- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said Tuesday he would not hesitate to draft Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota if he was available with the No. 5 draft pick.

McCloughan, speaking to reporters at the owners’ meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, reaffirmed his strategy to draft the best player available when the Redskins are on the clock — and that includes Mariota, the Heisman Trophy winner, who is expected to be the second quarterback taken behind Florida State’s Jameis Winston.

“I’m walking in from the outside saying, ‘OK, I’ve been around a world championship team,’” McCloughan, who was hired in January, told reporters. “I’ve helped build another one that made it there, but didn’t win it. I have a feeling what it’s supposed to look like. In [San Francisco] and Seattle, we understand that we’re not a real deep roster, so let’s not just focus on a certain position. Let’s focus on the best player, because we’re not just talking about Year 1. We’re talking about Year 3 [and] Year 5.”

After cycling through Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy in his first season as the Redskins’ coach, Jay Gruden said in February, at the NFL combine, that Griffin would take the label of starting quarterback into offseason workouts and training camp.

Griffin and Cousins are entering the final season of their rookie contracts, while McCoy signed another one-year contract with the team last week, re-opening the three-player derby.

“You can never have enough,” McCloughan said. “I was in Green Bay, where he had Brett Favre, who won three MVPs in a row, and every year, we drafted a Matt Hasselbeck, an Aaron Brooks — not that early [in the draft], but we still took quarterbacks.”

McCloughan also disputed the notion that Griffin will remain the team’s starting quarterback and take the first snaps when the season begins in September.

“Nobody’s going to be handed a job from my standpoint, and I know Jay feels that way and I know Bruce [Allen, the team president] feels the same way,” McCloughan said. “You have to earn it. That’s what the NFL is about. Like I said, I don’t have any ties with any of the players. I didn’t draft them, besides the ones I signed in free agency, so I’m coming in here saying, ‘Prove it to me. Prove to me that you deserve to be on the field.’ That’s the way it has to be in the NFL.”

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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