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Hellie says WFT should only trade up for QB if Lance slips originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Football Team holds the No. 19 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. And, after filling a bunch of their biggest needs in free agency, Ron Rivera and his staff have the ability to go several directions with that selection.
Although Washington signed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason, the franchise is still searching for its long-term answer at quarterback. And, with a deep quarterback class with five expected first-rounders, this could be the draft for Washington to make a move for one of those passers.
The most popular name that has been connected with Washington is Trey Lance. Several mock drafts have Washington moving up to take the North Dakota State product. And, according to NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Lance is the only passer Washington should consider trading up for.
"That's the only guy," Hellie said on the Washington Football Talk podcast.
While Hellie is a fan of Lance and the 20-year-old's potential, he wouldn't make just any move to go up and get him. Certain things have to fall perfectly on draft night for him, if he were Washington, to be willing to part with future picks in order to trade up for Lance.
"When I look at the needs for Washington and I look who is on the draft board, I wouldn't trade up to draft a quarterback unless Lance is there in the teens," Hellie said. "I don't want to mortgage the future."
Additionally, the analyst doesn't view Ohio State's Justin Fields or Alabama's Mac Jones -- two other QBs that could potentially slip in the draft -- in the same tier as Lance. Besides Lance, the other two passers Hellie truly likes in this class are Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, who are expected to be the first overall two picks on April 29.
Hellie also brought up the fact that in recent years, first-round quarterbacks have flopped more times than they have hit. No first-round quarterback drafted before 2017 remains with its original franchise after Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Matt Stafford all were traded by the teams that drafted them this offseason.
Although the 2021 class is considered to be extremely deep at the sport's most important position, Hellie reminded everyone that there's no guarantee they will pan out.
"Look at history guys. There are five guys that are going to get drafted in the first round. There's going to be one Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, there's going to be one guy who starts and there's going to be three flops," Hellie said.
"Who are the three fops going to be? I don't know. And I don't think it's worth mortgaging your future to trade into the top 10 to try and grab one of those guys."
So, if Washington doesn't trade up for Lance, or any other quarterback, what should they do at No. 19? For Hellie, the answer is easy.
"If I'm Washington right now, unless [Lance slips], I stand pat and try and get a linebacker or a tackle. I think it's pretty simple," Hellie said.