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Report: WFT to 'Strongly Consider' Drafting QB Despite Ryan Fitzpatrick Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2021

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to throw a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas.The Dolphins won the game 26-25. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Washington Football Team will be going into the 2021 season with 38-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick atop the depth chart at quarterback, so it wouldn't be a huge shock if the team addressed the position at this year's NFL draft. 

Per John Keim of ESPN, Washington "will strongly consider drafting a quarterback, if one they like is available." 

He added that "free safety, left tackle, tight end, linebacker, running back and a dual returner" are among the positions the team "still wants to address, whether now, during the draft or after."

The issue for Washington is that the top five quarterbacks in this year's NFL draft—in no particular order, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones—will likely all be off the board by the time Washington selects at No. 19 overall. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets seem like safe bets to nab Lawrence and Wilson, respectively, with the first two picks. It's hard to imagine the San Francisco 49ers made a huge trade to move up to No. 3 and gave up future draft capital to select a position other than quarterback. 

The Atlanta Falcons could look to draft a young, future replacement for the 35-year-old Matt Ryan at No. 4. Teams like the Carolina Panthers (No. 8), Denver Broncos (No. 9) and New England Patriots (No. 15) could easily look to address the position. Teams below Washington in the draft like the Chicago Bears could look to move up the board to upgrade at quarterback. 

Granted, Washington could address other positions early in the draft and take a mid-to-late-round flier on a different option at the position. Unless Washington truly believes in Kyle Allen as a long-term option—and it's unlikely it would have signed Fitzpatrick if it did—it seems likely that it'll draft a quarterback at some point in this year's draft. 

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If Washington misses out on the top five options, names to monitor include Florida's Kyle Trask, Stanford's Davis Mills and Mississippi State's Kellen Mond, among others. But there appears to be a pretty steep drop between the top five options and the rest of the quarterback board.

Another option could be dealing picks for a player like Sam Darnold or Jimmy Garoppolo if those players hit the trade market around the draft. Or Washington could hold the line and reassess quarterback next offseason. But how it approaches the position will be one of the primary storylines for the team heading into the draft. 

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