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Redskins at NFL draft combine focus on whether to select a quarterback in April

"If you think Sam Bradford [above] is a franchise quarterback . . . you have got to take" him, analyst Mike Mayock said. (Ronald Martinez/getty Images)
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It's no secret that Shanahan likes to build his offense around a reliable quarterback, which has spurred much speculation that he is targeting a signal-caller with the team's first pick. Shanahan has received mixed reviews for many of his draft decisions in Denver. Critics have said that Shanahan doesn't heed always the advice of his scouts.

Since arriving in Washington, Shanahan hasn't made any changes to the team's scouting department, which means he'll be relying on reports generated by talent evaluators installed by the previous management team.

"I don't know who made final decisions on some of the things in Denver. There were some mistakes made there that kind of hurt that franchise a bit," Kiper said. "But overall, I have great respect for Mike's ability as a coach, number one. And certainly in Washington, his personnel skills are going to be on display right away."

The paradox facing Shanahan is whether the Redskins' first-round pick is better used on a quarterback or on an offensive lineman who can protect the quarterback. At this week's combine, team officials will get a chance to see several linemen in action but none of the draft's top quarterbacks are expected to throw.

"If you think Sam Bradford is a franchise quarterback and that right shoulder is going to stand up medically, then I believe you have got to take Sam Bradford," Mayock said. "Having said that, there's a school of thought out there also, you better upgrade your offensive line before you draft a young quarterback or he may get killed.

"But I always go back to: The franchise quarterback trumps everything. So if Bradford or Clausen, in your opinion, is the guy, I think you've got to take him at four."

Mayock thinks there are six or seven offensive tackles who are first-round quality and isn't sure how many might fall to the second round, where the Redskins hold the No. 37 pick.

"Our coaches and our scouts obviously have been combing the tape, making sure we have a good feel for who these players are on the football field, so we can use this time at the combine to get to know the players," Allen said. "We want to get to know them physically, from the medical standpoint, but also seeing if they're going to mesh and fit into what we're looking to build here."


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