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McNabb trade makes things interesting for Clausen

Apr 5, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

Just when it looked like the Washington Redskins were zeroing in on Jimmy Clausen with the fourth pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, they spring a trade for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, and take themselves out of the running for a QB.

With St. Louis on the clock and looking more and more like they’ll take Sam Bradford with the first pick, here’s what’ll need to happen for Jimmy to go in the top ten.

Pick One — St. Louis: I don’t think anything is in stone until Clausen has his Pro Day. I expect Jimmy to put on an absolute display, and if his representatives are smart, they’ll hold nothing back in the workout. All reports from Bradford’s Pro Day were positive, but it was a pretty risk-free workout.

Pick Two — Detroit: The Lions spent big cheese to make Matt Stafford the first pick of the draft last year. They’re not dumb enough to pick another quarterback.

Pick Three — Tampa Bay: Same goes with the Bucs. Josh Freeman is the quarterback of the future until he proves he can’t get it done. No room for Clausen in Tampa.

Pick Four — Washington: With McNabb now in DC, there’s no reason for the ‘Skins to draft a quarterback until later.

Pick Five — Kansas City: A potential wild card in the Clausen sweepstakes. Even though the Chiefs ponied up a big contract and a second round draft pick for Matt Cassel, Charlie Weis would know better than anyone whether or not Clausen was worth the risk.

Pick Six — Seattle: I still have a hunch that Clausen ends up in Seattle playing for Pete Carroll, a guy who watched Jimmy play football for the past seven years, first as a Southern California phenom and later at Notre Dame. Talk about a polarizing duo, Pete Carroll and Jimmy Clausen.

Pick Seven – Cleveland: When new team president Mike Holmgren said he “wished he liked Clausen more,” was he telling the truth or playing coy? The Browns got rid of Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, then ponied up $7 million guaranteed for Jake Delhomme and added backup Seneca Wallace. Hardly a dynamic duo. 

Pick Eight — Oakland: Is Al Davis ready to pull the plug on the JaMarcus Russell era? With the state of the Raiders, Irish fans should almost hope that Clausen doesn’t end up in the Bay Area.

Pick Nine — Buffalo: Many thought the Eagles would trade either McNabb or backup Michael Vick to Buffalo, but that’s unlikely now. The Bills are in desperate need of a steady quarterback and Clausen would seem to fit here.

Pick Ten — Jacksonville: Most have the Jaguars pegged to take a defensive player with the tenth pick, and David Garrard is hardly on the hottest seat of underachieving quarterbacks. Besides, if the Jags are going to take a QB, it’s going to be Tim Tebow, a guy that’ll help them fill those thousands of empty seats.

If Clausen falls out of the top ten, Seattle is back on the clock with the 14th pick and the 49ers are hardly happy with the QB play they’ve had the past few seasons and may be willing to spend the 13th pick on trying to get it right. But getting picked in the middle of round one is a long way from the top five, and the money down there isn’t anything close to what Clausen would’ve gotten at the top of the draft.

We’ll find out soon enough, but the biggest loser in the Eagles and Redskins trade might be Jimmy Clausen. 

  1. Sgt. Moon - Apr 5, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    The Redskins should still take Clausen with their first pick. McNabb is not going to play forever. Take Clausen early and let him adjust to the NFL. In two or three years they won’t or shouldn’t have to start all over at the quarterback position.
    I know they have other needs, such as wide receiver, but they should take Clausen for the near future.

  2. Sgt. Moon - Apr 5, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    The Redskins should still take Clausen with their first pick. McNabb is not going to play forever. Take Clausen early and let him adjust to the NFL. In two or three years they won’t or shouldn’t have to start all over at the quarterback position.
    I know they have other needs, such as wide receiver, but they should take Clausen for the near future.

  3. irishfan1123 - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    McNabb isn’t going to play forever, but can you justify spending that much on a 4th overall pick AND a high-caliber quarterback on McNabb? I’m sure since the Redskins spent a second rounder for this year and a third/fourth round for next year, they’re interested in keeping McNabb for a long time, 3-4 years. With quarterback pretty much settled for now and more positions that need addressed, not sure it would be such a wise move to take Clausen. It’s just not practical in my opinion.
    Unfortunately, this could mean a Brady Quinn like drop for Clausen, not sure where he is going to end up. Could turn out to be the better in terms of the team he ends up on, but he’s definitely going to miss out on that top 5 money. On the other hand though, if he goes to a good team, has time to learn the system, and can prove himself down the road, he’ll get his big pay-day.

  4. irishfan1123 - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Basically, if the Redskins were to take a quarterback in the draft, they would probably take a project, someone they really see potential in, and take them in the 3rd through 5th rounds. Someone like a Tony Pike, develop them, and have them ready for when McNabb is gone.
    I would have concerns about Clausen going to the Chiefs and being reunited with Charlie Weis (don’t think it would happen, but just being hypothetical). With all the negative stuff being said about Jimmy, I’m sure he’s probably going to have to win the respect of the guys in the locker room of whatever team he goes to, and I don’t know if being reunited with Weis is going to win him any friends in the locker room, if nothing else than some guys may perceive Weis playing favorites with Clausen. Again, not sure if that would happen, but it seems like that could happen. I’m not sure what would be the best situation for Jimmy would be, but I hope that he has a lot of future success in whatever team he goes to and proves McShay wrong.

  5. Sgt. Moon - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Irishfan, You make very good and valid points. But if I were a GM in the NFL, I would hate to pass on the chance to take a guy like Clausen. If McNabb can hang on for 3-4 years, and they can develop a QB such as Tony Pike that would be great.
    I also agree with you that it is probably not practical to take Clausen under these circumstances. McNabb is 33 years old and one play away from an injury (not wishing this)that could end his season. I say take Clausen anyhow. You would and should have your QB for the future.
    I know a lot of people disagree with this, but Washington might be kicking themselves if they don’t.

  6. mrrandolph - Apr 8, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    I am amazed at all the adulation that Tim Tebow receives from GMs, Head Coaches, and Hall of Famers and all the disrespect that Jimmy receives from the same crowd such as Holmgren and others.

  7. blackirish - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Clausen reminds me a lot of a young Bears QB,, very tough, strong willed and after a very short time he will end up kickin some butt and taking names, Redskins better not pass up such a good thing. Gawd, don’t let Pete Carrol have a shot at the dude, it’s just not right.

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