Taking a look at areas the Redskins might address in the draft under first year general manager Scot McCloughan, while also taking a look at McCloughan's history when it comes to the draft -- both in his four years in charge of the draft in San Francisco and as a key figure for three years in Seattle.
Why they might take one: Because they don’t seem to be sold on any of the three they have. Or, at least, there’s no unanimity on any of them. So find one you can all agree upon. Yes, that would mean getting rid of Robert Griffin III via trade (one possible reason the option has not yet been picked up). I don’t think they’ll take one in the first round because I anticipate both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota being gone. Still, if they were sold on Griffin and his future here, that option would have been a done deal by now. I understand the desire by some in the organization to keep Griffin around one more year just to make sure. So the more likely scenario is finding a quarterback later in the draft. With all three quarterbacks, as of now, unsigned in 2016 it would be good to have someone in the system you can develop into a potentially quality backup.
Scot McCloughan’s history: He drafted one quarterback in San Francisco -- he wasn’t the only voice, but he was in charge of the draft. The 49ers selected Alex Smith with the first overall pick. They, like many teams, bypassed Aaron Rodgers. Then again, Smith had to play right away and Rodgers had a chance to sit, learn and develop in Green Bay behind Brett Favre. Smith has become an OK quarterback; actually, his passer rating has been at least 89.1 or better in each of the past four seasons. But for the first overall pick, more is expected.
The blueprint: It’s hard to say because the only other quarterback McCloughan is associated with is Russell Wilson in Seattle. McCloughan was a key part of the draft when the Seahawks chose Wilson. (I’ve heard that McCloughan also liked Andy Dalton the previous year.) The common denominator here is that both Wilson and Smith are excellent athletes with speed. Both had excellent intangibles, which could be applied to Mariota. Wilson had the ‘it’ factor, among other qualities, that drew McCloughan to him. I don’t know if Mariota has that ‘it’ factor, but his intangibles are rather strong and he’s a heck of an athlete.
Round 1: The only two quarterbacks anyone seems to like in the first round should be gone by the time Washington picks at 5. Winston and Mariota clearly are the two best in a weak crop of quarterbacks. Both have reasons why they’d be a good fit in Washington: Winston for how he handles the pocket, his clutch play and competitiveness. Mariota for his athleticism -- he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at the combine. Though he ran a lot, he doesn’t just look to run and I could see him doing well as a passer on the move in the NFL. He does face a tough transition in terms of footwork.
Rounds 2-4: There’s a debate over who will be the third quarterback taken. Baylor’s Bryce Petty has a fluid throwing motion -- one NFL coach told me he loved watching him throw for that reason. But he is not always accurate, usually a byproduct of footwork in the pocket. So he’ll have to clean that up as well as transition from an offense that is far different from what he’ll have in the NFL. UCLA’s Brett Hundley looks to run far too often. When his base is right, he can really deliver a nice ball. Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson moves well in the pocket and stays poised; willing to make big throws. His base is pretty solid. Oregon State’s Sean Mannion played in a pro-style offense and took snaps from under center. But he’s slow (5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash), so that will hurt in the pocket and he has a longer delivery.
Late rounds: The Redskins brought in Washington State’s Connor Halliday for a visit. Halliday is, likely at best, a seventh-round selection. I really liked his lower-body mechanics, but he does not have a strong arm and he’s not the best athlete (4.9 in the 40). He moved fine in the pocket, keeping his eyes on his target and not on the defenders about to hit him. Worth a look to see if he develops.