Peter King from MMQB,
love like him or hate him, has released his final mock draft before the real thing happens in two days, and he has the Redskins doing something most fans would like to see happen. Before getting into the mock, King mentions several teams at the top of the draft who are looking to trade down including the Jets, Vikings, and Redskins. He also mentions several teams looking to trade up like the Falcons(pass rusher), Chiefs(WR) and Eagles(Mariota). We also learned yesterday that the Browns have been calling almost every team ahead of them to check the price to trade up for Marcus Mariota. So who is the lucky team that will be drafting at #5 this year? That would be the Atlanta Falcons who are desperate to improve their pass rush, and get one of the best edge rushers in the draft, Dante Fowler, Jr.
That sounds great, but what did the Redskins get in return for dropping three spots in the 1st round? King has notoriously been cheap in his compensation for teams trading down this year, and he once again gives the Redskins less value than fans would expect. He has Atlanta sending their 3rd round pick(#73) and explains that using the traditional draft trade value chart, the Redskins are losing 75 points in value which is roughly the Falcons 4th round pick. King mentions a 6th or 7th round pick possibly in play, but that also seems low. Will McCloughan consider an extra 3rd to move down? It could depend on his rating of Dante Fowler, Jr. who is considered the best OLB prospect in the draft by some. He has made it clear that he wants more picks, but are there players he won't drop for?
The next few picks in the draft play out favorably for McCloughan and the Redskins, with the Jets taking OT Andrus Peat, and the Bears taking OLB Bud Dupree. This leaves Vic Beasley, who some have rated higher than Fowler, available and the Redskins don't hesitate in taking him. The Redskins get their top pass rusher, and walk away with an extra Top 75 pick in the draft.
5. *Atlanta: Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida
* Atlanta trades its third-round pick (73rd overall) to Washington to move from 8 to 5 in round one.
On the draft-trade chart that all teams use, the 73rd pick is worth 225 points, and the jump from 8 to 5 should take 300 points. But a sixth- or seventh-round pick likely isn't going to stop pass-rush-desperate Atlanta from jumping over Chicago to get the best pass-rusher in the draft. However—and this is a big however—I believe if the draft falls the way I have it one through four, Washington GM Scot McCloughan would also be lusting after Fowler. So McCloughan could stay right here and pick Fowler himself. I made the deal because McCloughan badly wants more picks.
8. *Washington: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
*From Atlanta. Beasley had a freakish scouting combine (4.53 speed in the 40, a ridiculous 35 reps in the 225-pound bench press), the most impressive performance of anyone in the underwear Olympics in February. He wasn't the most consistent player at Clemson, but he has the best anticipation out of the snap of any rusher in this draft. Hard to imagine he'll get out of the top 10. Good fit for a defense that lost Brian Orakpo in free agency.
MMQB released another mock draft today, this one coming from Greg Bedard. He labels it the Anti-Mock Draft, and unlike King who is predicting what he thinks teams will do, Bedard is playing the role of GM for each team and picking the players he would select. He starts with an upset, and has Marcus Mariota going to the Bucs. The next 3 players off the board are Amari Cooper(TEN), Dante Fowler, Jr.(JAX), and Leonard Williams(OAK). That seems normal enough, except for the glaring omission of FSU QB Jameis Winston.
Bedard mentions again that Scot McCloughan would love to trade out of this spot, and if Winston was there, the phone would definitely be ringing. There's also the slight possibility that McCloughan hasn't been blowing smoke about the Redskins possibly taking a QB if he was the best available player on their board at #5. But neither of those scenarios play out here and Bedard has the same pick as King for Washington, Clemson OLB Vic Beasley. Bedard is a little more critical of this pick, and cites Beasley's play vs the run in college. Bedard clearly prefers Randy Gregory on the field, but cites his off the field issues as the reason he won't go this high.
Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
New general manager Scot McCloughan would love to trade down and accumulate picks to work his magic. Don't love this pick because the jury is out on whether Beasley can be anything but a situational pass rusher in the NFL due to his struggles against the run, but he's about the only option in this spot. Randy Gregory has more potential but is way too high a risk off the field for this high in the draft.