The Washington Redskins Can Still Draft a Quarterback, and Not at No. 4

Evan HuntleyContributor IApril 17, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Texas Longhorns looks on during the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  McCoy left the game in the first quarter due to injury.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

With literally hundreds of mock-ups for the 2010 NFL Draft next Thursday, nothing is more clear: the possibilities are endless.  Predictions for how the big event will go down have been shaken up again and again due to big off-season trades.

One such move—the somewhat controversial trade of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb to the division rival Washington Redskins—has had serious ramifications when it comes to predicting the draft.

The Redskins were once considered a potential destination for this year's top quarterback prospects, a possibility made more real through various pro days and workouts with each of the top quarterbacks in the draft this year.

With the addition of McNabb to the roster, this possibility vanished.  The ‘Skins have their solution at quarterback, and so the focus shifts to other needs.

The retirement of Chris Samuels leaves a huge hole at left tackle for the Redskins, and they need to protect their new QB.  In addition, last year's poor offensive performance is often blamed at least partially on a lackluster O-line, so it seems obvious that the next step would be for Washington to pick up an offensive tackle.

Washington, at the No. 4 overall pick, is now widely expected to pick up either Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung or Oklahoma’s Trent Williams.

With no second-round pick (having given it to Philadelphia in the McNabb trade), it would seem that Washington is out of the quarterback race.

Yet with the issues surrounding an unhappy Albert Haynesworth, and opportunity presents itself.

Haynesworth has made it abundantly clear that he has no interest in playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, and Shanahan is fed up with his attitude.  Rumors have been circulating that Haynesworth could be traded by draft-day.  With the depth at nose tackle increasing—Maake Kemoeatu, Anthony Bryant and Kedric Golston all signed—it's becoming more and more apparent that Haynesworth won't be a Redskin this season.

A trade involving Haynesworth should be able to fetch the Redskins a second-round pick in the draft.

The St. Louis Rams, for instance, might be interested in such a deal.  The Rams are expected to take Oklahoma's Sam Bradford with the No. 1 overall pick, passing up the opportunity to draft talented defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.

If the Rams take Bradford over Suh, they may be willing to trade their second-round pick (33rd overall) to the Redskins for Albert Haynesworth.  This would give St. Louis both the franchise quarterback they want, as well as a disruptive defensive lineman comparable to Suh.

Several other teams with second-round picks and needs on the D-Line might find themselves willing to make a similar trade for Big Albert.

If Washington can get back a second-round pick in the draft, especially an early one, the possibility exists that they could take a quarterback, specifically Colt McCoy of Texas.

Prior to the McNabb trade, the criticism with the Redskins picking a quarterback like McCoy or Tebow with their second-rounder was that neither signal-caller is believed to be ready to play in the NFL.  They're considered to be “project quarterbacks”, the kind of guy you sit behind your starter for a while, not an immediate solution.  With the Redskins needing quick help at QB, it didn't seem like a good fit.

Now, if chosen by the Washington Redskins, McCoy could come in and learn from a Pro Bowl quarterback who has been to numerous NFC Championships and even a Super Bowl.  Under McNabb's direction, and with a few years in the system, Colt McCoy could be the future of the Washington franchise.

McCoy in particular is a talented player.  He's won countless awards in his college career, threw for 3,521 yards last year, and led his team to the BCS Championship game.  Imagine Donovan McNabb taking a player like that under his wing for a while.  I get chills thinking about what the end product might be for the Redskins.

I realize this all hinges on a Haynesworth trade, and some luck with how the draft goes down, but is it really that far-fetched that this could happen?  I know Shanahan has faith in McNabb, but the 33-year-old quarterback is not a long-term solution.  He'll be great for several years, during which the 'Skins could be training the next franchise guy.

By making these moves, the Redskins could effectively have their cake and eat it too.  The offensive line gets addressed with one of the elite tackles at the fourth overall pick.  The seasoned veteran is already in place for making a run at the playoffs.  All that's missing is a young QB to prepare for the future, and the Washington Redskins could have that in Colt McCoy.

In addition, they could get rid of the injury-prone, disrespectful Albert Haynesworth. It's a win-win, and the possibility exists.

Even after trading for Donovan McNabb, the 'Skins have continued visits and workouts with the top quarterback prospects.  When asked about this, Coach Shanahan has been cleverly vague about his intentions for the draft.  I believe that the Redskins know this move has potential, and Shanahan is just keeping his plans close to the chest.

Whatever the case, Redskins fans are in for some surprises on Draft Day.