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2019 NFL Draft: Sleepers, Redskins OL plan, Drew Lock defining 'boom or bust'

2019 NFL Draft: Sleepers, Redskins OL plan, Drew Lock defining 'boom or bust'

The 2019 NFL Draft coverage rolls on.

In addition to the updated two-round NFL mock draft, Big Board and our look at different 7-round, Redskins-only mock drafts (paths one and two are available now), we dive into some news and notes pertaining to the Redskins, the quarterback prospects, Trent Williams and the 2019 class overall.

* Florida State’s Brian Burns and Michigan’s Rashan Gary are generally lumped into the same edge rusher bucket despite a 30-pound weight disparity: Burns tips the scales around 245 pounds versus Gary’s 277. Another variance comes with production.

The 245-pound Burns, a true speed threat, finished with 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2018. Gary, one of the top recruits in 2016, finished with 9.5 sacks – in 34 games over three seasons with the Wolverines, along with 23 tackles for loss.

Stats alone do not explain a player’s draft value, but Gary’s lack of production makes the 277-pounder one of the more polarizing prospects. His draft range projection goes from top 10 to end of the first round. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay ranks Gary sixth overall, with Burns at 22.

The latest NBC Sports Washington 2019 NFL mock draft has the Redskins selecting Burns at 15, two slots after the Dolphins snag Gary.

The primary fear with Burns among league sources is strength. “He has speed, quickness, but big bodies will wear him down,” a league scout said. Even if Burns adds weight, he won’t have desired natural power of a player like Gary, who can move offensive lineman wherever he lines up.

“He’ll be better in the pros than college,” the scout said of Gary. That’s what teams considering a top pick on Gary are counting on. As for Burns, the Redskins defense lacked speed across the board last season and they already have a power option in Ryan Anderson."

* Earlier this week, I wrote about the idea of using the 15th overall pick to trade for Josh Rosen rather than spending the first-round pick on draft prospects Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock or Daniel Jones. Posing that concept to league sources led to opinions on the three incoming passers rated behind projected No. 1 overall selection Kyler Murray.

These comments likely won’t lead anyone to a conclusion, other than perhaps my general take that the passion largely isn’t there for this trio, at least in comparison to the four quarterbacks selected in the top 10 last season.

Lock received the most positive mentions – “I think he is the best in the draft (including Murray)” – but the doubters also existed.

“Lock makes me nervous,” said a former general manager, who mentioned recent first-round picks like Blake Bortles and Christian Ponder as comparisons. “Not great with intermediate and deep throws. Bad decisions. Everything underneath."

NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline expressed concern. “Lock is the poster boy for boom or bust QB,” Pauline told NBC Sports Washington.

Lock posted gaudy stats -- 76 touchdown passes over the last two seasons -- but finished his career completing 56 percent of his passes.

The previous Big Board included a league source stating, “The buzz on Jones in the first and possibly fairly high is 1000 percent real.” That sense continues.

AFC scout: “Go with Jones if there.”

Former GM: “Daniel Jones over Lock. Can trust him more. He’s ready.”

League source: “Jones is mentally strong and very talented. He’s the safer pick. I also love his physical tools. … Would love to see Jones play instinctive. … Jones has the build you want and is more athletic than Rosen. Gotta be able to move in this league.”

As for Haskins, Pauline, the main voice with DraftAnalyst.com, said he would lean toward the Ohio State standout. Others even in praise used the term “risky” when describing the strong-armed but slow-moving passer.

Analyst: “Haskins is the best on the list, but all are risky at 15.”

* Everyone likes sleepers. Here are some prospects projected outside the first two rounds league sources have positively mentioned in recent days. They are listed in order of likely selection: Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State, Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri, Foster Moreau, TE, LSU, Jahlani Tavai, ILB, Hawaii, Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston, Drew Sample, TE, Washington, KeeSean Johnson, WR, Fresno State, Malik Gant, S, Marshall, Evan Worthington, S, Colorado, Byron Cowart, DL, Maryland, Darrin Hall, RB, Pittsburgh, Tyree Brady, WR, Marshall, Keenan Brown, TE, Texas State.

* Back to the passers, West Virginia’ Will Grier is often cited as the fifth QB in this class, but that’s not exactly written in stone. Some public big board’s drop the gunslinger into the 3-4 round draft range. Whenever Grier goes, the three most likely destinations, according to a league source, are the Giants, Panthers and Redskins. Washington picks one spot ahead of Carolina in the second round.

* Maryland safety Darnell Savage is making moves up draft boards. Last week a league source offered a 25-45 draft range projection for the cover safety. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah told reporters on a conference call Thursday he could see Savage going off the board in the first.

* Are the Redskins likely to go with an offensive lineman in the first? It’s certainly possible considering the left guard concerns and talent available. NBC Sports Washington reported Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom visited the Redskins Park last week. Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and Alabama’s Jonah Williams are projected to go in the middle of the first round.

Beyond the immediate guard issue consider the following, especially with players in mind like Ford and Williams who played tackle in college.

Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams will turn 32 ahead of the 2020 season. His salary for the final year of his contract is $14.65 million, but only $1.9 million is guaranteed.

The belief is the organization wants the fourth overall pick in 2010 to retire a Redskin. The reality is Williams, who remains one of the best tackles in football, hasn’t played a full season since 2013. Right tackle Morgan Moses also battled injuries and is coming off an uneven 2018 season.

The Redskins did spend a third-round selection on Geron Christian last season, but also lost Ty Nsekhe in free agency. Just file this away, for now, depending on what Washington does at OL in the early rounds.

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Redskins challenge fans to create all-time team with this pool of franchise legends

Redskins challenge fans to create all-time team with this pool of franchise legends

Everyone has a little bit more time on their hands amid the coronavirus outbreak that’s forced the governors of both Maryland and Virginia to issue stay-at-home orders for the foreseeable future.

With the start of football season still months away, the Redskins decided to give their fans an assignment while they sit at home and wait for the pandemic to be contained.

Using an online form, the Redskins are challenging fans to put together a “dream team” composed of franchise greats and active stars. It’s a fun exercise while sports take a hiatus, so let’s go through the players available for selection.

Quarterback (pick 1)

The choices: Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Doug Williams, Joe Theismann, Alex Smith, Mark Rypien, Sammy Baugh and Kirk Cousins

Notable snubs: Robert Griffin III

Running back (pick 2)

The choices: John Riggins, Alfred Morris, Brian Mitchell, Clinton Portis, Earnest Byner, George Rogers, Larry Brown, Adrian Peterson and Stephen Davis

Notable snubs: Terry Allen

Wide receiver (pick 3)

The choices: Art Monk, Bobby Mitchell, Charley Taylor, Charlie Brown, Gary Clark, Hugh Taylor, Pierre Garcon, Ricky Sanders and Santana Moss

Notable snubs: Henry Ellard

Tight end (pick 1)

The choices: Chris Cooley, Jerry Smith and Jordan Reed

Notable snubs: Donnie Warren

Offensive line (pick 5)

The choices: Jeff Bostic, Jim Lachey, Joe Jacoby, Len Hauss, Russ Grimm, Turk Edwards, Brandon Scherff and Vince Promuto

Notable snubs: Trent Williams and Chris Samuels

Defensive line (pick 2)

The choices: Charles Mann, Dave Butz, Dexter Manley and Gene Brito

Notable snubs: Andre Carter, Ron McDole

Linebackers (pick 3)

The choices: Chris Hanburger, Ken Harvey, London Fletcher, Monte Coleman and Ryan Kerrigan

Notable snubs: Brian Orakpo

Defensive backs (pick 4)

The choices: Brig Owens, Champ Bailey, Darrell Green, DeAngelo Hall, Ken Houston, Landon Collins, Mike Bass, Pat Fischer and Sean Taylor

Notable snubs: Joe Lavender and Paul Krause

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Redskins are warming up to trading down from No. 2 pick, per one report

Redskins are warming up to trading down from No. 2 pick, per one report

The 2020 NFL Draft is less than a month away, meaning the rumors surrounding the Redskins and what they'll do with the No. 2 overall selection are only going to intensify over the next few weeks.

Many expect the Burgundy and Gold to select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the second pick, and it makes sense. He's been pegged as a generational talent by many experts and would make an immediate impact for the Redskins defense.

But coming off a 3-13 season, the Redskins still have plenty of holes on their roster. Arguably the best way to expedite a rebuild of any franchise is by building through the draft, and the Redskins potentially have the opportunity to acquire multiple first-round picks by trading down from the second overall selection. 

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the team is warming up to exactly that idea.

"I continue to hear that they are increasingly open to trading out," la Canfora said. "I think there's a distinct possibility."

When the Redskins moved up to No. 2 in the 2012 NFL Draft to acquire Robert Griffin III, they shipped three first-round picks to the Rams. It likely would take a deal similar to that for the Redskins to move out of their current draft position.

The Dolphins currently sit at No. 5 and have three first-round picks in this year's draft. They're also desperate for a quarterback. With Miami having the draft capital to strike a deal, they seem like the most likely team to trade up to No. 2. 

Should Washington move down to No. 5, the Redskins would potentially have the chance to select another player La Canfora says they have a high draft grade on: Clemson's Isaiah Simmons.

"If they do drop back a few spots, I believe strongly they would target Isaiah Simmons," La Canfora said. "That's another player I'm told they are super high on their draft board. They feel like he's such a rotational chess piece you can put all over the place. They are very intrigued by that possibility if they were to move down."

Simmons is arguably the most versatile defensive player in this year's draft. Listed as a linebacker, Simmons has lined up as a cornerback, safety and pass rusher, too. Simmons's measurables -- 6-foot-4, 239 pounds -- are off the charts, and the Clemson standout raised his stock even higher this past February with an outstanding performance at the Scouting Combine.

Throughout free agency, the Redskins have not made a splashy move. But one common trait between many of the players Ron Rivera has brought in to Washington is their versatility. Simmons fits exactly that mold. The only question remains if he would still be available by the time the Redskins were on the clock, as both the Lions and Giants would have the chance to take him before Washington.

If Young is considered the best defensive player in the draft, Simmons is right behind him. La Canfora explained that if Washington has the opportunity to trade back and still nab Simmons, that's something they should absolutely consider.

"If you take Chase Young, and he ends up being [Lawrence Taylor], then I get it. You call it a day," he said. "But if he's less than that, and you have the opportunity to trade off of him, as if he were a quarterback, to get quarterback value for the pick because the other team moving up is taking a quarterback, then I don't know how you don't strongly consider it."

La Canfora explained what many assume will be the deciding factor on whether the Redskins trade down or not -- will they get enough in return for the pick?

"It will be mostly tied to the value and trade for the pick," Canfora said. "Do they feel there is enough opportunity to throw three, four, five darts at premium positions on the draft board over the next couple of years that would allow them to hasten their rebuild?"

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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