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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper gives the Redskins another Running Back

Another RB for the Redskins

NCAA Football: Stanford at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. is back with his third mock draft of the season. Mock Draft 1.0 gave the Redskins Ohio State safety Malik Hooker in the 1st round. Hooker goes 10 spots earlier in this version to the Chargers. Mock Draft 2.0 went to the offensive side of the ball with Washington taking FSU RB Dalvin Cook. Cook drops down to the Packers at No. 29 in Mock 3.0.

Kiper’s latest mock gives the Redskins another RB, this time he turns to Christian McCaffrey, the versatile offensive weapon from Stanford. Several mock drafts have been giving the Redskins a RB recently, rotating between the top three prospects McCaffrey, Cook, and Leonard Fournette. The Redskins would like to add a dynamic back to the position, but the question remains whether that is the best value and fit for the team in the 1st round this year.

17. Washington Redskins

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford | Watch highlights

Like I mentioned in Mock Draft 2.0: At what point should a team forget about what's conventional and just take the best football player? That's the value in McCaffrey here. The Redskins like Rob Kelley, but McCaffrey brings a different element to the offense as a runner and receiver, and he can be a return man, too. McCaffrey's 4.48 40 and 37.5-inch vertical at the combine eliminated any doubts about his athleticism.

Head Coach Jay Gruden is an offensive coach who is heading into the season with a new offensive and defensive coordinator(not to mention a new/no GM). McCaffrey is the type of player that would obviously be appealing to him given his athleticism and versatility to run, catch, and return the ball.

The Redskins have more pressing needs on defense, specifically at ILB, FS, and defensive tackle. The Redskins have their two starting ILBs returning from last year, but there needs to be an upgrade. Su’a Cravens is converting to safety this year, and the team signed D.J. Swearinger, but the FS spot is still a question mark with the oft-injured DeAngelo Hall likely getting a shot to make the team, and Will Blackmon back there as well. That’s a lot of hope that something works back there. The defensive line replaces Chris Baker and Ricky Jean Francois with Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. Greg Manusky said the team might have to look to the draft to find a DT.

After the Redskins pick at 17, eight defensive players are taken. With several OLBs, CBs, DL, and safeties still on the board, is RB in a loaded draft the right call here? It will depend on how Scot McCloughan Bruce Allen has the players rated this year, and how much weight need plays into this version of the Redskins drafting strategy. Washington has gone offense in the 1st the last two years in a row. Is a 1st round RB next?