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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Gives Redskins DE/OLB Randy Gregory at 5th Overall

Mel Kiper releases his first 2015 mock draft on the world

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

When Mel Kiper releases his first mock draft, you know that it's officially mock draft season.  Love him or hate him, Kiper is someone that a lot of people pay attention to.  Before we get into who he projected for the Redskins, here is a look at a few other mock drafts that we've covered this week.

Earlier this week we asked should the Redskins focus on hitting opposing QBs or protecting theirs with the 5th overall pick.  The mock draft community has been consistently projecting either a pass rusher or an offensive lineman to the Redskins, and in our completely scientific poll, the majority(28%) of Hogs Haven members chose Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska.   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.  In his equally scientific poll, 1,178(56%) of Hogs Haven voters said the Redskins need to go offensive line with their first draft pick.

This week, we started our weekly Hogs Haven 1st Round Mock Draft, and el Jefe Ken Meringolo has exercised his right to select all Redskins picks.  If you know Ken, you knew he was going offensive line, and more specifically offensive tackle with his first pick.  Stanford OT Andrus Peat got the call, and would be the bookend tackle along with Trent Williams for the next 5+ years if Ken was the GM.

Now back to the Hair's mock.  Here are his first 4 picks:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB, FSU

2. Tennessee Titans - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Williams, DE, USC

4. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Not many surprises in the top 4 from Kiper, and his pick for the Redskins isn't a shocker either.  Kiper went on Sportscenter today to discuss his mock draft, and explained that he does not see an Offensive Tackle that will go that high, so he chose a complement for Ryan Kerrigan to go after Tony Romo, Eli Manning, and whoever Chip Kelly reaches for in this year's draft:

5. Washington Redskins - Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska

Analysis: Gregory is the type of pass-rushing talent that can transcend systems. Long, athletic and highly explosive coming off the edge, he's a little undersized as a classic 4-3 defensive end and could play in space a little better as a 3-4 outside linebacker. But he can flat out cause disruption -- not just as a pass-rusher, mind you, because he'll also play with good leverage against the run and make plays in the backfield. Washington should be purely in the "take a great football player" category, and Gregory fits the bill and can make them better as a rookie.

A lot of people are going to project a pass rusher to the Redskins here, especially if Brian Orakpo is not re-signed in free agency.  The Redskins used their first pick last year(2nd round, #47 ovewrall) on Trent Murphy who started 8 games last season after Orakpo was injured.  He had 32 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a pass defended.  New GM Scot McCloughan will spend time over the next few months studying every college player he can, but will also need to assess the talent level of the team.  Is Trent Murphy the long-term answer, or will he take the best pass rusher on the board?  Trent Murphy did well against the run last season, but despite getting 2.5 sacks last year, could improve his pass rush.

A few DraftBeakdown videos from Randy Gregory's 2014 season:

Randy Gregory vs Miami:

Randy Gregory vs Michigan State: