3 takeaways from Ron Rivera’s revealing interview with The Athletic
By Jerry Trotta
1. Don’t expect Washington to draft a rookie
Mock draft season is in full swing and almost every simulation has seen Washington pounce on a quarterback, usually Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis, with the No. 11 overall pick. We’ve seen seen Desmond Ridder and Carson Strong fall to the Commanders in the second round in some mocks.
There’s a popular sentiment going around that Washington will draft a QB even if they add a veteran in free agency or via trade. While that idea makes sense in theory, the lack of buzz surrounding the incoming class has Rivera skeptical about how many quarterbacks he’ll have on the roster this Spring.
"“We’re more than likely going to have a veteran on the roster, more than likely (will) have another veteran, (and) more than likely have an opportunity to have a rookie on the roster as well,” Rivera said."
You don’t say? Trading for Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson would cost Washington’s 2022 fist-round pick, and multiple other draft choices. At that point, drafting a rookie would be off the table.
Even if the team acquired Jimmy Garoppolo or Carson Wentz, both of whom would likely require a Day 2 pick, the Commanders shouldn’t spend their top draft choice on a QB for the sake of doing so. If Rivera and Co. don’t have a first-round grade for anyone and aren’t fully sold on Willis’ upside, it’d probably be best to snag the best player available, whether it be a linebacker, receiver or another position of need.
Bottom line is fans shouldn’t be sold on the idea that the Commanders will have a rookie quarterback on the roster at OTAs.