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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins getting after the first wave of free agency is over?

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How has free agency changed the draft for the Redskins?

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Penn State vs Washington
Washington DT Vita Vea
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The first wave of NFL free agency is effectively over with most of the top FAs agreeing to terms with teams during the legal tampering period. The Redskins signed WR Paul Richardson, and finalized the trade and extension for QB Alex Smith. They also re-signed K Dustin Hopkins, ILB Zach Brown, and WR Brian Quick. Former Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick was signed yesterday, and the team has hosted multiple other defensive free agents.

The Redskins have also lost several free agents like C Spencer Long, OLB Trent Murphy, TE Niles Paul, and QB Kirk Cousins. The Redskins are still looking for help on the defensive line, and need more depth in the secondary. Upgrading the RB position continues to be a theme of the offseason from the front office, and could be addressed early this year. The Redskins are still looking to sign players in free agency, but they will have to look to the draft next month for a lot of their depth players.

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

WalterFootball(Campbell)

I think the Redskins are hoping that Minkah Fitzpatrick or Da’Ron Payne slide to them and would be fortunate if one of them makes it to their pick. Washington could use an upgrade to the defensive line if neither of those safeties is available. Reuniting Payne and Jonathan Allen could be nasty for the Redskins’ defense.

Payne dominated at the point of attack in 2017, stuffing runs while showcasing his freakish speed and athleticism. On the year, he totaled 53 tackles, two half-sacks, three passes batted, an interception and a touchdown reception. I heard general managers and scouts raving about Payne all season.

Scouts were already raving about Payne’s potential in the preseason. He was the Crimson Tide’s best defensive lineman in 2017, following Jonathan Allen’s moving on to the NFL. Payne (6-2, 311) is a run plugger with a lot of potential to grow. When given the opportunity to rush the passer in 2016 and 2017, Payne was impressive, and sources have said that he helped set up sacks for numerous Alabama defenders, including Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson and Rashaan Evans, over the past two seasons.

2nd Rd: Ronald Jones, RB, USC

4th Rd: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State

Athlon Sports

Jonathan Allen has already been campaigning for the team to add another Crimson Tide player along the line and Payne would check off boxes in terms of filling a big need up front. He’ll be good right away against the run in a division where that is a priority to stop and can develop into a nice pass rusher down the road.

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Sporting News(Galko)

The Redskins have invested draft picks and free-agent dollars across their offense, and they’ll likely sit back and see whether those moves pay dividends. That means they probably will address their defense early in the draft, and their defensive front seven, especially the line, is a good place to continue building.

CBS Sports(White)

Vea gives Washington a massive (read: 347 pounds) upgrade at nose tackle, and he should be a nice complement to Jonathan Allen on the team’s defensive front. He could also be a three-down player who can give Washington something in the pass rush, and he’s a better prospect than similar big defensive tackles who have come off the board in this range.

2nd Rd: James Daniels, C, Iowa

SBNation(Kadar)

Re-signing Zach Brown may remove linebacker from the list of needs for Washington, but talent up front is still needed. Vea is considered by many as one of the top-10 players in this year’s draft thanks to his size, quickness and ability to stuff the run.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

CBSSports(Trapasso)

The Redskins need cornerback help with Bashaud Breeland gone and Josh Norman 30. Fitzpatrick isn’t an outside corner by trade but can play anywhere in the secondary, and he has the length and athleticism to get his hands on plenty of passes.

NDT Scouting

Fitzpatrick’s versatility is a big reason he gets drafted here as he can help the Redskins defense in a variety of ways. The Redskins need an infusion of talent on their secondary and Fitzpatrick does just that as he is a chess piece and a game-changing type of player.

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

The Ringer

After trading away Kendall Fuller and letting Bashaud Breeland test the free-agency waters, Washington needs to add playmakers to its secondary. Ward’s an elite athlete with ball skills (two picks and 24 passes defended the last two years for the Buckeyes), and whether he’s lined up opposite Josh Norman or playing inside in the slot, would provide a nice boost to the Redskins’ pass defense.

CBS Sports(Brinson)

The Redskins lost Breshaud Breeland in free agency and Kendall Fuller to trade. They’ve still got Josh Norman but they need corner reinforcements.

MMQB(Breer)

Ward’s size knocks him down the board a little bit, with the league-wide trend being towards bigger corners. He’s too good to resist as a replacement for Kendall Fuller here.

DraftTek

Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

NFL.com(Brooks)

The loss of Kendall Fuller and potential departure of free-agent Bashaud Breeland is forcing the Redskins to explore the rookie CB market. Hughes is a standout performer with a set of tools that could allow him to develop into a lockdown CB1 as a pro.

Derwin James, S, Florida State

DraftWire(Infante)

The Redskins could look into picking a cornerback in the first round this year, as Breshad Breeland is expected to depart in free agency. However, they could also look into picking a safety, which would provide better value at No. 13 if James is available.

James is an impressive athlete, to say the least. At 6’3″ and 215 pounds, he has elite length for the safety position. He has dangerous closing speed, is a solid tackler and is an impressive blitzer. He has fluid hips in coverage and is very good at reading the quarterback. He’s a vocal leader in the locker room, and he has an impressive work ethic, to boot.

Washington needs help in the secondary, wither that’s at cornerback or safety. By drafting James, they would be able to add a playmaker who could develop into a Pro Bowl talent.

2nd Round: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

USA Today

He predicted at the combine that some team will take him in the top 10 and might not be off base. Washington would be wise to scoop up the versatile defensive back if he lasts this long as James boasts impressively well-rounded athleticism befitting his outsized swagger.

Bleacher Report(Davenport)

Make no mistake—Derwin James of Florida State is one of the best safeties in the Class of 2018.

If there was any doubt that James is a lock to be drafted in the first half of Round 1 this year, the 6’0”, 215-pounder put it to rest at the combine. He peeled off a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, posted impressive totals in the vertical (40 inches) and broad jumps (11 feet) and added 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

As B/R’s Matt Miller wrote, James is also an outstanding fit in D.C. “James is the ultimate plug-and-play prospect at strong safety,” Miller said. “That just so happens to be a need in Washington given the uncertain future of Su’a Cravens (who also played linebacker) and with starter Deshazor Everett being a replacement-level player.”

Whether it’s as a high safety, in the box against the run, covering receivers in the slot or even as a sub-package linebacker, James has the skills and versatility to be the sort of defensive Swiss army knife NFL teams covet on the back end.

If he’s on the board here, the Redskins should pounce.

SEC Country

Washington has its quarterback of the near future with Alex Smith. Now, look for the Redskins to take a player such as James, who is 95 percent the player that Fitzpatrick is and could go even higher than this.

D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

NFL.com(Reuter)

Alex Smith is coming to town, so finding him a reliable, quick, and strong-handed target like Moore makes all kinds of sense.

Rd 2: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Rd 4: Jeff Holland, EDGE, Auburn

Rd 5: Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State(TRADE)

CBS Sports(Dubin)

Here’s our next trade. Sure, it’s a surprise, but it makes sense. Washington has gotten next to nothing out of Robert Kelley the last two years. Samaje Perine was unimpressive last season. Chris Thompson is electric, but injury prone, so you need to limit his touches. Enter Barkley, who takes over the Kareem Hunt role with Alex Smith, while Thompson serves as Washington’s version of Tyreek Hill.

Poll

Who is the best option for the Redskins at #13?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
    (547 votes)
  • 13%
    Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
    (500 votes)
  • 11%
    Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
    (407 votes)
  • 20%
    James Daniels, C/G, Iowa
    (725 votes)
  • 7%
    Derwin James, S, Florida State
    (286 votes)
  • 11%
    Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
    (406 votes)
  • 5%
    Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama
    (181 votes)
  • 10%
    Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
    (381 votes)
  • 0%
    Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Vita Vea, DT, Washington
    (97 votes)
  • 0%
    Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
    (34 votes)
3576 votes total Vote Now