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Most likely to be drafted by the ‘Skins: The Reaches, the Steals and the Sweet Spot

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With the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft, the Washington Redskins select...

Earlier this month, I asked Hogs Haven readers to educate me about the upcoming draft by completing an exercise.

Here’s what I asked for:

In the comments section, I’d like you to give me nine names - three groups of three players.

Group 1 - The sweet spot

Give me the names & positions of three players in this draft who SHOULD be available around the 15th overall pick that you think the Redskins should show interest in.

Group 2 - The Jon Allen/Derwin James ‘how can he still be there?!’ players

These three players are guys that everyone expects to go off the board by pick #12 at the latest. You know — the one that got you a string of “your dreaming... there’s no way he’s on the board at 15” comments when you posted your favorite mock draft. Someone slides every year. There just can’t be 15 top-10 picks. Group two should be guys like Jonathan Allen or Derwin James who just shouldn’t still be there when Washington’s pick comes up, but you believe could actually end up there — guys who the Redskins should run to the podium to select.

Group 3 - The reaches

These three players are guys who fill a position of need for the Redskins, but they just shouldn’t be drafted as high as 15th overall. Maybe it’s a workout warrior who crushed the combine and put stars in the eyes of the scouts despite average game tape, or perhaps you just think the Redskins will panic and draft for need instead of value and make a bad decision.

The readers responded with some interesting names and more interesting comments.

Now, with the draft just 4 weeks away, I thought we could revisit the names you gave me and see where the community’s thoughts are.

First, to the best of my ability, I sorted through the responses in the comments section, which were a bit more disorderly than I had hoped they would be, and tried to compile a list of players mentioned in each category.

Here’s the “raw” data that I compiled:

You can see every name that I culled from the comments section, and, to the left of the names, the frequency with which it was mentioned in each of the three categories.

You may notice that a lot of players were named in two categories, and some players were mentioned only one time, by a single commenter.

I wanted to make the list a bit more manageable, so I did some things:

  • If a player had only a single mention, I deleted him from the list
  • If a player was mentioned in two categories, I deleted his name from the category where he was least mentioned
  • If a player was mentioned equally in two categories, I left his name in both of them

Here is the final list:


Fellow Hogs Haven members, I present the 2019 “Most likely to be drafted by the Redskins” list:

1. Brian Burns, Edge

2. Montez Sweat, Edge

3. TJ Hockenson, TE

4. DK Metcalf, WR

5. Cody Ford, OL

6. Daniel Jones, QB

7. Devin White, LB

8. Josh Allen, Edge

9. Dwayne Haskins, QB

The group has 3 Edge Rushers, 2 quarterbacks, a linebacker, tight end, wide receiver, and one offensive linemen. If we could draft all nine of them, we’d be ready for the NFC Championship!

But we can only draft one at 15th overall.

Here’s a look at the three groups, and excerpts from the Hogs Haven draft profiles for the top-3 players in each group.


Group A - Most Likely to be Drafted — THE SWEET SPOT

Hog’s Haven readers predict the single player most likely to be drafted at #15 by the Washington Redskins

1. Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

NCAA Football: Florida State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Is Brian Burns The Elite Pass Rusher The Redskins Need?

Burns is consistently being mocked within the top 15 so far this offseason. If Burns confirms the eye test with his testing, I would hope the Redskins would be considering him if he fell to 15.

It goes without saying that Burns will likely be one of the best athletic talents in this draft. As a weakside linebacker with elite traits, he’s an easy replacement for Preston Smith.

I think Burns can stand to gain a few pounds and definitely get stronger at the point of attack so he can improve his consistency as a rusher, but he has nearly all the tools to be dominant off the edge. His speed, initial quickness, and burst is something the Redskins haven’t had at the position at a long time. He’s a playmaker than can get to the QB disrupt the run and cause turnovers.

The big knock I have on Burns is his lack of experience working in coverage. Common sense says you let him rush the passer as much as you can, but in the Redskins defensive scheme, they like the OLBs to cover tight ends, running backs, and, sometimes, even slot receivers. This is not a strength of Burns and he’s likely to get exploited in this area, even with his athletic profile.

Burns can become one of the best pass rushers in the league quickly if he’s used the right way.

2. Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat blew away Scouts at the Combine, could he be a fit in Washington?

For Montez Sweat, the Redskins would have to rely on coaching to make him a schematic fit.

I believe Montez Sweat is a defender who will thrive in a 4-3 due to his limitations as a flexible and agile edge player. In a 3-4 where the edge rushers are sometimes counted on to play in space as well as playing in coverage, Sweat’s ability to maximize his impact on an offense will be hindered.

Sweat would be most effective in nickel situations for the Redskins that requires him only to go north and south. The good thing about today’s NFL is that a high percentage of snaps nickel defense, so he will get plenty of reps.

Sweat presents the speed factor that the Redskins have also lacked since transitioning to the 3-4 defense in 2010, and Sweat could develop into one of the best at his position under the leadership of fellow edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan.

3. T.J. Hockenson, Tight End, Iowa

NCAA Football: Iowa at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Tight End T.J. Hockenson’s Versatility Would Immediately Upgrade The Redskins Offense And May Be Worthy Of A First-Round Pick

Hockenson is a pro-ready tight end, and may be the most complete tight end coming out of this year’s NFL Draft.

The Redskins need to reload at the tight end position, with an aging and often injured Jordan Reed , who has proven to be unreliable due to availability, being the featured weapon of the offense.

Vernon Davis, who is often available, is not a consistent receiver nor is he an effective run-blocker.

Hockenson will immediately upgrade the tight end position as both a receiver and blocker. Not only does he improve the tight end position, but he continues to improve upon the grit that the offense currently has in Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, and Adrian Peterson, who are all known for their toughness and grit.

Other players receiving “sweet spot” nominations: Clelin Ferrell, Noah Fant, Drew Lock, Jonah Williams, DeAndre Baker, and Jachai Polite


Group B - Most Likely to be Drafted — THE REACHES

4. DK Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss

NCAA Football: Kent State at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Could DK Metcalf Become The Redskins’ Version Of Julio Jones?

Metcalf is a physical specimen. As​ a sophomore, Metcalf​ measured​ in at 6​ feet 3, 224​ pounds to​ go with an​ 11-1 broad​ jump,​​ 37.5-inch vertical and 4.46 40-yard dash, earning a spot on Bruce Feldman’s annual Freaks List. Those numbers are pretty similar to Julio Jones.

Like most NFL teams, the Redskins could certainly use a Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones caliber receiver. While Metcalf’s career production (67-1228-14 in three seasons) isn’t that great, he has the size, speed, and physical traits to become a premier wide receiver.

He missed 16 games to a pair of season-ending injuries, but there is optimism that his long-term health has been unaffected.

My choice of David Njoku, a tight end, may seem like a curious comparison, but it’s about his physical profile, estimated draft position, and the fact that both entered the NFL after their red-shirt sophomore seasons. Additionally, going into his 3rd season, we are still waiting for a true breakout season from Njoku. Despite his NFL bloodlines, and physical dominance, I expect Metcalf will require a similar time frame before he can be considered among the NFL’s top receivers.

Metcalf has the potential to be considered a “high ceiling” prospect. It is easy to envision him winning in the NFL in ways that are similar to Josh Gordon. There’s also the risk that Metcalf flames out in a way that that is similar to the path of David Boston.

5. Cody Ford, Offensive Lineman, Oklahoma

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Lance Zierlein

Ford offers a rare combination of physical and athletic traits that will have NFL teams dreaming of his upside. He is raw and relatively inexperienced as a starting tackle with exploitable holes that will need to be patched before he can thrive in the pros. As a tackle, he’s a developmental, high-risk/reward talent. The safer (and better?) route might be to play him as a guard where he will face less exposure in pass protection and where his size and athleticism should allow him to become a plus run-blocker fairly quickly.

Draft Wire

Ford has a rare combination of strength, mobility, and athleticism for a player of his size. He can essentially devastate a defender with his initial punch, jolting them off balance and gaining control. When he uses his long arms to latch on, he can steer the defender where ever he wants. Massive and strong lower body, he moves well off the ball and hardly giving up the corner.

He has overwhelming power on initial contact. Ford keeps his feet moving after contact and tries to finish blocks, playing with a nasty streak. He has the athleticism to pick up blocks in space and adjust to linebackers while on the move. Ford is an instant impact player, who can play either tackle spot with the ceiling of a long term All-Pro.

6. Daniel Jones, Quarterback, Duke

NCAA Football: Duke at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Next Cutcliffe Quarterback: Daniel Jones

Size: 9/10

He has great size, but in my opinion he looks a little thin for his frame and could use an extra five or ten pounds. This comes into play because I don’t think I once saw him slide.

Accuracy: 12/15

Jones is a consistent passer, but sometimes has some lapses. In the UNC game, he finally had a chance to make a lot of deep throws, and he missed long or short on a lot of them.

Arm Strength: 8/10

Jones makes a variety of throws with a variety of speeds and touch in his tape. However, sometimes he doesn’t have enough velocity on outs and some of them would be easy pick sixes in the NFL. It’s the most worrisome part of his game in my opinion, but it is really nitpicky.

Mobility: 8/10

This guy is athletic. For his size he has great speed and light feet. Because of his poor offensive line, he has to have good pocket presence. He gets sacked a lot less than he should.

Processing Speed: 13/15

The first thing that stood out to me on tape is the effectiveness of the Duke RPO game. He does a great job of making the read and getting it out. He is very quick through his reads, but my only knock is that he sometimes will stare at the primary receiver and not move on. These kinds of lapses are expected in a young quarterback.

Mechanics: 8/10

A quarterback coached by Cutcliffe and mentored by the Mannings is expected to have great mechanics. Jones does, and his constant foot movement is beautiful. My one knock is that he seems to fumble quite a bit when sacked.

Leadership: 11/15

This is something that is hard to judge without watching a couple games live, but Cutcliffe praises his leadership through adversity. He has an insane amount of toughness to keep going after some of the beatings he took.

Clutch: 10/15

On tape, I noticed more clutch runs than passes. This is a little worrying, because he may not be able to beat NFL defenses as consistently with his legs. He also seems to start forcing more throws when Duke goes down.

Overall: 79/100

I would be all for Daniel Jones at 15. The only issue here is that Daniel Jones doesn’t really seem like a guy that the Redskins can just plug in to the starting lineup. With Colt McCoy and Case Keenum both on the roster, Daniel Jones is a very real possibility.

While it may be dangerous to spend a first on a quarterback that might not play for a year when the team has so many other pressing needs, I believe that drafting Daniel Jones would pay off in 2020.

Other players receiving “reach” nominations: Byron Murphy, Drew Lock, Geedy Williams, Parris Campbell, Deandre Baker, Jachai Polite, Rashan Gary


Group C - Most Likely to be Drafted — THE STEALS

7. Devin White, Linebacker, LSU

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Louisiana State vs Central Florida Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Can Devin White Save The Redskins?

White would obviously be a stellar piece to add on the field and build around on defense for the Redskins. I don’t think there would be any cause for concern about his high school incidents for most teams including Washington.

It would be great to see White fill the MIKE role with Reuben Foster filling the TED role in the Redskins base scheme. Imagine the athleticism and physicality! The prospect of that kind of talent at the linebacker position is not something the Redskins have had for a very long time.

White has the skillset the Redskins have missed at the position especially in run support, tackling consistency, and in pass defense. Coverage is an underrated part of White’s game, and, while he’s no corner or safety out there, he looks more than capable of sticking with tight ends and most running backs.

I would hope working with the new linebacker coach White could improve his hand usage and pick up on some of the finer nuances of the positions regarding gap attacking. If he can add that to his arsenal then we very well may be talking about a generational player.

The team needs an upgrade at the position as insurance against free agency, cap casualty, and possibly suspension. It would not be the worst strategy to continue to build a top tier defense with star players and quality depth to continue to support a below average offense.

If Devin White somehow makes it to pick 15, the Redskins would be fools not to select him and get a bona fide starter, and likely 10 year (or more) player, who can transform the defense.

8. Josh Allen, Edge Rusher, Kentucky

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Kentucky vs Penn State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Could Josh Allen Be The Redskins Next Great Pass Rusher?

Draft Analyst, Tony Pauline wrote, “Allen has the measurables and computer numbers NFL teams desire in a front-seven player and has shown a great deal of development in his game. He’s a forceful linebacker with the ability to get pressure up the field and rush the quarterback. But Allen is much more than a one-dimensional defender. He’s also a solid run defender who can make plays at the line of scrimmage or in pursuit, and his ball skills on passing downs are improving.”

This week, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had the Cardinals taking Josh Allen number one overall. ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranked Allen as his No. 2 player overall in his most recent mock draft. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has compared Allen to Arizona Cardinals DE Chandler Jones.

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Unlike many 3-4 OLB prospects who were undersized DE’s in college, and face a major transition to LB in the pros, Allen is already a stand-up OLB. Allen would provide the Redskins with an outside backer, with the skill set to rush the passer, defend the run, and drop into coverage.

Some have argued that Kentucky did not use him enough as a pass-rusher, but it is his experience and comfort level in coverage that distinguish him from other edge rushers in this draft class.

In terms of usage in college, potential draft position, and possible NFL role, I compare him to a player like Leonard Floyd. Floyd displayed similar versatility while at Georgia, but has yet to, and may never develop into a dominating pass-rusher in the NFL. Like Floyd, I see Allen as a multifaceted 3-4 OLB, who can be a piece of a team’s pass-rush plan, but may never put up the pass-rushing number of guys like Von Miller or Khalil Mack.

9. Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dwayne Haskins looks to be the top QB. Could the QB desperate Redskins reach for the top?

Size: 9/10

Has prototypical size for an NFL QB. Is tall enough to see the field and thick enough to take a hit.

Accuracy: 9/10

Haskins was 5th in the nation this season with a 70.2% completion percentage. He can make all the throws when his mechanics are together. He was the 2nd most efficient passer in the nation with a clean pocket. However his mechanics can be sloppy at times, which I believe can be cleaned up.

Arm Strength: 13/15

You’ll hear a lot of people talk about Haskins as a natural arm talent. He can make all the throws, throw from different platforms, and can make up for lower body mechanical issues with his arm.

Mobility: 8.5/10

Haskins is different from some of the QBs Ohio State has had in the past. He is not a mobile quarterback, but a quarterback with mobility. Ability to feel pressure and slide in the pocket grew as the season went along. He can take off and run when he needs to, and isn’t shy of contact, but it’s not what he’s looking to do.

Processing Speed: 12/15

Haskins has shown to be very good at half field reads. He got better throughout the season in recognizing and looking off coverage. However, he was not asked to read a full field very often in Ohio State’s offense. This inexperience in reps and scheme could make for a steep learning curve at the next level.

Mechanics: 7/10

It is surprising to me how accurate Haskins is with how bad his mechanics are sometimes (which just goes to show what a natural arm talent he is). The good news is he shows the ability to put it all together at times, making it more likely a by product of inexperience. He has a tendency to not set his feet properly causing inaccuracies and problems with velocity especially on down field throws. His mechanics suffer against pressure as well, which is to be somewhat expected from such a young QB.

Leadership: 10/15

The sentiment throughout the season is that Haskins was growing into being a vocal leader. He has always been a lead by example guy, but is starting to come into his own as a vocal leader, which will be important if he is thrown into a starting role as a rookie.

Clutch: 11/15

Haskins excelled on the biggest stage he played in, putting up 396 yards and 6 touchdowns on then #4 Michigan. However he can be rattle by the rush. Ohio State’s schemes bailed him out of a few situations, so it is yet to be seen how he’ll handle that going forward.

Overall: 79.5/100

The Redskins are in obvious need of a QB. With Alex Smith’s uncertain future, the Redskins need to be thinking about a new QB going forward. I think Haskins is a great fit.

If Smith is able to come back, it would be an excellent situation for Haskins, as he could take a year or two and learn behind Smith. However even if Smith isn’t able to play (which seems like the likely scenario at this point), he could be a valuable resource for Haskins to learn from in the film room.

It’s looking more and more likely that Haskins will the second QB to come off the board, behind Kyler Murray. I think it would be a huge mistake to try and reach for him, but if he does fall to the Redskins, they shouldn’t hesitate to take him.

Other players receiving “steal” nominations: Nick Bosa, Ed Oliver, Kyler Murray, Rashan Gary

Bill’s final word

My takeaway from this exercise is that I'll be hoping that one of the talented 21-year-olds, Devin White or Josh Allen, will still be sitting on the board à la Jonathan Allen when the Redskins are called at 15th overall in this year's draft.

If we don’t get one of those guys in a “steal”, then my choice for a “Sweet Spot” pick is 22 year-old, 6’6”, 260 pound, former Mississippi State Bulldog, Montez Sweat.

Poll

Of the nine players on the "most likely to be drafted" list, which one do you think has the best chance to actually be drafted by the Redskins?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Brian Burns, Edge
    (422 votes)
  • 10%
    Montez Sweat, Edge
    (144 votes)
  • 18%
    T.J. Hockenson, TE
    (248 votes)
  • 11%
    D.K. Metcalf, WR
    (151 votes)
  • 4%
    Cody Ford, OL
    (59 votes)
  • 11%
    Daniel Jones, QB
    (156 votes)
  • 5%
    Devin White, LB
    (80 votes)
  • 2%
    Josh Allen, Edge
    (36 votes)
  • 5%
    Dwayne Haskins, QB
    (72 votes)
1368 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Of the nine players on the "most likely to be drafted" list, which one would you personally most like to see drafted by the Redskins?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Brian Burns, Edge
    (118 votes)
  • 7%
    Montez Sweat, Edge
    (89 votes)
  • 16%
    T.J. Hockenson, TE
    (195 votes)
  • 5%
    D.K. Metcalf, WR
    (68 votes)
  • 4%
    Cody Ford, OL
    (52 votes)
  • 3%
    Daniel Jones, QB
    (38 votes)
  • 22%
    Devin White, LB
    (260 votes)
  • 16%
    Josh Allen, Edge
    (193 votes)
  • 12%
    Dwayne Haskins, QB
    (139 votes)
1152 votes total Vote Now