We're coming up to Mike Shanahan's second draft with the Redskins, and most of us are waiting with bated breath to see if he can set our franchise in the right direction. Is it just me, or is Vinny Cerrato basically our Dick Cheney? Back to Shanahan: he had some very impressive drafts right before leaving Denver, but the jury is still out on last year's picks (not counting McNabb, Jarmon, or Brown - I mean college player evaluation). Trent Williams is the obvious bright spot, playing most of the season against elite level rushers. He had flashes of awesomeness, but also showed his freshness at times. Regardless, most fans would agree that he is a quality addition to our team.
But he hasn't always been the fan favorite. If you remember a little over a year ago, he wasn't "projected" to go #4 in the draft to the Redskins. He was widely believed to be the 2nd best tackle after Russell Okung. Hogs Haven was littered with mock drafts and prayer letters for Shanahan to draft Russell Okung and save our decade-long lineman drought.
One man didn't see the title "Top Rated" as an end-all in draft evaluation. If you don't know him, Mike Mayock is the only analyst you should consider listening to about draft evaluations. He rated Okung higher than Williams, but emphasized that Williams was a close second. He even went so far as to say that Washington, if given the chance, would likely take Williams over Okung, because of his potential in Mike Shanahan's unique zone-blocking scheme. Fans and bloggers heard Mayock said this, but most were still shocked when Washington took the tackle at #4 (partly because we forgot what drafting a lineman in the 1st felt like).
Well Mike Mayock has another message for Mike Shanahan: draft Jake Locker with the #10 overall pick. He fits your unique scheme. He will watch more film than anybody. Elway agrees with his own subtle hints. Maybe last year was a coincidence, and Shanahan took no stock in what Mayock had to say. Chances are, they are just two very intelligent people who came to the same deduction on player evaluation. But regardless of whether Mike Shanahan is listening, Mike Mayock is definitely sending out the message. Hard. Listen to what he has to say about the QB draft prospects in this new NFL.com video. He is more open and honest than I normally hear analysts, especially saying an almost outright "no" to Cam Newton. For Redskins though, the message comes through loud and clear. Watch from 2:00 on - Dear Mike Shanahan, draft Jake Locker at #10.