With all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Redskins first round pick, I decided to take a step back and chat with SB Nation's draft expert, Dan Kadar, of Mocking The Draft. We talk about the highly debated drafting "need" vs "best player available" in the Redskins current situation and if there are any likely candidates for the Redskins to trade back.
Hogs Haven: Is Okung or Anthony Davis worth #4 money?
Dan Kadar: I think Okung can be. He might not be Jake Long or Joe Thomas, but he's very good. He's more of a prototypical left tackle than Davis, who played guard for a year at Rutgers. Okung is more developed at this point and Davis is somewhat raw.
Hogs Haven: Historically there are 2 busts every year in the top 6 picks...looking at the top 6 picks this year in everyone's mock drafts, they all seem like franchise players. Who's the bust?
Dan Kadar: Let's go by my latest mock, so we can qualify those top six a little bit. That would be Sam Bradford, Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Okung, Eric Berry and Jimmy Clausen. Keep in mind, though that those are not my top six ranked players overall. Suh and Berry seem like the surest things in this draft, so I definitely wouldn't say them.
This is actually pretty difficult because if I could predict busts, I wouldn't have them going that high. But, if you held a knife to my throat, I'd guess the bust will be Jimmy Clausen. Sorry Notre Dame fans. I had to choose one.
Hogs Haven: In regards to the Redskins, what is your philosophy on drafting for need vs the best player available? Given the obvious need on the O-line, do you take Okung over Berry, Bradford, and/or one of the top DT prospects?
Dan Kadar: Typically my philosophy about need versus BPA is that playoff-caliber teams should fill needs and non-playoff teams should go best player. Obviously there are some reasons to not do that - Detroit or Tampa Bay wouldn't take Bradford or Clausen, for example. As for Washington, offensive line just seems like a dire need. And Okung would be close to the best player available, so that makes sense. It's a toss-up if Berry will be there and almost assuredly the top defensive tackles won't be. And I've never been a big believer that the Redskins are just going to give up on Jason Campbell. But we'll really start to hear more about Washington might do starting next week at the Scouting Combine.
Hogs Haven: If the Redskins had the #1 pick what would you do?
Dan Kadar: Trade it! But seriously, it would be pretty hard to pass up on Suh.
Hogs Haven:One thing Skins fans would like to see is the Redskins trade down. Do you see any likely trading partners for the Redskins in the first round?
Dan Kadar: Sadly, probably not. The Redskins are in a tough spot. The biggest hurdle is the money issue. Not many teams will want to move up and pay that huge guaranteed contract. But if a team were to move up, it would be to leapfrog Kansas City. Odds sure seem like the Chiefs will take either Rolando McClain or Eric Berry. While I really like both, I don't see a lot of teams trading up for a linebacker or safety.
I would like to think the Patriots are trade candidates with their 2 first round picks, but the Pats are much smarter than that. I guess Oakland could be the dark horse to do something stupid since they need a QB. Either way, looks like Skins will be picking 4. Mel Kiper recently made the point:
"Would you rather have Anthony Davis (Rutgers) or Russell Okung (Oklahoma State) at four," Kiper said of the draft's top offensive linemen, "and then Colt McCoy (Texas) or Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan) in the second round? Or would you rather have Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford at four, and then maybe a Bruce Campbell, the offensive tackle out of Maryland, or even a Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) if he fell down there? We've seen it happen before where tackles have dropped at times into the second round.
I don't know about you but I don't ever want the word "hope" in my draft strategy. As Ken and I were discussing this last night, he brought up a great rebuttal: "Here's an ingenious idea, Mel, draft Offensive Linemen in BOTH rounds."