Washington 'not out of the QB business yet' for 2021 NFL Draft

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Mike DePrisco
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Washington 'not out of the QB business yet' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team may not be in the best position to select a quarterback with the 19th overall pick, but that doesn't mean they can't come out of draft weekend with a young field general to learn and develop behind Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ron Rivera and Martin Mayhew may be playing their draft plans close to the vest - as evidenced by a call with reporters on Friday when they focused most of their QB talk on their current roster -  but according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Washington is very much still in play to select a quarterback.

"Washington is not out of the quarterback business just yet," Rapoport said. "Obviously they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, and doing so allows them to not have to do something crazy, not have to get outside themselves and do something that makes them uncomfortable."

There's a pretty clear group of five quarterbacks considered to be worth first-round selections and the first three picks are seemingly earmarked for some combination of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance. 

For Washington to get one of those players, they'd likely need to move up from No. 19 to get one of them, and Rapoport sees that as a possibility. If not, they could always reset their focus to the middle rounds. 

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"They have done the quarterback research, they are considered to be a team to go from 19 to potentially wherever the fifth quarterback would fall, and maybe there's someone where you can take a quarterback in the second round," Rapoport said. "Kellen Mond has been mentioned as a possible second-round quarterback, Davis Mills from Stanford as well.

"I would not be surprised if Washington took a quarterback, it's just a matter of do they trade up for one, or do they wait for the later rounds and get one then," he said.

In the call with reporters Friday, Rivera didn't rule out moving up in the draft (or moving down).

"As far as the draft is concerned, we're going to react to what happens in front of us," Rivera said. "Picking at 19, kind of putting us in the middle is going to be interesting as far as we're concerned."

As of now, Justin Fields and Trey Lance figure to be available after the top three picks are made. If Washington determines one of those players to have a franchise quarterback-level ceiling, they can, as Rapoport said make a move up the draft with confidence knowing they already have Fitzpatrick in the fold.