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. For a breakdown of the Redskins draft history check out their track record.
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.
"The Redskins are in need of a run-stuffing defensive tackle. Reed fills that void."
BB: With lots of changeover on the defensive line, a big and young nose-tackle like Jarran Reed would make sense. Terrance Knighton will test the free agency waters, Jason Hatcher has been let go, and Stephen Paea was rather ineffective despite a large contract. Besides Chris Baker, there is nothing set in the trenches for Joe Barry’s defense.
"Last year's draft was all about getting tougher and more physical on both sides of the ball. Ragland continues that trend, fills a need, and is ready to play. Solid value here.
BB: Ragland would provide stability in the middle of the Redskins defense for years to come. A sure tackler is something Washington has not had in years and what made Joe Barry's defense look horrendous in the run game early in the year. If Scot McCloughan decides to draft an interior linemen later in the draft, because of the depth at the position, Ragland would definitely make some sense. Although Mason Foster and Will Compton are back as presumable starters, Ragland could be the quarterback of the defense for years to come.
"Redskins could look to add a rock-solid run stopper to the lineup."
BB: The Redskins defensive line was much improved in 2015, but they surely need to get some youth in the trenches to develop instead of plugging in high-mileage bodies. A disruptive force in the middle of Alabama's pro-like defensive line, Robinson is versatile enough to play both the 3-technique and nose tackle. For a 6-3, 315 pounder Robinson is rather athletic and had one of his best games against none other than elite running back Leonard Fournette of LSU. With current uncertainty along the defensive line, Robinson provides stability and help to edge rushers like Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, and Preston Smith.
"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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