I am not suggesting that Leonard Williams, the incredibly gifted and highly rated defensive lineman out of USC, WILL be available when the Redskins make their selection on draft night. I would even go so far as to suggest that he SHOULDN'T be available when we are on the clock. I have no problem arguing, however, that he very well MAY be sitting there when McLovin' is filling out his dance card.
Regardless of what hole we are each individually desperate to fill in the first round, trading back remains the top priority for pretty much all of us. This assumes a decent deal to make the move back of course, and almost certainly has to increase our overall return in the first round of this year's draft and next year's draft (combined). I understand the risky business of the draft and the crapshoot odds that are associated with trading away a top five pick for multiple picks outside the top five. It comes down to who is making those picks, I suppose, and I feel comfortable speaking for most of us when I say that I would be excited to give McLovin' those extra picks.
As for the availability of Leonard Williams in this spot, let me lay out my reasons for even contemplating this possibility:
Four players will be drafted ahead of the fifth selection. I have worked this out multiple ways, using both outside-in and middle-out algorithms. Every time I crunch the numbers, it comes out the same: four players will be selected before the fifth player is selected. Leonard Williams is likely one of the four best players in this draft, but his name may not be called in the top four slots.
It seems like a foregone conclusion at this point that Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will be two of the top four picks. Plenty can happen that would change this, but it is a safe assumption. That leaves two slots open in the top four. Given Vic Beasley's meteoric rise in the last few months, I fully believe he will be gone in the top four picks. He is the kind of player that GM's have wet dreams about, and he is being compared to players like Von Miller. There is an outside chance that Beasley is the player that some team trades up to get before anyone trades up for a quarterback.
And then there was one...open spot. In my opinion, Leonard Williams absolutely goes into this foursome. He is a day one starter on pretty much anyone's defensive line, capable of playing in multiple positions in multiple schemes without having to come out on certain downs and distances. In short, he might be the real, only can't miss player at the top of this draft. How in the world could he slip outside of the top four?
Wide receivers and edge pass rushers are like crack to front offices. They need them. They want them. They will do inappropriate and unsavory things to acquire them. Dante Fowler, Shane Ray, Randy Gregory, Kevin White and Amari Cooper are all jockeying for what could be that last top four spot. It is extremely plausible that a team could make the decision that Kevin White is the next great thing at wide receiver, or that Dante Fowler is the game-changing defensive player that takes your team to the next level, or that Amari Cooper's shocking stat line from 2014 is only scratching the surface. It is a cop-out for me to say that I am filling an opening in the top four with "one of these guys" so I will go ahead and make Kevin White the fourth player chosen. His size and speed gives him an edge, and somebody is going to convince themselves that he is the next in a growing line of impact rookie receivers. With Kevin White drafted, that leaves the Redskins with a hell of a decision to make.
Today's debate is straightforward: If Leonard Williams is available at #5, and assuming that both quarterbacks are already taken (if one is still available, this whole question gets blown up), would you take the defensive lineman or trade back? I don't think it is too much of a leap to assume that if Leonard Williams is on the board here, teams will be calling McLovin' to gauge trade interest.
Feel free to disagree with me on this, but I would argue that the signing of three defensive linemen in free agency has ZERO impact on whether or not McLovin' would draft Williams. If he likes Leonard, he is taking Leonard.
Personally, I am torn on this, but in the interest of kicking things off, I will race to the podium with a card that has "Leonard Williams" written on it. There is no way he should be available here, so if he is, we can't overthink it.