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The Washington Football Team made two key commitments to its quarterback room this offseason, re-signing Taylor Heinicke and handing out a Ryan Fitzpatrick contract that suggests he will be the starter in 2021. But it seems the organization might not be done at quarterback.
We’ve already seen two blockbuster trades before the 2021 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers jumped up to the No. 3 overall pick for a quarterback. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers could be plotting an aggressive move to climb up for an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater.
Given what the 49ers gave up to jump up nine spots, it would cost Washington a significant amount of draft capital to land a top-10 pick. Furthermore, Fitzpatrick said he signed with the WFT because they offered him an opportunity to become the starter. With that said, it might be too early to close the door on a big addition.
According to ESPN’s John Keim, Washington will strongly consider drafting a quarterback if a talent they specifically like becomes available on the night of the NFL Draft.
This comes after the team’s pursuit of a Sam Darnold trade and the additions already made to the depth chart. Fitzpatrick does offer some reliability as a short-term starter and Heinicke showed flashes in limited snaps, but Washington needs to think about its future.
Of course, acquiring a quality quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft won’t be easy
Examining potential quarterback options for Washington Football Team
Given what San Francisco just paid Miami, three first-round picks and a third-round pick, that almost certainly takes Washington out of the running for a blockbuster trade on draft night. Furthermore, there’s a strong belief four quarterbacks are taken with the top-5 picks.
There are five established first-round talents at the quarterback position in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Trevor Lawrence will be the No. 1 overall pick, Zach Wilson is expected to land with the New York, San Francisco will take a quarterback and the Atlanta Falcons may draft the heir to Matt Ryan. This doesn’t even include the Panthers, who are sitting at No 8 overall.
Realistically, all five quarterbacks will be gone within the top-10 picks. After that, there is a significant drop-off.
- Florida QB Kyle Trask: Broke out in 2020 with 4,283 passing yards and 43/8 TD/INT ratio. He Trask doesn’t have much athleticism, lacks great physical tools. Likely a third-round pick.
- Georgia QB Jamie Newman: Opted out of 2020 season after transferring to Georgia. Star at Wake Forest with tons of upside thanks to dual-threat ability, but needs multiple years to develop. Likely a Day 3 pick.
- Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond: Showed flashes of talent with the Aggies, but inaccuracy and struggles vs. pressure are red flags. The physical upside is there, but likely a mid-round pick.
If Washington really wants to get aggressive, it could package the No. 19 overall pick and future first-round selections to trade up with a team like the Detroit Lions. That would then put the WFT in a position to potentially draft Lance or Fields.
If the front office isn’t willing to make that kind of move, even spending a top-75 pick on the remaining quarterbacks would be a reach. At that point, trading for Darnold or waiting until the 2022 NFL Draft might be the better decision.