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2015 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Todd McShay Gives the Redskins Shane Ray; Pass Rusher Still Popular Choice at 5th Overall

Pass rusher or offensive line? Outside linebacker or defensive line? Trade back or take the best player available? Should getting a 1st round pick next year be a priority?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Regional Combines started last week and we are now a week away from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN.  A lot will change in the rankings in the coming weeks.  The importance of the Underwear Olympics gets overblown by fans and media, but there are some very important things that happen there.  Medical checks are huge for teams and players.  The interview process allows teams to get to know a lot of underclassmen and have another interview with seniors.  Certain tests are very important for certain positions, especially players switching roles at the next level.

This week the trend of offensive line and pass rusher continues for the Redskins.  ESPN's Todd McShay released his 2nd mock draft of the season and he has the Redskins taking OLB Shane Ray at #5 with Brian Orakpo not expected to return next season, and he was not alone.  Dante Fowler, Jr has been getting more love for the Redskins and is tied for the 2nd most mentions for OLB with Randy Gregory.

Vic Beasley is the 4th OLB being mocked to the Skins, but only after a very interesting trade back.  The Rams swap 1sts this year, and give up their 5th round pick and also their 1st round pick next year.  The Redskins then use the 5th acquired from them to move up in the 2nd a few spots to grab CB P.J. Williams. Does this sound like something new GM Scot McCloughan would do,or should the 2nd pick be an OL?

On the offensive line side, Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar gives the Redskins LSU OT La'el Collins.  He has Washington's biggest need as cornerback this season and obviously doesn't have much faith in David Amerson becoming a consistent starter.  DeAngelo Hall should be ready to return from his Achilles injury by the start of the season but it's not a sure thing.  There is simply not a CB worth taking in the top 5 this year.  Kadar also mentions fan favorite Brandon Scherff as an option if they want to go OL, and Vic Beasley if they need to replace Orakpo.  Ereck Flowers shows up on the list again, but Brandon Scherff is the popular pick here.

Weekly Mock Draft Roundup:


Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

The Redskins need a pass-rusher -- often-injured ROLB Brian Orakpo is a free agent and not expected to return -- and Ray is a terror off the edge. He is relentless at pressuring the quarterback, combining outstanding first-step quickness, effective hands and impressive redirect skills. He also continues to get stronger versus the run and has bulked up into the 250-pound range. He was incredibly productive at Mizzou, finishing fifth in the FBS with 13 sacks last season. This is another spot where Mariota could come under consideration, but I've got Washington addressing its defense here.

Walter Football

Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

The Redskins are not filling a primary need at all. Brian Orakpo is heading for free agency, but they still have Ryan Kerrigan and 2014 second-rounder Trent Murphy. However, Shane Ray is the best player on the board, so I don't think Washington will be able to pass on him, given how this has played out with Ronnie Stanley headed back to school. Besides, the Redskins can rotate three talented pass-rushers, and Ray will give them depth at a key position.

Round 2

Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

The Redskins obviously need to make multiple upgrades to their woeful secondary. Help is needed at both corner and safety, so Washington can take the best player available at either position.

EDS Football

Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and expectations are that he won't be back. In addition, Ryan Kerrigan is entering a contract year, so adding a pass-rusher like Ray would make sense here. Either way, you'll never hear a general manager complain of having too many talented pass-rushers.

Walter Football(Charlie)

Dante Fowler Jr., OLB/DE, Florida

The Redskins could use offensive line help and a safety, but they also could consider an edge rusher as they like the in-house offensive linemen drafted last year. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if Washington signed Chargers safety Marcus Gilchrist in free agency. Redskins executive A.J. Smith drafted him, while defensive coordinator Joe Barry knows him well. Barry will probably run a hybrid 4-3/3-4 defense, and Fowler is a perfect fit to pair with Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy.

Fowler finished 2014 with a total of 60 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, one pass broken up and a forced fumble. He was extremely disruptive and a big presence behind the line of scrimmage. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder is fast and physical. He has a lot of upside for the NFL. Fowler could play defensive end or stay as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Fowler was excellent for the Gators in 2013. He racked up 50 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one pass batted and three forced fumbles for the season. Fowler was a First-Team All-SEC Freshman-Team selection in 2012 even though he was a backup. Fowler recorded 47 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks that year.

Pick change: previously Andrus Peat, OT

2nd Round:

T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh

The Redskins add more offensive line competition and depth. With a draft pick to compete with Spencer Long and Morgan Moses, Washington should be set with an improved young line.

Clemmings (6-6, 315) played well for Pittsburgh in 2014. He's a good athlete who can be a force as a run-blocker. Clemmings needs to improve his technique in pass protection as he can be slow to react to speed rushers. For example, Clemmings needed some extra help while going against the speed rushers from Virginia Tech's defense.

That development is understandable as Clemmings was only in his second season playing on the offensive line. He was a defensive end to start out his collegiate career and moved to right tackle as a junior. He started 13 games at right tackle in 2013.

Pick change: previously Gerod Holliman, S

CBS Sports(Brugler)

Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

With Brian Orakpo set to hit free agency, pass rusher will be high on the Redskins' wish list. Fowler projects best to the NFL as a stand-up edge rusher, using his relentless energy to be effective disrupting the pocket.

CBS Sports(Kirwan)

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

If the Redskins resign Brian Orakpo then this pick changes to an offensive tackle, but Gregory is too good to pass up at this spot. He fits in any scheme and would be excellent opposite Ryan Kerrigan.


Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

Simply put, Randy Gregory is a beast. Not only does he have elite measureables at the 3-4 OLB position, but he has the room to add 30-40 pounds to his 6'6" 240 lb frame. Gregory is raw and often relies on his athleticism to make plays, and he's currently a lightweight, which makes him a liability against the run. However, many scouts compare Randy Gregory to Aldon Smith and Jevon Kearse because of his freakish size/burst combination. Many scouts view Gregory as a boom-or-bust prospect, but one of these same scouts also said that Gregory's floor might be the always-productive and versatile Manny Lawson. Joe Barry, a linebackers coach at heart, could do wonders with the elite measurables and versatility of a player like Gregory.

Round 2

Gerod Holliman, FS, Louisville

Gerod Holliman is a controversial player in the 2015 NFL Draft. Some analysts view him as a second round pick while other view him as a fourth-rounder. While is knack for being around the ball is undeniable, Holliman struggles with tackling and reportedly struggled to grasp Louisville's defensive playbook. Having said that, a detail-oriented and disciplined defensive coach like Joe Barry might be the perfect fit. If Barry can help improve Holliman's tackling and utlize his gifts as a center-fielder, Holliman has the ability to be the best pure safety in this draft.

NFL Mocks

TRADE: Redskins Receive: #10 pick, 1st Round pick in 2016 and 5th Round pick in 2015
Rams Receive: #5 pick(Jameis Winston, QB, FSU)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Ryan Kerrigan didn't get a lot of help in 2014, so the Washington Redskins look to change that by adding more outside pass rush with Vic Beasley, who has the body and skill set for outside linebacker.

2nd Round:

TRADE: Buccaneers Receive: #38 pick, 5th round pick in 2015
Redskins Receive: #34 pick

P.J. Williams, CB, FSU

Big, physical corner with man coverage ability and toughness against the run.

Riggo's Rag

Danny Shelton, NT, Washington

Danny Shelton has vaulted himself up draft boards with an impressive performance during the Senior Bowl. The Redskins have never had a true nose tackle for their 3-4 defense and Shelton could give them that. At 6'2", 343 lbs he has great size, but Shelton also possesses freakish quickness and agility for a man that big.

Mocking The Draft(Dan Kadar)

La'el Collins, OT, LSU

It is apparent that Washington's greatest need in the draft is cornerback. It needs someone good opposite Bashaud Breeland, but that player won't be taken at pick No. 5. What Washington can find is a good right tackle to pair opposite Trent Williams. If the team doesn't want someone like Collins this high, Washington could target a different tackle or a pass rusher since Brian Orakpo is expected to leave in free agency.

Other options: Brandon Scherff (OT), Vic Beasley (OLB)

Big Blue View

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

They could also invest in Gregory or Ray, but the Redskins desperately need some offensive line help. If his knee checks out, Flowers might be the top OT in the draft.

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.

U~T San Diego

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Compared to recent drafts, there aren't many O-line prospects scouts consider Top 10 talents. Some may think Scherff doesn't project well at left tackle, which means he probably shouldn't go this high. I believe the Outland Trophy winner will be solid at either tackle position and was also the most dominating run blocker in college football. He possesses the nasty attitude/physicality that can help transform an offensive line (See: Martin, Zack). Top needs: DB, DL, OL

2nd Round:

Cody Prewitt, FS, Ole Miss

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Jay Gruden understands the value of a good offensive line, and the Redskins could plug Scherff in at right tackle or guard.

Sports Illustrated

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

Washington could hand left tackle Trent Williams a contract extension in the coming weeks, so that spot on the line is under control. Elsewhere ... not so much. Scherff could join the starting lineup at either right tackle or guard, two positions being viewed with higher esteem of late -- it's not good enough to have just a dominant blindside blocker.

Round 2

Arik Armstead, DT/DE, Oregon


Landon Collins, S, Alabama

The Redskins need to upgrade their safety play, and Collins is the best in this class. While he may not be a top-5 talent, he certainly is the kind of player who will upgrade a defense and enhance a unit's overall performance against the run. Collins has issues defending the deep ball, but he presents with the skill set needed to be an intimidating presence for intermediate pass plays. I expect Collins to get a bit over-drafted, and it makes sense that his name starts coming up as an option when the Redskins are on the clock.