Using the past to guess the Redskins' 2016 draft picks

Mock draft projections have players from Alabama and Ohio State landing with the Redskins. History suggests other prominent schools are the targets.

Trying to predict which schools the prospects the Redskins select in next month’s draft will have played for in college is probably a pretty fruitless exercise. After all, there are 128 Division I teams that play the sport, plus countless other squads in smaller divisions throughout the NCAA. 

If you wanted to at least attempt to identify which university Washington selects from throughout the three day event, however — and after seeing how many people looked to nail how long Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl National Anthem was, there’s bound to be someone somewhere who places bets on this type of thing — then the smart money is on Nebraska.

That’s because, since 2001, the ‘Skins have taken five players from the Cornhuskers’ program, more than any other school in the last 15 drafts. Interestingly enough, three of those five were taken back-to-back-to-back in 2011 by Mike Shanahan and Co,: Roy Helu, Dejon Gomes and Niles Paul

Just behind the Big Ten powerhouse in terms of most Burgundy and Gold selections is Florida (Jordan Reed and Matt Jones are two notable ex-Gators), Iowa (including  Brandon Scherff from last year’s class) and UCLA (all swings and misses) with four guys apiece.  

If past is prologue, Florida DE Jonathan Bullard is in play during the second round, Nebraska DT Maliek Collins possibly on day two and Iowa C Austin Blythe in the later rounds.

Moving down the history list, there are quite a few colleges with three student-athletes turned Redskins: Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, Texas, Miami (FL) (Sean Taylor leads that list, of course), SMU (all three Mustangs — Aldrick Robinson, Richard Crawford and Josh LeRibeus — were taken in 2011 or 2012 in a pretty bizarre stretch), Florida State and Clemson (where 2014 fourth-round steal Bashaud Breeland came from). If the Redskins want another pass rusher, Clemson's Shaq Lawson or Kevin Dodd are potential first round choices in 2016.

The most intriguing two-‘Skin institutions would probably be Tulane (Patrick Ramsey and Ryan Grant) and Auburn (where, in 2005, both Jason Campbell and Carlos Rogers made the transition from life in Alabama to life in the nation’s capital). Then, there’s a bunch of places Washington has gone to once since 2001, with tiny programs like the Citadel and UTEP having been borrowed from as much as hallowed ones like Michigan and Penn State.  

Of course, there’s not a whole lot that can be put behind these numbers; if you took a look at another 15-year period, they’d probably look a lot different. In addition, the man in charge of the franchise today, Scot McCloughan, has only been running the organization for one of these drafts (the last one, obviously), so these trends likely don’t reflect much of what he’ll do. 

But with that being said, perhaps that handful of Alabama and Ohio State products who have been mentioned in plenty of mock drafts as potential Redskin targets should be discounted (after all, the Burgundy and Gold has only taken one rookie each from the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes since 2001). Because, if there is something behind this mini-study, it’s this: Washington loves their corn(huskers).

Follow Peter Hailey on Twitter at @barelyin.

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