Matt Barkley set to return to USC, Redskins left with one less possibility at QB

And so, the “Big 3” is now the “Big 2.”

Andrew Luck

Matt Barkley

Robert Griffin III

Landry Jones

Ryan Tannehill

With Barkley’s expected decision to stay at USC for his senior season, perhaps it’s time to take another look at the teams that could be competing with the Skins for a QB in the 2012 draft.

But before we do, there’s one thing that needs to be kept in mind with the “new” NFL draft.  I’ve already written this in a couple different places, so apologies if you’re reading this again.  In the past, if you whiffed on a QB early in the draft, because of the money you had to pay these guys, it set your franchise back years. With the new CBA and far more reasonable salaries for rookies, teams can afford to take QBs in the first round when they may not have in the past.

For example, in 2009, Mark Sanchez was drafted 5th overall. His contract: 5 years, $44.5 million. In 2011, Jake Locker was drafted 8th overall. His contract: 4 years, $12.58 million. Enormous difference.

Think of your 5 best QBs in the NFL.

Now… think of your 5 best teams in the NFL.

Probably some serious overlap there, right? That’s no coincidence. Hell, look at the Colts as Exhibit A of how much a QB means. But I’m not really saying anything new there.

If you have a nice QB, but not necessarily one of the top 10-15 or so guys in the league (say… like a Josh Freeman type), in my opinion, you’re a prime candidate to grab a QB.

QBs are going to fly off the board early and often from here on out.  With the owners already in the know that rookie contracts would be lower in the (at the time) yet to be completed CBA during the 2011 draft, 4 QBs went of the board in the first 12 picks.  Would that have happened in prior years?  Maybe, but I doubt it.

Currently, I see 4 teams ahead of the Redskins in the draft order that could realistically take one of the “big 2” QBs in the 2012 draft, and a few more in striking distance that could leapfrog the Skins either if the Skins win more games or if a team trades up ahead of them.  Obviously the draft order and so many other variables can change between now and next April, but you can cross off Barkley, and now Griffin III just became less likely as well.  Shanny and Co. may need to make a power move if they want to get their guy, whoever that may be.

The list:

Team Record Likely to draft a QB?
Colts (1-13) Yep. Andrew Luck will be off the board here.
Vikings (2-12) No
Rams (2-12) No
Jaguars (4-10) They’ll have a new coach, and Blaine Gabbert has been downright awful. Some might perceive the Jags taking a QB as them giving up on Gabbert. However another way to look at it would be that they’d be hedging their bet. You simply can’t win in the NFL without a QB. You HAVE TO get that position right. So if the Jags are in a position to take a guy they think can be a star NFL QB… say like a Robert Griffin III, they might be foolish not to pull the trigger.
Browns (4-10) I don’t buy Colt McCoy as a legitimate starting QB. Others may disagree, and that’s fine. But if I’m running the Browns, QB is my #1 priority.
Buccaneers (4-10) See the intro above.
Redskins (5-9) Yes
Panthers (5-9) No
Dolphins (5-9) Aboslutely, and they could try to be aggressive in moving up to get one.
Bills (5-9) Yes. Ryan Fitzpatrick signed what looked like a lucrative deal, but it’s one the Bills can get out of if they so choose, and probably will.
Eagles (6-8) It wouldn’t be crazy for them to draft a QB if a guy they loved somehow feel to them, but they wouldn’t trade up for a QB.
Chiefs (6-8) In the same boat as the Bucs with Josh Freeman.

Redskins fans have to feel like this about now (substituting “get a legitimate QB” in for “score”)

Of course, the same could be said of the Eagles and the Super Bowl, but whatever.

5 Comments

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  3. Jonah says:

    As a redskins fan, the video you posted above was exactly how I felt when Matt Barkley decided he was going back to USC. I guess I will skip watching the skins next season as well…

    fuck.

  4. Steve D. says:

    Are you sure the Rams wouldn’t draft a QB. They may have a new coach next year and Bradford has been pretty bad this year. I could see a new coach fall in love with RGIII and try to trade Bradford, or simply hedge (like you described with Jacksonville).

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