With the Redskins' victory earlier today over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team improved to a 6-9 record. The win may have felt good for the players and fans, but it was also very costly for the Redskins' 2011 NFL Draft position.
There are at least nine teams that will pick ahead of the Redskins in the draft next year, and at least 15 teams that will pick after them. This means that the Redskins will pick somewhere between tenth and seventeenth. That's a pretty large spread, which is typical in a year in which so many teams are hovering so close to .500.
With a pick somewhere near the middle of the draft, Washington will be unable to target the top quarterbacks. However, 2011 is said to have an excellent class of quarterbacks. While the Redskins may miss out on Andrew Luck and Jake Locker, the team could still have a shot at Ryan Mallett of Arkansas or Cam Newton of Auburn. The Redskins have several other holes to fill besides the quarterback position, but that still seems to be the likeliest of targets. Still, Mike Shanahan may choose to continue to improve the offensive line.
Had Graham Gano missed the field goal in overtime, or if the Redskins had found some other way to lose, as they often do, the team could have improved its draft position significantly.
Elsewhere in the NFC, the Carolina Panthers today clinched the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. They are now on the clock, and have the right to draft to Stanford quarterback Luck, currently the top rated player in college football.