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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Defense still top pick for Redskins, what happens in Round 2?

The Redskins have a lot of options at #13

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NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

We are a little over two weeks away from the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas and the projections for the Redskins 1st round pick are still all over the board. The mock draft professionals are still leaning heavily toward defense at #13(27 out of 32). Washington DT Vita Vea is still leading the pack with his name being called by the Redskins 7 times this week. But there is plenty of talent(and a few reaches) in the other projections. And we also get the Derius Guice option on offense.

Washington filled some of their needs in free agency, signing WR Paul Richardson, and acquiring QBs Alex Smith and Kevin Hogan via trade. They also re-signed K Dustin Hopkins, S Deshazor Everett, ILBs Zach Brown and Mason Foster, DT Phil Taylor, and WR Brian Quick. They also signed former Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick and former Bears OLB Pernell McPhee

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU


Guice is a top 10 talent in this class, and the Redskins have been treading water for years in terms of their lead ball carrier. Chris Thompson is great, but also coming off injury and viewed as a complimentary piece.

CBS Sports(Trapasso)

The Redskins like Samaje Perine, but he and Guice could create a power duo that’d wear down defenses in the NFC East.

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Pro Football Weekly

Washington probably prefers Ridley, but Sutton may just have the higher ceiling.

Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

CBS Sports(White)

The Redskins should be looking to upgrade the interior of their offensive line with an early pick in this draft, and this is about the range where we expect Wynn to come off the board. He doesn’t really have the size to stick at tackle, but he’s an excellent blocker who will immediately solidify the left side of the team’s offensive line, as long as Trent Williams can stay healthy.

Round 2: James Daniels, C, Iowa. Washington lands a plug-and-play center to replace Long, who didn’t have the ceiling of the Iowa pivot anyway. Along with Wynn in the first round, this team should feel confident about its O-line upgrades.

James Daniels, C/G, Iowa

Sporting News

The Redskins’ interior line took a hit with Spencer Long leaving in free agency (Jets), and guard Shawn Lauvao is unsigned. They should think defense with this pick if the player is right (Smith or Vea), but Daniels would be a fine player to line up in front of Alex Smith and also upgrade the run-blocking.

Derwin James, S, Florida State


James has top five raw talent, but it’s hard to peg a specific position for him in the NFL. For Washington he’s a player who could line up at linebacker and safety depending on the play.

The Redskins could use a defensive tackle, but James has the raw talent and leadership that can help transform defenses.

Pro Football Weekly(LeGere)

Would provide much needed help in the back seven, and some evaluators have James as the No. 1 safety.

NBC Washington

The Redskins could address numerous areas with this selection without raising eyebrows.Literally every spot on defense esepcially the line. More interior push up front and run-stopping to go with 2017 first rounder Jonathan Allen absolutely works.

Remember that hybrid safety-linebacker role Washington envisioned for Su’a Cravens?

The athletic James is that guy. The 6-foot-3 defender known for his leadership skills rocked the Combine athletically. He offers versatility with his safety and corner skills.

No-brainer if he slips this far.

2nd Round): Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State

Buzz at the Combine involved Washington selecting a running back early in the draft even with Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson. Recent comments from Doug Williams back that up.

The Redskins also have shown interest in Ronald Jones and Derrius Guice among others. Yet what is the plan at left guard/center?

Price, an All-American at both of those positions, matched the Buckeys record for most games played. He partially tore his pectoral at the combine.

The recovery time puts him back on the field by start of training camp.

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State


In their trade to acquire veteran quarterback Alex Smith, the Redskins dealt away one of the most promising young corners in the league (Kendall Fuller), leaving a gaping hole on the roster. Ward may lack ideal size, but he makes up for it in every other area of his game, something he proved with a stellar combine workout.

2nd Round: Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

CBS Sports(Prisco)

The Redskins would be getting the best cover player in this draft if they were to land Ward.

Pro Football Weekly(Edholm)

I had Marshon Lattimore as my No. 4 overall player last year. I have his former college teammate, Ward, high (not that high but pretty darned high) and just a few ticks below where Lattimore would be if they were in the same draft class. They’re not; Lattimore was absolute theft last year at No. 11 to the Saints, and pretty much everyone knew it then. Washington landing Ward here would be the same kind of how-did-this happen scenario that would somehow make Bruce Allen look smart.


The Redskins continued with their generally quiet Free Agency strategy, making small signings of Pernell McPhee and Orlando Scandrick. Bruce Allen admitted at the owner’s meetings that the team planned on signing players that were cut in order to receive compensation picks next year. So, for those of you calling for Brucey’s head, sound like he’s confident he’s going to be around a while (UGH)! Regardless of the recent signings or my qualms with the front office, the Redskins will likely take BPA on defense in the First Round.

The team sits in a nice spot at 13, as four quarterbacks will likely come off the board before them, pushing top-ten talent down to them. If one of the quarterbacks is still around, or if a team like the Steelers or Saints want to develop the fifth QB taken, the Redskins could be looking at quite a haul of picks in a trade-down scenario with a QB-needy team. Here, the Redskins stay put and land the top CB in the draft in tantalizing prospect Denzel Ward. Ward isn’t the biggest corner, and his weight (just 183) may scare some teams, but he has good length and instincts on the outside. If the Redskins are worried about his lack of bulk, they can move him into the slot as a rookie to avoid some of the contact he would be taking in the run game.

With Ohio State corners having great success transitioning to the NFL since Urban Meyer took over in Columbus (all 5 CBs drafted since his arrival are currently NFL starters), Denzel Ward could be a replacement-plus for what the team lost in Kendall Fuller earlier this offseason.

2nd Round: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Bleacher Report(Gagnon)

With Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland both gone, the Washington Redskins will likely be in on either Denzel Ward or Minkah Fitzpatrick if either drops to No. 13.

There’s a better chance the speedy Ward slides, just because he could be too small to match up with some of the game’s biggest receivers. Still, the Ohio State product allowed just 35 completions on 100 targets during his three seasons with the Buckeyes (two as a starter), according to Pro Football Focus, and he recorded 15 passes defensed in 2017 alone.

He’s only 5’10”, 191 pounds and lacks physicality, but he makes up for a lot of that with his resume, his athleticism and his coverage skills.

Ward has the ability to replace Fuller in the slot immediately, but his ceiling is a lot higher.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama


With the Kendall Fuller trade to the Chiefs, the Redskins have holes to shore up in the secondary. At worst, Fitzpatrick looks like a good slot corner or safety, though his size makes him an intriguing option as an outside cornerback despite playing only 13 snaps there last season. However, keeping Fitzpatrick in the slot, may be the most valuable use of his skillset and he has three strong years of grading under his belt on 2,281 career snaps.

Round 2: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

After an outstanding start to his career, Chubb battled injury and finally appeared to be back to form last season. He maximizes his offensive line’s blocking as well an any running back in the class and he averaged an impressive 3.7 yards after contact per rush in his four-year career.


I’ve had the Redskins taking Da’Ron Payne for a while, and I still believe he’s a very likely selection. However, that would change if Minkah Fitzpatrick falls to them. Fitzpatrick is a stud defensive back, and it would be difficult for Washington to pass on him.

And yes, it’s possible for Fitzpatrick to fall to No. 13. Teams will trade up for quarterbacks, and we’ve seen the safety market move very slowly in free agency. Plus, as Charlie Campbell reported in the NFL Hot Press, some teams have Derwin James rated above Fitzpatrick.

Round 2: B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State The Redskins are expected to address their glaring need for a nose tackle early in the 2018 NFL Draft. If Da’Ron Payne isn’t available at No. 13, B.J. Hill could be an option in Round 2.

Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

CBS Sports(Brinson)

The Redskins need to improve the cornerback depth chart for both the long and short term, and adding Hughes gives them someone they don’t need to start right away.

Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech

Pro Football Weekly(Arkush)

Even with Zach Brown re-signed, second-level speed can stand to improve on Greg Manuksy’s unit. And after losing Trent Murphy in free agency and with Preston Smith approaching a contract year, Edmunds’ arrival could also mean a potential force off the edge — depending on how Washington opts to use him.

The Redskins can go a variety of ways here, but I love the idea of Edmunds joining an already fierce pass rush in Washington. Defense will be a high priority for the Redskins throughout draft weekend, and Edmunds is an uber-athlete who can do it all from either the DE or LB spot. He’s 19 years old, which would make him the youngest player in the NFL.

He’s a sideline-to-sideline player who’s fluid in coverage and adds some pass-rush ability.

Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia

Nothing wrong with more speed being added on defense, and Smith fits the bill. He’s often favorably compared to Atlanta MLB Deion Jones due to his build, and ability to play FAST.

LA Times

Smith is sort of Alec Ogletree 2.0, and would be a good fit for the Redskins, even though they re-signed linebackers Mason Foster and Zach Brown.

Vita Vea, DT, Washington


Round 1 (13): Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Round 2 (44): Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Vea is another physical freak, who hasn’t gotten a chance to show off during this postseason process because of injury. He’d fit well with last year’s first-round pick Jonathan Allen on the defensive line. Kirk is dynamic with the ball in his hands and provides another weapon for new QB Alex Smith. Washington’s third-round pick was part of the deal with Kansas City to acquire Smith this offseason.

The Redskins fill their biggest need with the selection of Vea, who changes the face of the front seven on defense.

The Redskins’ run defense was atrocious last season, and Vea’s an immovable object who can help close down running lanes.

2nd Round: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

San Diego U~T

The Redskins moved on from Cousins with the trade (and contract extension) for Alex Smith. With quarterback out of the way, the Skins are free to address other needs. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Pac-12 defensive player of the year might be the strongest prospect in the entire draft class and would have likely been a first-round selection had he left school a year ago.

2nd Round: Billy Price, C, Ohio St.

Draft Analyst(Pauline)

Vea would be lethal lining up next to Jonathan Allen, and Allen will help Vea lift his game. A potential surprise pick at this spot is Leighton Vander Esch.

2nd Round: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn

The Redskins ranked last in the NFL in rushing defense last season. Vea will get those numbers headed in the other direction. It’s tough for the Redskins to pass on James, though.

2nd Round: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State(TRADE)

Price is ahead of schedule in his rehab after suffering a torn pectoral muscle on the bench press at the NFL Combine. Think of the instant impact that his college teammate, Pat Elflein, had on the Vikings’ offensive line as a rookie in 2017. The Redskins move up three picks to line him up next to Brandon Scherff.

EDS Football

Drawing comparisons to Haloti Ngata, Vea is a freak athlete for a man his size. No team allowed more rushing yards than Washington last season, but Vea would go a long way in shoring up Washington’s leaky run defense.

2nd Round: Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia

A former five-star recruit, Carter may have never lived up to high expectations and he was certainly overshadowed by fellow linebacker Roquan Smith. That said, Carter is extremely athletic (4.50 forty at 250 pounds) and was the 2017 recipient of the Charley Trippi award, given to Georgia’s most versatile defensive player.

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama


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. 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: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

Washington can’t rely on Rob Kelley, and Samaje Perine was up-and-down as a rookie. Here’s a feature back for Jay Gruden.

Chubb averaged 6.0 yards per carry in 2017 for 1,345 yards with 15 touchdowns. In 2016, he averaged 5.0 yards per carry on his way to 1,130 yards with eight touchdowns. He had five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown as well. That season, Chubb didn’t quite have the speed and explosion that he had before his 2015 knee injury. Considering it was only about a year since he was hurt, that was understandable.

Prior to his season-ending knee injury in 2015, Chubb had picked up where he left off as a freshman. The sophomore averaged 8.1 yards per carry for 747 yards and seven touchdowns in his shortened 2015 season. In 2014 while splitting time with Todd Gurley, Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry for 1,547 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also caught 18 receptions for 213 yards and two scores.

Chubb is akin to a human bowling ball, rolling over tacklers and and being a physical force in the SEC. The 5-foot-11, 227-pounder is a powerful runner who also has the quickness to rip off yards in chunks. He also is an explosive track competitor.

NY Post

Jay Gruden plants him next to former Crimson Tide teammate Jonathan Allen to cope with Ezekiel Elliott and Jay Ajayi.

CBS Sports(Wilson)

At 6-3, 310 pounds, Payne is a natural run-stuffer who needs more work as a pass rusher but he’ll be a starter from Day 1. And in Washington, he fills an obvious need in the middle of the defense.


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

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
    (67 votes)
  • 0%
    Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    James Daniels, C/G, Iowa
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    Derwin James, S, Florida State
    (196 votes)
  • 3%
    Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
    (41 votes)
  • 13%
    Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama
    (159 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech
    (63 votes)
  • 1%
    Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
    (22 votes)
  • 36%
    Vita Vea, DT, Washington
    (425 votes)
  • 16%
    Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
    (188 votes)
1166 votes total Vote Now