Wrote a story in the print edition taking a look at some quarterbacks the Redskins could consider in the draft, whether at No. 10 overall or in the second round or later. Yes, some guys are left off the list. But here's a look at six guys, with analysis from Russ Lande, a former NFL scout who now heads the Sporting News draft coverage and runs the website GMJr.com.

 

Auburn's Cam Newton

Lande: “There are a lot of things here that would fit. Mike looks at the highlight reel. He believes in grading the flashes. That’s what this kid is. I thought he played terrible [vs. Oregon]. And he probably has more baggage than any other QB that has come out. You never had a guy that had tons of baggage and I heard he has a lot. At the same time he is exactly what Shanahan looks for: big, athletic, with a cannon arm. He can get outside the pocket and throw on the move. He’s not easy to sack in the pocket. I could see him jumping on him and saying, ‘I’ll show these people I can turn him into a star, look at the people who have failed Tebow and Alex Smith and Vince Young. I’ll show them.’ I respect Mike because he’s developed a lot of players that others thought had no chance of playing at this level, but I wouldn’t even consider Newton in the first round.”

Arkansas' Ryan Mallet

Lande: “Another guy I could see Shanahan falling in love with. Huge kid, rocket for an arm, makes throws that make your jaw drop. In that first quarter of the Sugar Bowl he made two or three throws that only guys in the NFL could make. He can make throws almost no QB can make. He’s going to be a guy Shanahan falls in love with. If the mistakes and the interceptions and those things don’t scare him off, I can see him being a guy the Redskins can jump on.”

On his lack of mobility: “Shanahan would use a lot of moving pockets, just two or three step rolls to move him a little away to get away from pressure. He can do enough of that. Every quarterback will get pressure. I don’t think he’ll make it in the NFL; I think he’ll fail. I don’t think he’s consistent enough. His accuracy goes all over the place when he doesn’t have a clean pocket and the littlest thing being off, whether he can’t stride or he rushes his throw and the ball is not going where he wants it to be. That’s what happens with tall quarterbacks. But he probably has a better arm than anyone in the draft in terms of ability to place the ball. When he does everything perfectly, he looks like the best thrower. That will entice teams and cause someone to fall in love with him. He made throws that made you say, ‘Holy sh—‘ When he has his feet and there’s no one around him and he has space, he makes throws regularly that look easy. That’s what’s so enticing about him.”

Missouri's Blaine Gabbert

Lande: “I love the kid. There’s so much I love about him; he’s an athletic kid with good size. He doesn’t have a rare arm like Newton or Mallet. He’s very accurate most of the time. He comes from the spread offense, so he’s not used to doing a lot of things. He’ll have to adjust to going through progressions and stuff like that. He has a lot of tools to be a good quarterback. I like him a lot. I think he’s a much safer pick than Mallet or Newton. He’d be a better pick for the Redskins. I don’t know if he fits what Mike wants. He loves guys who can throw it a country mile. But [Matt] Schaub and Gabbert are similar. Physically there are similarities: athletic guys who make throws on the move. I can see Kyle saying Schaub had success with us, this kid will be awfully good.


“But there are some things he doesn’t do overly well. Any guy out of that offense will have concerns about calling all the protections and going through progressions because they rarely had to do that in college. Physically there are no concerns. He can be an accurate thrower. His accuracy at times is off, similar to all Missouri guys. At times he throws flat-footed and doesn’t stride. He’ll catch the ball, take a quick look and just torque his upper body and when he does that he loses accuracy. If you don’t stride and follow through, you’re inaccurate."

Delaware's Pat Devlin

Lande: “Mechanically, he’s off the charts. He has great mechanics. My issue is he’s not a big-armed kid. I’d say he has an average NFL arm. I don’t know how good he’ll be making that deep throw down the field that Shanahan likes. He’s athletic and can get out of the pocket. For whatever reason I don’t know if he doesn’t sense or feel the pressure consistently, but despite being the athlete he is, he gets sacked a lot and either doesn’t feel it or is late reacting to it and it’s frustrasting to me because I like the kid. The earliest I’d look at him is the third round.

“He and Mallet are two of the best at leading their receivers into throws. When you look at Gabbert, Newton and Locker, they throw to the receiver. Devlin would fit a lot of the things the Redskins do because he sets up quickly, he has good mechanics and he makes the short to intermediate throws with accuracy and zip. But they like to roll out and throw deep balls. That’s where he would have trouble. At the same time, once you’re out of the top rounds you don’t get a quarterback who can do those things.”

Nevada's Colin Kaepernick

Lande: “The guy I think Shanahan could fall in love with, if he doesn’t take a quarterback in the first round, is [Kaepernick]. He’s probably a better athlete than Newton or Locker, or at least faster, and he has a big arm. He’s a super intelligent kid. I could see him falling in love and he could be a guy the target in the second round. I could see him totally being a Shanahan guy. Some team will call in love with him and take him in the first 15-20 picks in the second round. He will knock people’s socks off in the interviews. He’s an amazing young man.  He’s 6-foot-6 and had a verified 40—time of 4.37 seconds. Look at the teams that love these running quarterbacks. He has the character and the size and the arm strength and the rare athletic ability. He will be the riser.”


On where he has pause: “It’s just the system. It’s another guy, the Vince Youngs, Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton. It’s a run-option offense and no one’s made it so far and that’s what scares me most. If I were to bet, I think he might be the one that makes it. I wouldn’t take him in the first round, even though he might be my No. 2 QB in the draft.”

Washington's Jake Locker

Lande: “He’s a tremendous physical talent. I was very hopeful that he was going to become a superstar. As a junior he looked so good. He looked like he does now, but that was in his first year playing in a real offense. I thought he’d be unbelievable as a senior. The problem was he was the same guy. He didn’t make strides in terms of decision making or accuracy. He has great mechanics. But if you have good mechanics and you’re inaccurate most of the times it’s just that you’re an inaccurate thrower. That’s the biggest concern with him. I love a lot about him. He’s a tremendous kid with a great work ethic and character. He has everything you want. But I don’t know if he’s accurate and he takes gambles with the ball and throws into spots you can’t.

“I have a hard time with Locker because I want him to succeed because he has everything you want. But when he plays, he’s not as good as he should be. That’s sort of what’s frustrating to me. I could see Shanahan falling in love with him in a heartbeat, but I don’t know if he’d be willing to take that gamble in the first round.”

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