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Redskins Draft Options - Trading up in the First Round

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins may be in need of a quarterback come April 26th... or they may not. Kirk Cousins holds the fate of the franchise in his hands at the moment, and for Redskins fans around the globe, this bring on a lot of anxiety.

There is a constant debate going on as to what to do with Cousins. Do we make him the highest paid player in the NFL, and attempt to surround him with some weapons so he doesn’t have to shoulder the load, all while continuing to bolster the defense, or do we let him walk, draft his replacement, and use the money to fill gaps in free agency?

What is not being talked about very often (and probably for good reason) is trading up in the 2018 draft to select a true impact player at a position of need.

Scenario 1 - Kirk Leaves:

As the draft order stands right now, I have four teams above us who need a quarterback. The Browns (picks 1 and 4), Giants (pick 2), Broncos (pick 5) and Jets (pick 6) could all opt to select a quarterback with their first round selection. The Cardinals (pick 15), Chargers (pick 17), and Bills (picks 21 and 22), could also be in the market for their future signal caller, and could be teams who may look to move up in the draft if they covet one of these college passers.

There are some names on the free agent market who will command the attention and money of some of these quarterback-needy teams, and Cousins should top that list. Others who may be available are Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, and Teddy Bridgewater. Both Alex Smith (trade), and Eli Manning (trade or release) are two other names that pop up.

It’s safe to assume that at least two of the quarterback-needy teams will find their new starter via free agency or trade, but that still leaves five teams, not counting the Redskins, who could be looking to the draft for their quarterback.

If the Browns take their quarterback at number one overall, their number four pick could be a spot where a trade could occur - especially if Saquon Barkley is gone.

Assume the draft starts out like this:

Browns - Josh Allen (rumor has it the Browns are high on Allen)

Giants - Josh Rosen

Colts - Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb

*Pick #4 could be a hot spot for a trade.

The Trade

The Redskins trade their first (pick #13), third and 2019 first to move up to pick 4 and select Sam Darnold.

In this situation, Cleveland moves back nine spots, and takes best available player, while still getting its quarterback of the future. They also pick up an additional third and 2019 first. If Cousins leaves via free agency, it likely results in us getting a 2019 third round compensation pick in return, so we do have an extra third next year to help buffer the loss a bit, and we grab arguably the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL in the last few years.

Sam Darnold has everything teams look for in a quarterback. He has great size (6’4 225), athleticism, a cannon for an arm, accuracy, mechanics and intelligence. He’s still just a young kid, who has an incredibly high ceiling.

Scenario 2 - Kirk Stays:

The Redskins and Kirk Cousins agree to a new five year deal, taking the team out of the quarterback market for the foreseeable future. The Redskins need a dynamic, complete 3-down running back to take some of the pressure off of Cousins and the passing game. There is no better running back to enter the draft in the last decade than Saquon Barkley.

Assume the draft starts out like this:

Browns - Sam Darnold

Giants - Josh Rosen

Colts - Conner Williams or Quinton Nelson (Colts need to protect Luck)

Bills - Traded up with the Browns to take Josh Allen

Broncos - Baker Mayfield

*With the top four quarterbacks off the board, the Jets are content to trade back and get an extra pick in this draft, while taking the next best signal caller at pick 13.

The Trade

The Redskins trade their first (pick #13) and 2019 first round pick to move up to sixth overall and select Saquon Barkley.

The Redskins have never had a running back like Barkley, who has sub 4.4 speed, amazing lateral agility, superb vision and balance, can catch like a receiver, can block, and carries zero off-field issues. He immediately makes the Redskins running game a threat, and in turns, takes pressure off Cousins and the passing game.

I know Redskins fans cringe at the idea of a trade-up in any draft after what happened with the RG3 trade in 2012. But, if the team wants an impact player at a position of great need, sometimes you have to take that risk.

Discuss these two trade scenarios, and any others you wish to entertain, in the comments section.


Are you in favor of a trade-up for Sam Darnold?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Yes - He’s a difference maker at QB
    (283 votes)
  • 43%
    No - We need those draft picks
    (710 votes)
  • 38%
    There are a lot of good QB’s. Hang tight at 13 and draft one.
    (621 votes)
1614 votes total Vote Now


Are you in favor of a trade-up for Saquon Barkley if he were to slip a bit?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Yes - We’ve never had a running back like him
    (714 votes)
  • 30%
    No - The price to trade up is too high for a RB
    (480 votes)
  • 25%
    There are a lot of good RB’s who will be available in the second round.
    (400 votes)
1594 votes total Vote Now