When it comes to Washington's quarterback situation, Mike Jones of USA TODAY believes things are shaping up for the Football Team to select a quarterback somewhere in the first two rounds of the draft.
"For Washington, I think that the expectation all along has been that they will probably wind up drafting somebody and acquiring another veteran quarterback as well, whether it's through trade or whether it's through free agency," Jones told 106.7 The Fan's Brian Mitchell and JP Finlay. "They had a start with reconfiguring their quarterback position by taking care of Taylor Heinicke and now we'll see who else they get."
"But I will be shocked if they came out of the draft without having used an early pick on a quarterback," he said.
After reports surfaced Monday indicating Washington is expected to move on from veteran Alex Smith, Washington currently has Taylor Heinicke, who signed a two-year extension last month, and practice squad quarterback Steven Montez under contract. They could also still re-sign Kyle Allen, who is an exclusive rights free agent.
While uncertainty abounds, Washington's intentions are pretty clear in Jones' view. Their draft day plans will be determined by what they can — or cannot — get done pre-draft.
"If you get a guy who has still got a lot of years left in the tank, then maybe you don't have to spend a first- or second-round pick on a guy," Jones said. "But say you get somebody that's kind of on like a one- or two-year rental, I'd still look at one of the top quarterbacks in the draft and find a way to get one of those guys.
"Even if he sits for one year and develops, but, I mean, you just never know. You go in there, you have competition and see where it goes from there. But you have got to address this multiple ways, not just thinking, 'Okay hey, we can just put a Band-Aid on this thing.' You need your immediate future and your long-term future taken care of."
A report on Monday connected Washington directly to Marcus Mariota, saying the Football Team "tried to acquire" the Raiders backup at one point, but talks have since cooled.
Jones clarified that by 'early pick,' he expects Washington to take a quarterback somewhere in the first two rounds rather than doing something a little more bold, like trading up. In a QB heavy draft, Washington owns the 19th overall pick.
"As far as early pick, I just mean like whether it's first round, second round," he said. "I don't know if they are desperate enough to want to trade up, because I think that they know that they need a lot of things and you need as many of your draft picks as possible. Again, if you can get a veteran guy — whether it's a trade for, maybe it's a Mariota. I know that those talks cooled off, but once you get close to the draft."
"So maybe if you get a veteran guy, you don't have to reach on a young quarterback," Jones continued, "and you can use a first-round pick on something else and then get a second-round pick that you can develop at quarterback.
"I just think that they're gonna be smart with this thing, they're not gonna overreach, but they're going to try to take care of the short and long term."