UPDATE 10:28 PM EST: James joins The Audible to discuss his roundtable discussion...this time with even more discussion!
With the 2017 NFL Draft just over a week away, I thought it would be a good time for Hogs Haven's writers to join forces and discuss some of the biggest questions surrounding the Redskins' potential draft strategy and outcomes.
For this edition of the draft roundtable, I'll be joined by Hogs Haven head honcho, Ken Meringolo, his co-host on the Audible, Kevin Ricca, and draft-profile extraordinaire, Cadillactica.
Q: What's your most ideal "realistic" pick for the Redskins with their first-round pick (17th overall)?
Cadillactica: Inside linebacker, safety and defensive line all make sense for the Redskins at 17. I'd love for the Skins to pick a player true and prototypical to these positions. But in typical Redskins fashion, I think Taco Charlton will be the most "realistic" pick of the front office and coaches. A good player, but a tweener with no true position in our defense and slightly overdrafted. It makes perfect sense.
Ken: The most ideal "realistic" pick for the Redskins at #17 would be Reuben Foster, who is only realistic because he seems to be consistently mocked in the middle teens of this draft. He would fill arguably our greatest short- and long-term need and would start immediately. I don't think he is the only answer, and I also think people will take issue with just how realistic this selection is (which I won't argue with), but that should get the ball rolling.
Kevin: The most ideal realistic pick at 17 to me is Dalvin Cook, a dynamic and versatile weapon to provide a huge upgrade to our run game. Also, the major defensive difference makers and Fournette/McCaffrey will be gone.
James: I'm not as high on Cook as most for several reasons: poor athleticism, somewhat of an extensive injury history, a bit of a fumbling problem and multiple off-field incidents. I'd rather trade down into the second round and take Joe Mixon than pick Cook at 17.
I've seen both Reuben Foster and Jonathan Allen be picked at 17 in multiple mocks; but as much as I'd like for the Redskins to walk away with either player, I just don't think that those are realistic outcomes. I'll go with Haason Reddick, but it's even beginning to look like he won't be available when Washington goes on the clock either.
Q: Who would be the worst pick for the Redskins at 17?
James: DeShaun Watson. This would be a horrible pick for two reasons. First, it would likely signal that Kirk Cousins' time in Washington was coming to an end. I also just don't think Watson is going to be that good of an NFL quarterback. He's far less athletic than Robert Griffin and has an arm that might be weaker than Colt McCoy's.
Kevin: The worst pick for us at 17 would be Malik McDowell. In his time at Michigan State his effort, passion, dedication, heart and love of the game has been questioned. In my time as a Skins fan, I've seen this movie "based on a true story" at the DT position one too many times.
Cadillactica: The selection of Malik McDowell would be turn off the TV and let the ice melt in my bourbon worthy. No one needs to explain to me how talented he is. I can see that. But you can't teach will and passion for the game. The first pick needs to be willing to work their butt off and to be ready day one.
Ken: The worst pick for the Redskins at #17 would be John Ross. While I do think he will be a difference-maker in the league, I feel like there will be other players available that would better impact our starting lineup. We just went wide receiver in the first round, and unless Matt Millen is making our picks, I don't see the Redskins double-dipping like that.
Q: How many quarterbacks will be selected in the first round and before the Redskins make their first selection?
Ken: The more quarterbacks that get taken before the Redskins, the better. I will play based on the assumption that a mini-run happens in front of us, and three signal-callers go in front of the Redskins. I will say four total quarterbacks go in the first round (Trubisky, Watson, Mahomes and Webb).
Kevin: I see four QBs taken in the first round. Watson, Trubisky, Mahomes, Kizer. Trubisky and Watson will go before us and Mahomes right after. Someone will not be able to resist the tools Kizer brings before round one ends.
James: It's hard not to agree with Ken and Kevin on this one, but I'll be a contrarian and say that only three signal-callers will be selected in the first 32 picks. I say this because the average number of quarterbacks selected in the first round in both the last five and the last ten drafts is 2.6; and don't forget that this is widely considered to be a poor QB class. I do, however, believe that two quarterbacks will be selected before 17.
Cadillactica: Two quarterbacks will go before pick 17 (Pat Mahomes and Mitch Trubisky). I think DeShone Kizer sneaks into the back of the first round as well (3 total).
Q: What kind of compensation would you need to see the Redskins receive to make you comfortable with a Kirk Cousins trade?
Ken: I am uncomfortable with pretty much any draft compensation for Kirk Cousins. He is beyond a known quantity, and draft picks are anything but. Our franchise cannot afford to take that kind of a step back...not when there is still hope that we can lock Kirk up for the long haul. And there IS still hope.
James: There probably isn't any realistic return that would make me "comfortable" with trading Cousins either. But look, if he flat-out doesn't want to be here or they are simply unwilling to pay him fair market value (for whatever insane reasoning or logic that they might have), then maybe they should trade him and get something better than a compensatory third rounder for him.
I'd probably never fully recover from such a move, but I think that something like 2017 second and fourth-round picks and 2018 first and third-rounders is fair and would help to ease my pain.
Kevin: There is no compensation that would ever make me comfortable losing a homegrown stud at the most important position in pro sports. If he pulls the plug on wanting to remain here I wouldn't take less than 2 first-rounders. The good guys need to use his leverage to help us at some point.
Cadillactica: I don't want Cousins to leave, but if he has to then I want to rob the team who is trading for him blind. Compensation before or on draft day: 2017, 2018 and 2019 first-round picks OR 2017 and 2018 firsts plus 2017 and 2018 seconds. The point is if the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins from this team it will take at least three drafts for the team to find and develop a quality replacement. Get paid for your product.
Q: What is your dream scenario and biggest fear for the Redskins in this draft?
Kevin: Dream scenario for me is to have Reuben Foster fall to 17. To get to watch a sideline-to-sideline werewolf intent on seeking and destroying skill players from every rival is almost too much to hope for. To have the middle of the field decorated with beware signs for opposing OCs has not been a reality since #21.
My biggest fear is forcing a need pick at 17. This first rounder has got to have some juice. I want my 1st round pick to have some twitch, versatility and legend to bring to town. Taking a defensive player without those traits will be a disaster.
Cadillactica: My dream is that the Redskins go defense heavy in the first half of the draft a haul of Rueben Foster, Caleb Brantley and Marcus Williams would make me ecstatic.
The nightmare is panic and dysfunction in the war room, where the Redskins reach and miss the mark. A first half like McDowell, Melifonwu, and Taywan Taylor would be very upsetting.
Ken: I suppose my dream scenario is that Reuben Foster falls to us because of the manner in which he both fills need and would be the best player available. Hmmmm...maybe I do need to rethink my "realistic" answer. If I'm being completely honest with y'all, Christian McCaffrey is quickly sliding into dream territory. He would be a day one starter and he would make our offense better...for years to come.
I guess my biggest fear about this draft would be Bruce Allen making a gutless trade-down for no reason and no real compelling compensation. For example, he trades down to the bottom of the first round instead of taking a player like Christian McCaffrey and still misses out on even a guy like Forrest Lamp.
James: So everybody loves Reuben (myself included). Maybe nearly 20 years of watching this team has turned me into a pessimist, but I just don't see it actually happening. Reuben or no Reuben, I want the Redskins to focus heavily on the defense with their early picks and to walk away with multiple impact starters on that side of the ball. I'd also like for running back and the interior offensive line to get addressed.
My fear is that Bruce Allen and company throw copious amounts of draft capital at an offense that is already borderline elite. For example, going offense in two of the first three rounds is the exact opposite of what I want to see — especially if one of those picks is used on a quarterback.
Now, let's hear from you? Share your thoughts on our opinions and your own answers to these questions.
And be sure to come back tomorrow when I'll be joined by Mark Tyler, Steve Shoup and Aaron Lesher for another edition of the Hogs Haven NFL Draft Roundtable.