Only one thing was left as certain towards the end of the Redskins season, and that was that all-pro quarterback Donovan McNabb had a falling-out with management and was benched in favor of Rex Grossman. At this point, it is highly likely, though not a certainty that McNabb will be headed out the door. The treatment and likely departure of McNabb has baffled if not piqued the minds of many, and has left much speculation about the upcoming draft. It would seem self-evident that to replace McNabb, the Redskins will take a quarterback in the first round of the draft. Jake Locker is a viable replacement in the eyes of many Redskins fans who speculate, if available, he will be the likely candidate. Not so fast.
The Redskins will not take a quarterback in the first round. Here it is again, just for emphasis. The Redskins will not take a quarterback in the first round, and here is why. Rex Grossman completed the season with decent, if not average play. In the eyes of some, Grossman rejuvenated the offense, targeted more receivers, converted more third downs and led more successful drives than McNabb. He was interesting, if not exciting to watch, and he does have a Super Bowl on his resume. Is he a good quarterback? No. Is he decent? I’ll give him that. Grossman is decent and for the Redskins, or at least for the coaches, and that might be enough.
The biggest factor in Grossman retaining his starting position will have nothing to do with his play though. It is his relationship with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The two have a history that goes back further than the Redskins, they work well together and from all appearances are probably decent friends outside of the stadium. Based on these facts coupled with Grossman’s valiant if not futile attempt to perform some kind of season ending magic, he will remain the Redskins starting quarterback for at least the beginning of next season.
Where does that leave the Redskins in the draft? I can see the Redskins bolstering their offense with a receiver in the first round. Santana Moss is a competent veteran who has been a great fit for the Skins, but he is more of a number two receiver. The Redskins, in an attempt to give Grossman targets might very well take a receiver as their first pick in the draft. They will take a quarterback, but it will come in the mid to late rounds of the draft. Think Colt Brennan, who I still wish was given a chance before being released. On the flip side; I might be crazy and after reading this you probably will think I am crazy. Maybe the Skins will indeed take a quarterback in the first round. However, given the fact that the Shanahans love to keep fans and reporters guessing, have made unconventional if not controversial decisions in the past, and have shown that big names don’t matter to them, I stand firm on my current assessment. The Redskins will not take a quarterback as their first round draft pick.