NFL Draft: How a Redskins trade down from 21 could work

It's not enough for Scot McCloughan to want extra draft picks. He must find a trade down partner and the desirable prospects available for temptation.

We can probably all agree that the mind of Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan is thinking about how much he would love to drop down in the upcoming NFL Draft if not multiple times. That doesn't mean Washington needs to move off of the 21st overall selection, though obviously that selection offers McCloughan the best chance at a large haul. If he indeed wants 12 selections, moving down if not out of the first round would be helpful. For such scenarios, we must consider three things:

The mystery prospect isn't available

All the of the DMV has tried deciphering which player McCloughan has in mind after stating during an interview that there is a specific prospect he's focused on at 21. Whether it's Alabama ILB Reggie Ragland or West Virginia S Karl Joseph or Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell or a defensive lineman or none of the above, the question -- and one we cannot answer now -- is whether McCloughan's desire for this player trumps a trade. Moving back and landing Joseph seems plausible, though the hard-hitter appears to have momentum at his back.

Dance partners

It's not enough to want a deal, but there must be another team eager for one. Here are three teams with the assets and potential desire for a trading marriage.

  • The Denver Broncos (31) have 10 overall picks including two in the 3rd, 5th and 7th. Denver could look to move up with the idea of landing a replacement for defensive lineman Malik Jackson or a quarterback.

  • In addition to their second round selection, the Baltimore Ravens (36) also have four 4th round picks. Regardless of what Baltimore does at 6, it needs more impact players, particularly on defense, offensive line and receiver.

  • The woeful San Francisco 49ers have 11 picks not including No. 7 overall with two in the 4th, three in the 5th and four in the 6th. 

UPDATED [April 27]: Now that we've reached the draft, perhaps the simplest option involves teams picking right behind the Redskins. Houston (22), Minnesota (23) and Cincinnati (24) are all thought to be looking close at receiver. The Vikings and Bengals have a pick in each with Minnesota owning an extra seventh.


Any player at any position could catch the eye of front office folks around the league, but here the most likely ones that could tempt a team with a bold move.

  • Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis -- Here's how the blockbuster trade between the Titans and Rams could help the Redskins. Odds are quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz go 1-2 in the draft in some order. Even if not the case, several teams still need signal callers. Lynch might need time to develop, but he's considered third among the 2016 class.
  • Connor CookQB, Michigan State -- If Lynch is gone before 21, it's conceivable teams bump up Cook on their boards. Kansas City, Arizona, Denver, Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco are teams with QB needs picking within 16 spots of the Redskins.
  • Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi -- Some shine came off the physical receiver after a slower-than-desired 40-time at his pro day, but Treadwell draws interest. Slotting him at 15 to the WR-needy Rams made sense. Now that Los Angeles moved that pick, it's harder finding an obvious fit. Maybe the Lions (16) or Bills (19). If not, the Redskins at 21 could be ground zero for a Treadwell trade considering the three teams picking directly behind Washington -- Houston, Minnesota, Cincinnati -- are all in the mix for receivers. Speaking of receivers, those wanting pure speed and quickness may jump ahead of those three teams for Baylor's Corey Coleman or Notre Dame's Will Fuller while 6-foot-4 Josh Doctson from TCU is the true red-one target.

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy and the Huddle Report's 2012 NFL Mock Draft champion. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+

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