1. I always like to share the one or two questions or topics that come up the most when I am filling my beer at the keg over the weekend (or Tuesdays). This time around, it isn't even close. Far and away the biggest question I got this weekend was, "Could he really take Mariota?" The answer to this question is pretty simple: of course he could. In the first year of the McLovin' Era, he might very well have the most leash he is ever going to have in Washington (unless we become perennial championship contenders, which would stretch his leash to infinite lengths). It seems somewhat unlikely given our quarterback group today, but there is no way you can rule out a brand new GM taking a quarterback. When you ask a man to build a roster from the ground up, which McLovin' is tasked with, you have to at least allow him to have an opinion about the quarterback spot. When you couple that with our high draft slot, there is no way around the FACT that quarterback is--and has to be--in play.
2. Let's go further on that point. You have Jay Gruden making Robert Griffin III the offseason starter (a coveted, meaningful honor). You have Kirk Cousins training with Jon Gruden as well as a full-time operator working the Captain Kirk Trade Hotline (by far, the greatest job in the world, by all accounts). You have Marcus Mariota maybe being available when the Redskins make their first round selection. Both of our quarterbacks are essentially on one-year deals. Both guys are being considered by the team as a potential long-term solution, but it is also possible that neither guy is one. Given our current address is 123 Rock Bottom Way, if McLovin' isn't considering a quarterback at or near the top of the draft, I would be concerned.
3. In my opinion, fortifying the line of scrimmage (both sides of the ball) is a priority over the quarterback spot at the moment. Upgrading at least half of the spots on defense takes a lot of resources and is beyond necessary. If I was the GM, I am not taking Mariota at fifth overall in favor of building these other areas. On one hand, if there is a legitimate chance that either Griffin or Cousins could be salvaged for long-term use, bringing in Mariota kills that altogether (this is a weak argument because it is a short-term gamble). On the other hand, I would rather build a MUCH more solid offensive line before I groom anyone behind it.
4. It seems pretty clear to EVERYONE that in the very near future (within a year), McLovin' will be making a huge decision on the quarterback spot. Whether that is extending either Griffin or Cousins, drafting a rookie, signing a free agent or making a trade, the Redskins front office is going to be on the hook to make a huge call on this front. Based on that fact alone, you couldn't call a move made this summer all that premature.
5. Mark Tyler wrote a good article for us laying out the best player available mentality that we all know Scot McCloughan embraces. This is, of course, a draft philosophy, and is very much impacted by all the things that take place prior to the draft. The best player available at #5 today will almost certainly not be the best player available at the end of April, because of the manner in which every decision made between now and then changes the calculus. Based on the addition of some prime USDA beef to the defensive line, it stands to reason that a DT at #5 is unlikely (but not impossible as long as McLovin' is in charge). My thought on this today is one of...relief. I am not relieved because we don't need a defensive lineman. I just feel like we have a guy who is very competently filling holes in free agency that allow him to methodically move to a different part of the roster both before and during the draft.
6. Since things change on an almost daily basis, here is my current prediction for a very real possibility in the upcoming draft: Mariota is not involved in anything we do. Instead, someone decides to jump up a handful of spots to take a chance on Amari Cooper, which will slide the Redskins back to somewhere around the #10 slot (give or take a spot or two). At this position, I feel VERY good about jumping all over the best offensive tackle prospect on the board. I am very much warming up to the idea of adding one of the top pass rushers, but not to the point of advocating for it. It still seems apparent that when we pick at the top of the second round, there will be a pass rusher available.
P.S. I am all for signing Michael Crabtree.