With the NFL scouting combine just around the corner, I wanted to give you my pre-combine mock draft for the Washington Redskins. This is the first full 7- round mock I have done for the offseason. The combine usually flips a few players here and there, so I will revisit this version shortly after the combine to see what changes may be in store.
Round 1: Andrew Billings DT Baylor - 6'2" 310
Billings is exactly what GM Scot McCloughan wants in a football player - big, strong, nasty with a relentless motor. He is scheme diverse, and can play nose tackle or the 3-off in an odd front, and rush the passer from the 3-technique in an even front(which the Redskins employ about 30% of their defensive snaps). Billings is a day one starter, who can be a 3-down defender for Joe Barry's defense. I predict Billings will perform very well at the combine in on-filed drills, showing NFL scouts and GM's surprising fluidity for a man his size. Watch for him on the bench press, as he was a championship weightlifter in high school.
Round 2: Scooby Wright ILB Arizona - 6'1" 246
Nicknamed 2-star Scooby because of his star rating coming out of high school, Wright had just one major P5 offer, and that was from Arizona, despite attending camps, and boasting one of the highest SPARQ scores for a high school senior that year. Scooby carries a chip on his shoulder since he entered the Arizona program under Rich Rod, and that attitude carries over to games, where he is a relentless player, violent striker, and vocal leader. He is a three down inside linebacker who would be an excellent fit for just about any defense. Wright is said to be entering the combine a little bit lighter than his listed weight of 246, and I expect to see him put on a show at Indianapolis, possibly raising his stock even higher.
Round 3: Cyrus Jones CB Alabama - 5'10" 196
If jones were 3 inches taller, he'd be a first round selection. Regardless, this kid is a pure baller. He's build like a running back, runs like a corner, and has the ball skills of a receiver. He is also an excellent returner; something the Redskins have been lacking for years. Jones can come in an immediately be a contributer in nickel packages as a slot corner, but despite his size, he's not going to be limited to just the inside in the NFL, as I believe from watching his film that he could thrive as a field corner in the league. He has smooth hips, an excellent backpedal, and the ability to turn and run with speed receivers. He's also an excellent tackler in space, and is not afraid to come up and set the edge in run support.
Round 4: Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa - 6'4" 224
I've been afraid to mock Garrett to the Redskins because selfishly, I want him to stay as far under the radar as possible. I fear we will be hearing much more about him after the combine however. Garrett burst onto the scene as a sophomore, recording 67 receptions for 845 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was poised for an even bigger junior year, but he suffered a compound fractur early on, and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. He came back as a redshirt junior and didn't quite put up the same kind of numbers, causing some doubt amongst the scouting community, but he quietly put that to rest in 2015, putting up 1588 receiving yards on 96 catches with 8 touchdowns. Garrett looks the part with his imposing 6'4" frame, and his deep speed is excellent. He has the ability to win jump balls, and is a threat in the red zone - something the Redskins have been lacking on the outside for years.
Round 5: Kevin Hogan QB Stanford - 6'3" 217
Hogan is a big-armed QB, and anyone who knows me, realizes I covet this trait in my passers. He is a bit raw with his mechanics, but those can be worked on with good NFL coaching. This is a kid who will benefit from learning the NFL game for a few years before he needs to be called on to contribute. He certainly has starter mentality, size, and attitude, but really needs time to perfect his flaws. Hogan could be an excellent understudy to Kirk Cousins here in DC.
Round 6: Yannick Ngakoue OLB Maryland - 6'3" 250
Ngakoue(pronounced IN-gah-kway) is a local product out of Bowie, Maryland, who could help the Redskins as a situational pass rusher. The Trent Murphy experiment hasn't gone to well in DC, and Junior Galett's future is uncertain at the moment. Regardless, a team can never have enough quality pass rushers, and Ngakoue can grow into a player at the next level if he's put in the right situation that doesn't need to rely on him to be an early contributor. He can provide depth early on behind starters Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, and can also contribute on special teams.
Round 7: Jordan Lucas FS PSU - 6'0" 205
Lucas was a former corner turned safety. He has good size and speed for the position, and is a very good open-field tackler, who flashes violence at the point of attack. His senior season was cut short with a shoulder injury, which also forced him to miss the Senior Bowl. This is something NFL executives will want to monitor at the combine. He is very similar to another Penn State safety who entered the league last year, and is now a starter for the Bears - Adrian Amos.
Round 7: Keith Marshall RB Georgia - 5'11" 215
Marshall entered Athens as one of the top prep running back in the country, but knee injuries derailed a once promising career. Marshall is the type of person people are routing for, and if he can prove the injuries are behind him, he has a shot of making an NFL roster as a reserve RB.