The Washington Redskins have traded the 37th overall pick and a conditional 2011 pick to Philadelphia for quarterback Donovan McNabb. How does this impact the draft? For starters, you can almost certainly rule out Washington drafting Jimmy Clausen 4th overall. It appears they will almost certainly draft an offensive lineman with that pick. Many believe Russell Okung will be the choice - but personally I think Anthony Davis will be the selection. I could of course be wrong, but Davis is the best pass protector of the 2010 class and he has the most upside. There are work ethic issues, but I truly believe Mike Shanahan will love that guy.
It may also afford the Eagles to go a different direction in round one. In my latest mock draft, I had Philly taken Maurkice Pouncey 24th overall - an interior lineman. I also had Mike Iupati going 37th overall to Washington. If they believe they can get Iupati at #37, do they go elsewhere at #24?
But clearly Clausen will be the major talking point here. Washington didn't want to invest their future in the guy. We could read too much into that - McNabb is a seasoned veteran who came, in Washington's eyes, at a good price. It allowed them to go elsewhere at #4 and potentially fill two gaps on the roster instead of one. A veteran QB who has been in the post season plus the best left tackle on the board - or the second best QB and potentially no left tackle in round two? The 'Skins passing on Clausen doesn't necessarily mean he'll suffer a huge drop.
However, this could be an indication of what other teams may also think about the Notre Dame quarterback. Is there more than just McNabb's availability that moved Washington to a trade? The Seahawks could still take Clausen at #6 if they think he's franchise QB material. The Charlie Whitehurst trade suggested they perhaps didn't. In Cleveland, Mike Holmgren has been public about his views on Clausen (was it a smoke screen or just honesty?). I don't think he will interest Al Davis and I just don't see the Buffalo/Chan Gailey/Jimmy Clausen partnership. I projected Clausen to San Francisco in my last mock draft - something that, to me, would appear a good fit. The Niners aren't sold on their quarterback situation and solving that problem could be the missing piece on an otherwise solid roster.
Having said that - from very early in the 2010 draft discussion I've projected a Clausen fall as being a possibility. I wrote this article last November questioning Clausen's validity as a top ten pick. Whether Clausen falls or not will become a heated discussion between now and April 22nd. Either way - today was a significant day with regard to the 2010 NFL Draft.