- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

On the eve of the NFL draft, rumors always run wild. And for the Washington Redskins‘ that was especially true Wednesday.

Depending on which unnamed source you trust most, the Redskins are moving up, trading down — or maybe just handing the draft over to the team’s megayacht-skipper, owner Dan Snyder.

Among some of the gems Wednesday:

⦁ The Redskins are targeting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins after deciding against a trade for the Arizona Cardinals’ Josh Rosen, according to ESPN.

⦁ Snyder has “taken over” the first round of the draft says a local radio reporter.



⦁ The Redskins are interested in trading up — but for Duke’s Daniel Jones, not Haskins, says one top draft analyst.

⦁ The Oakland Raiders or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — both of whom pick in the top 10 — could trade with Washington, per an insider on the NFL Network.

The Redskins‘ only announced move on Wednesday: Re-signing offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom.

Beyond that, fans and reporters were left to wonder how much, if any of the chatter is true, or if it’s all part of the standard NFL pre-draft smokescreen.

The rumors started in the morning when ESPN reported Washington’s front office feels that the team needs to first draft a quarterback — settling on Haskins being the answer.

The network added the decision will be made by Snyder and team president Bruce Allen, who are both impressed with Haskins. In college, Haskins broke various Big Ten records in his single season as a starter, including passing yards (4,831) and touchdowns (50).

Haskins even has local ties as the 21-year-old went to Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. Snyder’s son, by the way, also attended that high school at the same time.

Snyder’s purported involvement in the process, meanwhile, caused the Redskins owner to trend nationally on Twitter.

106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen tweeted that a Redskins source told him Snyder has “taken over” the team’s first-round decision — something a team spokesman said was “categorically false.”

In the past, Snyder has received heavy criticism for what is seen as meddling in football decisions.

Among some fans’ many grievances when it comes to the owner, he is blamed for the Robert Griffin III trade that saw the Redskins give up multiple first-round picks to take the quarterback second overall in 2012.

To land Haskins, the Redskins, though, might have to trade up from the 15th pick.

The NFL Network reported Washington has explored trading into the top five, which would put them ahead of other quarterback-needy teams like the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. The Giants pick sixth, while Dolphins have the 13th pick.

Earlier this week, Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams said it is unlikely Washington would trade up. The Redskins have multiple holes on their roster beyond quarterback (wide receiver, edge rusher and guard).

Publicly, the Redskins have also maintained they don’t have to draft a quarterback if they don’t like who’s available.

“You can’t reach for the quarterback of the future,” coach Jay Gruden said last month. “He has to be the right fit and has to fit what you think that quarterback is. … You can’t just reach and hope to goodness that’s your guy of the future. You have to be right on those guys.”

But this is the NFL draft. Despite teams preaching they won’t reach on a position, they almost always do — especially when it comes to quarterback. Just in the first round of the last two drafts, seven teams traded up to select their desired quarterback.

Of course, each of those teams were convinced at the time of the trade that their signal-caller was worth it.

Maybe the Redskins feel the same way about Haskins.

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