This piece is part of the Riggo’s Rag Roundtable quarterback debate. For more Washington Football Team QB options, click here.
Any quarterback that the Washington Football Team brings onto its roster this off-season – whether through the draft, through a trade, or through free agency – is going to be a calculated gamble. Among the realistic options, the best gamble out there is Jamie Newman.
Newman is an athletic 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect who, during the course of about one and a half seasons at Wake Forest, threw for almost 4,000 yards, ran for about 1,000 more, and accounted for 45 touchdowns. More on his pluses and minuses in a minute, but first, a word about how the Washington Football Team should approach the quarterback situation this off-season.
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Washington has too many roster holes to give away multiple players or draft assets for any one player. The only exceptions to this would be for Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, players Washington does not have a realistic shot at acquiring.
You could make a bold move to trade up for one of the big four draft prospects (or big five, if you want to throw in that kid in Alabama), but I would not do it. Quarterbacks drafted in the first round, no matter how surefire they appear to be on paper, are never a sure thing.
I could make a stronger argument for obtaining a young veteran via trade, and if the asking price for Derek Carr were reasonable, he would be a very good candidate.
But I don’t think the asking price for Carr will be reasonable.
Why the Washington Football Team should draft Jamie Newman
So back to Jamie Newman.
You can acquire Newman at a very low cost. He is just one of your mid-round draft choices. Maybe a fourth-round pick. Assuming no other significant moves, you already will have acquired four solid players via the draft, and, given Washington’s strong salary cap position, several other quality vets in free agency.
Taking a flyer on a low floor/high ceiling prospect like Newman makes all the sense in the world at that point.
The knock on Newman is that he isn’t accurate enough. He did not perform well against elite competition in his final season at Wake Forest. His game against Clemson was a nightmare. And he sat out the entire 2020 season.
On the other hand, if you did not have elite talent surrounding you, no one looked good against Clemson in 2019. When he played against teams with similar talent, Newman was highly productive. As in his five-touchdown game against NC State midway through 2019.
And that is what I really like about Newman. He generates touchdowns. There’s no question that he needs technique work to improve his accuracy. He showed some rust early on in the Senior Bowl. His footwork seemed mechanical. But he got better as the game went on, leading his team to a touchdown in the final minute.
Should he come to Washington, he will have a veteran quarterback coach in Ken Zampese, who did fine work with Andy Dalton and Baker Mayfield early in their careers.
Physically, Newman is almost identical to a guy who is currently being offered in the neighborhood of $175 million down in Dallas. The knock on Dak Prescott coming out of college was that despite his physical gifts, he was inconsistent and mechanically unsound. That is exactly what Newman’s critics claim. But like Dak, Newman creates touchdowns.
I am not guaranteeing that Newman becomes a great quarterback. But look at any mock draft you want. See what Washington can add if they don’t make a rash move at QB.
A stud back end defender like Trevon Moehrig or Jaycee Horn in the first, a game-changing receiver like Kadarius Toney or Rashod Bateman in the second, a tough-minded tackle like Trey Smith or Dillon Radunz early in the third, and an athletic linebacker like Baron Browning or Cameron McGrone later in the third. You will have already added several quality players through free agency.
Then, you can let a quarterback come to you. You are not drafting Jamie Newman to be your starter in 2021. You are drafting him with the hope that, should your gamble pay off, he is still your starter in 2031. And should the gamble fail, you are left with a very strong team, and ample opportunity to roll the dice again a year or two down the road.
Click the links below to read about each QB option.