After signing a one-year deal worth $10 million, Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to be the starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team in 2021.
And while this brings excitement to a fanbase tired of run-of-the-mill quarterback play, it’s important to note that the fun of “FitzMagic” will likely only last for one season.
Heading into 2022, it’s possible that Washington will be facing the same question mark at the sport’s most important position once again — unless they address it this offseason.
At pick 19 of this year’s draft, the class’ top passers will likely be gone well before the WFT’s turn to make a selection. Instead of reaching for a quarterback at a rich price, the team will likely stay patient and look to days two and three for a development project in hopes of long-term payoff.
Here’s what each player brings to the table and whether they’d thrive in Washington with their skillset.
At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Trask is arguably the most prototypical pocket passer in this year’s draft class.
And after spending two seasons as a starter and throwing for 4,283 yards on a 68.9% completion rate with 43 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions in his senior campaign at Florida (which included being a Heisman finalist), many analysts and experts are raving about his potential as a franchise quarterback in the NFL.
However, it seems that for every Trask-lover in the NFL universe, there’s a Trask-hater to cancel them out. With so much confusion surrounding the general feeling towards Trask and his skillset, the question becomes: would he thrive in Washington?
Personally, my NFL comparison for Trask is none other than the Colts’ Carson Wentz. From the arm strength to the frame to the decision making, it’s hard to not see Trask as a rawer, less-fine tuned version of the North Dakota State product.
While this could (understandably) scare some fans, it’s important to note that Trask doesn’t remind me of 2020 Wentz. Instead, he reminds me of the highly productive, smart-with-the-football Wentz from 2017.
His touchdown-to-interception ratio is superb, and he knows how to take advantage of mismatches and use his offensive weapons to his advantage.
The main drawback for Trask and his fit with Washington is his lack of pure athleticism and mobility. Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner values this trait in his quarterbacks, and it’s visible in the players he has coached before (think Cam Newton, Kyle Allen, and Taylor Heinicke).
Regardless, as a quarterback at any level (especially the NFL), it all comes down to making the defense defend every blade of grass as a passer. Trask — as he has shown both on film and on paper — possesses this ability.
For the team that selects him, the key to ensuring his success at the next level will be developing a form of consistency to sustain a high level of production on a weekly basis. Otherwise, Trask’s time as a starter will be short lived.
Mond — a 6-foot-3, 217-pound four-year starter at Texas A&M — is the picture perfect example of a “low floor, high ceiling” prospect.
In a whopping 46 games as the Aggies’ starter, Mond compiled 9,661 yards on a subpar completion percentage of 59% with 71 touchdowns to 27 interceptions.
And while his statistics are all over the place, the biggest positive to Mond as a prospect is strictly the first number I listed: his in-game experience as a starter.
This experience has put on full display his sheer football IQ and ability to “open up” the playbook. In fact, Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule called the 21 year-old a “really, really football-smart guy” after coaching him at January’s Senior Bowl.
Playing in the SEC as a four-year starter goes a long way in evaluating a player’s potential at the next level. He’s seen defenses with the closest thing to NFL speed as you can see at the college level, which gives him a unique leg up on other mid-round quarterbacks.
My pro comparison for Mond is Carolina’s Teddy Bridgewater. From a mechanical, body structure, and athletic standpoint, the two are seemingly identical. The only striking difference is Mond’s arm strength, which is better than Bridgewater’s.
As to his fit in Washington, Mond offers the mobility that Scott Turner desires from the quarterback position. Additionally, he possesses the arm talent needed to push the ball downfield on deeper concepts (such as four verticals, which Turner loves to run).
However, with selecting Mond, you’re banking on strictly his raw, natural ability. The statistical production simply hasn’t been there on a consistent basis. He’ll need a solid amount of work on both his mechanics and decision making to avoid being a career backup, as this will likely be a multi-year project.
If Washington decides to draft either Trask or Mond, they’ll be prepared to start Fitzpatrick — regardless of how the season is going — all 17 games in order to ensure the proper development of the rookie.
While Trask is the more surefire option, Mond clearly offers the bigger upside due to his natural, God-given talent.
The decision between the two (if made at all) will signal to us what this new, revamped front office in Ashburn wants to do long-term at the quarterback position.
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