Now that the Redskins have been officially eliminated from playoff contention (did it really take this long?) we can start looking ahead to other big thing in the NFL that is solely based on record, the draft! Who's excited? Anybody?
I know it's hard to think about the draft in the midst of a season like this. Nobody wants to look ahead to the draft because it means throwing the towel in on the season. But I think we can all admit that it's time to do that. So let's take a little peek at where the Skins stand in the draft order with three weeks left to play. Keep in mind ties are broken with a coin flip.
- Carolina (1-12) Can you take Andrew Luck if you just took Jimmy Clausen last spring? Then again, if Clausen has led you to this record, can you afford to pass on him?
- Cincinnati (2-11) They won't be taking Luck either with Carson Palmer still in the fold. I think one of the players from UNC with the eligibility issues fits into their history of taking players with questionable conduct. I'm thinking Robert Quinn here.
- Buffalo (3-10) This is the first team that would take Andrew Luck without thinking twice, and they might have a pretty good chance to take him. Gonna be a pretty big shock to the system to move from Stanford to Buffalo.
- Detroit (3-10) If you've been following football, then you would have known they'd be in the bottom five even if you hadn't see them play a single time this year. It's like a tradition.
- Denver (3-10) Now that McDaniels is out of town, there's a good chance that if this player becomes a star they'll keep him in the organization. That's gotta be a win at this point.
- Dallas (4-9) One thing I know is that whoever they take is gonna be an "incredible pick," and the key to them turning it around next year on their way to the Super Bowl according to the analysts. So there's that to look forward to.
- Arizona (4-9) Who's gonna be the next player taken in the top ten to be forgotten about 20 minutes after they're drafted? That's the fate of Arizona draftees not named Leinart.
- Tennessee (5-8) If the Vince Young situation isn't figured out by the draft, this pick should go a long way in telling us which way the Titans are leaning.
- San Fransisco (5-8) This is evidence about just how long a bad number one overall pick can set a franchise back. If they take Aaron Rodgers over Alex Smith in 2004, they aren't drafting this early.
- Cleveland (5-8) I kind of like what Cleveland is doing. If they can add a real difference maker up the middle on defense (DT, MLB, or S) or a play making WR, I think they are headed in the right direction.
- YOUR Washington Redskins (5-8) If things stay the way they are, based on the coin flip, the Skins can be drafting as high as eight or as low as twelve. A good position to add a very good player at a decent price, or an attractive position to trade down and get a few impact players. This is going to be a very important draft for Shanahan and the Skins. All of this goes out the window of course if they trade the pick for an aging veteran. Kidding, sort of.
- Houston (5-7) They can either match the 5-8 record of the teams listed or move a game up when they play Baltimore on Monday Night Football. Same with (5-7) Minnesota against the Giants.
So there you have it. Those are the teams that will be taking part in the early art of the draft. And no matter how much you don't want it to be so, that list includes the Redskins. We'll know where they're picking exactly in a few weeks. But for now, we have a pretty good ballpark.