Much has been made about the chance that four, possibly five, quarterbacks will be selected in the top 12 picks of this Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft. If this were to happen, the Redskins could be one of a handful of teams that will benefit from having elite top 10 non-quarterback talent slipping to pick 13.
From all the homework I’ve done on the 2018 draft prospects, I have elite grades on eight non-quarterback prospects:
Regardless of what happens with the quarterbacks, I can say with fair certainty, as things currently stand, that Barkley, Chubb and Nelson will all be gone before pick 13. I feel about 70 percent confident that both Minkah Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward will also be taken in the top 12.
This leave us with Derwin James, Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds as elite options at pick number 13. Obviously all three will not be there when we select, but having at least one fall would be a home run pick for the Skins!
My next four prospects do not fall in the elite category, but they would still be very solid picks for the Redskins; but just maybe not at pick 13.
I believe Derrius Guice is the cut-off pick at number 13 for the Redskins (and I’m still wavering a bit on that). If all the elite talent is gone, and Vea is sitting there, he should be the pick. If Vea is off the board as well, or if a team offers a nice deal to move up, I’d hope we consider trading back.
Two things I would not like to see the Redskins do on Thursday night - trade up in the draft, or trade back when one of the eight elite prospects were still available.
The quarterbacks taken in the top 12 will certainly dictate who the Redskins will have a shot at.
Some scenarios to consider:
Our best hope is that the Browns, Giants, Jets, Broncos and Bills all take a quarterback early. In this scenario, we would be assured that at least one of the elite prospects is on the board when we select.
If four quarterbacks are taken in the top 12 (like most expect), the Redskins board could get a bit tricky. We would need a team to reach on a prospect like Vita Vea, Harold Landry, Mike McGlinchey or maybe Calvin Ridley to have one of the elite prospects slip to 13. This could be a situation were we could potentially see all of the Elite 8 gone, and have our choice between Vea and Guice.
Finally, say that just three quarterbacks go in the top 12 (Browns, Jets and Bills). I view this as unlikely, but still possible. Many may think this could be bad for the Redskins at number 13, but it could work out that a team desiring a quarterback with a later pick would trade up with us. In this scenario, it’s probable that the elite 8 prospects will all be gone, and a very realistic chance Vea is off the board as well. If we can move back and get a second or third this year, we could still target a very good prospect at a position of need in the first round.
Here are the remainder of my first round prospects for the Redskins:
Leighton Vander Esch
The NFL Draft is always full of surprises. This year should be no different. Hopefully, just like last year, a nice surprise ends up falling into the Redskins lap!