DE Takkarist McKinley (Photo by Steve Cheng)

Morning Manny: Defensive Players To Watch At The NFL Combine

Taking a look at NFL Draft Prospects participating in this weekend's combine that could intrigue the Washington Redskins, including a top edge rusher.

Regardless of what's going on in the Washington Redskins' front office, the NFL combine officially kicked-off Friday morning and continues on Sunday with defensive prospects. Although General Manager Scot McCloughan isn't in attendance, I have no reason to deviate from his draft trends  as a pre-draft tool. So below, we'll list two defensive players to monitor this weekend at each position of need for the Redskins (one first rounder and one non-first rounder) using McCloughan's draft philosophy.

Defensive Needs: Every. Single. Thing

Defensive Line:

Jonathan Allen, Alabama (6ft 3, 286 lbs): Allen is entrenched as the second best player on my board. Of course, he's likely to go top-5. But I'm listing him to stir the pot -- just in case the Redskins make a deal this offseason and get a top-3 pick. Allen is from Ashburn, VA and has future All-pro written all over him. I'm interested in seeing how he tests on Sunday. 

Jarron Jones, Notre Dame (6ft 6, 316 lbs): If you shuffle between all his inconsistent tape and games he was actually healthy, you find a guy with first round talent. However, those elite traits are few and far between when you watch his film. He's a classic boom or bust prospect that will have to prove he can stay healthy and is a self-starter. Good thing is, you can probably get him mid rounds. It's not often you find a guy with this much talent that will almost certainly be around outside the first few rounds. He needs to have a good showing at the combine. 


Takkarist McKinley, UCLA (6ft 2, 250 lbs): Sneak peak to my next draft rankings -- I will be moving McKinley above Tim Williams, who I also really like, and making him my top OLB. McKinley is only 20 years old and completely fits the McCloughan mold. He's a long athlete (34 3/4 inch arms) who has major upside. I'm interested in seeing what his 3-cone number is. But he has high potential as an edge rusher and he's versatile enough to play against the run. Remember -- the Redskins have two edge rushers in Junior Galette and Trent Murphy who will be free agents in 2018. Not to mention, they should proceed as if they don't have Galette considering his injury history.

Deatrich Wise, Arkansas (6ft 5, 271 lbs):  Wise is kind of in the same boat as Jarron Jones, just with less elite traits. He's not the twitchiest athlete, so I'm interested in seeing his workout. He wasn't a full time starter at Arkansas and was inconsistent when given playtime. However, he has some solid traits and could develop into a good player with time. 

Inside Linebacker:

Haason Reddick, Temple (6ft 1, 237 lbs): I think at this very moment, if the Redskins go defense round one -- Takk McKinley and Reddick would top my list. I really like what Reddick brings to the table and he's hardly scratched the surface. I fully expect him to post major numbers at the combine. 

Jarrad Davis, Florida (6ft 1, 238 lbs): Davis is a first round talent who could still be on the board in round two. If the Redskins don't go ILB early, Davis would be a great option. He's been one of my favorite prospects since this time in 2016. In the midst of a talented Florida defense, Davis stood out the most the past couple seasons. He'll need to prove he can stay healthy. Not to mention, I think everyone is interested in what he runs at the combine. He should have a good showing in drills.


Tre'Davious White, LSU (5ft 11, 192 lbs): If there's one position on defense I doubt the Redskins take high it's cornerback. But you can never have enough talented corners and White is very good. He's the definition of a technician.

Desmond King, Iowa (5ft 10, 201 lbs): Des King is one of my favorite prospects in this draft class. He's a football player. He may not test well, but he'll be a player in this league. I actually would love to see him do some safety drills. I think that could be his home in the NFL. He could be what Kyshoen Jarrett was becoming for this team. 


Marcus Williams, Utah (6ft 1, 202 lbs): I was happy to see that Williams came to the combine slightly over 200 lbs. There aren't many safeties who have success under 200 lbs. Williams is only 20 years old and is the second most rangy safety in this class to me. 

Marcus Maye, Florida (6ft, 210 lbs):  Maye is kind a jack of all trades, master of none guy. He's an interchangeable safety who can be a really solid player in the NFL. It'll be interesting to see how he tests at the combine. 

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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