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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Vic Beasley EDGEs out Dante Fowler, Jr as Redskins Top Choice

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30 mocks for 30 days until the draft

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

We are only 30 days away from the start of the 2015 NFL Draft, and we have 30 mock drafts this week to try to predict the Washington Redskins first pick.  23 out of the 30 mocks(77%) have the Redskins taking one of the top 4 EDGE rushers available in this year's draft.  Shane Ray and Randy Gregory have dropped almost completely off the radar for the Redskins for various reasons.  Gregory's failed drug test, and questions about Shane Ray's transition to the NFL as a 3-4 OLB have made them less appealing in the Top 5.  This benefits Vic Beasley and Dante Fowler, Jr., who were mocked to the Redskins 10 and 9 times this week respectively. Leonard Williams has double his mentions from last week with two people predicting he could make a lot of Redskins fans happy and fall to #5.

Marcus Mariota made his return to the list this week, with CBS Sports Dane Brugler reading the smoke signals coming out of Washington, "No one is buying Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins as the future of the Washington Redskins at quarterback, so if Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is available with the fifth pick, Washington could be ready to pounce."  NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah said yesterday that Washington was the team that needed Marcus Mariota the most. "I would say the Washington Redskins (need Mariota the most), assuming that RG3 wasn't fully healthy," Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" Monday. "If RG3 is fully healthy, maybe that changes, but we haven't seen a very healthy RG3 over the last few years."

The offensive line gets slightly more love that it has the last month, but that is mostly due to trades, and a big help from our very own Ken Meringolo.  Ken's choice for the Redskins at #5 this year was LSU OT La'el Collins as he once again follows his tried and tried drafting method, Best Tackle Available(BTA).  Brandon Scherff gets two mentions this week, and one involves a trade down with the Saints so they can acquire Drew Brees' successor, Marcus Mariota.

CBS Sports(Brugler)

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

With Robert Griffin III struggling to regain the promise he showed as a rookie, the Redskins are doing thorough homework on Mariota, bringing him in for a private visit prior to the NFL Draft. Whether or not it's simply due diligence or genuine interest, the former Duck is a possibility at No. 5 if he's still on the board.

Mocking The Draft

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

The greatest benefactor to Nebraska's Randy Gregory testing positive for marijuana at the combine is Beasley. It should lock up a top-six spot in the draft for him, if he wasn't there already. Beasley is a speed rusher supreme, and possess the best first step in the draft this year.

NFL.com(Brooks)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

New GM Scot McCloughan loves long, rangy athletes with speed and quickness. Beasley is a dominant pass rusher with exceptional first-step quickness and closing burst.

NFL.com(Zierlein)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Beasley's offseason workouts (with additional weight on his frame) have teams feeling some type of way, and with Orakpo gone, this works.

WalterFootball

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

I had the Redskins picking Danny Shelton in a previous update, but with Terrance Knighton signed on, Washington can select the top player available who makes sense for them. That would be the rising Vic Beasley, who was terrific at the NFL Combine.

Beasley doesn't really fill a glaring need, as the Redskins have Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy as edge rushers. However, Brian Orakpo left for Tennessee, so depth is needed. Beasley would join the two to form a very strong rotation of pass-rushers to harass Tony Romo and the other opposing quarterbacks in the NFC East.

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.

Yahoo Sports(Edholm)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

New Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan surprised many when he took Aldon Smith with the seventh pick in the draft in 2011 and he could open eyes again by taking Beasley here over a few more hyped pass-rush prospects. Beasley might not have Smith's length, but he has the rare burst to give the Redskins its first pair of 10-sack players (with Ryan Kerrigan coming off the other side) since 2009.

Newsday

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Brian Orakpo is now a Tennessee Titan, but Washington could find his replacement in a draft rich with edge rushers. Clemson's Vic Beasley has excellent athleticism and uses his disruptive hands to shed blockers. Like Orakpo, Beasley could play defensive end or linebacker, depending on what the situation dictates.

Bleacher Report(Roling)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Fanspeak(Steve)

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

DraftSite

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Ourlads

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

Optimum Scouting

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

After letting Brian Orakpo go in free agency, the Redskins have a serious need at pass-rusher. They'll have options at #5 overall, and Fowler is the best fit as a versatile rusher. The Mariota rumors linger, but it's highly unlikely their new GM will add a quarterback like Mariota in year one.

CBS Sports(Brinson)

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

Washington's pass rush has to improve and new GM Scot McCloughan can make his mark early by grabbing the versatile pass rusher to play opposite Ryan Kerrigan.

Bleacher Report(Sobleski)

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

With the top two quarterbacks likely to come off the board at the top of the draft, one of the draft's preeminent defensive prospects should fall into the Redskins' proverbial lap.

After beefing up the defensive line with the acquisitions of Ricky Jean-Francois, Terrance Knighton and Stephen Paea, the Redskins can do the same to its linebacker corps.

In this particular scenario, Fowler is available.

While Trent Murphy is already on the roster after being a second-round selection last year, the Stanford product simply isn't the same level of athlete as Fowler. That, however, is actually a positive.

Florida's coaching staff moved Fowler all over the defensive formation to create mismatches. The defensive end would line up on the right and left side. He would even stand up as a linebacker to rush the passer.

Fowler simply doesn't need to be an edge-rusher to be effective. He creates flexibility within a scheme, and the Redskins could have Fowler, Murphy and veteran Ryan Kerrigan all on the field at the same time.

NESN

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

With Brian Orakpo gone, the Redskins could use another versatile pass rusher. Fowler has been compared to Terrell Suggs, because he can play standing up and on the line, and he can rush the passer, cover and defend the run.

NFL Mocks

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

It's too early for offensive line and Mariota is gone, so the Washington Redskins wisely decide to tap into a huge pool of pass rushers. Dante Fowler Jr. is a versatile athlete who sports a powerful frame to go along with explosion and quickness. He can be the ideal replacement the team needs for Brian Orakpo.

L.A. Times

Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

With Brian Orakpo gone, Fowler could be a bookend to outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

NFLMock.com

Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

If Marcus Mariota is sitting here at 5, you can believe that the Redskins are going to look to trade out of the pick if at all possible. There are a few teams that could look to jump up and grab Mariota. If not, Scot McCloughan will take the BPA on the board and that could be an outside rush linebacker.

U~T San Diego

Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida

Edge rusher is now a significant need with Brian Orapko bolting for Tennessee. The numbers don't always show it, but Fowler is the definition of disruption.

NFL.com(Davis)

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

A pass-rushing fiend replaces the departed Brian Orakpo, and gives Ryan Kerrigan a bookend tag team partner.

DraftTek

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Pete Prisco of CBS said it best; "The Redskins need a speed rusher in the worst way." In fact, the Redskins are in the perfect position to draft a crafty, speedy edge rusher like Randy Gregory. Not only did they beef up the defensive line in Free Agency, but they have an effective run-down OLB in Trent Murphy. In essence, Randy Gregory can spend the first year (or two) of his development as a third-down specialist and/or sub-package player very similar to the way the 49ers used Aldon Smith early in his career. Gregory will be able to take time to bulk up and find his ideal playing weight before becoming an every-down linebacker at the next level. According to most, Gregory is the most varied pass-rusher in the draft, and also has the highest ceiling of any OLB in the 2015 class.

CBS Sports(Prisco)

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

They need a speed edge rusher in the worst way.

AZ Central

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

Comment: Pick change. Randy Gregory was the previous selection, and it would still be a great one if he's available. I don't think he'll last this long, though. Ray gives Washington some much-needed depth to pair alongside Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy, especially with Brian Orakpo heading for free agency. The Redskins will be eyeing offensive linemen in this draft, so that is an option at No.5 as well.

Bleacher Report(Miller)

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

The "fall" for Leonard Williams ends at No. 5, and new general manager Scot McCloughan will be one happy camper because of it.

Washington added Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois to its defensive line this offseason to go along with Jason Hatcher, but outside of Knighton at nose tackle, none of these players will strike fear in offensive coordinators. And while some will want an edge-rusher here to play opposite Ryan Kerrigan, it's worth remembering that the team picked Trent Murphy in the second round last year.

Williams can play the 5-technique position from Day 1 and become the team's second most impactful defender behind Kerrigan. He's athletic, strong, versatile and can bump inside to the 3-technique on passing downs when the team goes to a four-man front.

WalterFootball(Charlie)

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

The Redskins lost Brian Orakpo in free agency and could use another pass-rusher to team with Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy. Joe Barry could get a versatile weapon for his defense with Williams, who played the three-technique for Barry's mentor Monte Kiffin as a freshman and would also be a perfect fit as a five technique in a 3-4.

Williams recorded 80 tackles, seven sacks, 8.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, three forced fumbles and three passes batted in 2014. The 6-foot-5, 302-pounder has some natural strength and speed, plus the ability to play all over on the defensive line as a 3-4 defensive end, 4-3 end or tackle. Williams could stand to get stronger for the NFL and gets in trouble when he plays too high, but a shoulder injury that required surgery could have impacted his power in 2014. Still, Williams is very disruptive and capable of taking over games.

Williams played well for USC in 2013. He recorded 74 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and five sacks. The sophomore generated more pass rush than the numbers indicate. Williams was the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2012 after a fabulous debut for the Trojans. He totaled 64 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, four passes batted and an interception that season.

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.

Titletown

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

TRADE: Redskins receive #12 and New Orleans 2nd and 5th picks in 2015; New Orleans receives #5(Marcus Mariota)

The Redskins need to bring in more talent to their offensive line to protect Robert Griffin III. Scherff can play anywhere on the line and will immediately help the run game. Adding draft picks by trading down and still landing Scherff is a smart play by Washington.

SBNation Writer's Mock(Ken Meringolo)

La'el Collins, OT, LSU

Washington has boned up its defensive line in free agency, perhaps shifting some need to the offensive side of the line of scrimmage. I was prepared to wrestle internally with selecting Leonard Williams, but with him gone, I am targeting the offensive line.

Washington has attempted to be the smartest guys in the room on too many draft days, selecting the best offensive lineman left in lower rounds -- a strategy that has left our cupboard pretty bare. It is time for us to decide who we think is the best offensive lineman in this draft and put him on the field. From the ground game to the pass game, from protecting whichever quarterback we suit up (serenity now!) to helping Jay Gruden implement and execute his schemes, an investment in the offensive line is imperative. This pick will be called a reach by some, but it adds to an offseason spent rebuilding the trenches. It helps put a foundation in place that the team can build a future contender around. As the home of the Hogs, we take our offensive line seriously in Washington, and it is way past due to dedicate top resources to this precious unit.

Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: This pick is sort of ironic considering that the best comparison for Collins is Trent Williams, Washington's starting left tackle. Collins obviously wouldn't be replacing Williams, but he could start opposite him on the right side. That would give Washington an excellent pair of mauling, nasty tackles. The only knock on this pick is Washington needing a pass rusher to replace the departed Brian Orakpo. There are a lot of options here in that regard - namely Nebraska's Randy Gregory - but a solid player could be had in the second round at that position.

Big Blue View

La'el Collins, OT, LSU

TRADE: Redskins receive #8 and Falcons 2016 2nd Round pick; Falcons receive #5(Dante Fowler, Jr.)

The Redskins fall a few spots and still get their guy. Plug in La'el Collins at right tackle, a perfect fit for the inside zone running style their offensive line is built for, and watch Alfred Morris rejoice.

Player Selections:

Player

# of Selections

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

10

Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB, Florida

9

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

3

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

2

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

2

La'el Collins, OT, LSU

2

Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

1

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

1