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Redskins mock draft scenario if they trade Kirk Cousins

A look at a possible Redskins mock draft scenario if they move on from Kirk Cousins.

NCAA Football: Rice at Stanford Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While I am by no means suggesting the Redskins should trade Kirk Cousins or that I would be okay with the following trade. Given some of the rhetoric in the news today and speculation that a trade could occur, I wanted to take a look at what that scenario might mean for the Redskins using On the Clock Premium

The Trade: Redskins trade Cousins to the 49ers for their 2nd and 5th round picks, plus a 1st next year. (note: since you can’t trade players in the simulator, I acquired the picks by trading away a 1st next year, but obviously that would not be part of the trade).

While many believe the Redskins could use the money they save by letting Cousins go, the reality is if they let Cousins walk they should be in more of a rebuild mode. I don’t imagine they will be big spenders in free agency and they will likely let Baker, Jackson, and Garcon all walk. Given that mindset, I wanted to stockpile picks in the early and mid rounds.

Follow along with the mock here!

31: R1P31 RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY STANFORD

-When both the 17th pick came up and this selection Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer was on the board, but I choose to go in a different direction. While Kizer is an intriguing prospect and a worthy 1st round talent, he’s not a safe prospect or a guy who I think you can count on in the first year or two. While a case can be made for taking him, I wanted more overall impact and certainty with the top of this draft class.

Though there were plenty of intriguing options on the board I went with McCaffrey to give the Redskins a talented play-maker at running back. McCaffrey can do it all as a running back and he can be quite the weapon catching the football as well. With the Redskins likely seeing a major decline in their passing attack, they need at add offensive talent to help stem the tide. McCaffrey is well worth this pick and a great option to kick-off the rebuild for the Redskins.

46: R2P14 DL CALEB BRANTLEY FLORIDA

-After trading back the 49ers pick, I was thrilled to see Brantley still on the board here. I feel like Brantley is the 3rd best DL that fits the Redskins system (i.e. no Solomon Thomas), and unlike Malik McDowell he doesn’t have the character red flags to worry about. Brantley could be a key building block as the Redskins look to reshape their defense and get younger along the defensive line. He’s got good size, power and burst and he just needs to be more consistent and technically sound to reach his full potential.

49: R2P17 S BUDDA BAKER WASHINGTON

-At this pick I would go with pretty much the best FS option on the board, and Baker being here makes it an easy call. He’s a natural centerfielder and a really good cover guy, who has a knack for making plays. He would be another day one starter for the Redskins and a guy with the upside to become one of the better free safeties in the league in a couple of years.

63: R2P31 QB NATHAN PETERMAN PITTSBURGH

-If you want a quarterback that could move quickly and fit Jay Gruden’s offense, Peterman could be that guy. He’s not the most physically gifted QB, but he’s smart, he’s accurate and he’s got excellent feel for pressure. He has a similar skill set/characteristics as Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins when they came out, but he might not reach their level. Peterman is one of the safest QB prospects in the class as his floor is basically Colt McCoy. It’s not the flashiest of picks, but Peterman gives Gruden and company a young QB to develop that should be able to challenge for the starting job by year 2, if not even sooner.

81: R3P17 C ETHAN POCIC LSU

-In continuing to build up the offense for the future the Redskins can address their hole at LG. I don’t see the Redskins being major spenders on the FA market, so it’s unlikely they add any of the top FA guards. Pocic can play any interior position (honestly he could probably play RT as well), and should push for the starting LG role this year. He’s an athletic lineman with good hand usage and technique that wins a high percentage of his battles. He should fill the one last issue on the Redskins line and give them a strong unit to build around going forward.

114: R4P7 WR TAYWAN TAYLOR WESTERN KENTUCKY

-While I’m not sure the Redskins spend big on receiver regardless, without Cousins it makes zero sense to put any significant financial resources in the receiver position because you won’t be able to maximize the return on the investment. That being said the Redskins still need talent at the position and they can utilize the depth of the draft class and the additional mid-round picks they’ve stockpiled. Taylor can play both in the slot and outside and he has excellent speed and footwork, which helps him create a lot of separation vs man coverage. He has big play ability, but he can also be a high volume chain moving receiver as well. He’s got soft hands and should be able to contribute as a rookie.

122: R4P15 WR SHELTON GIBSON WEST VIRGINIA

-Gibson is a burner and a guy who can help stretch the field to replace Desean Jackson. He’s not the most refined route runner and he’ll need some development there, but he can contribute as a deep threat and on screens to pick up chunks of yards. He’s a high-upside pick here and a guy who can hopefully develop behind Doctson, Crowder and Taylor.

124: R4P17 DL VINCENT TAYLOR OKLAHOMA STATE

-I wrote up Vincent Taylor the other day, and he remains one of my favorite options in the 4th round area. He’s a disruptive pass rusher, who can offer quality snaps as a rookie as he develops a more well-rounded skill set. Pairing him with Brantley gives the Redskins two young high-upside DL to develop.

146: R5P2 LB KENDELL BECKWITH LSU

-Beckwith tore his ACL late in the season otherwise he would have been in consideration for a top 75 pick. When healthy he’s a good, solid ILB prospect who can thrive vs the run and be passable in coverage (though ideally you’d sub him out on some 3rd and longs). His injury makes him a bit of a risk, but the Redskins can afford to take a shot here given their extra selections and the upside he brings.

154: R5P10 EDGE TYUS BOWSER HOUSTON

-Bowser is an interesting mid-round EDGE prospect who probably only fit for 3-4 teams looking for a developmental or situational rusher. He’s got some natural speed and bend from the EDGE, and he could put up some solid sack numbers with enough pass rushing attempts. He’s athletic enough in coverage, but lacks instincts there. His run defense is more of concern for him and what will make it tough for him to be relied on as a starter early in his career. For the Redskins though they don’t need him to be an every down player, so that makes him a nice fit here.

158: R5P14 TE MICHAEL ROBERTS TOLEDO

-The Redskins could use in an in line TE to complement Jordan Reed, and with the extra picks and the talented TE class they should look to nab one at some point in this draft. Roberts has excellent size, and power to be a punishing run blocker (though technique is still an issue). He’s not a guy who will threaten teams deep as a receiver, but in the short and intermediate areas he should be a strong threat.

159: R5P15 DL ISAAC ROCHELL NOTRE DAME

-For the final pick in the draft I went back to the well of rebuilding the defensive line. If the Redskins don’t bring back Baker and add a top free agent, they will have a lot of holes along the DL. Adding Brantley and Taylor is a great start, but this unit needs a lot of help. Rochell would be a good run stopper/early down player for the Redskins. He doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher, but at this point that is fine.

Overall:

Obviously there are a lot of unknowns in this kind of scenario, but this does give some idea of how the Redskins could look to approach the draft if they move on from Cousins. It would be ideal to acquire the 2nd overall pick from the 49ers, but if they are bulking or would want the 17th in return, I’d prefer a trade like this (not that I’m suggesting a trade is in the Redskins best interest), as they could get more total picks to help the rebuild.

To clarify one thing that I touched on above about the Redskins unlikely to spend money this offseason, that is just how I see it most likely playing out. It doesn’t make much sense to spend big in free agency if you don’t have a QB capable of putting you in the playoff mix. It’s much better long term to save that money and carry it over until you have a more complete team ready to contend. It’s what the Raiders did a couple years ago and it paid off for them (mainly because they landed Carr). Others like the Jaguars, Browns, and 49ers have done it with lesser results. Still it’s better than wasting money on years where you won’t be a serious contender.

That was my mindset entering this draft and how I wanted to try to build my team up. Overall I think I did pretty well. McCaffery gives the Redskins a potential star running back, while Pocic and Taywan Taylor could both push for starting roles as rookies. Peterman is one of the better fits for this team, and even if the Redskins coaches change, he should be fine in most systems. Gibson and Roberts both could help the team in certain situations as rookies and develop into significant contributors in the future.

Defensively Brantley and and Baker should be immediate starters and both have the potential to become very good starters and key pieces of the defense. Taylor, Rochell and Bowser can be solid role contributors early in their career and hopefully take on bigger roles in the future. Beckwith is a bit of a wild card, but he’s worth the 5th round pick, even if he’s unlikely to contribute as a rookie.

What do you think? If Cousins is traded how should the Redskins respond with their draft class?