It has to be clear by now even to the most optimistic among Redskins fans and Redskins coaches and Redskins players and Redskins management and Redskins ownership that the Redskins do not have an NFL-caliber starting quarterback on their roster. They just don’t.

The John Beck experiment appears to be over. The sample size is still small, but in many ways, large enough. Beck still believes in himself, and that’s terrific, but if that were enough, Stuart Smalley would be John Elway.

Rex Grossman can put up a good front at times. He sure had the Fox announcers going Sunday: They praised him to the skies while most of Washington sat quietly and kept its counsel (unusual for most of Washington). You knew it was coming; I knew it was coming. Biding my time, ’cause that’s the kinda gal I’m. The kind who’s right.

And at 2:01 p.m., Grossman delivered . . . the ball, right into the hands of Vontae Davis, which, if he played for the Redskins, would have been a good thing. Leonard Hankerson fell on the play, so that wasn’t all on Grossman, but the second one was vintage Rex: locking in on a receiver and forcing a throw where it shouldn’t be.

Mount Doom was easier to find than the end zone for the Redskins this season. Yet the Shanahans keep smiling — or maybe they’re grimacing — and saying they “saw some good things” Sunday. So did I: I watched “Homeland” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

What can we interpret from this? That the Shanahans (1) are lying through their gritted, grinding teeth or (2) believe exactly what they’re saying.

If it’s No. 1, don’t play Texas Hold ’Em with these guys. They bluff better than Phil Ivey.

If it’s No. 2, be afraid. Be very afraid.

But I have to think that the Shanahans, like George Gershwin and me, are biding their time, waiting to take a quarterback in the 2012 draft. I certainly hope so.

They’ve already lost Stanford’s Andrew Luck; that ship is sailing straight to Indianapolis, which is no small feat, sailing a ship to Indianapolis. (Should Peyton Manning be named the MVP of the AFC this season? If in your absence your team can’t win a single game, aren’t you the most valuable player, as one of my weekly chatters has suggested? I mean, we’d all like to think our companies would shut down without us; his actually did! How cool is that?)

So the Redskins are out of Luck, quite literally. But looking at their remaining schedule with a realistic eye — two more wins, perhaps, if they catch some breaks, one more win if they don’t — and looking at the league’s other struggling teams, let’s assume the Redskins will get a top-10 pick. Several teams that may finish with worse records than Washington’s (Carolina and St. Louis, to name two) presumably will have no need of a quarterback. So maybe the Redskins will be in a good position — or maybe they’ll have to maneuver themselves into one.

So who will be available? Junior Matt Barkley of USC is usually the next name mentioned after Luck, and he has good numbers (29 touchdowns, 2,782 yards, 6 interceptions).

But on Saturday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN, Redskins fans have a chance to take a gander at two other potential candidates: juniors Landry Jones of Oklahoma (8-1) and Robert Griffin of Baylor (6-3).

Jones has thrown for 3,349 yards, 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Griffin has 29 touchdowns this season with just five interceptions, he’s completed 74 percent of his passes and he’s thrown for 3,093 yards.

So there will be a lot of offense, and presumably a lot of touchdowns, two things we haven’t seen a lot of locally on Sunday afternoons this fall.

Does that kind of college firepower necessarily translate to the NFL? No. But given the current state of the Redskins’ quarterback situation, wouldn’t you like to find out?