Projecting a one-round NFL mock draft with accuracy in mind is lunacy. Doing so for seven rounds should mean an immediate elementary school-type timeout. Offering up three versions of a seven-round draft with undrafted free agents in tow for the Washington Redskins probably demands an intervention.
Before gathering folks together, take a moment to understand there’s a method to this mock draft madness.
Presented here is simply a look at three different scenarios for the Redskins, pick by pick. These choices are based on a combination of conversations with league sources, homework, intuition plus remaining needs.
While not an interactive article or the latest season of “Black Mirror,” consider this akin to a “Choose your adventure” book. While the Redskins have four of the top 97 selections, their list of needs is lengthy.
Want an edge rusher and safety in the first two rounds? Cool, but then here’s what you’re staring at with guards, wide receivers and corners from there. Think there’s no way they should pass on a long-term quarterback at 15? Fine as long as you realize the pool of sack masters, inside linebackers and tight ends drop off after round two.
Though the April 25-27 extravaganza is rapidly approaching, plenty can change with the overall draft board and the Redskins’ situation. There’s a possible quarterback trade for Josh Rosen out there, for example. Free agency is still in play even though the marketplace turned library quiet.
Hopefully, some of you nod along. Those who see red as you read, critique away. Just understand there’s a method to the madness.
PATH 1 -- Living on the edge
First Round, Pick No. 15: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
The need for more help on the edge following Preston Smith’s free agency exit is obvious and not at all. Does the organization believe Ryan Anderson can handle such duties in his third season? Let’s just say the jury is out and therefore the verdict here is to get another pass rusher. Assuming Montez Sweat isn’t available we’ll go with Burns. The 6-foot-5 speed threat needs more power, but he racked up 14.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss during his final two seasons with the Seminoles.
Second Round, Pick No. 46: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Just like the aforementioned OLB scenario, the need for free safety depends on whether the organization truly believes there’s bounce-back potential with Monte Nicholson. Beyond the arrest late in the season, don’t forget the Redskins traded a fourth-round pick for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in-season to replace Nicholson. Plenty of safety options exist on Day 2 including Savage, who brings instincts, cover skills and 4.36 speed.
Maryland's Darnell Savage (@darnellsavage_) brings a TON of positional versatility to the table, but his play in the slot is special.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 1, 2019
His two-year passer rating allowed at SCB ranks second in the class. Here, he runs this slant for the Indiana WR and nabs an INT.
Yes, please. pic.twitter.com/2Hvn1tBGmr
Third Round, Pick No. 77: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Patience with the receivers in this draft pays off. Public big boards typically rank around 15 wideouts among the top 110 overall selections. Here that means the 6-foot-2 Harmon, who some consider a possible top 35 pick, but other sources deem more of a late Day 2 selection because of speed and quickness concerns. The three-year starter brings strong hands and a physical presence, traits the Redskins' receivers lack. Whether it’s Harmon, Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside or another interesting prospect, viable options will remain on the board in this range.
Third Round, Pick No. 97: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
This slot could prove wildly off for Grier, who I had going 46 to the Redskins in recent mocks, but his Senior Bowl and Combine work didn't help his draft cause. ESPN and CBS both rank Grier outside the top 100 prospects. He lacks a big arm but is willing to take risks and doesn't shy away from leading the offense. We know the Redskins lack a long-term option at quarterback. Depending on Alex Smith’s recovery from a serious leg injury any rookie selected might be the only QB on the roster entering 2020 free agency. Best bets on Grier’s landing spots: Redskins, Giants, Panthers.
Fifth Round, Pick No. 154: Drew Sample, TE, Washington
My guess is Sample goes off the board in the 3-4 round range based on conversations with league and team sources, yet several big boards rank him lower than 154. Sample stood out with an impressive showing during the Combine workouts in Indianapolis, where the Redskins brought him for a formal meeting. Would help more as a blocker initially. Washington probably keeps only three tight ends, but maybe not considering Jordan Reed’s injury history and Vernon Davis’ age.
Blocking by tight ends in today’s game is a lost art, but Drew Sample is ready to help reinstill that. Here he seals off the edge defender to get Myles Gaskin a big gain. @drewcal is the best blocking tight end in this draft and should be in the conversation as a top tight end! pic.twitter.com/TdkaoAEc7w— Purple Reign Podcast (@purple_reignpod) April 3, 2019
Fifth Round, Pick No. 174: Nate Herbig, G, Stanford
This monster of a prospect, the 6-foot-3, 335-pound Herbig earned 2nd team All-Pac 12 honors in 2018 despite playing only seven games because of injuries. This came after a 1st team selection in 20017 with starts at both guard spots. Perhaps all of that experience propels Herbig into the left guard battle in Washington. That the Redskins might need a Day 3 pick to start shows the downside of waiting on guard. Again, can’t solve all their needs with early selections.
Look at all 330 pounds of RG #63 Nate Herbig get movin' to the outside here pic.twitter.com/LVBrdhBGXd— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) November 20, 2018
Sixth Round, Pick No. 208: T.J. Edwards, ILB, Wisconsin
Inside linebacker remains a long-term need for the Redskins. Will Reuben Foster make it through a season without incident? Does Mason Foster return for 2020? Are Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaun Dion Hamilton eventual starters in this league? This isn’t a major investment, but Edwards, a four-year starter, led the Badgers with 113 tackles last season.
Incredible play by Wisconsin LB TJ Edwards— Coach Dan Casey (@CoachDanCasey) February 8, 2018
- Run Read
- Drop in the Dig window
- Cover the Under
- Tackle RB in flat for 1yd gain
Seventh Round, Pick No. 229: Darrin Hall, RB, Pittsburgh
The 5-foot-11, 225-pound back with 4.4 40-yard speed is coming off a senior season with over 1,100 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on the ground. League-wide interest increased after an impressive pro day.
Seventh Round, Pick No. 255: Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati
The Redskins are generally good along the defensive line, but depth additions are always worth exploring. Broughton’s up-and-down college career ended with a positive note as the 282-pound tackle had 7.5 sacks.
My word. Cincinnati’s Cortez Broughton just taking UCLA’s RG for a brisk walk to the QB. There’s been some Twitter draft buzz about him and I’m finally getting a chance to watch. pic.twitter.com/ncSZcdlk6c— ryan wilson (@ryanwilsonCBS) April 15, 2019
UDFA: Jackson Barton, OT, Utah
This 6-foot-7 lineman made 28 starts for the Utes and received all Pac-12 first-team honors in 2018. Despite the experience, Barton is on the 7th round/UDFA line.
Summary: This version checks off the needs one by one starting with the conventional pass rusher angle and a playmaking safety next to Landon Collins. Adding Harmon, Grier and Sample specifically in the middle rounds would make this a strong haul overall. However, in this scenario the Redskins remain without a clear starting left guard on the roster and do not add corner depth.
Path 2 -- No passing on the future (Thursday)
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