INDIANAPOLIS—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 22, 16 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.
Question of the day
While I’m here at the NFL Combine this week, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to pose the question each morning centered around the draft and the position group that will be talking to the media on that day. You can find the daily schedule here. Up today, the defensive line.
Who will the Redskins draft with the No. 5 pick?
So, the combine is in the books so let’s see where the Redskins might stand. We will assume here that the Redskins are going to stay where they are and not trade down. A deal could well happen but that would open up more possibilities than we could reasonably outline here. So let’s go with staying in the five hole for now.
Let’s also say that Jameis Winston, Leonard Williams, Marcus Mariota, and Shane Ray are off the board in some order to the Bucs, Titans, Jaguars, and Raiders. If the Redskins go with the best available player at that point, there are the top three possibilities in ascending order of my view of how likely they are.
NT Danny Shelton, Washington—He fits the “big guy” mold (6-2, 339) that GM Scot McCloughan likes. At that size, he played some 900 snaps for the Huskies, an amazing number. When McCloughan puts him under the microscope he will want to figure out if Shelton can move around on the line some for the 50 to 60 percent of the time that the Redskins will run in a defensive front that is not a straight 3-4; the fifth overall pick can’t be a part-time player. McCloughan will have to be satisfied that Shelton can consistently impact games; his presence wasn’t always evident in games against quality opponents.
WR Kevin White, West Virginia—He is not a possibility here because of the 4.35 time he posted in the 40 at the combine (McCloughan isn’t big on times in shorts and T-shirts) but because he is that fast on the field. White is big enough (6-2) and strong enough to outfight any defensive back for the ball. McCloughan will put him under the microscope to see if he is going to work to get better as a pro. White would be a very controversial pick among the fan base but if he checks out he might be too good for McCloughan to pass up.
DE Dante Fowler, Florida—He was the favorite here going in and he did nothing to knock himself out of that spot. Fowler was very much at ease speaking to the media crowd. McCloughan places a lot of stock in interviews and Fowler should ace that. Of course he has to get it done on the field as well and the Redskins will have to project if he can be a consistent double-digit sack performer in the NFL.
—It’s been 56 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 203 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL free agency starts 16; Redskins offseason workouts start 57; 2015 NFL Draft 67
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.