You draft him! That's what you do if you're the Washington Redskins and Sam Bradford is still sitting in the Green Room.
Listen, I know a lot of you, my loyal readers, are going to be screaming from the tallest buildings in our nation's capital that we need to rebuild an offensive line.
And you're absolutely right, we do. However, we also need a franchise quarterback, and honestly who knows when we'll be in the position to draft one again? Maybe next year; maybe not for a long, long time.
Don't worry though, I'm not just saying the team needs Bradford because a first-round quarterback is a sexy pick or because it will grab headlines. No, I've actually brought a few facts with me to backup my claim. So, here it goes.
First off, the immortal Hogs. As fans we want to see a return to the glory days of the Hogs—days when quarterback Joe Theismann had all day to throw and holes the size of France were opened up for "The Diesel" John Riggins.
Of those Hogs, only one was a first-round pick and that was Mark May (20th overall). Russ Grimm (the only Hall of Famer of the bunch) was a third-round pick, George Starke was an 11th-round pick, and Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic were undrafted.
It was a line made up of mostly castaways and guys nobody wanted, but under great coaches (Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugle) and a good scheme these men banded together and became one of the greatest offensive lines ever.
My second piece of evidence for you to consider is that for the better part of this past decade the Redskins had a pretty damn good offensive line and was anchored by two pretty high draft choices in Jon Janse (1999 Draft, 37th overall) and Chris Samuels (2000 Draft, third overall).
These two were great. The line as a whole provided a lot of protection and allowed for running backs like Stephen Davis and Skip Hicks to have career games.
You may now be asking, "Well, if we had a really good line for most of the 2000s, why didn't that equal championships?"
Well, that's pretty easy: We didn't have talented skill position players, and more importantly we didn't have a franchise quarterback.
From the last Super Bowl (1991, dear lord that is so long ago) to present we haven't had a stellar quarterback. We've had players who have flashed potential but either never lived up to it (Gus Ferrotte, Patrick Ramsey, and Jason Campbell) or, like Trent Green, after one fantastic season in D.C. bolted for more money in St. Louis. That worked out for him, right?
The team has not had the leader in the huddle, who, like Sammy, Sonny, Billy, Theismann, Williams, or even Rypien, could put the team on his back and take them to victory.
Is Bradford that guy?
Honestly I can't say for sure until he actually plays a game in the NFL, but if Mike Shanahan believes he is, well, then I'm inclined to think so as well.
Listen, it won't break my heart if Bradford isn't there at four or if the Redskins take Russell Okung at that position if Bradford is available (especially if the team gets a guy like Tony Pike or Colt McCoy in the second round).
But at the same time I'm also a realist. This team needs more than just a quarterback and one offensive lineman to be a championship caliber team again. It will take probably at least two more seasons and a few smart free agent and draft moves to get there.
If they pass on Bradford (if available) and he turns out to be a franchise quarterback then that hurts because franchise quarterbacks don't come around that often. I also know he has an equal chance to be a bust.
On the flip side of that you can find fantastic offensive linemen almost anywhere in the draft.
All I'm really trying to say is that maybe we shouldn't judge the front office too harshly with whomever they pick at No. 4.