Redskins dig deep into quarterbacks with NFL draft approaching
The NFL draft is less than three weeks away, and until then, the Washington Redskins are continuing to do their research on quarterbacks. Washington will reportedly meet with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Duke’s Daniel Jones and West Virginia’s Will Grier this week.
The Redskins have already met with Missouri’s Drew Lock, who visited the team’s headquarters in Ashburn last week.
Washington is in search of a long-term solution at quarterback with Case Keenum and Colt McCoy under contract for only next season. The Redskins still have Alex Smith, but the 34-year-old’s future remains uncertain coming off a serious leg injury.
The team continues to be linked in trade rumors for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen, though ESPN reported the Cardinals have “not shown a willingness to trade him.” It is strongly believed around the NFL, however, the Cardinals will eventually trade Rosen in order to draft Kyler Murray, this year’s top quarterback, with the first overall pick.
After Murray, Haskins is regarded as the best passer among this year’s crop. The 21-year-old broke various records in 2018, including passing yards (4,831) and touchdowns (50). At 6-foot-3, Haskins is viewed as a pure pocket passer.
Despite his accomplishments, some are concerned about Haskins’ experience. He started only one season at Ohio State, spending two years as a backup to J.T. Barrett.
“You would like a guy to play more than a year to see how he’s developed over the years,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said last month at the league’s owners meetings. “Haskins has a unique skill set. He’s big, strong and can really throw it. He’s a guy you’re going to have to... is he going to be ready for the first year?
“Ideally, a couple of these guys you’d like to have them sit a year maybe to get them in your system learn to get to know your guys and play, especially those guys who only played one year.”
Gruden has said he would be willing to start a rookie quarterback but only if they win the job. At the owners meetings, Gruden said it would “be hard” to draft a quarterback at No.15, only to have him sit for a year.
Lock, Jones and Grier, on the other the hand, have each started at least two full seasons in college. Of that group, Lock and Jones figure to be drafted in the first round with Jones, in particular, rising up draft boards. The Duke product, ESPN reported, will spend Wednesday and Thursday with Washington.
Beyond official visits, the Redskins interviewed a number of quarterbacks at the scouting combine. They also sent scouts, executives and coaches to various pro days. Washington’s scouting staff, for instance, was in Missouri to observe Lock’s pro day, while Gruden was in West Virginia to see Grier. Gruden and Grier also grabbed dinner (sushi) the night before the quarterback’s pro day.
Regardless, if the Redskins draft at the position, Gruden said there’s an expectation to win now.
The Redskins have missed the playoffs three straight years, and changes will likely be made if they don’t make it next season.
“There is no developmental process here,” Gruden said. “This is not Triple-A baseball, we’re trying to develop a pitcher here. We’re trying to win a game right now. If we draft a quarterback in the first, second, third or seventh rounds and he’s going to start day one we expect great things from him. Players will expect great things from him.”