- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

With the 2017 regular season in the rearview mirror, the attention of the “unplayoffed” — those teams like the Redskins that are on the outside looking in as the postseason gets underway this weekend — turns to April, and the 2018 draft.

Washington holds the 13th overall pick and, with Kirk Cousins’ future in doubt, the question on every Redskins fan’s mind over the next three months is likely to be whether the franchise tries to grab a new quarterback from this year’s deep and talented group of signal-callers.

More than one early mock draft has the Redskins doing just that.

Eric Galko of Sporting News predicted this week that Washington will select Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

“The Redskins still should be considered the favorites to have Kirk Cousins as their starting QB in 2018, but with the Broncos also being a possibility, it’s far from a sure thing,” Galko writes. “If Cousins does leave, Mayfield would be a perfect fit in Washington, and the Redskins have interest.”

CBS Sports’s Chris Trapasso also predicted the Redskins will go quarterback, namely Wyoming’s Josh Allen.

“If Kirk Cousins walks, the Redskins’ most glaring need is, of course, quarterback,” Trapasso wrote Wednesday. “Allen is more of a ‘traditional’ quarterback who has the arm strength Cousins lacked. It’ll just take time for Allen to fine-tune his game to have any chance of being a successful NFL signal-caller.”

Several other mock drafts have the Redskins taking Florida State safety Derwin James. The redshirt sophomore earned first team all-ACC honors after recording 84 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and two interceptions for the Seminoles this season.

“A torn lateral meniscus in 2016 and disappointing season for the Seminoles this season tempered the buzz for one of college football’s most physically gifted defenders,” USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz wrote Thursday. “While medical checks will be paramount for his evaluation, James’ ability to be deployed in multiple roles should keep him in demand. Washington scraped by at safety last season and would stand to get an immediate upgrade.”

Bleacher Report’s Ryan McCrystal also tabbed Washington to take James, while NJ.com’s Connor Hughes called the safety a “great value … for the Redskins.”

DraftWire’s Luke Easterling added in his mock draft Wednesday: “James is a rare athlete with incredible range and physicality who can instantly transform an entire unit with his presence.”

The safety position always seems to be in flux for the Redskins. Free safety D.J. Swearinger had a strong first season in Washington, but the Redskins struggled to find a reliable partner for him after projected starting strong safety Su’a Cravens announced his intentions to retire and was placed on the reserve/left squad list two weeks later.

Other mock drafts guessed the Redskins could go wide receiver, linebacker, or defensive tackle — with good arguments for any and all. Coach Jay Gruden’s squad, which stumbled to a 7-9 finish this season, could use playmakers on both sides of the ball, up and down the roster.

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