Time for the third and final look at the Redskins’ projected 7-round draft, each with a different approach but ultimately the same goal: Fill holes and upgrade the roster.
These choices are based on a combination of conversations with league sources, homework, intuition plus remaining needs. These different paths are akin to a “Choose your adventure” book. The Redskins have four of the top 97 selections and a lengthy needs list.
PATH 3 -- Best available
First Round, Pick No. 15: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma
Maybe we can quibble over the likely best offensive lineman if not player, but there's no denying the need and CBS Sports ranks Ford No. 16 overall. The buzz remains positive for the mauler who doubles as the top guard prospect and for some the third best tackle prospect. The Redskins should be desperate to fill their vacant left guard spot after the revolving door the prior two seasons.
Ford would also provide a tackle hedge should Trent Williams or Morgan Moses deal with injuries again. It’s also worth noting Brandon Scherff’s contract extension remains in limbo.
Cody Ford’s feet are 🔥🔥...and he’s listed 346 pounds! This is dominance pic.twitter.com/hmfpClu1YQ— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 10, 2018
Second Round, Pick No. 46: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
The only thing larger than this massive 6-foot-5 target is his wide draft range. The Draft Network views the Baltimore native who averaged 22 yards on 60 receptions last season a top 20 selection. ESPN considers the same player, one with drop concerns, outside the top 75. What we know is the Redskins have stated publicly the need for size -- and production -- at receiver.
Hakeem Butler - A Thread— Dynasty Price (@DynastyPrice) April 10, 2019
When you say that Hakeem is a big time player, the emphasis is on the “big”. At 6’5 and 227 lbs, Butler is often a man amongst boys. He physically dominated defenses and showed why he is a legit NFL talent. pic.twitter.com/ByH5YpmO6o
Third Round, Pick No. 77: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
Some believe that corner ranks among the Redskins' top concerns considering Quinton Dunbar's season-ending nerve injury, Josh Norman possibly turning into a cap casualty or not returning in 2020, and overall depth. Love played 38 games over his three seasons with the Fighting Irish.
The All-American corner was the rare defensive back not repeatedly tortured by Clemson passer Trevor Lawrence during the college football playoffs. His draft projected fits on the second/third round line.
Notre Dame's Julian Love (@julianlove27), slotted at No. 45 on @PFF's current top-50 big board, makes a great play here against LSU in 2017 -- smothers the post and bursts to the sideline for a PBU on the scramble drill.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 4, 2019
📰: https://t.co/kOJoPENEfa pic.twitter.com/3fvtYE9RS6
Third Round, Pick No. 97: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
These first four selections in this path are with a BPA mindset. On Day 2 that strict approach could easily mean one of several running backs including this explosive game-breaker. The 5-foot-8, 208-pound Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry in each of the past two seasons while scoring a combined 31 touchdowns. While grabbing an RB seems highly unlikely, let’s remember that Adrian Peterson is now 34, Derrius Guice is coming off a torn ACL, and the shifty but injury-prone Chris Thompson enters free agency in 2020.
Darrell Henderson’s vision, speed, and toughness, he’s something else, and another RB I love that’s part of this deep and talented class. 5-8, 210, 4.49 40, and he’s a junior and we love them. #HereWeGo #SteelersDraft https://t.co/vPPXyWlhZv pic.twitter.com/aEPnsALPYn— Steel Legends (@Steel_Legends) April 9, 2019
Fifth Round, Pick No. 154: Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State
Is it outrageous to think the Redskins could select two wide receivers in the draft? Go look at the depth chart before answering no. In this case, the target has skills worthy of first-round consideration, namely an impressive catch radius and willingness to fight for contested throws. Character red flags dropped Williams into the middle rounds if not off the board for some teams.
Fifth Round, Pick No. 174: Evan Worthington, S, Colorado.
The 6-foot-2 can play a variety of spots including the neede high safety. Nobody would expect a fifth-round pick to start, but that's possible simply considering the current uncertainty with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix joining the Bears. From NFL.com: "Worthington's value to teams could depend on where they project him since he's played all over the field. He has the size, athleticism and ball skills to handle a variety of man-cover targets from the slot or as a deep safety."
Evan Worthington, you have my attention. Only on my first game, but athletic tools are evident. Speed and quickness are +++ and I see definite ball skills. pic.twitter.com/e646izXJzB— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 25, 2019
Sixth Round, Pick No. 208: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State
The East Carolina transfer piled up the stats in his one year running Mike Leach’s offense, finishing with 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is an accurate thrower, but his lack of size and fears of being a system QB work against him. Any quarterback drafted by the Redskins stands a chance at being the only healthy one on the roster entering next off-season.
Gardner Minshew went full Houdini on this scramble 👀 pic.twitter.com/BIDvkNYY6G— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 29, 2018
Seventh Round, Pick No. 229: Jordan Brailford, DE, Oklahoma
The 250-pound edge rusher had 10 sacks in 2018 yet consistently ranks in the 200’s among 2019 draft prospects. The Draft Network on Brailford: “Not very nimble, off balance and ending up on the ground on multiple occasions.”
Jordan Brailford is going to be a problem in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/JwSbY67tp4— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) January 19, 2019
Seventh Round, Pick No. 255: Keenan Brown, TE, Texas State
Granted the idea of selecting two tight ends seems odd. Pro Football Focus selected Brown first-team All-American based primarily on his work after the catch. He forced more than 24 missed tackles, more than double the next closest TE.
UDFA: Josh Watson, ILB, Colorado State
The 240-pounder receives virtually no interest from the public big boards despite amassing 240 tackles combined the last two seasons. One league source calls Watson a “steal.”
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