It’s been all of three years since Washington used a high first-round pick on a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. And with needs up and down their roster, the Redskins mostly been ignored during early chatter about Marcus Mariota’s destination in April’s NFL draft, a development many fans have cheered.
That changed late Tuesday night, when ESPN’s John Clayton dropped a fairly important nugget in the middle of an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman Show.
The subject was the Eagles and whether they might pursue Chip Kelly’s former Oregon quarterback via a trade, but that was just a prelude to something more jarring.
“Honestly, [people say Mariota] may fall to the Jets; he’s not gonna fall to the Jets at six, I’ll tell you this right now,” Clayton said. “The Redskins will take him at [No.] five. Dan Snyder may not think there’s quarterback issues; Jay Gruden and everybody else in the front office thinks there’s quarterback issues. And if Marcus Mariota falls to five – now it’s not a position where they’re desperate enough to trade up to get him – but if he falls to 5, I’m telling you this right now, they’ll take him.”
There are, of course, a host of possible responses to this. Clayton could be wrong, to begin with. Or the Redskins could want others to believe they’re interested in Mariota to spur a trade past 5, allowing a better player to fall to Washington. Or the Redskins could be hoping Mariota falls to them at 5, and hoping to create more leverage for a trade by making others believe they would be happy to take Mariota themselves. CSN Washington’s Rich Tandler dropped an even more complicated potential scenario:
They want to make sure that Griffin understands that he is not secure in his job despite Dan Snyder’s support. There is nothing like word that the newer version of you (Griffin was the 2011 Heisman winner) could be heading to town to take your job to snap you into reality.
While that sure is a fun one to consider, if the Redskins’ master plan was predicated on the release of this information via a late-night John Clayton interview on ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman Show; well, that’s a bit House of Cardsish for my taste.
There’s also the possibility, of course, that “everybody else in the front office” really does believe there are quarterback issues, which would probably be the most alarming possibility of all.
In any case, Clayton’s main point was that the Eagles will not be drafting Marcus Mariota.
“They’re not getting him,” Clayton said. “It’s even more impossible now that they gave away a second-round pick in 2016, because they’re losing all the pieces they [have] to try to move up in a trade. I mean, to get up in a trade like that you need ones and twos, and they just gave away a two as part of this deal to get Sam Bradford. So now they’re even further away from getting Marcus Mariota.”
(Via 247Sports, with many thanks for the assistance.)