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Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #1 The 'Living on the Edge' Scenario

Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #1 The 'Living on the Edge' Scenario

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Derrius Guice hopes to return from injured reserve as soon as he's eligible to

Derrius Guice hopes to return from injured reserve as soon as he's eligible to

Derrius Guice tweeted out a photo early Tuesday afternoon of himself and Alex Smith stepping onto a Redskins' practice field in Ashburn. Then, later on, he indicated the date he's hoping to make his return from injured reserve.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the energetic Guice wants to play as soon as he's eligible to.

When a fan asked the second-year pro on social media if he'd be back after the team's bye week, which is on Nov. 10, the running back replied with a "Yessir."

If he does in fact rejoin the Redskins then, his first appearance for the Burgundy and Gold would be a Week 11 matchup against the Jets. If they had a game in Week 10, he could be activated at that point, but they're off.

NFL rules stipulate that every franchise can bring two players off of I.R. after they've spent eight weeks on it. Guice suffered a knee injury in the season opener in Philadelphia and underwent meniscus surgery soon thereafter. It was an unfortunate obstacle for him especially after he missed all of 2018, but to his credit, he handled it well.

Considering No. 29's potential and the fact that Bill Callahan loves the running game, there's no doubt Washington would like to place him back on the roster when he's ready. Hopefully, he'll start practicing soon and get to a place where he's able to be relied upon. 

It's unlikely Guice's return will coincide with a Redskins playoff run, but it'll still be interesting to see if he can string together a healthy finish to the schedule. Between he, Terry McLaurin and Dwayne Haskins, there should be plenty of young talent to take in on offense in the second half of the 2019 campaign. 


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Bill Callahan might be an old-school running coach, but he knows he needs to adapt against 49ers

Bill Callahan might be an old-school running coach, but he knows he needs to adapt against 49ers

From the moment Bill Callahan took over as the Redskins interim head coach, he talked almost exclusively about establishing the run game in the offense. 

Last week in Miami his team did just that, running the ball 33 times for 145 yards. It was Washington's biggest output from the ground game this season, and by a wide margin. 

This week, however, the Redskins face a much stiffer challenge against San Francisco. The 49ers boast the second-best defense in the league, trailing only the Patriots, and Kyle Shanahan's team is giving up fewer than 90 rush yards-per0game. That's nearly 100 yards less than the Dolphins were giving up prior to last week's game against the Redskins. 

Last week, it made sense for Callahan to preach running the football. Miami was awful at defending it. This week, things look much different, and Redskins fans might be surprised to know Callahan looks willing to change his offensive scheme. 

"Every game is different," Callahan said in an interview with NBC Sports Washington.

"This game coming up may be different than last week. We may take certain shots on certain downs and distances, and change our tendencies as we go forward. That's always fluid."

Against the 0-4 Dolphins, the Redskins played a conservative offense that saw Case Keenum complete just 13 passes. He was able to connect with rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin for two scores, but there were plenty of pass yards left on the field in Miami. The truth was Washington didn't need to do that much offensively to beat the awful Dolphins.

Against 5-0 San Francisco, the opposite is true. The Niners' offense ranks fifth in the league in yards-per-game and third in points-per-game. Shanahan's team plays great football on both sides, and the former Redskins offensive coordinator will very much want to show off his new squad on Sunday. 

Callahan seems quite aware of the circumstances for this game, and that could mean a much more aggressive Redskins offense. 

"I think that you are gameplan specific based on your opponent," the coach said. "Obviously, you want to take advantage of the things you can do. We will certainly focus in on that as we delve into the 49ers."

The Niners have won four out of five games by double digits, and two wins came by more than 20 points. This team is clicking on all cylinders right now. 

The Redskins have a serious task in front of them, and oddsmakers installed Washington as double-digit underdogs. The good news, even if minor, is Callahan looks like he understands the nature of his opponent and that he must adapt his team to best attack San Francisco.