Every year there’s one or two teams in the top 10 that don’t have an obvious need, and their decision ends up playing a significant role in shaping the draft. This year, that team is the Redskins.
The ‘Skins most obvious need is left tackle due to the likely career-ending neck injury to Chris Samuels earlier this season. However, Jason Campbell is far from an elite quarterback and Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen may decide to go in a different direction.
While the Redskins could certainly win with Campbell, provided they surround him with a few more weapons, I fully expect them to select either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen.
The reason is simple: Mike Shanahan loves big arms.
Obviously Shanahan inherited John Elway, so we’ll exclude him from the list, but consider who he selected as his primary post-Elway quarterbacks. While Brian Griese’s arm strength was just adequate, Shanahan wasn’t making the personnel decisions in 1998 when Griese was drafted. However, it was Shanahan’s call to sign Jake Plummer and draft Jay Cutler – both of whom could chuck the ball all over the field.
Perhaps his selection of Cutler is most noteworthy, since he was the only quarterback Shanahan has drafted in the 1st round. It shows Shanahan’s decision to have a quarterback capable of making the necessary deep throws.
Now this doesn’t give us much insight into their decision between Bradford and Clausen since both have above average arms, but it would appear to rule out Jason Campbell as a long-term solution for the Redskins (not that this comes as a shock to anyone).
Ultimately, while I believe Campbell is an adequate NFL starting quarterback, he simply doesn’t have the skill set to allow Mike Shanahan to run his offense.