E$PN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay have done a 2 round mock draft with both draft experts predicting the first 64 picks for this month’s draft. An early RB for the Washington Redskins is included in both of their mocks, along with some much needed early help for the defense. McShay and Kiper both gave the Redskins a RB in the first round in their last mock drafts.
Round 1 has Kiper giving the Redskins the same RB he had in his last mock for the Redskins, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. This pick gives the Redskins another versatile weapon on offense for Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins to take advantage of. McShay gives the Redskins Alabama LB Reuben Foster. This would be a pick that would get a pretty warm reception from fans, and analysts alike. The Redskins just signed Zach Brown to a 1-year deal, but that should not prevent them from improving an ILB group that has been lacking in talent.
1st Round - #17
I could see McCaffrey jumping into the top 10 after his combine performance (4.48 40 and 37½-inch vertical) proved his athleticism. For now I'm leaving him here, where he'd play some running back and slot receiver and return kicks and punts.
Some character red flags could cause Foster to slip (he was sent home early from the combine after an altercation with a hospital worker), but he's one of the 10 best football players in this draft. Foster would immediately fill the Redskins' need for a three-down inside linebacker.
Round two is where it gets interesting. Kiper turns to the defense, and addresses another questionable part of the Redskins 2017 defense, the line. The Redskins will reportedly look to the draft to improve the middle of the defensive line at the end of the month. Florida’s Caleb Brantley could help a Redskins line that let Chris Baker walk, and released Ricky Jean Francois last month. They added Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain in free agency, and re-signed Ziggy Hood.
Todd McShay’s pick will get a lot more criticism due to off the field concerns. Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon has the talent to be a top pick in this year’s draft, but the infamous assault on a female student in 2014 will make him a lightning rod for criticism. He was not invited to the NFL Combine last month due to the incident, and is reportedly off a few teams draft boards. Is Mixon talented enough to deal with the controversy? McShay has 3 more RBs go off the board after Mixon(Samaje Perine, Alvin Kamara, D’Onta Foreman), and the next pick is another player that could help the Redskins, S Budda Baker.
2nd Round - #49
Kiper: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
Brantley, my No. 2 defensive tackle, was inconsistent during his career, but as Todd mentioned, he's incredibly disruptive when he's at his best. At 6-foot-3, 307, he'll get after quarterbacks. He could play end in a 3-4.
Mixon will be off some teams' boards because of a 2014 incident during which he punched a female student in the face. It's hard to imagine Mixon going undrafted, though, because he has the potential do be a starter from Day 1 at running back.
Which draft do you prefer?
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Mel Kiper, Jr.
The one without a RB in the first two rounds