For this mock draft simulation I didn’t come in with a major game plan other than I was looking to move back in the first round and acquire more picks in the top 4-5 rounds. For this I used On the Clock Premium to make the trades and the latest CBS big board.
Follow along with the mock here!
32: R1P32 S OBI MELIFONWU CONNECTICUT
-Melifonwu has had a fantastic run-up to the draft with a really good week at the Senior Bowl and following that up with a fantastic Combine and Pro day. Melifonwu is a versatile player who can play FS, SS, Big slot corner, or even nickel/dime LB, which gives defensive coordinators a dream weapon to have on defense. Some teams will even view Melifonwu as a pure corner, which makes some sense given his size/speed, and his background at the position. He’s not a pure center field free safety, but he can handle that role if need be. For the Redskins I’d use that versatility as an advantage and just let him make plays all-over the field depending on the match-up and situation. I view Melifonwu as just an ultimate weapon in the back-end of a defense and a guy the Redskins can definitely use. Don’t pigeonhole him in any one position and let go to work. There will be some refinement needed, but the upside is massive.
49: R2P17 LB RAEKWON MCMILLAN OHIO STATE
-Good run defending ILB, who does an excellent job in finding the ball carrier and taking good angles to fill the hole and meet the runner. He’s a pretty sure tackler, who wraps up and doesn’t allow runners to get away from him. McMillan is solid in coverage and will be a 3 down LB at the next level. I wouldn’t say he’s going to match-up/shut down all backs and TEs, but he’s capable and an upgrade for the Skins. Overall I see him as a good, not great player at the next level, but that is something the Redskins have lacked at ILB since Fletcher’s prime years.
52: R2P20 G DAN FEENEY INDIANA
-One of my favorite OL in this class, Feeney is a plug and play guy who should immediately be a good solid starter at LG (also versatile enough to play some C or RT if you need him too). Feeney was a four year starter and a first team All-American (was on an All-Big 10 list all four seasons) in 2016. He’s a really good pass blocking guard, who also is a quality run blocker in either a zone or power scheme. He would be a big upgrade over what the Redskins had at LG last season and would allow them to cut Lauvao and save some money. Beyond the financial reasons, Feeney would help upgrade the offense, which is still going to be the Redskins key to contending this year.
101: R3P37 CB AHKELLO WITHERSPOON COLORADO
-While corner isn’t a primary need, it’s an area the Redskins still struggled at last season. While the hope is that Breeland will bounce back and Fuller will develop, those are far from guarantees, so adding another capable option makes sense. Witherspoon is a long corner with excellent athleticism, who could push for an outside role opposite Norman. Witherspoon is always around the football and plays with nice instincts and ball skills. Despite his size he struggles versus the run so he might be more of a nickel corner who comes in on passing downs and moves outside, shifting Breeland into the slot role. He’s a good value pick late in the 3rd round and he gives depth to a spot that under-preformed last season.
108: R4P1 C ETHAN POCIC LSU
-Didn’t need to go Pocic here, but the extra picks help. Pocic is a good interior OL prospect (could also maybe play RT as well), who has the ability to start at center or either guard position. While Feeney would be drafted for the LG role, Pocic would still be a nice value pick because he could back-up honestly 4 positions on the offensive line. Also, while Spencer Long looked pretty good as a starter last year, it would be nice to have a fallback plan if he were to falter. In addition if Long just has an average year or slightly above average, the Redskins may opt to not pay him too much on the FA market next offseason, so Pocic would offer nice insurance.
114: R4P7 DL RYAN GLASGOW MICHIGAN
-Strong physical interior run defender, who can earn snaps as a rookie to help defend the run. He won’t be much of a threat vs the Pass, but he will fight the OL and limit the area a QB can step up into. Primarily a 5 tech run defender, adds some youth to the Redskins veteran line.
123: R4P16 RB D'ONTA FOREMAN TEXAS
-Foreman exploded onto the scene this year and had a massive year for the Longhorns. He’s a bigger runner, with nice burst and long speed who can pick up big chunks of yards if he can get past the line of scrimmage. Not a bruising back despite his size, Foreman still will do a decent job picking up tough yards and he can be tough for DBs to bring down. Foreman hasn’t done much in the passing game so he’s likely limited as an early down guy, but he and Kelley can be a nice 1-2 punch with Thompson in the mix as well.
126: R4P19 EDGE TANOH KPASSAGNON VILLANOVA
-Listed as an EDGE, Kpassagnon will be a 5 tech in the Redskins system and his pass rush traits will be a welcome attribute to a defensive line that lost their best pass rusher in Chris Baker. Kpassagnon is still a raw prospect so it could be good if the Redskins can use him just situationally as a rookie, but the value and skill set are nice for this selection.
154: R5P10 WR SHELTON GIBSON WEST VIRGINIA
-One benefit of extra picks is the Redskins can add a young WR even though it’s likely they won’t see the field much as a rookie. Gibson was a flat out burner in college, and he could help replace the deep speed lost when DeSean Jackson. Though Gibson didn’t blow away the Combine with his 4.5 40, his speed is very evident on the field, and he remains one of the top deep threats in this class. Gibson also returned kicks in college and could help return value as a rookie that way.
164: R5P20 S JOHN JOHNSON BOSTON COLLEGE
-Johnson gives the Redskins another capable safety prospect and a guy who can play both FS and SS. Johnson displays natural FS skills and thrived there at Boston College. He’s a really good cover safety and always finds himself around the football. Despite being a 5th round pick, he has legitimate starting potential and could press for a bigger role in some formations. Johnson also figures to be a significant contributor on special teams as well.
209: R6P25 TE MICHAEL ROBERTS TOLEDO
-Roberts is one of the best inline TE prospects in this class and could be a nice complement to the Redskins TE depth chart. Roberts won’t likely be a true downfield threat, but he is more than just a blocking TE. He has big strong hands and presents a big target in short and intermediate areas.
235: R7P17 EDGE GARRETT SICKELS PENN STATE
-High motor edge player who is relentless in his pursuit. He’s not a great athlete, but wins with good technique and effort. He’s likely never to develop into a starter, but he can be a solid back-up player and special teamer.
I ended up trading back once in the first, second and 3rd rounds, landing an extra 2nd and a pair of 4th rounders in return. I also traded a 6th and 7th together to get an extra pick in the 5th round.
For me this draft hits on pretty much all the Redskins needs, and adds a ton of depth, while adding a number of potential starters. Melifonwu, McMillan and Feeney would all be day 1 starters in my eyes and all should be pretty productive players as rookies. Foreman, and Kpassagnon should contribute fairly significantly as rookies with larger roles and upside waiting them in the future. Witherspoon also should push for a big role as a rookie and could be a starter by year two. Glasgow can be a solid role player and help with run defense on early downs, but he’s likely never going to be more than a 50% player. Pocic, Gibson and Johnson all offer quality depth at key areas and have some starting potential for the future if roles open up. While Roberts and Sickels can both be solid back-ups who carve out little contributing roles on the team.
My only knock is that overall I think the class is good, but it lacks upside. Melifonwu has the chance to be special, and Kpassagnon has a ton of upside, but the rest of the defenders are probably above-average-to-good starters if they hit their peak. That is good value for many of these picks, but it might not be as big of a jump as some were hoping. On offense Feeney can be a really good starting guard, and the last cog in the offensive line, but the rest of the group is likely capped. Pocic might just end up a back-up, Gibson just a deep burner/big play guy, and Foreman part of a platoon. Again it’s value and upgrades to the team, but is it enough upside is the question.
It’s a good class and it really fills out and balances the Redskins depth chart, but I still wasn’t able to land a true NT (not that there are a ton of great options). That’s not ideal, but the Redskins DL should be versatile enough that it won’t matter.
What do you think? Do you like these picks? Were the trade backs worth it?