With the busy portion of the free agency period completed, it’s time to start looking ahead to the NFL draft and, specifically, needs the Redskins still have, ranking them in order from least to most important. We’ll also take a look at prospects who could be a fit.
Current depth chart: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy.
Comment: The Redskins appear to be set at quarterback. At the moment, that is.
Despite his struggles as a sophomore, Robert Griffin III is healthy, has been handed the keys by first-year head coach Jay Gruden and is the unquestioned face of the franchise. Kirk Cousins is Griffin’s promising backup and Colt McCoy, signed earlier this month as a third stringer, has starting experience and provides good depth.
But, as we’ve all witnessed over the past year or so, life in the NFL can change quickly. And, when it does, depth charts can change quickly, too.
Starters get injured and backups who believe they can be a starter on another team get antsy.
Which brings us back to Cousins, who has dropped some not-so-subtle hints that he’d like an opportunity to be a starter—if not in Washington, then somewhere else. And while Gruden says the Redskins have not fielded calls about from other teams interest in trading for Cousins, that doesn’t mean a call will never come. Despite some ragged performances late in 2013, all it takes is one coach who believes that he can mold Cousins into a starter right away.
Because of that possibility, it’s never too early to start looking around for Griffin’s next backup. It could be McCoy, but there’s a reason he wasn’t signed until April 3 and, when he did, only $65,000 of his contract was guaranteed.
So while it would be surprising if the Redskins spent one of their six picks (the Rams hold their first round selection) on a signal caller, it shouldn’t be completely ruled out, either. Particularly if the belief inside Redskins Park is that Cousins could be dealt sooner rather than later.
Three potential (late-round) prospects:
- Brett Smith, Wyoming
The athletic 6-foot-2, 206-pound junior wasn’t invited to the NFL’s scouting combine, but he grabbed scouts’ attention at his pro day by running a 4.51 second 40-yard dash. Last season, he completed 62.6-percent of his passes for 3,375 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 571 yards.
- Connor Shaw, South Carolina
At 6-foot, 206 pounds, Shaw is significantly undersized by today’s standards. But he’s a quick, smart and tough—intangibles scouts find interesting. Last season, Shaw completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards, 24 touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 558 yards. NFL.com projects him as a sixth or seventh round selection.
- David Fales, San Jose State
Not the biggest (6-2, 212) or the fastest (4.99-second 40), but his accuracy makes him one of the more intriguing late round quarterback prospects. In 2012, he led the nation with a 72.5-percent completion rate. As a senior, he completed 64.1-percent of his passes for 4,189 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. NFL.com projects him as a sixth or seventh round selection.