Using the On the Clock Tool I ran a simulation as the GM of the Redskins and wanted to share my results and reasoning behind my picks. Every Monday I will run a simulation to come up with a different scenario for how the Redskins draft could shape up. Follow along with the Mock Draft Results Here (note this draft didn't have any trades):
DE DANTE FOWLER JR.
C CAMERON ERVING
G ARIE KOUANDJIO
DT ELLIS MCCARTHY
CB LADARIUS GUNTER
WR DEZMIN LEWIS
CB DAMIAN SWANN
Logic behind my picks:
While offensive line and safety are the biggest issues on this team I don't believe either is a perfect fit for a top 5 pick. If you take Landon Collins you have a real possibility of getting more Landry/Whitner than Sean Taylor. He might be a good starter, but is not worth the value at number 5. Brandon Scherff is my favorite offensive lineman in this draft and a very safe pick, but I think his value is the highest at guard and you typically don't draft guards in the top 5 (or top 10). La'el Collins got some consideration as well.
In the end if I'm looking for impact and positional value, Dante Fowler Jr. is my guy as I believe he can become a top right side pass rusher. When it comes to positional value a right side pass rusher is on par with a LT and if you don't have a good one it's tough to be successful. While Ryan Kerrigan has been a great left side pass rusher, it's unclear that he can make a successful transition. That leaves the Redskins short handed, and forcing Trent Murphy into a role that he doesn't seem suited for. It is also a really tough position to fill via free agency, so the draft is the best option.
Fowler is a guy I'm really high on, because I see a lot of Aldon Smith in his game where he has the ability to become a much better pro than college player. He's a bit raw like Smith was, but I see a guy that should make an immediate impact in the passing game as a top rusher to pair with Kerrigan.
In the 2nd round I took one of my favorite players in this draft FSU's C/G/T Cameron Erving. Erving moved from LT this year where he was struggling some to center where he was far more productive. Erving has the versatility to probably be a good starter at any OL spot outside of LT. I would probably keep him at center, but his versatility comes in handy based on the rest of the Redskins offseason plan. I would have him focus at one position the day you draft him and build him up so he can hopefully be starter come week 1. Wherever he ends up he should help this line tremendously.
I decided to stay with building the offensive line here as Arie Kouandjio was still on the board and represented nice value here. Kouandjio comes from Alabama so he's already pretty pro ready and he helps adding some size and strength to the OL. He is versatile enough to play a little RT, but I would keep him at one of the guard spots where he should excel. He has the ability to start as a rookie and with him and Erving the Redskins OL looks a lot better going forward.
The Redskins defensive line is one of the oldest in the NFL, so it wouldn't be shocking to see some major turnover this year. It's likely that a couple veterans could get cut, including NT Barry Cofield. Ellis McCarthy would be a perfect replacement for Cofield in the middle of the defense and would help a lot in stopping the run. McCarthy was not a full time starter at UCLA, but don't let that fool you, he's a good football player and a nice value here in the 4th round.
The Redskins defensive backs are a major question mark, and though safety is the bigger need, corner is definitely an issue. Tracy Porter is likely to cut, and the Redskins can't count on DeAngelo Hall being healthy/effective after two Achilles injuries this fall. That leaves Bashuad Breeland and David Amerson as the only corners with any real experience on the roster. In addition Amerson is coming off a year filled with struggles so his future as a starter or top 3 corner is very much in doubt. LaDarius Gunter from Miami is a big physical corner who runs pretty well. He would maybe need some time, but there is some starting potential there down the line. He's a bit under the radar (which is why you can probably land him in the 5th), but the upside is nice. At the very least he should be a productive special teams player and decent back-up.
The Redskins receiver unit lacks size and it really limited them (particularly in the Red Zone), so adding a young receiver with size makes a lot of sense. Now if the Redskins move on from 1 or more of their top receivers, the position could have a higher need this offseason, but right now this is probably more of a late round target to develop. There would be few better late round targets to develop than Dezmin Lewis. Lewis has excellent size and catching ability, but is raw overall which could allow him to slide. The potential though is for him to become a really good Red Zone threat and a good number 2 receiver.
Here i really went with value and talent. Though I already added one corner, I had no problem looking at Damian Swann here in the 7th round. Not only does he show the ability to be a slot corner at the next level with nice quickness and coverage ability, but he should also help early on Special Teams. He should make the roster and help the Redskins in 2015 and that is all you can ask for a 7th round pick.
Let me know what you think of my mock draft and share your own simulations in the comments below!