Mel Kiper sees Washington as potential fit for Florida QB Kyle Trask

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Ethan Cadeaux
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Mel Kiper sees Washington as potential fit for Kyle Trask originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team is several weeks into the 2021 offseason, yet the franchise is not any closer to finding its longtime quarterback of the future. Sure, free agency hasn't even begun yet, but we've already seen Matt Stafford, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz all get moved.

Another path for Washington to find its franchise quarterback could be through the draft. But, Ron Rivera's club picks 19th in the annual April event this year thanks to an improbable NFC East title, meaning it's likely all of the top quarterbacks are gone by the time it's Washington's turn to pick.

The first round isn't the only time Washington could consider drafting a quarterback, though. Longtime NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper said on a conference call with reporters on Monday that he could see the Burgundy and Gold using a second-round pick on Florida star Kyle Trask.

"I'm thinking second-round for Kyle Trask. I think Washington would be another team [interested]," Kiper said.

The analyst's mention of Washington came after he said Pittsburgh could be a fit for Trask, too, as they'll be looking for an "heir apparent" to Ben Roethlisberger. Kiper also mentioned Chicago as a possible destination, should they want to draft a quarterback, and any QB-needy team that passes on one in the first round.

Where Trask will be drafted has been up for debate often throughout the draft process.

The Florida quarterback was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season and led the nation in several statistical categories, but there are concerns about his translation to the next level. Some experts think Trask could sneak into the latter part of the first round, but Kiper is not one of them.

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"I would say more Pittsburgh and more Washington would be possibilities for Kyle Trask when you get into that second-round mix," Kiper said. "I would say second-round for Trask, not late first like some others have suggested over the last couple of months."

Accuracy is Trask's biggest strength heading into the NFL, something Kiper believes will fare well for him entering the league. But, the longtime draft analyst worries about his tendency to lock on to his primary read.

"It's limited. He's a pocket guy. I thought he went through his progressions pretty well," Kiper said. "He did lock in on [one receiver] at times. The Georgia game, there could have been an interception, a pick-six that would have turned that game around...There are times where he'll stare down the primary receiver."

Two other areas of concern for Kiper regarding the Heisman Trophy finalist were Trask's lack of mobility and whether his success was a product of having plenty of talent around him.

"Obviously, having Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney gave him two great weapons. They're two elite players, both going to be excellent professional players," Kiper said. "He had talent around him. He had backs that could catch the ball out of the backfield...He doesn't in the way of mobility in terms of putting pressure on his offensive line."

Trask's football journey has been full of twists and turns. In high school, the quarterback was not a high-profile recruit, partially because he sat behind current Miami quarterback D'Eriq King. Then at Florida, he didn't have the chance to become the starter until a quarter of the way through his junior season in 2019.

Now, after turning in one of the best statistical seasons from a quarterback in recent memory, Trask is firmly in the mix to be a Day 1 or Day 2 pick in the NFL Draft. That progression alone has impressive Kiper and proves the quarterback still has even more room to grow.

"But he came a long way during his career to get to the point where you're talking about a second-round pick," Kiper said. "It's pretty amazing from where he was to where he is right now."