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Everyone overreacts to player meetings with teams at the NFL scouting combine and a team’s list of official pre-draft visits. Just because a team wants to talk to a player doesn’t mean they’ll draft him. Some teams prefer to avoid talking to prospects they want to draft, to keep everything secret.
Still, the Washington Redskins meeting with two of the draft’s top quarterbacks is curious.
The Redskins drafted Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the first round last year. But JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reported the team is meeting with LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa at the combine this week.
That’s certainly notable.
Redskins meeting with top quarterbacks in draft
New Washington coach Ron Rivera didn’t deny that the team is looking at quarterbacks.
Ron Rivera says meeting with Burrow and Tua is not just due diligence. They’re real meetings. Rivera likes Dwayne Haskins but says all options are on table.
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) February 26, 2020
However Rivera or anyone else wants to spin it, it’s not the best news for Haskins. It’s not like the Arizona Cardinals are openly looking at quarterback prospects a year after drafting Kyler Murray. Maybe this is Washington’s way of building leverage in a possible trade for the No. 2 overall pick. Maybe not.
Haskins didn’t start right away last season for the Redskins, who didn’t think he was ready. When he started, the results were mixed. This is a new regime for Washington that has no ties to Haskins. Everyone has assumed the Redskins would draft Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second pick, but there has to be some reason the team met with Burrow and Tagovailoa.
Redskins have the second pick
It doesn’t hurt Washington to talk to Burrow and Tagovailoa. If it believes one of those quarterbacks is a generational talent, it can move on from Haskins. The Cardinals did it with Josh Rosen in 2019, a year after drafting him 10th overall.
Or Washington will consider offers for the second pick and being open about meeting with prospects drives up the price. Assuming Burrow goes first, a team that is hot for Tagovailoa might give up a ton to get all the way up to No. 2 for that pick. The Miami Dolphins have been linked to Tagovailoa for a long time, and they have a lot of extra picks. Perhaps a huge trade offer would persuade the Redskins to pass on Young.
Or perhaps Rivera isn’t sold on Haskins and will explore options for a replacement. Again, Rivera didn’t draft Haskins. Washington doesn’t want to make drafting second overall a habit, and perhaps the Redskins see this as a rare opportunity to hit the reset button with a top quarterback prospect like Tagovailoa.
It’s pre-draft season, so the truth is rarely clear. All we know is that Washington, one year after drafting a quarterback in the first round, is meeting with some of the best quarterback prospects in this draft. Draw your own conclusions.
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