With the busy portion of the free agency period completed, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2015 NFL draft and, specifically, needs the Redskins still have. (Yes, there are many.) Over the next few weeks, we’ll rank those needs in order from least to most important. We’ll also examine prospects that could be a fit.
Current depth chart: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy.
Comment: There’s no position in football more important than quarterback. And right now there’s no question at Redskins Park more important than the following: Do they have one?
There are three quarterbacks on the roster as the offseason program begins, and none of them has proven he’s capable of being a bona fide No. 1.
Not yet, anyway.
Coach Jay Gruden named Griffin the starter in February and so he’ll get the first crack at the job, despite being benched the past two seasons. Considering Griffin’s upside—not to mention the king’s ransom the team paid to acquire him just three years ago—this should come as little surprise.
Cousins and McCoy figure to get an opportunity to compete, though from the sounds of it, they’d need an exceptionally strong performance to overtake Griffin during OTAs or training camp.
Griffin recently was quoted by NFL.com as saying General Manager Scot McCloughan has told him, “I’m going to put the 10 best players around you to maximize your potential.” Griffin also said he’s under the impression McCloughan does not intend to draft a quarterback with No. 5 overall pick. (The top two prospects—Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota—are widely expected to be off the board by then, anyway.)
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported last week that the Redskins are believed to be leaning toward picking up the $16 million, fifth-year option on Griffin’s contract but will wait until after the draft—just in case Mariota falls. The first round is Thursday; the deadline for triggering the clause in Griffin’s contract is next Sunday.
What does it all mean? It probably means the Redskins’ quarterback depth chart won’t change a whole lot in the coming weeks—except for the possible addition of a mid-to-late round draft pick.
Three potential draft targets:
- Brett Hundley, UCLA
Possesses a sturdy, athletic, well-built 6 foot 3, 226-pound frame. Passed for an average of 3,322 yards and 25 touchdowns the past three seasons, while rushing for an average of 582. Scouts, however, question his feel for the position and note that he was sacked 125 times during those three seasons. NFL.com projects him as fourth or fifth round selection.
- Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Also projected by NFL.com as a fourth or fifth round pick, Grayson (6-2, 213 pounds) solidified his status as a legit prospect with a strong 2014 season. Completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 4,006 yards and 32 touchdowns. Possesses adequate arm talent, but impressed scouts with his toughness and poise in the pocket.
- Connor Halliday, Washington State
McCloughan brought Halliday (6-3, 196 pounds) to Redskins Park for a visit. He won’t wow anyone with his arm or athleticism, but possesses traits worth developing. As a junior, he passed for 4,597 yards on an FBS-leading 714 attempts. NFL.com projects Halliday as a seventh round selection or possibly a priority free agent.
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