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2015 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Now 100% Mariota Free!

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Pass rushers continue to be the popular pick for the Redskins Top 5 pick

Eric Francis/Getty Images

How much has free agency changed the mock draft predictions for the Washington Redskins one week later?  Not too much really.  Danny Shelton, the nose tackle from Washington, had been regularly mocked to...Washington for the past month or so by Redskins blog Riggo's Rag, but with the signing of Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, and Ricky Jean-Francois, that has shifted over to OLB.  This is where the focus continues to be with more than 76% of the 21 mocks featured this week giving the Redskins an Edge Rusher.  Brian Orakpo left in free agency as expected, and the mock draft community isn't as high on Trent Murphy as some fans.

With the focus on defense in free agency, there hasn't been a shift to offense in this week's picks...yet.  There have been rumblings for the last week about the possibility of the Redskins taking former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota if he is available at the 5th overall pick.  There is also talk about former Alabama WR Amari Cooper being the pick if the Redskins go best player available.  Neither one shows up this week, but we are 44 days away from the draft, and there is plenty of time for that to change.  There is smoke everywhere and it's lying season.

Mocking the Draft

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Washington has checked off needing defensive linemen after signing Terrance Knighton, Ricky Jean-Francois and Stephen Paea in free agency. They also grabbed a starting cornerback in Chris Culliver. That leaves pass rush and safety as Washington's top needs. Some are down on Gregory leading up to the draft, but he's a scary combination of size and athleticism at linebacker.

NFL.com(Casserly)

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Washington's pass rush adds an exciting talent.

NFL.com(Jeremiah)

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Gregory would be an excellent replacement for Brian Orakpo.

Bleacher Report(Popejoy)

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

The front office of the Washington Redskins recognized that it had major work to do on the defensive line. The additions of Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton provide some serious beef up front. Does all this attention toward the defense in free agency mean the Redskins will look to offense in the draft?

Not in the first round. With wide receiver DeSean Jackson still in the mix, the need for a wide receiver is slightly diminished. That means the Redskins can continue to build the defense. With this pick, Washington can bring in a player to line up opposite outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to get after the quarterback.

Nebraska edge Randy Gregory is a terror coming around the corner. With exceptional length and plus agility and balance, he poses a particular threat for opposing offenses. However, for the Redskins' 3-4 defense, it is Gregory's fluidity in space and ability to drop into coverage that make him an easy choice here.

Fansided

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Brian Orakpo is a Tennessee Titan, so Washington fills their need here with a high-ceiling pass rusher. Gregory's moves are varied; he can bull rush and speed rush, and is the most athletic of the top linebacker/end hybrids in this year's draft. However, Gregory does need to add some bulk, so his impact may not be immediately there when he joins on with Washington.


Beyond the other edge rushers, Washington could go with Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff. But Scherff may be a bit of a reach here for Washington, and it may be in the team's best interest to pick the best player available.

DraftTek

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

NFL.com(Baldinger)

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

Ryan Kerrigan made the transition to OLB. Ray can do the same thing to fill the void left by Brian Orakpo.

Riggo's Rag

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

With the Redskins targeting defensive linemen in free agency it seems that won't be what they target at this pick unless they trade down. Vic Beasley has had a great performance at the NFL Combine and he also had a great pro day. He's gotten his weight up to 248 lbs. and he has great athleticism and speed. If the Redskins go with an edge rusher at number five it will be Vic Beasley.

CBS Sports(Brugler)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

With Brian Orakpo leaving Washington via free agency, pass rusher will be high on the Redskins' wish list. Beasley absolutely crushed the NFL combine, showing up at a good weight (246 pounds) and showing off the strength/athleticism combo that teams covet at the position.

Sports Illustrated(Burke)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Beasley demolished the combine, putting to rest most of the fears associated with his size or speed. Adding him to the starting lineup with Ryan Kerrigan would again give Washington a fearsome 1-2 punch at OLB, while allowing Trent Murphy to remain in a rotational role.​

NESN

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

The Redskins lost the oft-injured Brian Orakpo in free agency, and Beasley could come in and play the same pass-rushing role in Washington's 3-4 scheme.

NFL Draft Geek

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

With the Redskins signing Terrance Knighton and Stephen Paea it has pushed out the need for a defensive lineman like Danny Shelton as we had previously been projecting. Currently all signs point to Washington adding a pass rusher, as it will present them with the best player available and will also fill a need with Brian Orakpo departing. Clemson's Vic Beasley is the perfect speed rusher to pair with strongside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy. With the 'Skins added beef up front Beasley should be able to take advantage of one-on-ones and use his speed to wreak havoc on the edge. However, keep an eye for the Skins trading down if a team like Cleveland wants to move ahead of the Jets for Mariota.

FOX Sports

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

If things shake out this way, Marcus Mariota could be sitting right there for Washington. You've got to think the Redskins would be at least tempted to consider him. But the Washington front office took a new approach to free agency this year, resisting the usual rash of over-the-hill veteran signings and flashy names and instead picking up players in key positions at the right value. Defensive tackles Terrance Knighton and Stephen Paea and cornerback Chris Culliver were signed to smart deals and can all contribute at a high level next year. Beasley fits the base 3-4 defense, filling any void the departed Brian Orakpo left as the outside linebacker opposite Ryan Kerrigan. A coach I spoke with said he expected Beasley to weigh in around 235 pounds at the Combine and that there was a fear he was too light. Beasley not only weighed in at 246 pounds, but he also did an outstanding 35 reps of 225 pounds on the bench the following day. There's a new feel in D.C., and Beasley would be a wonderful addition.

NFL Mocks

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

Scot McCloughan is a defensive GM with an incredible eye for linebacker talent. He will recognize the value of Dante Fowler Jr. right away. The Florida product is a versatile pass rusher who also stops the run and can do any job asked of him and do it well.

Big Blue View

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

I'm personally not convinced that Fowler Jr. has enough pass rush potential (and if you look at his Spider chart you see he lacks in most areas) to be the top 5 pick it seems like he may be.

Bleacher Report(Miller)

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

Bleacher Report(Chiari)

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

There may be no more talented and impressive prospect in the entire NFL draft than USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, which is why the Washington Redskins brass will be doing cartwheels if he is still available at No. 5.

Williams could very well be taken earlier, but he may not be a fit for any of the top four teams. If they determine that to be the case, then he will fall into the welcoming arms of the Redskins.

Washington ranked 30th in scoring defense this past season at over 27 points allowed per game and ranked a pedestrian 21st in sacks. Those are two areas in which Williams should make a major impact.

One dominant defensive lineman is capable of making an entire defense better, and the Redskins will certainly be hopeful that Williams makes that type of difference if they are able to land him.

Rotoworld(Norris)

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

Some will call this a "fall." Not really. He could certainly be drafted earlier, but Williams (like every prospect) has his issues. Now, the positives in terms of strength, length and counter moves outweigh the negatives, but lasting until pick No. 5 seems reasonable. Williams also tested like an average NFL athlete among defensive linemen (non-EDGE).

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.

WalterFootball(Charlie)

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

The Redskins could go with an offensive or defensive linemen with this pick. However, Jay Gruden and regime have everything riding on Robert Griffin III. Scherff is a Day-1 starter at guard or right tackle and is a great fit in Gruden's offense.

Scherff was one of the top tackles in the Big Ten in 2013 and is a road-grading run-blocker. Iowa has produced a lot of good NFL prospects on the offensive line, and Scherff is the latest Hawkeye to be an early-round prospect.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder could fit as a power-man or zone blocker. Scherff was a reliable pass-protector for Iowa, but handling speed rushers could be an issue as evidenced by his 2014 Maryland game. He has to get better at preventing speed rushers coming around the corner. His biggest asset comes in the ground game. Scherff has tremendous power with the ability to drive block defenders off the ball and open up big running lanes.

Late Addition for the offense:

Sports Illustrated(Farrar)

Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

Whatever it is that Jay Gruden is trying to accomplish with his quarterback situation—and at this point, we're not entirely sure—he's going to need a top-level receiver in Washington D.C. as he had in Cincinnati with A.J. Green. The Redskins have the speed quotient covered with DeSean Jackson, and the possession aspect with a number of players. But White has the ability to take the top off any defense with his acceleration, he's a wizard at times with contested catches, and he's only going to get better in the right offense. The combination of 4.35 speed that transfers to the field and his 6'3", 215-pound frame makes White a tantalizing target for any team in the top 10.

Player Selections:

Player

# of Selections

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

6

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

6

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

3

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

2

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

2

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

1

Kevin White, WR, WVU

1