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2015 NFL Mock Draft: To Hit Their QB or Protect Ours?

The majority of current mock drafts have the Redskins picking someone to get to their QB or protect ours.

Eric Francis/Getty Images

Another week and the Redskins still don't have a new defensive coordinator, but they did make it official with new GM Scot McCloughan.  A new GM means a new draft philosophy, and one that is more in line with winning franchises.  McCloughan believes in drafting the best players available and building the team with talent while loading it up with depth.  He doesn't believe in relying on older, injury-prone, overpaid free agents.  The Redskins have a lot of very real needs and the #5 overall pick in this year's draft.

Looking around the web for some early mocks we don't see a true, consistent name showing up, but some positions are definitely being focused on.  Outside linebacker/pass rusher and offensive tackle are the two positions that get mocked to the Redskins most consistently with the occasional Landon Collins or Jameis Winston thrown in to spice it up.  Mark Tyler made his case for why the Redskins should not be looking at OLB with their first pick, citing past draft pick usage, other needs, current players on the roster, and a bigger need for pass rush from the defensive line.

The other popular choice is an offensive tackle to play on the right side.  The argument against this position is there are no players worth that #5 overall pick, and they all have flaws.  Some are projected to be better at guard, some are better against the run, and some would be better after a trade down.  Does it matter where  a player is projected by others when he is the top player on your board?  Does positional value have to come into play when you are talking about such a valuable pick in the Top 5 of the draft?  Scot McCloughan values the trenches and filling them with big men, we'll have to wait and see where he goes with his first pick as the Redskins GM.  Draft time is definitely more interesting now if you're a Redskins fan.

Weekly Mock Draft Roundup:

Mocking The Draft

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

Gregory slipping to fifth is the ideal scenario for Washington. He's a big-impact pass rusher who has been successful on his feet and with his hand in the dirt. He would fill a big need and carries the best player available tag at this spot.

Previous Pick: Vic Beaslery, DE/OLB, Clemson

CBS Sports(Brugler)

Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

The Redskins are a mess right now and could go in several directions with this pick, but with Brian Orakpo set to hit free agency, a pass rusher could be high on the wish list. Gregory's functional strength is a question mark, but his hand use, burst and easy change of direction skills are enticing.

Bleacher Report(Keeney)

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

There are some questions about how Randy Gregory will fare in the running game, but at this juncture, the Washington Redskins shouldn't worry too much about that. They finished the season 19th in sack percentage, and if it weren't for Ryan Kerrigan, they would have been a lot worse.

They need pass-rushers, and if there's one thing Gregory does, it's get after the quarterback.

While he's not a sure thing as a three-down player, his strengths are exactly what this defense needs.

Big Blue View

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

Not a difficult choice here. Explosive burst, great bend and insane aggression, Ray can fill in for Brian Orakpo should he leave and pairs him up with the explosive Ryan Kerrigan. I know there are some very good offensive linemen out there, but I don't know that I'd pick any of them over Ray. The last of my "elite" prospects available in this draft as well.

The Big Lead

Dante Fowler, DE, Florida

Rapidly-rising menace was playing for scouts against East Carolina in the bowl game: 3 sacks, 3 TFL. You put Fowler, a healthy Orakpo, Kerrigan and Murphy together and you've got a nice group of pass-rushers.


Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

The Redskins could use offensive line help and safety. I'm not convinced Bruce Allen would draft a safety this high though. His track record is linemen and corners in the first round with safeties something to target later on. Plus, the Redskins are getting better value with the top offensive lineman. 

Stanley generated a ton of late-season buzz, and he put an exclamation point on it by getting the better of the top 2015 NFL Draft-eligible defensive lineman in USC's Leonard Williams in limited plays against each other. It was only for a few reps, but impressive none the less that Stanley was able to handle one of the best defensive lineman in college football. 

Stanley (6-5, 315) took over at left tackle in 2014 with Zack Martin in the NFL and did a great job for the Irish. In 2013, Stanley started at right tackle and was part of a line that allowed only eight sacks on the season. 

Stanley is strong and quick. He has good length to him and finishes his blocks well. Stanley has the speed and agility to mirror speed rushers and can get movement in the ground game. He is very athletic to hit blocks downfield. It wouldn't hurt for Stanley to add more power for the next level.

Pick change; previously Ereck Flowers, OT


Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
The Redskins are passing on Shane Ray for a slightly inferior prospect, but they're set at outside linebacker. Also, they haven't been able to protect very well. It's highly disconcerting that third-round rookie Morgan Moses hasn't been able to find his way into the starting lineup despite the team's issues at right tackle. Moses finally started at San Francisco, and he was abysmal. 

There's talk that Andrus Peat will return to school, whereas Ronnie Stanley, who has been incredible this year, asked the draft advisory committee for his projected grade.

CBS Sports(Rang)

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Jay Gruden's success as the play-caller in Cincinnati came with one of the league's biggest offensive lines. He inherited one of the smallest in Washington and there is no question that upgrading the talent there will be an offseason priority. Not everyone sees Scherff (or any offensive lineman this year) as a top 10 talent, but he plays with the grit and physicality Washington is lacking and would be an immediate upgrade at right tackle.


Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

The Redskins could go with Winston here if Jay Gruden gets his way, but I think RG3 will get one more year. They gave up so much to get him they almost have too. They need to protect RG3 to really see what he can do, Scherff is good in the run and passing game and can play Guard right now if they need him too.  He steamrolls people in the Run game and is an above average pass protector.  That's what the Redskins need, give the ball to Alfred Morris and let RG3 benefit from some play-action passes.

Sports Illustrated

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

In a draft class swimming with pass-rushing talent, Washington could nab one of the better prospects, particularly if Brian Orakpo's D.C. days are done. Scherff is the choice at No. 5 instead due to Washington's dire need along a porous offensive line. The Iowa mauler might be best off at right tackle or guard, but he could provide help anywhere outside of center.

Optimum Scouting

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

While offensive tackle isn't a glaring need, the Redskins would be wise to not make a high risk selection with their first-rounder, opting to bolster their offensive line that saw rookie Morgan Moses struggle and Trent Williams see another injury. Peat may be a slight project, but has top-end upside for the future opposite Trent Williams.

Bleacher Report(Miller)

1st Round: Landon Collins, SS, Alabama

2nd Round: Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

Draft Ace

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

It looks like RG3 is done in Washington, which makes the Redskins a strong candidate to land either Winston or Mariota. Daniel Snyder has always been attracted to star power, so they're definitely a candidate to look past his issues and fall in love with his talent. And as we've seen in the past, a trade up to make it happen is definitely possible.