We are currently in an evaluation period post-Combine week, a staple on the draft evaluation circuit. At least for now, the Washington Redskins hold the 17th pick. We take a look around for the latest thoughts on how the Burgundy and Gold are predicted to invest their first round pick after the end of the Scot McCloughan era.
Redskins reminder: Defensive line, safety, and wide receiver have been tentatively addressed in free agency, but there are definitely plenty of other areas to address. Although McCloughan is no longer with the team, that does not necessarily mean Washington will not follow some of his documented draft trends.
""Like I mentioned in Mock Draft 2.0: At what point should a team forget about what's conventional and just take the best football player? That's the value in McCaffrey here. The Redskins like Rob Kelley, but McCaffrey brings a different element to the offense as a runner and receiver, and he can be a return man, too. McCaffrey's 4.48 40 and 37.5-inch vertical at the combine eliminated any doubts about his athleticism.""
BB: McCafrey is in the history books as one of the most accomplished threats in college football because of his contribution in the running, receiving, and return game in his three years at Stanford. The dynamic back finished his career with 3,922 rushing yards, 1,206 receiving yards, and 1,859 return yards. With McCloughan out of the picture, the Redskins may be more likely to show Matt Jones the door and pair a speedster with a more traditional back like Robert Kelley.
"The ultra-explosive runner would alleviate pressure on Kirk Cousins in the Redskins' backfield."
BB: Cook is probably not the same athlete as McCaffrey and would be more of a traditional runner should Washington select him. He would also certainly provide the team an upgrade. Despite flashes, Kelley is probably not going to be a Pro Bowl back and it was clear the lack of a running game at the end of last season hurt Washington's potential to be a consistently potent offense.
"Will Compton and Mason Foster are back, but Washington's run defense needs a thumper. Reddick was among the freakier athletes at the Combine, but there's also production here. Ideally the Redskins help their suspect defensive line, but there aren't many (any?) must-have options at this spot unless they believe in Malik McDowell's potential."
BB: In his four years at Temple, Reddick recorded 17.5 sacks, 47 tackles for loss, and 149 tackles. He really came on in his senior year playing with his hand in the ground when he recorded 9.5 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss, and 65 tackles overall. Despite names like Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, and Junior Galette, Washington can never have enough pass rushers.
"One of the remaining playmakers on offense would be mighty tempting here, but Washington still has holes to fill on defense. Cunningham would help there, as he’d give them a three-down defender at inside linebacker."
BB: Starters Compton and Foster are back, but the Redskins could certainly use some more pop from the position. Cunningham is a sound tackler, which Washington did not have enough of in recent seasons, and faced off against some of the best teams in the SEC in college.
Previous Mock Draft Editions:
- January 16: Malik McDowell, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Solomon Thomas, Chris Wormley, Reuben Foster.
- January 30: Malik McDowell, Solomon Thomas, Zach Cunningham, Chris Wormley, Reuben Foster.
- February 13: Jabrill Peppers, Zach Cunningham, Solomon Thomas, Derek Barnett.
- March 13: Reuben Foster, Mitch Trubisky, Caleb Brantley, Malik McDowell, Corey Davis
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