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Redskins Mock Draft Scenario: Defensive focus

A look at a possible Redskins mock draft scenario

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There is a good chance that the Redskins either draft a QB in the first round or trade for Josh Rosen, but it’s not a guarantee. I wanted to explore a scenario where the Redskins didn’t get the quarterback and instead focused on completing their defense. I decided not to mess around with any trades in this mock draft and went with the normal draft order.

As always you can follow along with the draft here:


-If the Redskins don’t go QB in the first round they really should look to fill their hole at EDGE rusher. Preston Smith didn’t put up major sack numbers, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t productive. His loss could be a big set back to the defense if they don’t find a capable option. Sweat would be a fantastic replacement and likely would improve upon the level of production that Smith brought to the table.

Sweat from a size/speed combo is about as good as you get, and if he’s still there at 15 he’s an easy selection for the Redskins. He still needs to refine his first step and getting the most out of his natural talents, but the upside is there and it’s off the charts. A combination of Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, DaRon Payne/Matt Ioannidis rushing the QB is enough to give opposing offensive lines nightmares.


-Thornhill has very impressive cover and ball skills and showed at the combine what an incredible athlete he is. His broad and high jump are in the 99th percentile of any position at the Combine. He’s the perfect free safety complement to Landon Collins in the box style of play. While the Redskins have typically asked their safeties to be interchangeable, they would finally have a pair of guys perfect for their particular role. Thornhill should easily surpass Nicholson on the depth chart, and take the starting role.


-Deiter is a two year All-Big Ten offensive linemen and a 2018 first team All-American, with starts at tackle, guard and center. At the next level he profiles best at guard, but he could be considered a potential starting center as well. Despite being a 3rd round pick, he should right away contend with Ereck Flowers for the starting LG job. If he loses out as a rookie, he has a shot to claim it in year two. Deiter isn’t the most gifted athlete, but he’s technically sound and comes with a really safe floor.


-From an athletic standpoint Boykin is more impressive than D.K. Metcalf, yet doesn’t receive nearly 1/10th of the hype. Both receivers displayed big play ability in college, but also showed they were pretty raw and inconsistent. While Metcalf was more consistent of the two, Boykin’s upside is probably pretty similar. The Redskins could get Boykin a good 60-70 picks after Metcalf goes, making him an impressive value. While it’s possible some team takes him earlier given his athletic profile, in this deep of a WR class it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the late 3rd-early 4th range.


-Sheffield probably would have gone a bit high if not for a pectoral muscle injury at the Combine. Sheffield is extremely athletically gifted and has starting potential if he can work on his technique. The Redskins can afford to be patient with him this year, but could look for him to push for a larger role in 2020 if they part ways with Norman.


-Smith is a solid 2nd/3rd tier linebacker prospect in this class with a little starting potential. Even if he can’t fully develop into a starter he should be a quality back-up and core special teams player. While the hope for the Redskins is that Rueben Foster handles one LB spot and Mason Foster/Shaun Dion Hamilton can handle the other, adding some depth makes sense.


-Cominsky is a small school guy who has had a strong pre-draft season with a strong all-star and combine performance. His athletic profile is strong even for an EDGE player and nearly off the charts for an interior defensive lineman. He profiles best in a 3-4 system and he needs to do a lot of work on his technique, but the upside is there. This would be a fantastic value late in the draft and a guy who could help replace Matt Ioannidis if the Redskins can’t re-sign him after the season.


-The Redskins offensive line is incredibly thin so adding 2-3 options in the draft makes a lot of sense. In addition to the competition at LG, the Redskins don’t have much in the way of back-ups. Roemer is a solid later round tackle option, who could be the 4th tackle on the team. His long term upside is likely limited to a back-up role, but if he can handle that cheaply that is a solid pick-up this late in the draft.


- Bars is a great late round target, because he likely would have gone in the top 150 picks if not for a season ending injury this past year. Prior to this season he started at both right guard and right tackle offering nice versatility. The Redskins can stash him on the PUP list to start the season, and hope that down the road he can compete for a larger role on the team.


Obviously there is a big question of what’s going to happen at the QB spot with this draft, but otherwise I think it’s very strong. Adding Sweat and Thornhill fill the Redskins two biggest needs on defense. If they perform as expected, the Redskins could be a sneaky Top 5 defense this year.

Offensive needs take a back seat in this class, but I do believe both Deiter and Boykin are starting options by at least year two. Boykin has the upside to be the X receiver in this offense that Josh Doctson hasn’t developed into. While I believe he needs his own share of developmental time, his size/speed combo is very enticing.

The later round picks offer a nice group of depth/special teams ability and it wouldn’t be surprising to see one or two grow into a more impact role down the road.

What do you guys think, would you be content with this class even if it means not addressing the QB spot?