ESPN's Todd McShay has released his first mock draft of the season, just in time for December draft watch to start for the Redskins. This mock is working off of ESPN's Football Power Index that simulates the remaining schedule 10,000 times. The Redskins get the 13th pick in this mock, but currently have the 10th pick if the season ended now.
Any mock draft is going to have a little note on it about the Redskins neverending death dance with QB Kirk Cousins. If Washington lets him walk, or tags and trades him, QB is the team's #1 need immediately. Colt McCoy is the only QB under contract for next year, and the team lost their developmental prospect Nate Sudfeld to the Eagles.
McShay assumes the Redskins will have Cousins under contract for at least one more year, and goes for one of the top safeties in this year's class. The safety position continues to be a major issue in Washington, despite the recent free agent signing of D.J. Swearinger, and drafting of Montae Nicholson. Swearinger is a great fit on the team at strong safety, and Nicholson showed potential at free safety but injuries have derailed his rookie year.
Derwin James, S, Florida State*
This is one of the tougher picks to predict, as the direction will be dictated by what happens with Kirk Cousins. If he's back, the best player on the board is James, who is an extremely versatile safety and will likely test well at the combine. In a division with Alshon Jeffery, Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant at wide receiver, you can't have enough secondary help.
McShay gives the Redskins Florida State safety Derwin James with the 13th pick in the draft. James(6'3", 232lbs) has played at FSU since 2015, and is expected to enter the draft as a lock in the 1st round. He played 12 games during the 2015 and 2017 seasons, but only played 2 games in 2016 due to knee surgery. James earned 1st(FWAA) and 2nd team(AP) All-American honors this season.
Do the Redskins need to spend a 1st round pick to finally solve their safety problem, and is James the player to do it?
The next 6 picks in McShay's mock:
14. Miami Dolphins, Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame*
15. Buffalo Bills, Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
16. Dallas Cowboys, Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
17. Green Bay Packers, Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
18. Detroit Lions, Tremaine Edmunds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
19. San Diego Chargers, Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma