It's still always, or almost always, about the quarterback. Now that the Washington Redskins have their starter for this season -- and the foreseeable future -- some still want to know who comes next. And whether or not they'd actually draft one this spring. Of course, there are questions about other positions as well. Which leads us to the mailbag.
Knowing Smith gives us some wiggle room, do we take a qb at 13 if a top guy falls, or trade back and target a guy to groom like the kid from richmond? #jkmailbag— Beastor (@danielpotter31) March 9, 2018
Keim: After the trade for Alex Smith, I was told the Redskins wouldn't take a quarterback high in the draft, if at all. Now, who knows what happens if someone they love falls to them unexpectedly, whether at 13 or 44? What if Lamar Jackson is sitting there at 44 and he tells them he'd be willing to play a multi-purpose role while still developing at quarterback? That would be very tempting for anyone; he could be their version of Tyreek Hill, using him in a playmaking role.
But that only works if Jackson is open to that role -- and if I were him and my goal is to start at quarterback, then I'd devote all my energy to doing so.
Still, there's always a caveat with the draft. Two years ago the Redskins weren't going to take a receiver in the first round and were determined to add a defensive lineman (or two) early in the draft. Instead, they took a receiver in the first and drafted zero defensive linemen in the first four rounds.
But my sense all along, based on what I'd been told, was that if they took a quarterback it would be late. Coach Jay Gruden is comfortable keeping just two quarterbacks, especially after last season when they needed to trim wherever they could because of so many injuries at other spots. A third quarterback would be a luxury, unless you absolutely believe the guy is a potential future starter.
Here's what Gruden said at the combine about drafting a quarterback: "I don't know yet. I think last year, unfortunately, we didn't have the ability to carry three with all the injuries we had... If we have that ability, we could add one maybe later in the draft or a free agent type guy."
Keep in mind that Smith's deal, when he eventually signs it, will likely guarantee him being here for at least three years. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy is entering the last year of his contract.
By the way, the quarterback from Richmond, Kyle Lauletta, shares the same agent as Kirk Cousins, for those who like to know those sort of things. I think a lot of teams will like Lauletta in the fourth-round range.
#jkmailbag do coaches feel good about the CB position as it currently stands? 24,47,31,and Holsey all can play— FreeWilly (@numberthirty6) March 9, 2018
Keim:Aaron Colvin is among the better ones available). Bashaud Breeland will hit free agency, as expected all along, and he'll probably fetch a deal in the $6-8 million range. They do like Quinton Dunbar and clearly feel Fabian Moreau can develop. But we really don't know how well Moreau or Josh Holsey can play. We need to see it for an extended time before saying they can all play. I believe that's probably the case; I like Moreau's skills and Holsey's mindset, and we've seen Dunbar progress. That's why I'd still feel good about the corner position. But, yes, they do need a little more help, and they know that's the case.
Do you see any current player under contract that could be traded for a draft pick? Or, do you see a trade back scenario to recoup that lost pick? #jkmailbag— OneAccountRhodes (@rhodesgolfer) March 9, 2018
Keim: Yes, Su'a Cravens. There have been talks with other teams, though it depends who you listen to as far as how close anything is to happening (Denver has been one of the rumored teams). When the Redskins talk about the safety position, they mention Montae Nicholson, D.J. Swearinger and Deshazor Everett --- but not Cravens. And Cravens knows not everyone would accept him back in the locker room.
Ultimately, I think he gets traded. The question is for what. One talent evaluator felt the best Washington could do was a third-rounder. That would be a terrific deal for the Redskins. Most people I've talked to feel it would be around a fifth-rounder, perhaps a conditional one (if that's the case then it would be in 2019). Denver has multiple picks in the third round (two), fourth round (two) and fifth round (three). The selling point on Cravens: He's a talented young player with three more years on a rookie contract. The downside: There's no guarantee he won't walk away again (last year wasn't the first time).
Is it smart to sign Dontari Poe if possible then draft a CB or MLB first round. Then RB second round #jkmailbag— Antwan Knapp (@KnappAntwan) March 9, 2018
Keim: You're definitely on the right track. My quesiton with signing defensive linemen in free agency is basic: What's the cost? The Redskins only have $32 million or so to spend this offseason. A guy like Poe or Bennie Logan or Sheldon Richardson would be good and would solve problems against the run no doubt. But they really do like Vita Vea, from what I've been told by multiple people. There's a decent chance he'll be there when the Redskins pick 13th. But if you don't sign a guy in free agency, you'd best feel good about a couple of defensive linemen with that pick because you really don't know who will be around.
But if they sign a defensive linemen, it could mean they won't invest as heavily at inside linebacker. But, again, you can't rely on getting a guy at 13. You'd better have several you like at various points in the draft. I do think running back is strongly in play at 44; they might need to trade up to get a guy they want. And corner would be an option, too. There are some they like who would be around at 13 (I think). But they might solve a hole there via free agency.