The Washington Redskins currently hold the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. For a defense in need of a few "difference makers", and a draft that is trending a bit top-heavy in defensive talent, the Skins aren't exactly sitting in a great spot to nab one the elite defenders at a great position of need. Our previous GM, whos name I won't mention here, had no problem mortgaging the farm to move up in the draft...almost to the point where he became a laughing stock around league circles. Scot McCloughan, however, is quite the opposite.
Scot seems very content to either select the best player available, or trade back to accumulate more draft picks. Being that he is a "build through the draft guy first", and trusts his eyes(and the eyes of his scouts), he is quite content to maximize as many picks as he can in a given draft.
This year may be a bit different however.
It can be argued, that once Kirk Cousins' deal is out of the way, that the offense is pretty much set going forward. It can also be argued that there are three glaring weaknesses on our defense - defensive tackle, inside linebacker and free safety.
Below, I will give you three players who probably won't be available when we select at #17, but would be worth trading up in the draft to acquire...if the price is right.
Jonathan Allen(6'3" 291) DT Alabama - Allen is a pure stud at DT. I watched all of the National Championship game last evening, and this kid was a disturbing presence anywhere he lined up. It's really not fair for a big man to be THIS athletic and THIS powerful. Allen is the most complete defensive linemen in this draft, and can play the 1, 3 or 5 technique effectively. He could have entered the 2016 draft and been a top 10-15 pick, but instead chose to return to Alabama to prove to scouts he could be an every-down player. And prove that he did! We'd need to move up inside the top 10(maybe even top 5)for a realistic shot at drafting him, but he could be worth it for a defensive front lacking young, impact players.
Reuben Foster(6'1" 240) ILB Alabama - To say the play of the Redskins limebacking corps was horrible in 2016 is a gross understatement. Neither Foster or Compton proved they are legitimate starters in this league, and while one may be retained out of sheer need, both SHOULD be sent packing, or be permanent relegated to reserve roles. Foster is hands-down the most complete inside linebacker in this draft, and although he doesn't necessarily play a "premium position", it's a position of great need for the Redskins. He's likely a top 10 pick, and unlike his predecessor Reggie Ragland, there is very little chance he falls to the Redskins at #17. 6'1" 240 pound linebackers who can play all three downs, go sideline-to-sideline with ferocity, and can impact a game like he can, do not grow on trees. The fact that he had 115 total tackles, 13 for a loss, 5 sacks, and 2 passes defended will make him a top draft pick all day long.
Malik Hooker(6'2" 205) FS Ohio St. - I'm a bit surprised Hooker came out early, as many reports had him returning to Columbus for his junior year. But, make no doubt about it, this kid is an impact player at free safety - a position the Redskins are in desperate need of. Hooker is an absolutely tremendous athlete. He's long, big, powerful, fast and has exceptional vision and awareness on the field. He is a bit raw at the position still, so some early mistakes are inevitable, but his talent is absolutely undeniable. He should hear his name called anywhere between 7-15, so moving up would almost be essential if the Redskins were interested in his services.
The Left-overs: These are some guys who may be available if we hang tight at #17
Dalvin Cook(5'11" 215) RB Florida St.
Solomon Thomas(6'2" 280) DT/DE Stanford
Jamal Adams(6'0" 211) SS/FS LSU
Malik McDowell(6'5" 285) DT Mich St.
Zach Cunningham(6'3" 235) LB Vanderbilt
Raekwon McMillan(6'2" 240) LB Ohio St.
Trade-back: Here are some players who may be available if we chose to trade back for more picks.
Christian McCaffrey(6'0" 205) RB Stanford
Carlos Watkins(6'3" 305) DT Clemson
Caleb Brantley(6'2" 297) DT Florida
Budda Baker(5'10" 192) FS Washington
2nd Round Prospects:
Eddie Jackson(6'0" 195) FS Alabama
Jarred Davis(6'1" 240) LB Florida
Marcus Williams(6'0" 195) FS Utah
Chris Wormley(6'5" 302) DT Michigan
Quincy Wilson(6'0" 209) CB/FS Florida
Eddie Vanderdoes(6'2" 305) DT UCLA