The defensive coaching staff was finalized and we finally added a QB coach this week. Two days ago the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, which finalized the 2015 NFL Draft Order. The Draft is officially 86 days away, which means we can easily get 80+ mock drafts and 300+ draft profiles on the front page before Marcus Mariota becomes a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar starts us off this week with a two round mock draft that has the Redskins addressing the offensive line with OT La'el Collins at #5 overall. Kadar compared Collins to Trent Williams which is a pretty nice comparison, and predicts this pick will give the Redskins a great pair of bookend tackles, hopefully for a long time. MTD also included a 2nd round this week without explanation, but Mr Kadar was kind enough to explain his reasoning for taking OLB Eli Harold in the 2nd round. There will be a lot of happy Virginia/Redskins fans if that pick happens.
The rest of the mocks this week have the usual mix of offensive lineman, outside linebackers, and defensive linemen. Brandon Scherff remains the most popular OL pick, Randy Gregory is the most popular OLB selection, and Danny Shelton is quickly becoming a popular pick for the Redskins at #5
Weekly Mock Draft Roundup:
La'el Collins, OT, LSU
The best comparison for Collins coming out of LSU is actually Trent Williams. He could slot into the right tackle spot for Washington and give them a pair of physical, bookend tackles up front. One of the draft's better outside linebackers would fit here as well.
Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
There seems to be more talk that the Redskins will let Brian Orakpo walk than re-sign him this offseason. Because of that, if there's a good pass rusher available at the top of the second round, I think they pounce. That's even considering the Trent Murphy pick a year ago. Harold is a hybrid hand-down end and stand up pass rusher. Virginia runs out of a 3-4, so he would fit well in an odd front. I don't have Harold higher because he has some power issues. But in the second round, his skill as a speed and effort rusher is too great to overlook.
Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
It doesn't matter who the quarterback is, if you can't protect him. Whether it be Robert Griffin III or Colt McCoy, the Redskins quarterbacks have been injured throughout the 2014-15 campaign and Washington needs to find a way to keep their signal-callers healthy.
Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
This pick may be a surprise, but Brandon Scherff has the talent to be a top-five pick and fills a position of need for Washington.
It may be trendy to mock an outside linebacker here, but the team spent a second-round pick on Trent Murphy in last season's draft to pair him up with Ryan Kerrigan. Others will say the addition of Morgan Moses in the 2014 draft makes this pick unnecessary, but Scherff is a legitimate All-Pro talent who is versatile enough to play left tackle, any guard spot or right tackle.
New general manager Scot McCloughan will add the best football players he can find, and Scherff is a damn good football player.
P.J. Williams, CB, FSU
A long, physical, instinctive cornerback is what Washington is missing.
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
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
Cody Prewitt, FS, Ole Miss
Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
The Redskins could use offensive line help and safety. The Redskins would get a better value with who they deem to be the top offensive lineman.
Peat was solid at protecting quarterback Kevin Hogan over the past two seasons. Peat also had success in the ground game. He is strong enough to be a downhill run-blocker and also is agile enough to block in a zone scheme. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder has excellent size and athleticism with upside for the NFL. He needs to improve his bending and not reaching after defenders, but his size and length allow him to get away with it.
Peat had a good game against USC this year. He did well in his plays against Leonard Williams and was generally rock solid minus a couple of snaps. Peat had a similar outing against Washington with generally a quality outing aside from a few plays. The Cardinal moved David Yankey inside to guard for 2013 because the coaches believed they had a star left tackle in Peat. Judging by Stanford's success over the last two seasons, that looks like it was the right call as Peat played very well.
Round 2Gerod Holliman, S, Louisville
The Redskins have to add more talent at safety.
Holliman enjoyed a massive 2014 season for the Cardinals. Replacing Calvin Pryor, Holliman was one of the breakout stars in college football. The redshirt sophomore led the nation with 14 interceptions. He also had 40 tackles with three passes broken up.
Holliman turned in an excellent game against Florida State with two interceptions. He also had two picks against Virginia and Florida International. He returned the one against Florida International for a touchdown. Holliman had three interceptions against Boston College. He has to improve his tackling and run defense for the NFL.
Holliman (6-2, 213) has both size and instincts. He was a backup in 2013 and missed all but three games in 2012 with a shoulder injury.
Leonard Williams, DL, USC
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 he has great size, but Shelton also possesses freakish quickness and agility for a man that big.
Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
The Redskins, led by brand-new GM Scot McCloughin, will reportedly be taking BPA at every pick in this draft, both because it is McCloughin's philosophy and because of the great number of needs in Washington. According to ProFootballFocus.com Premium Stats, the Redskins only have 5 high-quality starters on their roster, and 6 of their starters (~21%) are below-average. In essence, the Redskins have a need at nearly every position on the field. Per PFF, Ryan Kerrigan notched his best season as a pass-rusher this season, ranking fourth overall out of 304 eligible edge rushers. Adding Randy Gregory, a physical freak, to an already-blossoming pass rusher would do wonders for the Redskins' putrid defense.
Gerod Holliman, FS, Louisville
As stated in the first round, the Redskins will be reportedly drafting best-player-available with all of their picks in this draft. Here, the Redskins land possibly the most natural ball-hawking safety in the draft in Gerod Holliman. He is flying up NFL draft boards as he had 13 interceptions in just 10 games in 2014. Some question Holliman's ability to tackle and his overall athleticism, but he undeniably has great instincts and has been compared to the likes of Charles Woodson and Ed Reed because of his ability to find the ball on every play. Adding Holliman to a weak secondary along with Randy Gregory in the front seven would be adding two potential all-stars to a weak Washington defense.
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.
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.
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.
Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Washington fans might know better than any other fan base how detrimental poor safety play can be to a defense. Collins can play closer to the line or in single high/cover 3 looks, as well as flashing man to man responsibilities.