We are in the heart of NFL mock draft season with the real thing just over two weeks. The latest from ESPN's Todd McShay went three full rounds. Before we go any further, McShay wants you to know the ground rules for this specific mock:
1. At each slot, I make a pick in the best interest of only the team with the pick. I won't pass on a player at No. 4 just because I like the team better at No. 5.
2. No trades unless they're already done. I try to address team needs, but like the draft, value can supersede need.
3. Again: I'm not projecting. It's more a look at where I see value up and down the board.
Got it? OK, let's proceed. Here are his three picks for the Redskins with explanation.
Analysis: The Redskins allowed 4.8 yards per carry last season (31st in the NFL), which I tried to address with my first two picks here. Reed is the most dominant interior run-stuffer in the 2016 class, with the toughness to hold his ground and fight through double teams. Ward's outstanding combination of height, bulk and arm length gives him a lot of upside as a run defender. Pierre Garcon is set to turn 30 before the season begins, so it makes sense to add a player like Payton, who has the skill set to develop into a No. 2 WR.
At 21, Baylor's Andrew Billings, Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson and Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler were all available, along with TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson. Nobody should take issue with Washington going for a DL at 21 -- and then another in round two. The debate involves which big man. Breaking Burgundy's film analyst Paul Conner likes Butler, Billings and UCLA's Kenny Clark over Reed. He's not alone.
Other than perhaps Chris Baker, Washington doesn't have much in the way of upside on the current roster among its defensive linemen. The 6-foot-5, 297 pound Ward is a former receiver-turned-lineman who offers athleticism, wingspan and hope once he fully develops.
The 6-foot-1 Payton set the UCLA career record for receptions with 201 catches during his four seasons. Adding another wide receiver makes sense for the long haul seeing as Garcon and Jackson are free agents at the end of the season.
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