We are only 8 days away, and then all of the mock drafts will stop...for this draft at least. The final week is usually when you start to get more of a consensus at the top of the draft. This draft is considered weak at the top, with few elite players available. One of those players, who is considered the #1 overall prospect by many, has somehow dropped to #7 in ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's latest mock draft(E$PN IN$IDER). That's great news for the Redskins right? That must mean the Bears traded up, possibly for one of the top WRs in the class and the Redskins get additional picks and the best player in the draft. Wrong. McShay has the Redskins passing on Williams in order to draft Missouri DE/OLB Shane Ray. Ok, commence the Todd McShay is an idiot chants now.
You got some splainin' to do Mr. McShay:
Analysis: I expect Washington will be looking to trade back and add picks, and in this scenario, the team could find potential trade partners like the Bears or Browns looking to move up to draft Leonard Williams. I think that a trade back is the Redskins' best option, because they could likely fill their biggest need -- edge rusher -- several picks later, including with Ray. But absent a trade, I think the Redskins will be looking to take an edge rusher here. Randy Gregory is the perfect fit from a football standpoint, but I don't think they can afford to take a character risk with this pick. That leaves Ray as the next-best available player at the position, and while there's some concern about his ability to rush from a two-point stance and drop into coverage, he has elite first-step quickness and was very productive at getting to the quarterback at Missouri.
So McShay, like a lot of analysts, expects Scot McCloughan to try to trade down from #5, especially if a player like Leonard Williams is available. Ken Meringolo presented this very scenario yesterday, and 80% of Hogs Haven readers said the Redskins should just draft Williams if he's available. McShay seems hell bent on filling the perceived need at OLB, passing on better players. He mentions Randy Gregory as a perfect fit for the Redskins, but the character concerns are too risky this high in the draft. McShay mentions concerns about Ray that have been dropping him down boards and off the Redskins radar for weeks. Questions about his ability to rush from a two point stance and drop into coverage. I would give this a 0.0000001% chance of happening.
Who else does McShay have going before Leonard Williams? The first 4 picks are definite possibilities, Jameis Winston to the Buccaneers, Marcus Mariota to the Titans, Dante Fowler, Jr. to the Jaguars, and Amari Cooper to the Raiders. His other "shocker" is Georgia RB Todd Gurley going #6 to the N.Y. Jets. His knee was cleared at the medical rechecks and he's reportedly shooting up draft boards, but are the Jets passing on Williams for him? Doubtful.
Only 8 more days until silly season is over...