Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 4, 22 days before the NFL draft.
What will the Redskins’ choices be at pick No. 13?
I’m not going to do the math but there are many different possibilities for the choices the Redskins will have three weeks from Thursday when they go on the clock at pick No. 13. But we can narrow down the possibilities by looking at the players that are nearly certain to go at some point in the first 12 picks and seeing which of the top prospects are likely to be left.
It’s a lead pipe cinch that the four top quarterbacks—Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, and Sam Darnold—will go in the top 12, probably in the top six or so. I would not be surprised if someone trades up to snag Lamar Jackson before the Redskins pick but we’ll leave him off of the list for now.
G Quinton Nelson and DE Bradley Chubb are too good to make it out of the top 10. CB Denzel Ward probably is. It’s hard to see Chicago bypassing Tremaine Edmunds, who reminds many of Bears Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher.
So there are eight of the first 12 picks. That means that the Redskins will have their choice of at least one from the group that includes S Derwin James, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, LB Roquan Smith, DL Da’Ron Payne, and DL Vita Vea. The defensive linemen would fill needs and the others are good enough to make the Redskins rearrange their depth chart if the player represents the best player available scenario.
Another thing to consider here is that there may be surprises. Someone taking Jackson would be one. And nearly every year there is a top-10 surprise, a player that one team covets that most others have graded lower (WRs John Ross and Mike Williams last year, CB Eli Apple in 2016). That could leave at least three players from the group above on the board. Let’s take a look at some of the possible groups of players who could be there and what the Redskins should do.
On the board: Payne, Vea, Fitzpatrick
On the Redskins’ card: I would go with Payne here. He can play nose tackle in base and contribute on the outside in nickel. I like Vea but I’m skeptical of how well he can play when he not in the zero technique. Fitzpatrick is very good, but I don’t see him as a game-changing talent that would practically force the Redskins to overlook need to take him.
On the board: James, Smith, Payne
On the Redskins’ card: First of all, I would wait out the entire 10-minute allotment before turning in the card to make a pick. The phone almost surely would ring for someone wanting James and/or Smith. If I can’t get a good deal I take James. He’s just too good and too versatile to leave on the board even though safety is not a position of great need. They could figure out how to work him into the rotation.
On the board: Smith, Vea, Fitzpatrick
On the Redskins’ card: Again, I would wait for a trade offer from a team that might covet Smith. If no trade goes through, do the Redskins take him even though they just re-signed their two veteran inside linebackers? I would take Smith because he’s too good to pass up, but I think the Redskins would fill the need and go with Vea.
Tandler on Twitter
I wrote yesterday that the #Redskins have $22 million in 2019 cap space, 3rd lowest in NFL. It’s worse than that. That doesn’t include Scherff’s option salary, so it’s more like $9 million. Could shape the draft.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) April 3, 2018
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 12
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 114
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 158
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