My Christmas present to you is an early peek at my first mock draft of the season. This is a three round mock, that ties need vs value, and provides our Redskins with some valuable pieces to build around for the future.
In this scenario, I am assuming we are picking somewhere between 5-7. There are no trades here, although given the early projections of this draft I would love to trade back.
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
Round 1: Landon Collins S Alabama - There were a couple options here. Do you take the best offensive lineman available, reach for a defensive tackle, or take stud at a position of great need? I went for the stud. Collins can walk into camp and immediately claim a starting spot at safety. I listed him as a safety, without a strong or free designation, because I believe he can play either position in the NFL. Collins has corner-like skills, in a linebacker-type body. He has very fluid hips, great anticipation and instincts, and phenomenal tackling ability. Defensive coaches today covet players who can drop into the box to help play the run, flex out over the Y tight ends and even slot receivers, and also drop back into a single high look. Collins can do all of this, and he can do it well. In my opinion, he is a far better prospect that former Alabama safety and first round pick HaHa Clinton-Dix, and could be the best safety prospect to come out of the SEC in a decade.
Round 2: Cameron Erving C FSU - I have absolutely fallen in love with the versatility I have seen from watching film of Cameron Erving. This kid was a good offensive tackle last season, but I believe he is an even better center in just his first collegiate start at the position this season. Erving has great feet, awareness and finishing ability. He's just as accomplished as a pass blocker as he is in the run game, and he displays great understanding of proper body position, angles and hand placement, all of which make him a candidate to play any position on the offensive line, and play it well. I expect him to rise during the draft process due to this tremendous versatility, so getting him at the beginning of the second round may be a bit tricky, but he is the type of prospect I'd consider in a trade-back situation, or even someone I would move back into the later part of the first round to draft.
Round 3: Ben Koyack TE ND - I was looking for a defensive tackle here but possible scheme-specific limitations left some uncertainty. I really want the Redskins to go back to a 4-3 front, and if they did so, there are some nice prospects who could be around early in the third round. Koyack, however, possesses good size, excellent blocking skills, and the ability to gain separation from both linebackers and safeties, and represents great value vs need in the third round. He's not your typical hybrid Y tight end that many teams are now coveting, rather possessing a more well-rounded game. Honestly, he has a little bit of "throwback" in him, and that is what I really like. Either in-line or flexed, he can be very a very effective contributor.