Thursday, April 28, 2016

Final Mock Draft! #MockMadness #Redskins

Here are a few additional Mock Drafts for the Redskins, compliments of Fanspeak.



21: R1P21
ILB REGGIE RAGLAND - ALABAMA

53: R2P22
RB DERRICK HENRY - ALABAMA

84: R3P21
WR CHARONE PEAKE - CLEMSON

120: R4P22
EVAN BOEHM - MISSOURI

158: R5P19
DEON BUSH - MIAMI (FLA.)

187: R6P12
DE ANTHONY ZETTEL - PENN STATE

232: R7P11
DT VINCENT VALENTINE - NEBRASKA

242: R7P21
MICHAEL CAPUTO - WISCONSIN
        

The Redskins draft principles seem more focused on the best player available, but beyond that, players who show intelligence, a love for the game, and toughness...so all that considered...

Ragland was a easy pick at 21 for me.  The ILB position needs a strong investment if the Redskins want to find stability on defense.  Though the same goes for DT, Ragland was the best player on the board, not to mention the best true ILB in the draft.

I was surprised Derrick Henry was still on the board late in the 2nd round, and I would imagine the Redskins would be too....just too tempting to pass up on.

Boehm would address a need at C, besides he is likely the toughest offensive lineman in the draft.

Bush was off my radar until recently.3yer who is a McC kind of guy, through and through.

Valentine is big and freakishly athletic...so why is he still around at pick 232?  He has some conditioning issue and needs some coaching-up to harness his potential.  Big value, low risk to draft him in the 7th round AND it address a need for a big, interior D-lineman.

Caputo is tough as nails.  Not the fastest guy, he always seems to be around the play anyway.  Though I think they pop on a earlier FS, Caputo could prove to be a great ST player, rotational DB/SS/FS and insurance behind that earlier pick.  Totally McC guy.


Enjoy the Draft!


Hail to the Redskins!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

#MockDraft 2.0 w/Trades

It's that time again...



Second year Redskins GM Scott McCloughan has stated publicly he would love 11 picks in this years draft.  Currently, they hold 8 picks.  Beings more of the pre-draft deals have taken place, one can only assume the Redskins will be looking to move around in order to acquire a few more picks in this years draft and I tried to embrace just that idea in the Mock Draft.

So let's get to Mock Draft 2.0!!!

"...and with the 21st pick in the 2016 Draft, wait...what's this...I think we have a trade...yes, Arizona has decided to trade up"...my best guess of the first move the Redskins will make to acquire more picks is trading back to the bottom of Round one with Arizona.  Arizona is BIG on Jared Goff and with Carson Palmer nearing the end of his career (and injury issues) I think they have to draft the QB of the future now.  To do so, they may want to pick ahead of the Texans, who will likely be targeting a gun-slinger at pick 22,  (UPDATE - Caught some slack on this concept due to the Osweiller acquisition, but I doubt the Texans put all their "chickens in one basket" at QB again...not saying they want a QB at 22, just saying if a guy is there they can't believe fell that far, it could be tempting enough to make someone want to move ahead of them).  The cost for trading up should be worth the Redskins considering a deal.  My best guess is that they would swap first round picks and the Redskins would acquire pick 167 and maybe a 5th in next years draft.

So, back to the Redskins...

"...with the 29th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select...wait, there has been yet another trade"

It's is possible that Cleveland might want back into the 1st round and could target a Running Back, Safety, Tackle, Center, or Wide Receiver...so they make a deal with the Redskins....Browns move up to 29, acquire the Redskins 2017 7th round selection... Redskins acquire pick 32, pick 99, and pick 223.

Now the Redskins have 11 picks....



...time for some picks.

So, again, back to the Mock Draft...


"...with the 32nd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Derrick Henry, Running Back - Alabama


This selection accomplishes many things for the Redskins...first, it gives them insurance at the Running Back position, and not your regular insurance, your "6'3", 247lbs, 4.5s 40-speed, work-horse" kind of insurance.  Second, Dallas took Alfred Morris, so we took Henry away...take that Jerry Jones (someone known to be drooling at the chance of drafting Henry).  Third, he would likely be on the very top of most draft boards.  Henry is healthy and has limitless potential, despite over 400 carries in College.  If the Redskins had Jones and Henry, complimented by Thompson and Redd, they would have to invest more play-calling into the running game (something Redskins fans would LOVE to see us go back too....ground and pound, baby).  We would really be able to wear out defenses and become much less predictable (and more consistent on drives and in clokc management).  Last, but not least, it would take a lot of pressure off of Cousins, going into truly his first full season as the starter (something any second-year-start at QB could benefit from).  A solid running game, building value in the play-action, could lead to even bigger passing numbers for Cousins.  Having a few more picks means they can roll the dice one of the later round Nose Tackles and Defensive Backs.



"...and with the 53rd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Jeremy Cash, Safety - Duke


The more I watch Cash, the more I think he fits our defense.  Much like Kysheon Jarrett, Cash is versatile with solid instincts, getting to the ball faster then his 40 time make you believe.  Cash would likely start his NFL career like Jarrett, as a starting Nickle Corner and make some appearances in sub packages as the 4th or 5th DB or Safety.  Cash is stronger out of the box and against the run then out in coverage, but his size and length give him the physical tools to potential match-up well against Tight Ends.  The more I see of this guy, the more I like.  My fear is that the Carolina Panthers might like his skill-set too, but I doubt they pull the trigger in the 1st round, so may just still be there at 53.



"...and with the 84th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Nick Martin, Center - Notre Dame


Nick Martin, brother of Cowboys Zack Martin, plays with the same intensity and mean streak his brother does.  The Redskins covet aggressive interior lineman and really need to solidify the Center position.  Despite being slowed by a knee injury in 2014, Martin was a 3-year starter for Notre Dame and is listed as the second best safety in this draft.  Martin is known for his toughness, playing through a torn ligament in his snapping hand and a slowly recovering knee injury.  He moved and performed well on his pro day, boosting his stock some, but I would expect he is the second Center off the board and still available for the taking at 84.



"...and with the 99th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Mike Thomas, Wide Receiver - Ohio State


The Redskins could use a Wide Receiver with size and range, especially for red-zone situations.  Thomas still has some kinks to work out, but has all the physical attributes and skill-set to be a starting Wide Receiver in the NFL.  Thomas uses his 6'3" height well and does a great job of catching the ball at it's high-point.  Thomas needs to work on his route running skills, but proved to be a solid receiving threat at Ohio State and should hopefully develop into just that at the NFL level.  In most drafts, Thomas would be long gone by pick 99, but he sits behind 4 or 5 other really talented receivers, but could emerge as the "pick of the litter" a few years from now.



"...and with the 120th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Cyrus Jones, Corner Back - Alabama


Jones started his career at Alabama as a Wide Receiver, switching to Corner Back before the 2013 season.  Jones learned fast and developed solid defensive instincts quickly.  Jones does not have elite speed.  The Redskins offense and defense looks as if they are built to "beat up" on apposing teams.  Jones ability to play press coverage and stay aggressive fits the Redskins scheme.  Jones is also comfortable in man-coverage situations, using the sidelines and play formations to help make-up for any lack of elite speed.  Despite being a former offensive player, Jones has steadily improved his craft ever season and may just be tapping into his potential as a cover-corner.  Jones is also a very skilled return man and could contribute on special team right away, another thing the Redskins could certainly use.  If not for a off-the-field incident and a poor 40 time, Jones would have been a late 1st or 2nd round pick.  It would not surprise me if Jones developed into a impact player at the pro level, but that will take some time.



"...and with the 158rd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Tyvis Powell, Free Safety - Ohio State


Powell has the size and athletic ability most teams covet at Free Safety but was not as strong versus the run.  Powell needs to work on his instinct and play-reading ability at the next level.  Powell is quick enough to play nickle DB, but his size and length fits better at Free Safety.  Despite not being the best player on a very good defense, Powell made some crucial plays when it mattered most and you just can not teach "clutch".  Coach Gruden recently spoke about the lack of depth at Safety.  I would expect they select more than one safety in this years draft, especially if they acquire additional picks.  Powell could really benefit from some position coaching from Perry Fewell.  I could see Powell fitting in well as a sub-package member of the Redskins secondary and I would be surprised if he sharpened up his skills and ended the year a starter.



"...and with the 167th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Tyler Matakevich, Inside Linebacker - Temple


Matakevich makes plays, but, there is more to this guy.  Matakevich plays with 110% heart 110% of the time without making rush decisions...he just makes lots of plays.  Matakevich is a tackling machine and never takes a play off.  He needs to get stronger at the NFL level and to help sure up his tackling strength, but as far as play diagnosis, heart, and leadership, you will not find a better player with those qualities at this point in the draft.  Matakevich loves diagnosing film and preparing for opponents.  He just has a knack for getting the guys around him pumped up, too.  This is a McCloughan-style pick and the Redskins could use some depth at Inside Linebacker.



"...and with the 187th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Shawn Oakman, Defensive End - Baylor


Physically, Oakman has amazing gifts... 6'9", 287 lbs, runs a 4.84 40yd dash...there is not many players with his build and athletic ability.  Problem with Oakman is that he is an underachiever, who never really seem to be near as dominate as his physique would suggest.  That said, he did make plays and could be hoarding a wealth of potential.  Oakman is raw and may just need some great coaching to tap into his gifts.  He needs to build up some lower body strength to have longevity in the NFL, but no one can question his upper-body and hand strength.  I find it hard to believe McCloughan would pass up on a chance to acquire such a physically massive prospect.  The Redskins need developmental talent and depth at Defensive End.  I think just about every blogger has this guy on their mock draft somewhere, but if something comes of the Sexual Assault investigation underway, he could find himself sliding in the draft, if not going undrafted all together.



"...and with the 223rd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

D. J. Reader, Defensive Tackle - Clemson


Reader is a big, squatty Nose Tackle.  Fluctuating from 325lbs to 345lbs, Reader moves better then his massive frame would make you think.  Despite good feet, Reader will find it much harder to be a disruptive force in passing situations, but would make a solid two-gap lineman and role-player on any NFL defensive line.  The Redskins could use a guy with size and physical skills they can coach up as a potential long-term replacement at Nose Tackle.  Besides the stress of college, or playing college football at one of the highest levels, Reader also dealt with the passing of his father and some off-field family issues, even having to leave the team before the beginning of 2015, coming back in October, but some scouts may look at that as a special point of motivation and with the right coaching-up, Reader could develop into a solid starting Nose Tackle in the NFL, something the Redskins could use.



"...and with the 235th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Denver Kirkland, Offensive Guard - Arkansas



Kirkland was a huge part of a pretty successful running game at Arkansas.  Kirkland is a big, powerful run blocker, who moves into the second level well.  Kirland is known for playing through injury and showing a lot of heart.  Considered more of a guard prospect at the NFL level, Kirkland has experience at tackle as well.  Kirkland has struggled with his technique and his weight have concerned some scouts, as well, so he will likely still be on the board in the later rounds.  The Redskins have to improve in the running game if they expect to continue to compete in the NFC East and Kirkland could certainly develop into a guy who could help.  Kirkland will have to prove to scouts he is healthy and has his weight under control, or he could go undrafted.



"...and with the 245th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select..."

Jeff Driskel, Quarterback - Louisiana Tech



Driskel was highly recruited out of high school, but has struggled to improve at his craft much at the college level.  He did fair better after he transferred to Louisiana Tech from Florida.  Driskel has a strong arm, good footwork, and decent short and intermediate accuracy but does not throw a great deep ball.  Driskel does have a quick release with pop.  Driskel's slow development is likely the only reason he may slide to the 7th round.  The Redskins, in need for a developmental QB, may just pull the trigger on this signal-caller.  The Redskins have the coaching in place and the time needed to develop Driskel's talent.



As much as I wanted to find a 3-4 fitting Outside Linebacker to add to this mock draft, every time there was a player there I thought was better.  If nothing else, expect the Redskins to target many undrafted free-agents at these same positions after the draft, including Linebacker.  Luckily for them, the Redskins have far more depth then they did this time last season, allowing them to be more flexible and patient enough to develop talent...something they have struggled with over the past decade.




Hail to the Redskins!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

@Redskins #MockDraft 1.0



The 2016 Draft has a ton of depth, offering potentially high-quality players well into the 7th round.  Though not as star-studded in the 1st round, this years draft will be one we remember for it's contribution to the NFL.

Most fans and folks around the NFL see the Redskins headed in a positive direction.  Some of the credit has to go to the Redskins front office.


The acquisition of Scott McCloughan lead to one of the best top 3 draft classes the Redskins have seen in long time (maybe ever...we will let them play a few more years before making that "best ever" call)...


Scherff, Smith and Jones all contributed their rookie year.  Scherff  started every game, Smith played in every game and Jones showed enough promise for coaches to feel comfortable with letting Alfred Morris walk, leaving Jones as the starting ball carrier.

Many times, Scott McCloughan has suggested that his focus, when building our franchise's future, is the draft.  He has also mentioned many times that he does not draft specifically on need and prefers more of a "Best Player Available" approach...a philosophy that likely gave us Preston Smith and Matt Jones.  I would expect more of the same winning approach this year, and I tried to reflect just that in the draft.  Even still, different teams value different attributes, so there may still be a few "head scratchers" from the 3 round and beyond...again, a lot like Preston Smith and Matt Jones were...so, lets got on to the Mock Draft...

...and with the 21st pick of the 2016 NFL Draft...

...the Washington Redskins select...

A'Shawn Robinson - DT - Alabama


Robinson could be the top player on the Redskins board at pick #21, and if so, is just the kind of player you want when you have a need for a quality interior lineman.  Robinson also has a huge upside, as in he is only 20 years old, despite having the frame, leadership qualities, and "I will kill you" gazing stare of a seasoned NFL defensive lineman.  The Redskins struggled against the run last season and that we still evident during the playoff loss to Green Bay.  Robinson has all the desired attributes of a quality two-gap DT and could step right in and improve the Redskins run defense.  Robinson could also prove to be a disruptive force on passing downs in Coach Barry's 3-4 defense.  Robinson is exactly what the Redskins need on the interior of their defensive line.  Robinson is my favorite for pick 21.


...and with the 53rd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft...

...the Washington Redskins select...

Jeremy Cash - SS - Duke


Cash is maybe the best defensive prospect to ever come out of Duke.  Some experts even think he could go in the 1st round (and maybe even to the Redskins there), but I think Vonn Bell will be the first SS taken and, despite his talent, I expect Cash to slide to the late 2nd round, and if so, there is no way "on God's green earth" that McCloughan passes on him.  Cash is a big, physical DB/SS.  Much like Kyshoen Jarrett, Cash can line up as a Nickle DB or SS, close to the line of scrimmage, or drop back in coverage...he does either very well, but excels versus the run.  Proven, solid tackler with good speed, range and size.  He was highly recruited out of high school by Ohio State, starting as a true freshman, but later transferred to Duke.  Cash could prove to to be a day 1 starter for the Redskins, especially in sub-package formations, and give them some much needed insurance in the secondary.  I would rush out and buy this guys jersey right away if the Redskins draft him...he is seriously a great fit for our defense.  Cash is my favorite for pick 53.


...and with the 84th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft...

...the Washington Redskins select...

Morgan Burns - DB/Return Specialist - Kansas State


I feel like drafting Burns in the 3rd is a bit of a reach, but Burns may be the best return guy in this years draft.  He may also be the fastest guy in the draft (on film, at least) and ran a 4.38 40yd dash at his Pro-Day.  Teams covet speed, athleticism, and ability to contribute on Special Teams...and Burns has all three of those attributes.  His background in Track and Field has served him well, but he has more than just straight-line speed.  Burns can be shifty and that helped he become the All Time leading return guy in Kansas State school history.  Besides his return skills, he was very disruptive on the punt-block team.  He can make an instant impact in the Redskins return game and and special teams while also serving as our 5th DB.  Burns is my favorite for pick 84.


...and with the 120th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft...

...the Washington Redskins select...

Tyler Matakevich, ILB - Temple


Matakevich makes plays, but, there is more to this guy.  As Temple's All Time Leading Tackler, Matakevich played every snap with 110% heart without making rush decisions...he just makes lots of plays.  Matakevich is smart and thrives in a read-react role.  He needs to get stronger at the NFL level and sure up his tackling, but as far as play diagnosis, heart, and leadership, you will not find a better player with those qualities in the 4th round.  Matakevich loves diagnosing film and preparing for opponents.  He just has a knack for getting the guys around him pumped up, too.  Matakevich stands out on tape and always seems to be around the ball.  If still on the board at 120, the Redskins would be lucky and happy to select him.  Matakevich is my favorite at pick 120.


...and with the 158th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft...

...the Washington Redskins select...

Shawn Oakman - DE - Baylor


I changed up this pick from my earlier draft primer pick (Tyvis Powell) because of the need for depth at DE, the earlier projected pick of Cash, and hopes that our starting FS will emerge from our current roster.  Plus...has you seen Oakman?  Physically, Oakman has amazing gifts... 6'9", 287 lbs, runs a 4.84 40yd dash...there are not many players (if any) with his build and athletic ability.  Problem with Oakman is that he is an underachiever, who never really seem to be near as dominate as his physique would suggest.  That said, he did make plays and could be hoarding a wealth of potential.  Oakman is raw and may just need some great coaching to tap into his gifts.  He needs to build up some lower body strength to have longevity in the NFL, but no one can question his upper-body and hand strength.  I think it would cool to see him playing OLB in a 3-4, but he will likely be used more as a DE where-ever he is drafted.  I find it hard to believe McCloughan would pass up on a chance to acquire such a massive prospect if he is still available in the 5th round.


...and with the 188th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft...

...the Washington Redskins select...

Wendall Smallwood - RB - West Virginia


Smallwood has proven to be a very dynamic player for West Virginia.  He is quick, strong, and does a great job of getting those extra yards.  Smallwood is a smart runner and diagnoses his lanes and cuts very well, which helped him become the Big 12's leading rusher in 2015.  Smallwood also catches the ball well, out of the backfield, and has held his own when asked to block.  Smallwood uses his blocking well but is not known for breaking many tackles.  Smallwood needs to get stronger at the pro level, especially in the lower body if he wants to hold up through an NFL season.  After some off-field issues, his stock took a hit, but with that clear now, NFL teams are taking flyers.  This draft is full of talent at RB, and for that reason, I could see Smallwood on the board at pick 188, and if so, would likely be the top of the Redskins board.  The Redskins need another talented back in the stable...if there at 188, the Redskins should take him.  Some have argued that C. J. Procise has more upside, if available in the later rounds...and that might be the case, but if you want a contributor on offense from day one who can do all the little things well, Smallwood is the guy.  Smallwood is my favorite for pick 188.



Jeff Driskel - QB - Louisiana Tech


Driskel was highly recruited out of high school, but has struggled to improve at his craft at the college level.  He did fair better after he transferred to Louisiana Tech from Florida.  Driskel has a strong arm, good footwork, and decent short and intermediate accuracy but does not throw a great deep ball.  Driskel does have a quick release with pop.  Driskel's slow development is likely the only reason he may slide to the 7th round.  The Redskins, in need for a developmental QB, may just pull the trigger on this signal-caller.  The Redskins have the coaching in place and the time needed to develop Driskel's talent.  Driskel is my favorite for pick 233.


A keen eye would realize that, no, I did not address Guard or Center directly...and either position could be a target in the draft, but I feel like there will be a number skill players on the board that could let some decent C and G prospects to go undrafted.  Martin seems to be the only highly rated center in the draft and I doubt the Redskins are willing to cough up a 1st round pick for him and I doubt he is still on the board at 53.  My guess is the Redskins will focusing on the best undrafted free-agent Guards and Centers.

I would love to know what McCloughan is thinking...


...but I have learned, like many fans, that he can be trusted to make the decisions that help our franchised grow into a Championship contender.


For a more in-depth look at potential picks, check out my other posts...




Hail to the Redskins!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ultimate Redskins Draft Primer Part 2 - Rounds 4,5,6,7

Continued...

Maybe even before the draft, I would expect the Redskins to make some deals (likely moving back in the earlier rounds) to acquire additional picks in this years draft.  To try to cover all the possibilities, we will take a look at a number of prospects for each round.



4 - #121

Tyler Matakevick, ILB - Temple - Matakevick makes plays, but, there is more to this guy.  Matakevick plays with 110% heart 110% of the time without making rush decisions...he just makes lots of plays.  He needs to get stronger at the NFL level and sure up his tackling, but as far as play diagnosis, heart, and leadership, you will not find a better player with those qualities in the 4th round.  Matakevick loves diagnosing film and preparing for opponents.  He just has a knack for getting the guys around him pumped up, too.  If still on the board at 120, the Redskins would be lucky and happy to select him.  Matakevick is clearly my favorite at pick 120.

Kevin Hogan - QB - Stanford - The Redskins will want to keep 3 QBs on the roster this year.  Though Cousins is their preferred starter moving forward, they have yet to get him re-signed to a long-term deal.  If Hogan is on the board at pick 120, it will be very hard for the Redskins to pass up on an opportunity of drafting Hogan to develop.  Hogan has proven to have strong leadership qualities, decent arm talent and a history of winning games.  Following Andrew Luck is a tough job to undertake and Hogan did so with a lot of success.  His technique and footwork needs work, but given the Redskins have a group of fantastic QB coaches, taking Hogan would make sense for a lot of reasons...besides he could end up being that "best player on the board" for the Redskins when they pick at 120.

Hassan Ridgeway - DT - Texas - Ridgeway is a very talented interior defensive lineman but his work ethic has come into question.  If properly motivated, conditioned, and coached, Ridgeway still has room to grow and improve his skill-set and could be a very good defensive lineman in the NFL.  He uses his strength and size well, has good hands, and even some twitchy moves that have helped him be very disruptive as a pass-rusher.  Against the run, he holds his own but certainly could improve.  He needs to stay fit and healthy at the pro-level, and if he does, he would be a fine defensive weapon.

Jack Allen - C - Michigan State - Center may be the one position the Redskins will absolutely have to address during the draft.  Allen may not be the size of lineman the Redskins seem to be focusing on, but his character and leadership are top notch.  Allen has great hands and feet, can pull and block, and really holds his own in the running game, despite being undersized at times.  Allen radiates the football edge you want in your offensive line.  If the Redskins draft Allen at 120, he would likely win the starting job at center.

5 - #159

Tyvis Powell - DB/FS - Ohio State - Powell has the size and athletic ability most teams covet at FS but was not as strong versus the run.  Powell needs to work on his instinct and play-reading ability at the next level.  Powell is quick enough to play nickle DB.  Despite not being the best player on a very good defense, Powell made some crucial plays when it mattered most and you just can not teach "clutch".  Coach Gruden recently spoke about the lack of depth at Safety.  Powell could really benefit from some position coaching from Perry Fewell, as well.  If available at pick 159, the Redskins would be silly to let his pass by.  Powell is my favorite for pick 159.

Shawn Oakman - DE - Baylor - Physically, Oakman has amazing gifts... 6'9", 287 lbs, runs a 4.84 40yd dash...there is not many players with his build and athletic ability.  Problem with Oakman is that he is an underachiever, who never really seem to be near as dominate as his physique would suggest.  That said, he did make plays and could be hoarding a wealth of potential.  Oakman is raw and may just need some great coaching to tap into his gifts.  He needs to build up some lower body strength to have longevity in the NFL, but no one can question his upper-body and hand strength.  I find it hard to believe McCloughan would pass up on a chance to acquire such a massive prospect if he is still available in the 5th round.

Kelvin Taylor - RB - Florida - No doubt, the Redskins are aware of Matt Jones former teammate, Kelvin Taylor.  Taylor also happens to the be son of Fred Taylor, former NFL running back.  Taylor did not shine at the NFL Combine and even had a worse 40 time at his pro-day (the only reason he could still be on the board in the 5th round).  Taylor, though, is a guy I feel like looks faster on the field and may just be faster with pads on than some running backs.  Taylor does a good job of squeaking out extra yards using his footwork and angles.  Smart, durable, rugged, football lineage...all football guy stuff.

Paul McRoberts - WR - Southeast Missouri State - McRoberts is a tall (6'3") receiver adequate speed who uses his size, reach, and wingspan well, many times, catching the ball at a high point.  Big hand, long arms, and basketball background is evident when he boxes out DB's but could do a better job of getting back to the ball.  McRoberts is not a very fast guy but has sure hands.  Honestly, I feel like the Lions will nab him in the 4th round, but if still available in the 5th round, McRoberts could end up on the top of the Redskins board...and we could use a WR size and range.

D. J. Reader - DT - Clemson - Reader is a big, squatty, and strong defensive tackle.  Rated as more of a rotational player, mainly against the the run, Reader could develop into a good 2-gap lineman and maybe even a strong, true nose tackle in the future.  Most scouts seem to think he has been distracted the past few years, since his father's passing....and I can only imagine how hard that was for him.  As the chance having a solid NFL career makes it's calling, my guess is the Reader finds focus and improves to take full advantage of his opportunity.  The Redskins need to find a long-term, developmental solution to the interior of their defensive line and Reader may just be that guy.

6 - #188

Wendall Smallwood - RB - West Virginia - Smallwood has proven to be a very dynamic player for West Virginia.  He is quick, strong, and does a great job of getting those extra yards.  Smallwood is a smart runner and diagnoses his lanes and cuts very well, which helped him become the Big 12's leading rusher in 2015.  Smallwood also catches the ball well, out of the backfield, and has held his own when asked to block.  Smallwood uses his blocking well but is not known for breaking many tackles.  Smallwood needs to get stronger at the pro level, especially in the lower body if he wants to hold up through an NFL season.  After some off-field issues, his stock took a hit, but with that clear now, NFL teams are taking flyers.  This draft is full of talent at RB, and for that reason, I could see Smallwood on the board at pick 188, and if so, would likely be the top of the Redskins board.  The Redskins need another talented back in the stable...if there at 188, the Redskins should take him.  Smallwood is my favorite for pick 188.

Pearce Slater - OT - San Diego State - Slater is a giant...6'7", 333 lbs on a massive frame.  Slater was a JUCO transfer to San Diego State, so he only played two years in the Moutain West division, and despite not being a highly-sought prospect, earned first-team all-conference honors.  Slater uses is long arms well and is rather nimble, for such a large guy.  Slater could really struggle against speed rushers at the next level, but if given time to develop his technique, could be a towering addition to the depth of any NFL offensive line.  He could go undrafted...he could go in the middle rounds...it all depends on what scouts think, but knowing McCloughan likes physical guys, he could temp the Redskins calling his name at pick 188.

Denver Kirkland - OG - Arkansas - Kirkland was a huge part of a pretty successful running game at Arkansas.  Kirkland is a big, powerful run blocker, who moves into the second level well.  Slater is known for playing through injury and showing a lot of heart.  Considered more of a guard prospect at the NFL level, Kirkland has experience at tackle as well.  Kirkland has struggled with his technique and his weight have concerned some scouts, as well, so he will likely still be on the board in the later rounds.  The Redskins have to improve in the running game if they expect to continue to compete in the NFC East and Kirkland could certainly develop into a guy who could help.

Jake Rudock - QB - Michigan -Rudock ran a pro-style offense under Jim Harbaugh and showed improved with every game under center.  Not a amazing arm talent, but has proven to be accurate and consistent.  Rudock is more of a touch/timing passer.  He needs to work on making quicker reads and getting more comfortable in the pocket and, for that reason, will likely slide to the later rounds.  I think Rudock is a great developmental QB prospect and if available in the 6th round, could be attractive to any team needing QB depth.  The Redskins have a starter in Cousins and a back-up in McCoy, but still would like a QB to groom and develop and Rudock may just be that guy.

7 - #233 #243

Jeff Driskel - QB - Louisiana Tech - Driskel was highly recruited out of high school, but has struggled to improve at his craft much at the college level.  He did fair better after he transferred to Louisiana Tech from Florida.  Driskel has a strong arm, good footwork, and decent short and intermediate accuracy but does not throw a great deep ball.  Driskel does have a quick release with pop.  Driskel's slow development is likely the only reason he may slide to the 7th round.  The Redskins, in need for a developmental QB, may just pull the trigger on this signal-caller.  The Redskins have the coaching in place and the time needed to develop Driskel's talent.  Driskel is my favorite for pick 233.

Matt Skura - C - Duke - Skura is a 4 year starter from Duke who has always show poise, leadership, and good work ethics.  What he might lack in pure power, he makes up for in technique and preparation.  Though he is known as more of a finesse blocker, Skura does not shy away from the weight room and has never had any conditioning issues.  The Redskins need to add a true center to develop and stabilize the middle of their offensive line.  Skura may need some time to acclimate and adjust to the talent level in the NFL but has the instincts of a solid NFL center prospect.  If available at pick 243, the Redskins should look his way.  Skura is my favorite at pick 243.

Peyton Barber - RB - Auburn - Barber is a thick, powerful back who has seem relatively light action in College football, despite getting a load of carriers in 2015 (238 to be exact).  Barber gets in and out of cuts with fluidity and show above average agility despite being more of a down-hill runner.  If anything, he might move around too much at times.  Barber does a decent job in pass protection, when needed.  He would have benefited from another year of college ball but decided to come out for the draft early due to his family's poor financial situation.  He is raw runner with low mileage.  Barber has an above average football IQ despite having suffering from some learning disabilities.  Besides reminding scouts of Marion Barber, he is actually related to him as well (2nd cousins).  He will have to prove he can contribute on special teams and on 3rd downs, both areas the Redskins will need help with...so if available at #233 (and if the Redskins have not already addressed RB in the draft) Barber would be a sound investment for a 7th round pick.

Josh Forrest - ILB - Kentucky - Forrest is not the fastest ILB in the draft, or the most talented, but has proven to be a very productive player for Kentucky, who used him all over the field (even taking the occasional rep at safety).  Forrest is a lanky, tall, thick prospect with good instincts.  Looks the part of a potentially good edge-rusher but is more of a WILL linebacker or gap-blitzer.  Forrest has fared will in match-ups versus tight ends and that makes him very valuable to NFL scouts.  He improved his 40 time during is pro-day, so I doubt he lasts until the 7th round, but if still available, the Redskins may not be able to resist.

Steven Scheu - TE - Vanderbilt - Scheu was a productive recieving tight end at Vanderbilt, but lacks the size, strength, and blocking skills be a contributing starter in the NFL.  Still, his receiving ability and knack for making plays may make him attractive enough to take a chance on near the end of the draft.  He is tall, with a wide wing-span and can pick a ball out of the air.  Scheu isn't very fast or run great routes, but as far as a developmental tight end, he does have some the qualities Gruden and McCloughan look for.  The Redskins might target this guy (or another tight end), either after the draft or right here in the 7th round.

Dean Lowry - DE - Northwestern - Lowry plays hard every snap....I say that first, because it is his best quality.  Lowry under produced overall at Northwestern, but did have flashes of strong play.  Though developing slowly, he is likely coming of his best play yet and may much more competitive then his film shows at the next level.  Lowry could be viewed by some scouts as more of a 4-3 DT instead of the 3-4 DE.  Lowry is physically impressive guy... 6'6" and 296lbs.  Lowry uses his size and strength well.  Coaching on technique could help him take the next step at the NFL level, but, if nothing else, could be a great depth role-player for the Redskins defensive line rotation.


Decent talent runs deep in this years draft, which will have an effect on who teams draft...what I mean by that is, there could be a highly rated player who slides that sways teams that draft by a "best on the board" style to draft almost illogically (based on need)...which all makes this draft very, very hard to read.  A number of decent JUCO prospects might create some surprises as well.  Some of the best players, prior to the 2015 college season, are injured and where they land adds some very interesting situations to watch.  I love this stuff...maybe too much.

It should be a great draft for the Washington Redskins and many other teams.


My Draft Projections:
1st Round - Pick#21 - A'Shawn Robinson, DT Alabama
2nd Round - Pick#53 - Jeremy Cash, SS Duke
3rd Round - Pick#84 - Morgan Burns, DB Kansas State
4th Round - Pick#121 - Tyler Matakevick, ILB Temple
5th Round - Pick#159 - Tyvis Powell - DB/FS Ohio State
6th Round - Pick#188 - Wendell Smallwood - RB West Virginia
7th Round - Pick#233 - Jeff Driskel, QB Louisiana Tech
7th Round - Pick#243 - Matt Skura, C Duke

You may notice one position of need I did not directly address in my draft projections...defensive end.  Though this is a deep draft for most positions, it has a lot of "hit-or-miss" prospects that could play a 3-4 defensive end at the NFL level, meaning, it could be more of focus for after the draft from the undrafted free-agents left available.  I just do not see any time where a 3-4 defensive end is sitting on top of the Redskins board unless one of the first round guys slides...even still, not sure they pull the trigger early on a defensive end.  This years starter could very well already be on the team.  Either way, I hope the focus is more about the best player available then drafting for need.




Hail to the Redskins!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ultimate Redskins Draft Primer Part 1 - Rounds 1,2,3



Whether it is a reflection of better player development at the College level or just good scouting, teams have been able to find depth and talent well into the 7th round of the draft.  In the past few years, even our Redskins have found starting talent in the later rounds.  This years draft may lack elite top-end talent at some positions, but has depth well into the later rounds, making this a great draft for find late-round "tweeners", role players, and developmental talent.



Let's take a look at some prospects that could be on the Redskins radar.


1 - Pick# 21

Most experts feel like the Redskins are likely to go Defense with there 1st round selection, though, McCloughan has stated publicly many times that they do not draft for need and will most likely take the top player on their board.  I feel like there will be players there that fit that criteria while also filling a need, so I think it will be a Defensive pick.

A'Shawn Robinson - DT - Alabama - Robinson could be the top player on the Redskins board at pick #21, and if so, is just the kind of player you want when you have a need for a dominating interior lineman.  Robinson also has a huge upside, as in he is only 20 years old, despite having the frame and leadership qualities of a seasoned NFL defensive lineman.  He could step right in and improve the Redskins run defense and could even prove to be a disruptive force in Coach Barry's 3-4 defense.  Robinson is exactly what the Redskins need on the interior of their defensive line.  Robinson is my favorite for pick 21.

Eli Apple - DB - Ohio State - Apple is a rangy, tall, aggressive cover corner who uses his size and speed well.  Regarded as one of the top DBs in this years draft, Apple was one of the best players on one of the best defenses college football has ever seen (w/potentially 8 guys NFL bound).  Apple could win the starting spot, opposite Breeland.  Look at what coach Fewell did with undrafted free agent wide receiver last year in Quinton Dunbar.  If available at pick 21 (which is looking like a longshot, at this point), he could also be the top of the Redskins draft board.

Andrew Billings - DT - Baylor - Billings may not have the ideal skill-set and frame to be a instant 2-gap run-stuffer in the Redskins defense, he has proved to be quite a disruptive force in college football.  Billings is very strong with great burst.  Billings is fast for a big guy, running a sub 5 second 40.  He could be groomed to be the center piece of the Redskins defensive line.  At 20 years old, you have time to coach up and develop Billings, but until then, would be a great chess piece in Coach Barry's DL rotation.

Robert Nkemdiche, DT - Ole Miss - Nkemdiche (Kim-Dee-Chee) has top 10 talent but has some issues off the field as well as some work-ethic questions, but there is not a more talented potential 3-4 DE or DT.  If he shows maturity, stays out of trouble and is properly motivated, he has all the skills to become an impact player in the NFL.  Off the field mistakes are the only reason he could be available at pick 21 and unless the Redskins are sold on another DL, Nkemdiche may be who they roll the dice on.  The Redskins have depth to develop this guy and not overwhelm him with pressure, but even being a reserve player is not easy for a rookie with personal issues.

Both fans and the Redskins front office would love if Myles Jack, Kendall Fuller, or Reggie Ragland were still there at pick 21, but I seriously doubt they will be.  The Redskins could opt to trade back a few picks and select Jeremy Cash (SS, Duke) but my guess is that they wait and find him still on the board in the second round.


2 - #53

As I mentioned before, this is a deep draft that will likely yield potential starters well into the later rounds.  Any of these following players could find starting roles with the Redskins.

Jeremy Cash - SS - Duke - Cash is maybe the best defensive prospect to ever come out of Duke.  Some experts even think he could go in the 1st round (and maybe even to the Redskins there), but I think Vonn Bell will be the first SS taken and, despite his talent, I expect Cash to slide to the late 2nd round, and if so, there is no way "on God's green earth" that McCloughan passes on him.  Cash is a big, physical DB.  Much like Kyshoen Jarrett, Cash can line up as a Nickle DB or SS, close to the line of scrimage, or drop back in coverage...he does either very well, but excels versus the run.  Proven, solid tackler with good speed, range and size.  He was highly recruited out of high school by Ohio State, starting as a true freshman, but later transferred to Duke.  Cash could prove to to be a day 1 starter for the Redskins, especially in sub-package formations, and give them some much needed insurance in the secondary.  I would rush out and buy this guys jersey right away if the Redskins draft him...he is seriously a great fit for our defense.  Cash is my favorite for pick 53.

Tyler Boyd - WR - Pitt - Boyd was the most prolific pass catcher in school history at Pitt despite some sketchy play at QB.  Boyd is an ideal possession WR.  Boyd attacks the ball and has very strong hands.  Though Boyd we be part of a crowded and talented WR corp in Washington, Boyd could be an upgrade at #3 WR and could be groomed as a replacement for Garcon in the future.  Boyd also has extensive return experience and though he is not an elite return guy, his skills are good enough to compete for snaps on Special Teams, as well, something Washington has focused on since McCloughan took the wheel.  It is possible that Boyd slide beyond the 2nd round, and if so, would be an absolute steal in the 3rd round.  My money is on him finding a suitor before the end of the 2nd round and it just might be the Redskins.

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE - Oklahoma State - Ogbah is raw talent wise but looks the part of an NFL lineman already.  Sturdy, thick frame and powerful at the point of attack, Ogbah proved to be quite a disruptive force for Oklahoma State.  Ogbah would likely be used all over the Redskins DL in sub packages, playing DE, OLB, and DT.  Beyond what can be seen on the field, off the field Ogbah is a known for his work ethic in the gym and loves studying his craft.  Despite having a lot to learn about the game, Ogbah has been successful when given snaps and that should translate to the NFL.

Nick Martin - C - Notre Dame - Brother of Cowboys G Zack Marin, Nick Martin is just about as talented as a OL prospect.  Arguably the best true Center in the draft, but can slide to Guard with ease, as well.  Martin is smart, with great leadership skills and loves the game...three attributes McC values as much as physical talent.  Martin could step and fill a gaping hole at Center for the Redskins.  Martin will likely be a day one starter, no matter who drafts him...I just hope it is the Redskins.

Xavien Howard - DB - Baylor - The Redskins are expected to draft a DB, and though I suspect they will focus on this later in the draft, if they decide to pop early on a DB, Howard to be a target.  Howard is a two-year starter at DB but proved to be a solid performer for Baylor.  His limited snaps could mean he still have a lot of room to grow.  Coach Fewell could scult Howard into the perfect compliment opposite Breeland.  Howard needs to work on footwork, technique, and playing penalty-free, but has all the tools to develop into a staring corner in this league.

One could argue that the Redskins could go with a QB in the second round, if the right one is there.  The Redskins would like some kind of insurance at QB and a prospect to groom just in case a long-term agreement isn't met with Kirk Cousins.  The McCoy deal also has some wording that makes it conceivable to cut him next year or the following year if the acquisition of a developmental QB is possible.  If Paxton Lynch or Jared Goff slides, it will be hard for the Redskins brass to pass, but they will not reach for a QB because I am sure the hope is resigning and continuing to develop Cousins.


3 - #84

McCloughan loves good tough football players, despite what they do in the combine.  He has also never been scared to take a player in rehab from big injury, so you may see him target a guy just like that...someone with 1st round talent at a 3rd round price.

Morgan Burns - DB/Return Specialist - Kansas State - Burns may be the best return guy in this years draft.  He may also be the fastest guy in the draft (on film, at least) and ran a 4.38 40yd dash at his Pro-Day.  His background in Track and Field has served him well, but he has more than just straight-line speed.  Burns can be shifty and that helped he become the All Time leading return guy in Kansas State school history.  He can make an instant impact in the Redskins return game and compete for 4/5th DB as well.  Burns is my favorite for pick 84.

Karl Joseph - SS - West Virginia - Joseph may not be the fastest guy, or the biggest guy, but there is not a tougher secondary prospect in this years draft.  Joseph is a hard-hitting safety, solid tackler, and even has decent ball skills, racking up 5 interceptions in the 4 games he played this past year.  Joseph could have went 2nd or 3rd round of the 2015 draft but came back to the Mountaineers to play his senior year only to suffer a season ending knee injury.  Despite still being in recovery from that injury, Joseph has the kind of character and toughness that all real football guys covet.

Jaylon Smith - OLB - Notre Dame - Smith was the best defensive player in the draft but tore his ACL and MCL in the last game of his college career.  Smith is the quintessential hybrid OLB/ILB with all the size, speed, and tackling skills you could want.  He was clearly a top 5 pick prior to his injury.  Some scouts even still have him being selected in the 1st round, despite likely not being able to play a snap his rookie year.  For that reason, I expect he slides but whoever gets him will be essentially getting an extra top 5 pick next year.  I could see McCloughan and the Redskins having the depth and patience to draft Smith despite his inability to contribute right away...and I doubt they would be able to resist doing just that if Smith is still on the board by pick 84.

Nick Vigil - ILB - Utah St - Vigil has proven to be a very productive ILB, playing smart football, taking good lines, and making solid tackles.  This guy just made play after play for Utah State, and the numbers support just that (5th in the nation in Tackles, with 140 - 12.5 for a loss).  Vigil gets to the ball fast and seldom misses on an opportunity.  He will need to put on a few pounds of muscle and get stronger at the NFL level, but could be a good special teams contributor right away.  If the Redskins are still looking to shore up the middle of that LB corp in the 3rd round, Vigil might be their target.

Landon Turner - OG - North Carolina - The Redskins rushing game took a step back last year and most of the blame fell on the interior of the offensive line, especially at LG.  Turner is a true road-grader.  Turner is strong, with thick foundation and lower body.  Turner absolutely dominated most of the match-ups he faced at North Carolina and clearly stands out on film as their best lineman.  Tuner destroyed defenses lineman in the run game with intense power.  He may struggle against quicker, shifty pass-rushers, he is a dominating run blocker and that, alone, could give him the edge to compete for a starting role with the Redskins, especially if they are ready to move on from Lauvao.


The Redskins will not directly reach for need, but they are not going to just draft the top of the board with every pick, but these first three rounds, they might.  After the success of last years draft, I can say that I truly trust our team leadership to find a little piece of our future every year.  This years draft has plenty of talent, but the trick is finding the "right talent" for our team to develop.  After losing to clear team leaders this off-season, leadership will likely be a deciding factor the hierarchy of the Redskins draft board.

My Draft Predictions:
1st Round (pick #21) - A'Shawn Robinson, DT - Alabama
2nd Round (pick #53) - Jeremy Cash, SS/DB - Duke
3rd Round (pick #84) - Morgan Burns DB/Return Specialist - Kansas State

Please stay tuned for Part 2 - Rounds 4, 5, 6, and 7


Hail to the Redskins!