The Washington Redskins may have traded for Case Keenum, but that doesn’t mean the team isn’t interested in taking a quarterback high in the NFL draft next month.
The organization is caught in an awkward spot with Alex Smith, who signed a four-year, $94 million deal last offseason but is unlikely to play in 2019 as he recovers from a horrific broken leg. The team needs to win now after making just one playoff appearance in the past six seasons; hence, it brought in Keenum to compete with Colt McCoy. But the future still must be addressed.
“We were just going over the board this morning,” said Doug Williams, senior vice president of player personnel, "and I can say this: There’s a lot of guys up there. Whether we’re at 15 or we move up or we move back, you’ve still got to think what’s best for the football team. The good part about at this time, we’re not there. The draft is not today. We’ve got time to see what free agency does for us in the next couple days or so, a week or so, and then we’ll go from there.”
Williams said the team was pleased that it could find a trade partner as opposed to getting in a bidding war for free agent quarterbacks.
The Redskins have flexibility as to how to approach the position. There was risk going into the season with McCoy as the clear-cut starter considering he has yet to prove himself capable of handling an entire 16-game season, but the team now has a capable top two. There’s no longer an absolute need to pick someone at No. 15 to compete with McCoy, and there isn’t pressure to make the pick in the first round if someone at another position is rated higher on the board.
“I told [Colt] there’s going to be competition,” Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said. “Case didn’t come here to sit on the bench, and Colt’s not going to want to sit on the bench. So it’s going to be great competition. But they understand that that’s what it’s going to be about.
“And I have absolutely zero idea of who’s going to be the starter right now. I want to let them compete. I’m not going make any pregame decisions on who I think it’s going to be. I’m just going to let it play out, let the performance speak for itself and go from there.”
Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray are the top two quarterbacks in the draft, and some mock drafts have placed Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones as Redskins targets in the first round. But there is depth behind that group that can be had after the first 32 picks.
“There’s some good, young, talented guys that if you have a chance to get one, they’re hard to find,” Gruden said. “If you really feel good about one, you’ll have to take him. Because that is the position. You can talk about all this other stuff, but that’s the position that’ll take you to the promise land.”
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