Washington Redskins: 5 Potential Starting Quarterbacks for Next Season

Timothy JacksonContributor IIIDecember 9, 2011

Washington Redskins: 5 Potential Starting Quarterbacks for Next Season

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    Barring some unforeseen miracle, the Redskins will miss the playoffs again for the fourth straight season.

    Although quarterback Rex Grossman started off hot this season, his four-interception performance against the Philadelphia Eagles and subsequent benching killed the Redskins' season.

    Quarterback John Beck got his chance to prove himself to head coach Shanahan but managed to lose every single game and managed to make the Redskins' offense look more putrid than it did with Rex at the helm.

    In total, Grossman has only 10 touchdown passes to 15 interceptions while Beck has an even less impressive two touchdowns to four interceptions.

    In this era of the NFL, you need not only a decent, but an elite-level player at the quarterback position if you want to be a legit contender for the Super Bowl.

    It is clear that the quarterback of the future is not with the Redskins, but that doesn't mean that person won't be on the team next year.

Landry Jones, Oklahoma Sooners

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    Landry Jones is probably my least favorite out of the five guys on this list, but he definitely has all the tools to be a franchise player. 

    He has a great build at 6'4, 229 lbs., and a strong, accurate arm. With his arm, he can certainly make NFL-quality throws. He is also more athletic than people give him credit for, but there are some issues that come with Jones.

    Two things worry me most about Jones: his red-zone offensive abilities and his big-game abilities. On the goal line, the Sooners tend to bring in 6'6 Blake Bell to run the ball into the end zone for six. There isn't much out there to see how Jones conducts an offense inside the 20.

    This year against Oklahoma State, a game that could've gotten Oklahoma into the national championship game, Jones threw two interceptions and zero touchdowns. His team got destroyed 44-10. That's worrisome. 

    Jones' play down the stretch this year is a concern as well. He has thrown at least one interception in his past three games without throwing a touchdown in any of these games. He hasn't had his number-one wide, Ryan Broyles, for these games down the stretch, but the interceptions are still an issue regardless.

    The Redskins could probably draft Jones wherever they end up picking in the draft. Even though the Skins desperately need a QB, if an elite-level talent falls to them and Jones is the only one of the top four QBs left on the board, the Skins could look to get a QB in the second round and draft the best player on the board.

    Jones ended the regular season with 4,302 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Although those numbers are solid, they don't match-up favorably with the other top collegiate QBs.

Matt Barkley, USC

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    Matt Barkley is probably the most likely quarterback to start for the Skins next year, assuming he enters the NFL Draft.

    He is a prototypical pocket passer with a great arm and the guy I see Shanahan liking most at the college level.

    Barkley doesn't have the size—even though he is still 6'2—or athleticism that Landry Jones has, but he has a lot of the other things you look for in a quarterback.

    On the positive end, he carries a very calm demeanor on the field and in the pocket, something that can be underrated. He also runs a pro-style offense at USC. Other than Luck, Barkley is the most pro-ready QB right now.

    He ended this year with 3,528 passing yard, 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. With those numbers, it was surprising to not see him on the list of Heisman candidates. 

Robert Griffin III, Baylor

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    RG3. In my opinion, he is the best QB in this year's draft. Yes, that includes Andrew Luck.

    Griffin has a lightning 4.4 speed and an incredibly strong, accurate arm. He is simply a playmaker and a franchise-changer.

    The thing that sets him apart from other mobile QBs is the fact that he looks to throw first and run second. He uses his feet to make throws more than he does to run for yardage. He also has a solid build for a dual-threat QB at 6'2, 220 lbs.

    What impresses me most about Griffin is the fact that he doesn't fold under the pressure. On the national stage against a ranked Oklahoma team, Griffin had over 500 yards of total offense, four touchdowns and zero interceptions to lead his team on a late game-winning touchdown drive.

    RG3 is also a high-character guy. He has a 4.0 GPA and has already earned his Master's Degree.

    The Redskins would probably have to move up in the draft to get this guy, but it would definitely be worth it. 

    He finished the year with 3,998 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions (this doesn't take into account his rushing stats). He won the Davey O'Brien Award for the best QB in the country this year and is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

Andrew Luck, Stanford

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    By most people's estimation, Andrew Luck is the best QB prospect to come out of college since Peyton Manning.

    Luck has terrific size at 6'4, 235 lbs. He is an incredibly smart QB with an accurate, strong arm. He has solid footwork in the pocket and has great athleticism. He can simply play QB at any level for any team.

    Luck will benefit at the next level from playing under the center in the Stanford offense with little talent around him. He will be able to step into any NFL system and be a quality starter right away with better talent around him.

    The Redskins will have to trade up to first overall to make Luck their franchise QB, but don't be surprised if Shanahan pulls the trigger on this, especially if the Colts are looking to keep Manning for the rest of his career.

    Luck finished the regular season with 3,170 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He won the Maxwell Award this year as the college football player of the year (don't ask me how that's different from the Heisman).

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

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    Yes, I went there. But hear me out.

    The Colts will most likely end up drafting in the number one slot this year. Everyone assumes that whoever picks first overall is taking Andrew Luck. Would it be worth it for the Colts to keep Luck and Manning on their roster?

    Looking outside of Manning and a few other players, the Colts' roster is fairly weak (as you could tell from this year) and their team is getting old.The Colts could trade Manning for multiple picks and rebuild their aging team around Luck, or they could try and win for two or three more years with an aging team and then turn a depleted roster over to a young QB.

    What team in the NFL trades away draft picks for big names more than the Redskins?

    People may argue that Luck could sit behind Manning and learn from him, but that is not how QBs in the NFL progress anymore. Other than Aaron Rodgers, most of the young QBs started the second they got into the NFL.

    Now, with the success of Andy Dalton in Cincinnati and Cam Newton in Carolina, it is even more likely to thrust your future QB into the NFL ringer immediately.

    I'm not saying it will happen, but it is a possibility.