Friday, March 18, 2011
Redskins' biggest weakness: QB
By Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.
Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson examines the biggest weakness of each NFC East team and offers some potential solutions.
Jake Locker has the athleticism that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan covets in a quarterback.
The Redskins' quarterback situation is a nightmare. I am assuming that Donovan McNabb will be elsewhere in 2011. Rex Grossman has a place in this league, but his erratic nature makes him too difficult to count on as a week-to-week starter at such an important position. Grossman is also a pending free agent, although returning to Washington seems like a natural fit. It isn’t a re-signing that I would object to.
But the Redskins have to look elsewhere for their long-term quarterback. That takes us to the draft. Maybe the aggressive Redskins front office would put a package together to move up several spots from their 10th position to land Missouri's Blaine Gabbert or more likely, Auburn's Cam Newton. But with a wealth of needs (I could have picked many different positions for this post), I just can’t see putting the resources into moving up.
It isn’t Washington’s style, but moving backward on draft day would be the prudent move. The Redskins are supposedly very interested in Washington’s Jake Locker, who has a skill set very similar to what Mike Shanahan looks for in a quarterback.
I could certainly see Shanahan and company being smitten with Locker. In a way, he is a combination of Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler. Locker moves very well. He is the strong, athletic type of passer who is needed for Shanahan’s offense, both with designed quarterback movement and with his ability to get the ball deep downfield. If Washington could move down maybe ten spots in the draft, accumulate picks for other needs and land Locker if they so desire, I would be fine with that. But I wouldn’t condone using the 10th overall selection on Locker. It might be better to take a top prospect at No. 10 and then put a package together to move back into the late first round for Locker.
The Redskins could wait even longer and draft a physically impressive prospect like Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick while really working on other areas of the team. Then they would let Grossman steer the ship for a season while Kaepernick learns. Of the veteran quarterbacks available, there isn’t a guy I see as a good fit in terms of upside and what Shanahan wants from the position. The Redskins roster is such a mess that going young might be the right decision as part of a total rebuilding project.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.