The Washington Redskins hold the 21st pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Depending on what happens in free agency, there are definitely plenty of areas to address: defensive line, secondary, wide receiver, etc. General manager Scot McCloughan has hinted again towards selecting the best player available. Here is what the experts are thinking in their latest mock drafts.
Actually, what the "experts" including our own "expert" Ben Standig believe universally is that the Redskins will focus on defense. For the most part those projections have focused on the big men, whether lineman like Alabama's Jarran Reed or Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler, or a tackling force like inside linebacker Reggie Ragland. Yet some take an alternate path, by selecting players with less notoriety across the country by the average fan.
"Can be dynamic off the edge, and Washington needs help on all three levels on defense."
BB: Floyd comes from the defensive minded SEC and actually played in a 3-4 defensive scheme similar to the one run by Joe Barry and the Redskins. This selection would probably only come if edge rusher Junior Galette signs elsewhere in free agency. Floyd as a lanky frame, strong hands, and a burst off the edge. All of that complemented by a high motor could make him a nice tandem with Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith.
"Lee has the speed, instincts and play-making ability to be a difference maker from Day 1."
BB: Unlike Floyd, Lee comes from a versatile Buckeye's defense that was predominantly running a 4-3 base defense. Converting from safety, Lee complements his blitzing capabilities with the ability to cover and play and space. Lee will have to put in work in the weight room to be able to consistently shed blockers at the line of scrimmage, which would me possibly less of an impact immediately. That would work out fine because of the chance he would get learning behind Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith. Read a full scouting report on Lee here.
"Scot McCloughan's shown an inclination to favor strength and power in his draft selections and the Baylor lineman fits the bill."
BB: With the likely loss of Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton in free agency, Billings is a big body in the middle who could be the next nose tackle for Washington. Not only does the Baylor Bear engage multiple blockers off the snap, but he consistently through them aside like rag dolls at the collegiate level. As he becomes a better student of the game with pre-snap anticipation, Billings has the makings to be a stud in the trenches. Read a full scouting report on Billings here.
"Kelly is both nasty and a technician, and along with Derrick Henry was at the center (ha!) of a devastating Alabama running game."
BB: For everyone projecting a defensive player selection for the Redskins at the 21st overall pick, they had one of the worst rushing attacks late in the season because of poor interior lineman play. Although taking a center in the first round is unusual, Kelly received lots of praise from opposing coaches for his knowledge and instincts. Scot McCloughan also is likely to like the senior who finished what he started, in terms of an academic degree, with a very good 3.75 GPA. Unless Spencer Long makes significant strides to convert to center, which was not the case a few weeks ago, Washington is going to have to invest somewhere to get an offensive line cornerstone.
"Needs: DL, S, ILB. The run-stuffing Reed was the pick at 21 in the previous mock. No reason for a change after the motoring lineman chased down runners and shed blockers throughout Senior Bowl week. Biggest questions are will Reed be available and will GM Scot McCloughan target a defensive lineman in round one. Another Alabama product, Reggie Ragland, would address concerns at inside linebacker. Defensive backfield concerns put the likes of Ohio State CB Eli Apple in play. Baylor speedster Corey Coleman could happen if Washington doesn't keep DeSean Jackson and his $9.2 million salary cap hit."
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