reuben Foster, Derrick Barnett, Takkarist McKinley or a host of other top talents.