Commanders’ Dan Quinn suggests team has yet to make up its mind as NFL Draft looms: ‘We’re not there yet’

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The Washington Commanders finished the 2023 season with a 4–13 record, and the team’s biggest problem was a lack of consistent production at quarterback.

Second-year quarterback Sam Howell was named the starter entering the 2023 campaign and played in all 17 games, finishing the year with just under 4,000 passing yards.

But Howell’s body of work did not convince the organization he was the long-term solution. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month. The Commanders are one of a handful of quarterback-needy teams heading into next month’s NFL Draft.

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Dan Quinn speaks during a press conference

Head coach Dan Quinn of the Washington Commanders speaks during a press conference at OrthoVirginia Training Center at Commanders Park Feb. 5, 2024, in ashburn, va. (Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)

The Commanders have the second overall pick in April’s draft. While former USC star Caleb Williams is widely projected to be the first player off the board, many speculated Washington will draft the next best signal-caller available.

Dan Quinn, who is getting his second chance at being an NFL head coach, suggested if anyone believes the franchise’s decision-makers have determined their pick, they are mistaken.

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“If somebody thinks they know, they’ll have to fill me in because (general manager) Adam (Peters) and I, we’re not there yet,” Quinn told reporters this week, via NFL Network.

The Commanders did sign veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota to the roster, but he has mainly been a backup in recent years.

A view of FedExField

FedEx Field before a game between the Washington Commanders and the Cleveland Browns Jan. 1, 2023, in Landover, Md. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, national champion JJ McCarthy and former North Carolina signal-caller Drake Maye are the other top quarterbacks in this year’s class.

“I know quarterback gets a lot of attention, as it should,” Quinn added. “It’s a story here and everywhere. But there’s a lot of players (to evaluate) and … a lot of picks for this year’s draft.”

Quinn recently hinted the team was leaning toward a quarterback.

“It’d be fair to envision we’d be taking a quarterback,” the coach told the NFL Network. “To say where it’ll be happening, I think that’s a better question for (general manager Adam Peters),” Quinn continued.

Dan Quinn speaks during to a news conference

Washington Commanders coach Dan Quinn during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis Feb. 27, 2024. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Quinn also believes Peters will take some phone calls from other teams looking to move up in the draft.

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“Yes, I would say it’s ringing, and because, like you said, of the talent of the group this year,” Quinn said.

“And, so, I would anticipate him fielding these calls as it goes through, and usually it’s not necessarily later than No. 6 or 7, but those people who are usually in the top four or five, there’s somebody that somebody has targeted.

“And I think it’s mostly like ‘Well, I’ve got to take a shot.’ A lot of times it’s no, like, ‘Thanks for calling,’ but it is part of the process, and you have to do your due diligence to listen and to find out just to make sure. Like, is there something that you just Couldn’t refuse.”

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