Washington lands quarterback of the future in USA TODAY mock draft

By Bryan Manning

The Washington Football Team will have a new starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season for the sixth time in six seasons. Think about that for a moment, and you’ll understand why Washington continues to struggle or, at best, stay around the .500 mark.

Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins and Ryan Fitzpatrick have started the openers dating back to 2017. Someone new will be that guy in 2022.

The biggest question is will it be a rookie or a veteran?

Washington will be heavily involved in the veteran quarterback market, particularly if Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson are available, but landing either is a pipe dream. The most likely candidate to be Washington’s starting quarterback in 2022 is a rookie.

In the latest USA TODAY mock draft, Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz has Washington as the first team to take a quarterback, at No. 11 overall.

His choice? Matt Corral of Ole Miss.

Should Washington be the first team to select a quarterback at this slot, this draft would go down as a modern anomaly, as a passer has been taken in the top three picks in every year since 2013. No matter how the market pans out, Washington should establish itself as a buyer after learning in a Week 17 drubbing just how far this team is from catching the Cowboys in the NFC East. Corral’s ankle injury in the Sugar Bowl might complicate his draft projection, but he elevated himself into the QB1 conversation thanks to the strides he made with his ball placement and risk calculation.

Corral has, along with Malik Willis of Liberty, the highest upside of any quarterback available. Corral improved dramatically in 2021 under the tutelage of Lane Kiffin and is firmly in the mix to be the first quarterback taken in the 2022 NFL draft.


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