It's never too early for a mock draft, and ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay's crystal ball has Washington landing a potential franchise player next April.
With Ron Rivera's team potentially playoff-bound, accurately predicting WFT's draft position is difficult. But if the season were to finish now, Washington would be picking 19th. However, McShay used ESPN's power index to set the mock order, where Washington is 13th.
And so, with the 13th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Washington Football Team selects ... Matt Corral, quarterback, Ole Miss.
The last time Washington selected a QB 13th overall was in 2019, and it didn't exactly pay off. Dwayne Haskins now plies his trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, after a brief and thoroughly underwhelming stint at FedEx Field.
However, as the Haskins experiment failed, Washington is still in need of a franchise QB, and perhaps it's second time lucky at 13?
Yes, Taylor Heinicke has impressed and proven himself a capable starter in the NFL, not to mention provided a great example of perseverance. But McShay says the 28-year-old isn't the long-term answer.
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Taylor Heinicke has surprised this season, leading Washington to playoff contention after Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 1 hip injury. But make no mistake: He is not the long-term answer. Corral has a smooth release and can make things happen with his feet. Perhaps he could sit and continue developing as a pocket passer behind Heinicke in 2022 before taking over. Regardless, Washington needs to find its future under center after striking out on Dwayne Haskins in 2019. - Todd McShay
Could Corral be a franchise quarterback? Potentially. Will he end up in Washington? Seems unlikely.
The fact is, Washington has a good chance of making it to the playoffs meaning it would be picking nowhere near 13th. If WFT does make the postseason, even if it falls out immediately, it won't be picking before 19 - by which time Corral will almost certainly be gone.
The only way Corral ends up in Washington is if Rivera's team struggles in the coming weeks - or if Corral unexpectedly slides.
Either way, there are likely to be QB needy teams above Washington in the draft order who may give Corral a shot i.e. Houston, Carolina, Atlanta, and perhaps the Giants.
Corral to Washington would be a solid selection if he were available in the teens, but the chances of him falling to them seems a reach.