With roughly 72 hours before the NFL draft kicks off, Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan reiterated his plan Monday to take the best player available at each round rather than try to fill specific needs.
“We’re going to approach free agency and the draft every year the same way: Getting good football players,” McCloughan said Monday. “You always have injuries and trades and opportunities like that. But if you can just start stockpiling good players, your organization is going in a good direction.”
Hired in January, McCloughan has spent the last three and a half months evaluating Washington’s roster, grading returning players and assessing the urgency of holes and weak links.
McCloughan didn’t reveal many specifics in a 20-minute press conference that he opened in blockbuster fashion by stating that the team had picked up the fifth-year option on quarterback Robert Griffin III. The decision, made six days before the NFL deadline, represented a major endorsement of Griffin’s ability and potential going forward.
That said, McCloughan added that if the best player available is a quarterback when Washington makes its first pick — fifth overall, barring an 11th-hour trade down — the Redskins would take him.
For now, Washington will return all three quarterbacks from last season: Griffin, who’s entering his fourth NFL season, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy.
McCloughan said the team hasn’t entertained any official trade offers for Cousins, but added that as a general manager he’d always listen to any overtures from other NFL teams. Just as quickly, he noted that both Griffin and Cousins were young quarterbacks who had enjoyed success in college and shown promise in the NFL.
“You can’t give up on those guys too early,” McCloughan said.
Regarding the team’s glaring need for help along the offensive line, McCloughan said he was in the market for players with size, smarts and passion, referring to the NFL as “a big man’s game.”
McCloughan came across as well prepared for the three-day NFL draft proceedings in Chicago. The only wild card, he conceded, would be a last-minute trade offer. He made no secret of his interest in trading down from the No. 5 spot in order to get additional picks. For the first time since 2011, Washington has its full complement of draft picks. McCloughan said he’d love to turn those seven picks into 10, if he could find trading partners.
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