With the Combine over (and to take away from some of the negative Redskins of late), I wanted to do a new Mock Draft scenario. For this one I used the CBS big board and did a Premium Mock Draft scenario. For this one I went in with the mindset that the Redskins retain Cousins, but I am less confident about what other moves might be made. Generally speaking it sounds the like the Redskins won’t retain Garcon & Jackson, and Baker too might end up leaving. It does sound like they are interested in other defensive linemen so if Baker leaves, they will hopefully at least bring in another big name. When it comes to wide receiver it sounds like there is a chance they would sign a 2nd or 3rd tier free agent, but it’s also possible they go young.
Overall my thought process is that while the Redskins won’t be big spenders, I think what money they do spend will be along the defensive line, with at least one bigger signing and one other d-lineman. Beyond that I see a couple other minor signings possibly at guard and wide receiver, though not to the point where I think they would have a major impact on their draft decisions.
20: R1P20 EDGE HAASON REDDICK TEMPLE
-Reddick blew up the combine, and should be pretty well locked into the first round now. It’s possible he goes higher than this, but it’s reasonable that he could still be on the board. He’s going to be more of an ILB in the Redskins system, but he has the speed, quickness and natural cover ability to make the transition pretty easily. In addition to his ability to help the Redskins in coverage and boost their ILB talent, Reddick is a really good pass rusher as well. He can help blitz from his ILB spot and help off the edge as well (this is more important now with Murphy’s suspension). Reddick has the upside to become a true difference maker on defense and a guy who will be a match-up nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators.
49: R2P17 S OBI MELIFONWU CONNECTICUT
-Speaking of blowing up the Combine, Melifonwu posted simply ridiculous on the last day of the Combine and has his stock rising. There is a chance someone jumps on him earlier, but there is some inconsistency with his tape, which could keep him out of the first round. If he’s on the board though I think he’d be a great pick-up for the Redskins. While Melifonwu isn’t a true single-high free safety, he’s got the size, speed and quickness to handle the position. He’s got nice ball skills and generally is quick to read and react. Melifonwu can also play more in the box in certain formations and could be part of a 3 safety sub package similar to what the Patriots used last year. Melifonwu can be that match-up safety who can cover tight ends in the slot and bigger receivers as well. He’s also really effective in run support and as a blitzer. There is still some rough edges, but Melifonwu has the chance to be special.
81: R3P17 DL ELIJAH QUALLS WASHINGTON
-Qualls is an athletic, versatile defensive tackle who can play any interior position, and can work in either a 1 or a 2 gap system. He’s a bit short for a 5 technique, but I think he’s fine in that role. He plays with good power and short area quickness, and profiles as a really good run defender at the next level. He’ll never be a big time pass rusher, but he can push the pocket and finish plays when he needs to. I like his versatility and his stout run defense. Depending on what the Redskins due in free agency he could be an early starter (and should at least play on run downs).
124: R4P17 WR TAYWAN TAYLOR WESTERN KENTUCKY
-Taylor is one of the smoothest receivers in this class in his route running and does a nice job creating separation. He did play in a system that didn’t ask him to run every route so he could need some work, but overall he should be able to contribute as a rookie, and has starting potential. He can play in the slot or line-up outside if need be. He’s got good speed and picks up a lot of yards after the catch.
127: R4P20 RB JEREMY MCNICHOLS BOISE STATE
-McNichols is one of the intriguing 2nd tier running backs who should go in the 3rd-5th round of the draft. He’s got good vision and nice long speed capable of picking up chunks of yards. McNichols is also a really good receiving back who is a tough assignment for linebackers to cover. As a rookie he can be a solid number two back and potentially develop into a starter going forward.
129: R4P22 WR JOSH REYNOLDS TEXAS A&M
-Reynolds is a good value pick for this spot. He’s got good size, and nice long speed, while being perhaps one of the top 3 receivers at jump balls in this class. He probably will never be a true number one, but he can be a nice 2nd receiver (in many ways he’s a poor mans Doctson) if he reaches his potential. If the Redskins do go young at receiver, he can push for playing time as a rookie and be used in certain packages as a deep threat or in the red zone.
154: R5P10 DL EDDIE VANDERDOES UCLA
-Vanderdoes could slide to this area due to injury concerns, but I feel he’s a steal here. While his injuries and inconsistent tape can be worrisome, he also flashes the potential and upside to be a very good starter down the road. He can play any defensive line position for the Redskins and he offers really good depth here at this pick.
158: R5P14 S JOHN JOHNSON BOSTON COLLEGE
-Johnson has natural free safety ability and would be a perfect safety to pair with Melifonwu, particularly in a sub package. He doesn’t have elite speed, but he’s got enough range and athleticism to handle a single high role. He’s long with good ball skills and I could really see himself pushing for a high usage role early in his career. Some teams might be higher on him due to his upside, but he’s generally considered a 4th-5th rounder so it’s not too shocking to see him on the board.
201: R6P17 TE MICHAEL ROBERTS TOLEDO
-Whether the Redskins re-sign Vernon Davis or not, adding a TE who can be an in line blocker makes sense. Roberts definitely has that ability with his 6’4”, 261 lbs frame. He excelled as a run blocker in the MAC and looked good in Senior Bowl drills as well. While on paper he would likely be the 3rd or 4th TE (depending on what happens to Davis and the health of Paul and Carrier), but he could carve out a good chunk of playing time on running downs. Though known for his run blocking, Roberts is a capable receiver as well in the short and intermediate areas.
209: R6P25 C JON TOTH KENTUCKY
- While Spencer Long should have the center position locked up, adding some depth here makes sense. Toth is a multi-year starter for Kentucky who had a really good career in the SEC. While he’s unlikely to develop into a starter at guard, he has the size to play the position at least in a back-up capacity.
220: R7P2 CB BRENDAN LANGLEY LAMAR (TX)
-Langley is a raw corner with good size and speed, that has some future starting upside. He’s not ready to contribute early in his career, and he needs to learn a lot of NFL coverages and techniques, but the potential is there. He flashed some Senior Bowl week and if he slips this far the Redskins would be wise to grab him.
235: R7P17 EDGE JOE MATHIS WASHINGTON
-Mathis was a productive EDGE who can be an outside linebacker at the next level. Mathis doesn’t seem to have elite burst or speed, but he was highly productive to start this season before suffering a torn ligament in his foot mid year. He may never be a starter, but he could be a solid back-up EDGE player.
This is one of my favorite mock structures that I’ve done. I like making just a couple of small trade backs, and adding a few extra selections. I was still able to land Reddick who I really think is just an excellent fit for the Redskins. Starting the draft with Reddick, Melifonwu and Qualls I think the Redskins would improve on all three levels as rookies. Johnson and Vanderdoes I think can both contribute as role players as rookkies as well. Later in the draft Langley and Mathis are nice depth options and Langley is a nice upside play.
Obviously the offense took a backseat in this mock, but I still liked getting Taylor, McNichols and Reynolds. I think all three can help as rookies and have the potential to be solid starters at least. Roberts eventually can be the number two TE and get a fair amount of playing time, but even as a rookie he can see the field as a really good run blocking TE. Toth is more of a back-up only guy, but he gives nice depth at center in case Long were to get hurt.
What do you think, now that the Combine is over who are you targeting?