The annual Mocking the Draft SBN Mock draft went down this past weekend at MusicCityMiracles, and I was tapped to be the GM. Assisting me this year were skinzaholic56 and my co-GM for the last few years ENsDad27.
I went in with the intention of trading down to acquire some extra picks. Players always drop in these mocks, and late round picks usually result in a player that should have gone higher. I had a pre-draft offer from the Vikings to trade our 2nd and 7th round picks for their 2nd and 4th round picks. This trade wouldn't have resulted in an extra pick, but it would have converted a 7th round pick into a 4th round pick for dropping 6 spots in the 2nd. The deal fell through when the Vikings traded with the Patriots to get back into the 1st round instead. Another deal with the Jets was on the table, but it would have dropped me to the middle of the 2nd to pick up a 5th round pick.
The Washington Redskins 2014 Draft Class:
2nd Round: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cyrus Kouandjio has been the pick for the Redskins in the last two live mock drafts that I was a part of so I wanted to change it up for this mock. My target was Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA who should be a lock in the 1st round this year. The 2nd Round came, and I had his name typed out to select him, but the Texans stole him with the last pick before mine. Kouandjio is still an excellent pick here, but this was the start of a bad trend in this mock.
The need for a RT and Offensive Linemen in general makes this a high need and good value at the top of the 2nd. Kouandjio's knee has been been checked, and rechecked by multiple doctors, and concerns about his long term health have been removed. CK will turn 21 this year, and will be the bookend tackle the Redskins need to rebuild their Offensive Line, and protect Robert Griffin III.
Next 3 Picks: Morgan Moses(OT), Gabe Jackson(OG), Jeremiah Attaochu(OLB)
3rd Round: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Another potential trade was on the table in this round. The Bills were willing to trade their 3rd, 5th, and 7th round picks to drop 9 spots from 66 to 75 if their guy was there. This deal also fell through when the Bills backed out before I was on the clock. My target going into the 3rd round was DaQuan Jones, DT, PSU. For the second round in a row, the Texans picked the player that I had typed up. I'm starting to see a pattern here.
My backup pick was Pierre Desir, who has a 2nd-3rd round grade and should be off the board at this point in the real draft this weekend. The Redskins re-signed DeAngelo Hall for 4 years, and signed Tracy Porter for 2 years, but both of them could be replaced in the next two years. David Amerson showed promise, but still has to improve this year as he becomes the #2 CB on the team. Desir is a tall, long CB who will pair up nicely with Amerson in the future. He would benefit from learning for a year and cleaning up some of his technique, but could step in early if needed.
Next 3 Picks: Garrett Gilbert(QB), Terrence Brooks(FS), David Yankey(OG)
4th Round: Billy Turner, OG, North Dakota State
When the 4th Round started, I had two players in mind for the Skins pick, and a trade down to pick up an extra 6th round pick fall through. Billy Turner and Justin Ellis were both high on my list, and I went to my assistant GMs for help with the decision. One voted for Ellis, and one voted for Turner, so I made the deciding vote. Billy Turner is projected by some as an Offensive Tackle, but we felt he would be a monster at OG for the Redskins. We also fully expected Turner to be gone shortly after this pick if we didn't take him. Ellis is someone who has a wider range of opinions about his value. Turner was the clear BPA here for us, and improving the Offensive Line was a big part of our draft strategy this year.
Next 3 picks: Dakota Dozier(OG), Dion Bailey(FS), Colt Lyerla(TE)
5th Round: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech
More trade talks before the 5th Round that eventually turned into nothing. The Bengals were offering their 6th Round pick to drop down 24 spots in the 5th, but they did another trade that killed the deal. The fact that Justin Ellis was still available was another reason the deal didn't happen. We liked Ellis in the 4th, but were really happy that he was available in the 5th. Caraun Reid was our Plan B, but he was taken 6 picks before we were up. We also knew the Texans wouldn't be taking Ellis after taking Jones in the 3rd.
Ellis will be a part of the DL rotation early, and compete for the backup NT spot with Chris Neild and others. The DL needs attention, and young replacements. Injuries, age, and bloated contracts are adding up, and you need to constantly restock your front 7 to be a successful defense in the NFL.
Next 3 picks: Ahmad Dixon(S), Marion Grice(RB), Ed Stinson(DL)
6th Round: James Gayle, OLB, Virginia Tech
The draft started to wind down by the 6th Round. The Commissioner had to step away, and a replacement was named to finish all 7 rounds on Sunday. Trades were also suspended in the later rounds to save time, which means no extra picks in this draft.
Both of my assistants were looking at safeties in the 6th round. Skinzaholic56 wanted Dontae Johnson, and ENsDad27 was pushing for Dezmen Southward. Johnson got taken 7 picks before we were up. James Gayle was someone that I had as a 4th-5th round guy who was still sitting there. Rob Jackson is back on a 1 year deal, and Brandon Jenkins is still developing. We all know the Brian Orakpo situation, so drafting Gayle here gives you someone to develop for a possible backup role at OLB. If Orakpo leaves next year, you can look to FA or early in the draft for his replacement, and still have cheap young depth going into the year.
Next 3 picks: Crockett Gillmore(TE), Aaron Lynch(DE/OLB), Nevin Lawson(CB)
7th Round: Bryan Stork, C, FSU
Remember the theme from the 2nd and 3rd Round? It happened again in the 7th. DeAndre Coleman(DE) was someone that I probably should have considered more in the 6th, and I was surprised to see dropping to the 7th. But the
Texans Vikings had the same idea, and selected him one spot before our pick. This was worse than the first two thefts, because I didn't have a clear backup in mind. But luckily Mike Mayock's 4th rated Center was still on the board, so Bryan Stork was our final pick in this draft.
The top two Centers in this draft were gone by the 2nd round and Travis Swanson was gone in the 3rd, but Stork was somehow available in the 7th. His draft stock has dropped on some boards, but he is definitely worth a 7th round pick. I didn't plan on drafting another OL here, but as Editor-in-Chief Ken Meringolo always says, why draft one OL when you can draft 3.
Stork will come in and compete with Kory Lichtensteiger and Mike McGlynn for playing time at Center. The Skins failed to find a starting Center in free agency, after cutting Will "Mr High Snapper" Montgomery. The thought of Kory Lichtensteiger as the starting Center this year has already caused a spike in alcohol sales in Redskins Nation. Stork's experience snapping in shotgun could give him an advantage. It's hard to find the 4th best anything in the 7th Round, and this could turn out to be a major steal this late.
Next 3 picks: L'Damian Washington(WR), Josh Mauro(DE), TJ Jones
Every year the GMs who stick around until the end of the draft are allowed to list 5 UDFAs they want in a free for all where whoever names the player first gets them. This year, the GMs were still allowed to list 5 GMs, but it was more of a priority UDFA list, where overlapping names were allowed. I tried to grab the best players left at some of the positions I wasn't able to address during the draft.
Brock Coyle, ILB, Montana: (CBS Projection: 4th-5th Round)
Coyle made an immediate impact at Montana, registering 30 tackles in 14 games as a true freshman. He saw action in 14 more games as a reserve in 2011 before taking over a starting role as a junior and leading the team with 107 tackles to earn honorable mention all-conference honors. Coyle led the Grizzlies with 125 tackles in 2013 while serving as the team's co-captain. His average of 9.6 tackles per game ranked among the nation's best, and he averaged 0.33 forced fumbles per game while earning second-team All-Big Sky honors.While Coyle didn't score an invite to the scouting combine, he did enjoy a solid pro day on March 18, posting a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, a 37-inch vertical, a 9'7" broad jump, 4.28-second 20-yard shuttle and a 6.74-second 3-cone drill while benching 225 pounds 25 times.Highly productive defender who displayed good athleticism and speed at his pro day. The big question being, is there a spot in the NFL for a "small school" prospect who plays inside linebacker - one of the more devalued positions in the league currently.
Jake Murphy, TE, Utah: (CBS Projection: 5th-6th Round)
COMPARES TO: Dennis Pitta, Ravens - Just as Pitta was when leaving BYU, Murphy has been overlooked a bit from a national perspective, but his soft hands and sharp route-running could help him emerge as a reliable security blanket in the NFL.
Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina: (CBS Projection: 6th-7th)
STRENGTHS: Adequate body type with room to get stronger. Not a burner, but shows good acceleration and long strides to build up speed in his routes. Very good focus and hand/eye coordination to catch everything in his area with his hands. Flexible and balanced with the body control to make smooth adjustments on erratic throws. Proper patience and decisiveness in his routes to deceive defenders and create room to work. Sinks his hips and drives out of his breaks with natural footwork. Stays light on his feet as a ballcarrier and in his patterns. Works hard after the catch and won't concede yards. Experience lining up inside and outside, running a full route tree in college. Level-headed and works hard to improve. Durable with 39 career starts on his resume. Improved production each season and broke many of Jerome Simpson's school records, including single-season catches (70) and career catches (183).
Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky: (CBS Projection: 7th-FA)
STRENGTHS: Possesses a legitimate NFL frame and due to a surprisingly smooth upper body, still has the potential for additional 5-10 pounds of sculpting. Good vision and patience as a runner, considering his past at quarterback. Presses the hole when it is there but shows an impressive shoulder-dip and slide hesitation move to freeze defenders before cutting laterally. Deceptive burst and accelerates to top speed quickly to throw off defenders' angles. Accelerates into would-be tacklers head on, lowering his shoulder and using his free hand to ward them off with a strong stiff-arm. Above average balance, especially for a big back. Can absorb a shot to his upper or lower body (especially straight-on) and while he may be knocked back for a split-second, often is able to gather himself and push forward for additional yardage, breaking free, on occasion. Good awareness as a receiver. Recognize when his quarterback is in trouble and will either continue or shorten his route as necessary to provide an outlet option.Reliable hands as a kick returner and shows good vision to set up his blocks.
Lonnie Ballentine, FS, Memphis: (CBS Projection: 6th-7th)
Exceptional size(6'3", 219lbs), length and closing speed. Can get over the top and leverage the field. Plays with emotion. Superb pro day workout, posting some sub-4.4-second 40 times and a 38-inch vertical jump. Flashes straight-line striking ability when he has a clean angle.
Pat O’Donnell, P, Miami:
STRENGTHS: Built like a tight end with good bulk packed on his frame. Terrific athlete as a former soccer star with gliding speed to cover a large area with the willingness to finish tackles on special teams coverage. Devoted to his craft and prepares like a pro. Long, swift leg motions to generate power from his movements to boom the ball off his foot. Handled kickoff duties at Cincinnati and Miami. Was an All-Conference player each of the last three seasons. Good experience kicking in all types of weather.