Rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins could still win the quarterback competition in Washington, but two veterans are ahead of him at this stage, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.
Colt McCoy and Case Keenum hold an edge in the open battle based on experience, Gruden told MMQB.
"I'd say the vets probably have a little bit of a leg up on him, just because they're vets and they've played," Gruden said. "Case has played a lot of football, of course he's new to the system. Colt's an experienced guy in the system, he's coming off that injury, we just have to see how he is running around. He got a little nicked today on it, from a confidence standpoint, from a stability standpoint. But they have a little bit of a leg up on [Haskins], just because of their knowledge of third down and red zone concepts. There's a lot Dwayne still has to learn, but he can get there."
Haskins has 10 days to make his mark based on Gruden's timeline. He wants to make a call on the pecking order of his passers by Aug. 22, the day of the third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"I think it'll come probably sooner than later, because you'd like to get that guy ready to go," Gruden said of the looming call. "I'd like to hopefully make that decision after the third preseason game, so we can get two weeks to get ready for Philadelphia with the starter."
Alex Smith started for the Redskins last season but complications during and after surgery to repair a broken leg make his return this season beyond unlikely.
Keenum, 31, became available when Denver acquired Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens. He has 54 NFL starts with the Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans.
McCoy, who turns 33 the night of the NFL regular-season opener between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, had surgery to repair a broken right leg. He's been in Washington since 2014, but made only six starts in those five seasons with 41 pass attempts in the past four years.
Haskins, the 15th overall pick out of Ohio State, threw two interceptions in his preseason debut.
"I think they've all done some really good things without a doubt, and they've all done some things we've got to coach," Gruden said.