The Washington Times - March 8, 2012, 02:42PM

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper believes the Redskins’ need for a quarterback would force them to pay the steep price to trade up for the No. 2 draft pick if they don’t sign Peyton Manning.

Kiper during a teleconference Wednesday explained what he believes are the most influential factors on the price St. Louis will get for the No. 2 overall pick. The Redskins have the sixth-overall pick and probably would have to trade up in order to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

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“I think the main thing for St. Louis is having Washington in the mix,” Kiper said. “There’s a [trade value] chart, and then there’s above and beyond the chart if you get competition. You have a quarterback-driven league, a team in Washington that beat the Giants twice, beat Green Bay two years ago, and they have nothing to show for it because they don’t have the quarterback. You’re in a division with Vick and Eli and Romo, so I don’t care what else you have. You’re going to be in the cellar unless you get that quarterback.

“I think Washington goes above and beyond the chart. Obviously it’s going to take a lot. Cleveland has that 22nd pick [in addition to the fourth-overall pick], which is critical for St. Louis to get that 22nd pick. That helps Cleveland. How much are they going to be willing to give up? Are they going to be willing to match what Dan Snyder is looking to part with? That’s going to be fun to watch, and the team that benefits is St. Louis.

“If St. Louis has Washington in play, and Washington didn’t get Peyton Manning, the price for that second pick went way up. If Washington were to sign Peyton Manning…all of a sudden it’s St. Louis and Cleveland buying, and Cleveland is not going away. They’re always going to be there.

“So Washington would have to outbid Cleveland, and I don’t care about the spots you move up. It’s a quarterback-driven league. Griffin is red hot right now. Being 6-2 3/8 really helped him. If you’re under 6-2, you beat the odds to be a successful starting quarterback in this league. The bottom line is it’s going to be expensive to go from 6 to 2 if the Redskins want to do it, and that seems to be the option they have right now.”