One of my favorite articles to write each year are these mock offseason pieces. It gives me a chance to play general manager of the Washington Redskins and be mostly wrong, all while making a ton of sense. Washington will reportedly have around $34.4 million in cap space this year. With free agency set to open at 4pm EST on Thursday March 9, the team is expected to be prudently active. Below I'll make educated guesses of moves the Redskins could make this offseason, including my first mock draft.
Offensive needs: WR, LG, RB and QB (?)
Defensive needs: Every. Single. Thing
Redskins Free Agents (not in any particular order):
- WR Pierre Garcon
- WR DeSean Jackson
- TE Vernon Davis
- C John Sullivan
- DL Chris Baker
- DL Kedric Golston
- DL Cullen Jenkins
- DL Evander Hood
- ILB Terence Garvin
- CB Greg Toler
- SS Donte Whitner
- S Duke Ihenacho
- Vernon Davis - don't expect him to have the year he had last season, but he's solid and should be cheap to re-sign.
DeAngelo Hall - It's time to say goodbye to DHall. Maybe not permanently -- you can always bring him back much cheaper or ask him to take a pay cut. But his $5 million cap hit in 2017 is just too expensive for a 33 year old who has been injured the past two seasons.
Ricky Jean Francois - It's hard to say the Redskins should just cut RJF considering he's essentially all they have on the defensive line right now. He'll have a $4 million cap hit, which isn't terrible for a 30 year old like him, but it's money you could pocket. I'd try asking him for a pay cut. He's okay to keep around as a vocal leader and decent rotational player.
Morgan Moses: The Redskins should go ahead and lock-up Morgan Moses long-term. It's hard to find good right tackles and they have themselves a solid one in Moses who is set to become a free agent in 2018. I'd also consider extending CB Bashaud Breeland, but I think he wants a redemption season first.
QB Kirk Cousins and a first round pick (17) to the San Francisco 49ers for No. 2 overall, 3rd round (66 overall) and a 2018 conditional second rounder (could turn into a first rounder depending on agreed upon terms).
- Right now I think there's a 40% chance Cousins gets traded, a 45% chance he plays out the franchise tag and 15% chance he signs a long term deal. I should say, the first two percentages were flipped after Head Coach Jay Gruden signed a two-year extension Saturday night. It's arguable if the Redskins have handled this situation well or not. But one thing that will be tough to argue is the Redskins letting Cousins play out this season and allowing him to leave for nothing in 2018. To me, that would be the worst outcome. If you don't feel like a long term deal will get done -- trade him. You have a clear suitor. Just do it.
Free Agent Signings:
Johnathan Hankins, DT, New York Giants: In my opinion, the 25-year-old Hankins should be the team's top defensive line target. I think he'd be able to play across the defensive line. He can be an anchor at nose tackle, he can play the three technique and occasionally bump outside to DE. I think he has upside as a pass rusher. Another option would be Bennie Logan.
Tyson Alualu, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars: The former top 10 pick gets labeled a bust, but he low-key played solid in his former Head Coach Gus Bradley's system. He played 3-4 DE in college and was a miscast getting drafted by a 4-3 team. Bradley's hybrid allowed Alualu to play a little more similar to how he played in college. At 29 years old, he may never be a great pass rusher, but he's a super solid defender. Should come very cheap.
Lawrence Guy, DE, Baltimore Ravens: Maybe I'm going overboard here having the team sign three defensive lineman. However, they're losing four in free agency and really don't have much to work with on their current roster. Alualu and Guy could both combine for deals under $6 million per year. That's one reason the Redskins could opt to move on from Chris Baker -- you can spread that money on the defensive line. Let Hankins (or a prize free agent like Calais Campbell) get the bigger dollar.
Kenny Britt, WR, Los Angeles Rams: Britt is reportedly looking at making a little over $6 million in free agency. It being a deep wide receiver market could make him a hidden gem. Britt is a very good receiver. He can catch those intermediate passes that made Garcon so valuable. Not to mention, he's capable of running deep fades and being a red zone target.
Duron Harmon, S, New England Patriots: Scot McCloughan, if he's even a voice in free agency, likes taking players from championship teams and adding them to the mix. I really like Harmon's potential of being the true free safety Washington needs.
One Round Mock Draft (with Cousins' trade scenario):
- Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
- Washington Redskins (via 49ers) select Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
- I think it would be a good idea for the Redskins to finally start emphasizing their need of talent on the defensive line. After watching Thomas in agility drills at the combine, everything matched the elite traits you see on film. He's a star. But I will say, I'd prefer to see the Redskins try to deal this pick while staying in the top ten. For example, with a team like the LA Chargers that may really want Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. If the Redskins could move back and obtain 7 overall, it would make sense for them to snag ILB Reuben Foster.
Full Mock Draft (minus the Cousins' trade):
- Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
- San Francisco 49ers select Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
- Chicago Bears select Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
- Jacksonville Jaguars select Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
- Tennessee Titans select Jamal Adams, S, LSU
- New York Jets select Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
- LA Chargers select Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
- Carolina Panthers select Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
- Cincinnati Bengals select Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
- Buffalo Bills select Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
- New Orleans Saints select Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
- Cleveland Browns select Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
- Arizona Cardinals select OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
- Philadelphia Eagles select John Ross, WR, Washington
- Indianapolis Colts select Derek Barnett, DE, Tenn.
- Baltimore Ravens select Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan St.
17. Washington Redskins select Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
- In my free agency scenario, the Redskins failed to address the inside linebacker position. Reddick would come in and instantly be an impact starter for the team. He has elite traits and movement skills. He was a freak show at the combine. Add that with the fact he's a senior and it's a typical Scot McCloughan draft pick.
Round Two (49 overall): Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
- This may be a shock to some, but it sounds like teams around the league aren't that afraid of drafting Mixon. He's a first round talent with an elite skill-set. He'd be a nice complement to whoever the Redskins' starting QB is in 2017.
Round Three (81 overall): Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
- This is a really solid player with upside who could go anywhere from late round one to early round three. It just depends on how quickly defensive lineman go off the board in this class. Wormley has the upside of a Sheldon Richardson. I'd start him off inside at 3 technique. Eventually he'll be able to play across the line.
Round Four (114 overall): Marcus Maye, S, Florida
- Maye is low key one of the better all-around solid safeties in this draft class. If this wasn't such a deep safety class, people would be hyping him as a late first to second round guy. Maye is a jack of all trades, master of none type of player. But he's a safety that will have a long career of solid play. If the Redskins miss out on a Desmond King, this is a good back up plan.
Round Four (124 overall): Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
- Kaaya's film actually really intrigued me and I think he had a really nice combine performance. He reminds me of a young Eli Manning. The fourth round has been a sweet spot for QBs in recent years.
Round Five (154 overall): Danny Isidora, OG, Miami
- Athletic guard who proved that at the combine running a 5.03 forty. He has good feet and shows a nice punch at the point of attack. Isidora met with the Redskins at the NFL Combine, according to Breaking Burgundy's Ben Standig.
Round Six (201 overall): Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
- Davis posted some elite numbers at the combine but failed to consistently show those traits in college. He's a raw player who has high upside if he can develop.
Round Six (209 overall): Jeremy Clark, CB, Michigan
- Clark is coming off season in which he tore his ACL. He's a big corner with upside.
Round Seven (220 overall): Deatrich Wise, DE, Arkansas
- Highly inconsistent college film but he flashes great potential. He had a solid combine. With good coaching, he could work his way up the depth chart.
Round Seven (235 overall): Darrell Daniels, TE, Washington
- Hybrid tight end with blocking ability.