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.