A Washington win vs. Giants could be costly in Lawrence sweepstakes originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
With Washington's long-term quarterback situation unclear after Dwayne Haskins' demotion to third string, more wins may not be the best option for the Burgundy and Gold.
Instead, Washington's best chance to secure a long-term future at the position may come through the draft. With an unprecedented season presenting a plethora of challenges off the field, a shot at the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft could result in a team getting the most sought-after QB prospect: Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence is coming off a career day in Clemson's largest margin of victory against an ACC opponent in a 73-7 win over Georgia Tech, ESPN's Dan Orlovsky tweeted that reasoning after seeing the standout pass thrower first hand.
Orlovsky, who provided color commentary during Clemson's landslide victory, got to take in Lawrence's performance that included a career-high five touchdown passes and 404 passing yards to produce a program-record 52 first half points. Though he was taken out after just the first drive in the second half, Lawrence's incredible display was all Orlovsky needed to see to know he can excel at the next level.
This would be a clear contradiction for head coach Ron Rivera, however. One of the main reasons Rivera gave for benching Haskins was to try to turn this team into a win-now mode outfit looking to take advantage of a weak NFC East and an upcoming easier slate of games.
Though Rivera and the front office aren't going to admit they'd prefer to tank this season for the services of a sure-thing QB, that doesn't mean it isn't the right way to go. With an inexperienced team lacking the necessary talent to compete against the top teams in the league, more focus on making Washington a better team in the long run could be worth it.
It only takes a recent memory to show that Washington's worse record last season produced a much better draft selection. While the Giants (4-12) won once more than Washington (3-13), they ended up selecting two draft spots below their NFC rivals.
The result: No. 2 pick Chase Young and No. 4 pick Andrew Thomas. Young will get the chance to show his superiority in terms of talent on the field today against a struggling rookie lineman. Though hampered by a nagging groin injury, Young will be excited to terrorize the former Georgia Bulldog on his way to get pressure on Daniel Jones.
Thomas ranks 61st out of 68 offensive tackles with a 79.4% pass rush win rate. Young, on the other hand, has 2.5 sacks and eight solo tackles.
If that matchup shows Washington anything, it might still be best to focus on development rather than results.