From Jason Reid’s SHANAHAN FAIL column for the Washington Post:
[Mike] Shanahan actually believed [John] Beck, whose vision seemed to extend no more than 10 yards downfield, was better than any quarterback he could have selected in the April draft, Redskins people say.
Really, that’s all you need to know.
That tasty nugget really stood out. Because it can only mean a few things:
1. Shanahan liked Beck more than Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, etc. That would be ridiculous, especially in hindsight. It’s important to note, though, that this is how the column was written. Shanahan preferred Beck to “any quarterback he could have selected in the draft.” Sounds similar to how Kyle Shanahan felt back in 2007.
2. Shanahan liked Beck and draft picks more than Newton, etc. If this is the case, that’s reasonable. They would have had to trade a lot to get Newton at No. 1. They couldn’t have had Ryan Kerrigan if they took Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert or Jake Locker. Dalton and Colin Kaepernick weren’t there when they took Jarvis Jenkins in the second. And that’s okay, because the Skins needed a nose man too.
In fact, of all the things wrong with the Redskins, the 2011 draft does not seem like one of them. It’s probably the only thing Shanahan has done that has my full approval. They got a stud at a position of need (Kerrigan) and ended up with 12 picks to fill out a depleted roster. That seems better than, say, Gabbert, no Kerrigan and fewer picks.
3. Jason Reid is overstating things. You know, he has a track record of that when reporting/columnizing on Beck and the Shanahans. In this case, it seems that he heard the Shanahans liked Beck enough to draft elsewhere and go into the season with him and Rex Grossman. That’s different than liking Beck more than Newton or anyone else straight-up.
It is true that Beck can’t see further than 10 yards downfield, though.