Over the past few weeks there has been increasing talk in the scouting community that the Washington Redskins were going to do something at the quarterback position. With the draft less than a month away, I (and the league personnel I'd spoken with) generally presumed that the Redskins would focus their quarterback search there. With Sam Bradford essentially unattainable , the belief was that Washington would select Jimmy Clausen with the 4th overall pick.
Obviously, Washington went in another direction with their quarterback search, landing Donovan McNabb for their 37th overall selection in the 2010 draft and a conditional 3rd-4th round pick in 2011.
And because the Redskins filled their need at quarterback, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen could see a significant drop on draft day.
Considering the big contract signed by Matt Cassell last year, the Chiefs aren't likely to reunite Charlie Weis and Clausen with the fifth pick. Similarly, the Seahawks gave up too much in trade and contract money for they to be likely to use the sixth overall pick on the Irish passer. Cleveland president Mike Holmgren has publicly admitted that he's not a huge Clausen fan. The Raiders won't take him with JaMarcus Russell still drawing checks.
The only obvious contenders in the top ten are the final two teams within it -- the Buffalo Bills at No. 9 and the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 10. With neither of these clubs guaranteed to take the hotly debated Clausen, his "slip" on draft day could prove even steeper.
The slip from the potential 4th overall choice to No. 9 doesn't sound that significant until you look at the contracts.
Assume for a moment that Clausen would have been the 4th overall choice. He likely would have signed a deal slightly better than the one received by last year's 4th overall pick, Aaron Curry. Curry signed a six year deal for 60 million, including 34 million guaranteed.
The ninth overall pick last year, nose guard BJ Raji, signed a five year deal with Green Bay for 28.5 million, including 18 million guaranteed.