It’s draft day, and soon all of the rumors, speculation, projections, and lies will clear up when 32 players are selected tonight. Stories continue to come out that will reportedly drop top players down the draft from medical reports to allegations that could get players arrested. The Redskins could go a number of directions tonight with the 17th pick, and have needs all over the team. The defense needs the most help, and there is the potential that a top player will fall to them for a variety of reasons. Several 7 round mock drafts are sprinkled into this final roundup.
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
I can’t believe Jamal Adams has fallen this far in my mock. If he is available at No. 17, the Redskins will jump for joy. Adams is more of the Troy Polamalu-style prospect that can play anywhere. He is an excellent tackler and can play in the slot, middle of the field, or inside linebacker. He is much more of a strong safety-type than Malik Hooker, but still looks good covering slot receivers. I love his energy and the way he wraps up tackles low and around the legs. He rarely misses tackles in the open field. I do like Adams better around the line of scrimmage than in the middle of the field, but he should be a terrific player for a decade in Washington.
PFF Draft Pass Stat: Missed only 24 tackles on 191 attempts in his three years at LSU.
Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Allen has top-five potential, but a subpar Combine showing may drop him. Does athleticism or production matter more? Over the last two years, Allen has averaged 47 tackles, 13 stuffs and 10 sacks, with 67 quarterback pressures this year alone.
numberFire Says: Washington churned out the ninth-worst Adjusted Defensive Rushing and Passing NEP per play last year, and they need to plug the vacuum in the middle of their defense. Chris Baker, one of the few quality players last year, walked in free agency.
2nd Round: Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Charlotte
3rd Round: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
Jonathan Allen seemed like a lock for the top five when the 2016 college football season ended, but concerns about his lack of athleticism and his shoulder injuries—which have resulted in arthritis—have pushed him down the board. A team like Indianapolis or Baltimore could stop his slide in a best-player-available situation, but Washington also has a massive need for a new 5-technique defensive end.
Allen is a baller and truly one of the most explosive players in college football last season—if I had a Heisman Trophy vote, he would have been my winner—and that's too good to pass up here in the middle of the first round. If team doctors have signed off on Allen, he's a steal at this spot.
2nd Round: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
3rd Round: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
4th Round: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky; Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
5th Round: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
6th Round: Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech; Jermaine Eluemunor, OT, Texas A&M
7th Round: Steven Taylor, LB, Houston; Garrett Sickels, EDGE, Penn State
This kid might end up going in the top five, and it wouldn't shock me. He played at a very high level for the best program in the country. But his shoulder issue is scaring some teams, and if there is a fall for him, I can't see it going beyond No. 17. Washington loves Allen, so if he's still there, this is his spot.
The redskins’ top need falls in line with a player still on the board.
Depth along the trenches on both sides of the ball should be the primary target for Washington early in this draft. This is a dream scenario, as a top-five talent in Allen slides down the board due to shoulder concerns and a poor combine. His tape proves he’s a dominant force.
Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
The Redskins surrendered an average of nearly 120 yards per game on the ground in 2016 and only three teams (the Chargers, Bills and 49ers) allowed more than their 19 rushing touchdowns. Foster is a top 10 talent but may suffer a slide on draft day after questions about his decision-making off the field and durability on it surfaced since the season ended. Possessing remarkable closing speed and the physicality to intimidate, he could prove a steal at this point in the draft.
The pre-draft process has not gone well for Foster who falls out of the top 15, but the Redskins would be a nice landing spot, answering Washington's need for a thumper at linebacker.
Assuming he falls because of the off-field issues, the Redskins seem like a logical landing spot for the super-talented linebacker.
It's hard to imagine Foster lasting this long, but the game-changing inside linebacker was dismissed from the combine for what he calls a "misunderstanding." Either way, he would upgrade a linebacker corps in Washington that includes Mason Foster newly signed Zach Brown.
Foster could fall due to off-field concers and worries about injuries, but he fits a need for the Redskins, bringing a tough playmaker into the fold.
I still see Foster as a first-round pick tonight. He was too good at Alabama to drop that far.
Gareon Conley was slotted here in a previous version. It really sounded like the Redskins were going to select him, but that's no longer the case in the wake of the rape allegations.
The Redskins could go with another cornerback like Adoree Jackson or Kevin King, or perhaps Charles Harris. However, Reuben Foster is way too good to pass up at this juncture. He has dropped a bit in the wake of testing positive at the combine, but given the big need at inside linebacker, I don't think the Redskins pass on him at No. 17.
2nd Round: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DL, Villanova
3rd Round: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
4th Round: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech; Kyle Fuller, C, Baylor
5th Round: C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa
6th Round: D.J. Jones, NT, Ole Miss; Devonte Fields, DE/OLB, Louisville
7th Round: Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State; De'Veon Smith, RB, Michigan
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Davis is going to go somewhere between 10 and 25 on Thursday, the question is where. Washington makes a whole lot of sense. An NFC executive compared the intensity of Davis to that of a pretty intense guy: Ray Lewis. Regardless of whether that’s hyperbole, the 240-pound linebacker runs a 4.58 40-yard dash and notched a 38.5-inch vertical jump at his pro day. He missed some time with an ankle injury in 2016, but he’s got the goods to be worth it at this spot.
2nd Round: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
3rd Round: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
4th Round: Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State; Tanzel Smart, DT, Tulane
5th Round: Jalen Myrick, CB, Minnesota
6th Round: Lorenzo Jerome, St. Francis; Darius English, DE, South Carolina
7th Round: Brandon Bell, OLB, Penn State; Joshua Holsey, CB, Auburn
It's difficult enough to try to match teams with potential prospects when said teams have a GM in place. So when Washington fired Scot McCloughan, it threw their draft forecast into flux. Their original needs didn't change - they still need some help along the defensive line, a safety and an inside linebacker - but a lot will depend on the new GM's philosophy. Jarrad Davis has shot into the first round in the weeks leading into the draft, and for good reason. He's a fiery leader and a well-rounded, athletic playmaker with excellent range. He battled ankle injuries last season and sometimes gets caught up in blocks while trying to pursue the ballcarrier, but he'd be a welcome addition in the middle of Washington's defense
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
The Redskins lack a true free safety.
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Unfortunately, Gareon Conley just got hit with accusations of rape, just two days before the draft. While my sources tell me these accusations are an empty attempt to ruin the young man's life, it's still a worry for NFL teams and it may drop Conley's stock. I am going to stick with the hope that NFL teams know the truth, and that he is, in fact, innocent. While his Ohio State teammates might get all of the attention, Conley is quietly the second-best CB in this draft. He isn't elite in any category, but he is solid in every aspect and will be a plug-and-play #2 CB from Day One with the upside of being a #1 corner in the future. Adding two defensive backs in the first two rounds would allow the Redskins to focus on the defensive line throughout the rest of the draft and would solve the myriad disconnects and missed assignments in the back-end in 2017.
Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
They have to get better rushing the passer and Harris is the guy who could do that. He is a player scouts have really pumped up to me in recent weeks.
The Redskins' offseason goal was to improve the NFL's last-ranked third-down defense. There are questions about three of their top four outside linebackers, and Harris gives them someone who can help the pass rush now. It helps that the track record of Missouri pass-rushers is impressive.
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Last year’s Redskins got bullied in the trenches, finishing 25th in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA and failing to generate consistent pressure. They lost top DL Chris Baker (Buccaneers) in free agency and currently have a slew of journeyman types penciled in up front. Compared to former Giants DE/DT Justin Tuck by CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler, Charlton combines long arms (34 ¼”) with a prototypical five-technique frame (6’6/277) and earned first-team All-Big Ten during a breakout, 9.5-sack campaign last year. Charlton draws high marks for his advanced technique and position versatility.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Redskins could trade back and try to still get Cook. He fills a huge need on their offense and has game-breaking ability. The two concerns: his history of shoulder issues and the people he surrounds himself with.
I know the Redskins have defensive needs, but Cook would be outstanding in this scheme.
Cook had a horrible combine, but it’s hard to knock what he actually did on the football field during the season, where he looked like a game-changing home run hitter.
2nd Round: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
3rd Round: Duke Riley, ILB, LSU
4th Round: Kyle Fuller, C, Baylor; Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M
5th Round: KD Cannon, WR, Baylor
6th Round: Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech; DeAngelo Brown, DT, Louisville
7th Round: Avery Gennesy, OG, Texas A&M; Brandon Wilson, CB, Houston
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Fournette is a physical, punch-you-in-the-teeth counter to Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys’ dominant run game in the NFC East. Running behind an offensive line that finished sixth in the NFL in adjusted line yards last year, he’ll be a home run threat every time he takes a handoff from Kirk Cousins. Plus, he gives Washington the ability to wear out opponents and put games away in the fourth quarter. The former LSU bruiser runs best in a downhill style with the quarterback starting under center, and he fits well in Washington’s offense, which ran 45 percent of its plays from that look in 2016.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
There certainly are issues on defense for the Redskins. But there also is a need at running back, and McCaffrey’s versatility adds considerably to the offense.
The Skins need to improve all three levels of their defense, but owner Daniel Snyder loves the flashy, offensive picks, and they need to give Kirk Cousins more help. This one comes down to Howard, Christian McCaffrey, and Dalvin Cook, and we go with McCaffrey, the running/receiving/returning triple threat.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
If the Redskins don't believe Kirk Cousins will stay, they could take Mahomes for 2018. Otherwise, a team will move into this area of the first round to select the promising passer.
2nd Round: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
3rd Round: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
4th Round: Derek Rivers, OLB, Youngstown State; Erik Austell, G, Charleston Southern
5th Round: Anthony Walker, ILB, Northwestern
6th Round: Charles Walker, DE, Oklahoma; Marquez White, CB, Florida State
7th Round: Michael Rector, WR, Stanford; Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
To land Trubisky, a team might need to get into the top 10. Why not Washington, a franchise with a history of splash? The Redskins can’t afford the franchise tag carousel with Kirk Cousins forever. Trubisky is the most consistent and accurate passer of this crop, but he still might need some grooming after only 13 starts at UNC. Let Trubisky sit one year behind Cousins, then reap the (less expensive) rewards. *Trade with Jets.