While there is plenty of speculation about free agency and what the Redskins do there, the draft is where Scot McCloughan and the Redskins are primarily looking to build up their roster for the long haul.
Using On the Clock and On the Clock Premium I will look at a variety of plausible draft scenarios leading up to the draft, and give my thoughts on these picks and scenarios. Please use these posts to comment on not only these scenarios but also to share your own drafts.
For my 2nd Mock draft scenario, I decided to use Bleacher report’s Matt Miller’s big board for this simulation. Instead of trading back in the first round, I did small trade backs in the 3rd and 4th rounds landing an extra late 5th and a 7th round pick. Follow along with the draft here!
17: R1P17 S BUDDA BAKER WASHINGTON
-When the 17th pick came up the draft board was filled with Corners, EDGEs, and tight ends, which aren’t exactly top need positions for the Redskins. This is why trading back on draft day could end up making a lot of sense for the Redskins. Instead of trading back I went with Baker who is a bit of a reach for me at 17, but a guy who fills a major need for the Redskins. Baker is a true free safety and would be a major upgrade to the back-end of the Redskins defense.
49: R2P17 LB JARRAD DAVIS FLORIDA
-Davis is a highly athletic ILB prospect with excellent instincts in the running game. He could be a day one starter and a nice upgrade for the Redskins LB corps which has been below average for years. Davis will be a 3 down LB, and he’s okay as both a blitzer and in coverage, but I don’t think he excels in either area yet. The tools are there for Davis to become a Pro Bowl caliber LB, but one concern is his health as he’s coming off an injury (which is in part why he could be there in the 2nd).
88: R3P24 DL CARLOS WATKINS CLEMSON
-Watkins is one of my favorite DL in this class as he has excellent size, quickness and power, who is pretty balanced as both a solid run and pass defender. Watkins like a number of interior defensive linemen in this class has a wide range of opinions on his future potential. Some see him as a top 50 guy, while others might not even have him making the top 100 cut. For me the flashes and size swing it and I would definitely consider him in either the 2nd or the 3rd.
112: R4P7 QB NATHAN PETERMAN PITTSBURGH
-Personally I think that Peterman will be off the board at this point as too many teams could use either a number 1 or a developmental guy, but if he’s on the board the Redskins have to consider it. While I don’t see any sort of trade option with Cousins, it is in the realm of possibilities and what is more likely is that his contract status won’t be determined by this time. If the Redskins have any concern that Cousins may not be on the team in 2018, drafting a guy like Peterman makes sense. Peterman is one of the more NFL ready QBs in this class and while his tools aren’t great, he can be a decent starter in a WCO system.
125: R4P20 OT TAYLOR MOTON WESTERN MICHIGAN
-Moton for me profiles really well as a guard or a right tackle. I personally like him as a top 100 guy, so this is an easy selection for me as I’d look to make him the left guard of the future. He may even be able to start as a rookie and I think this is a nice value pick here.
155: R5P10 DL LARRY OGUNJOBI CHARLOTTE
-Ogunjobi is another DL with a lot of raw upside and good size. He’s really strong at the point of attack and he could even be a 1 gap NT, in a 3-4. He probably needs to start off as a rotational player, but the upside is there for more down the road.
162: R5P17 WR JALEN ROBINETTE AIR FORCE
-Robinette has excellent size and decent speed, who could eventually develop into a top 3 WR on a team. Early on I wouldn’t expect a lot from Robinette, but his size could make him usable in certain packages as he develops.
169: R5P24 S RAYSHAWN JENKINS MIAMI (FLA.)
-Jenkins is an in the box safety, who is really good in run support and the short area. His overall coverage ability still needs work, but he’s okay overall. He could offer nice depth behind Cravens and even work his way onto the nickel defense as a nickel LB.
202: R6P17 DL TANOH KPASSAGNON VILLANOVA
-There are many who believe that based on his pure size and raw ability Kpassagnon will be a top 2 round guy at best and a top 100 player at worst, but that is definitely not a consensus opinion. If Kpassagnon is sliding, he makes a nice high upside pick here in the 6th round. He’s got the frame of a Calais Campbell, but he’s not nearly refined enough. The Redskins though can take their time developing him and hopefully unleash his full potential.
210: R6P25 RB JAMES CONNER PITTSBURGH
-Conner is a big power back who battled cancer and an ACL injury in 2015. He came back this past year to rush for over 1,000 yards and 16 TDs. Conner is going to get high marks in leadership and character, and he’s a very physical back who could be a major weapon in the short yardage situations that the Redskins struggled with a year ago. Conner lacks the speed and change of direction to probably ever be a full time starting back, but he can have a valuable role as a situational runner/back-up.
241: R7P20 K ZANE GONZALEZ ARIZONA STATE
-One benefit of adding extra picks is it could allow the Redskins the chance to bring in some competition for Dustin Hopkins who really struggled this season. Gonzalez very well could be off the board at this point as many rate him as a the top kicker in the draft. If he is there though it makes a lot of sense. He’s got a big leg that has a 75% touchback rate over the last two years. Gonzalez also showed distance as a senior with 7 FGs of 50+ yards.
-Despite not having the board match what I feel the Redskins need in the 1st round, I think this shows there are a lot of early round defensive options to help bolster the Redskins. Baker, Davis and Watkins can all make an early impact, while guys like Ogunjobi, Jenkins, Kpassagnon can offer nice potential and solid depth as rookies. Offensively this draft doesn’t offer a ton as both Robinette and Conner are probably role players at best early on. Moton I do believe can be a starting guard quickly in the NFL so he may be able to make an impact next year. Peterman is a great insurance policy if the Redskins don’t have a Cousins resolution by the time of the draft.
What do you think? What picks do you like and what ones would you change?