When it comes to trying to figure out where the Redskins are going to go with their top pick in the upcoming draft, NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock doesn’t seem to have a much better handle on it than many in the local media and even some fans.
During a recent conference call with reporters, Mayock was asked about where he thinks the Redskins will go with their first pick, No. 34 overall. Here is his response:
“As far as the Redskins picking first pick at number 34, boy, O-line and D-line to me is pretty important. I don't think there's a safety there. There could be a corner that makes sense for them. But with Jay Gruden, knowing Jay pretty well, Jay loves the offensive side of the ball. Again, they were number 30 in points allowed. I really believe they've got to pick the top-rated defensive player on their board unless a wide receiver is sitting there.”
So, to summarize, it could be offensive line, defensive line, they’d like a safety but there isn’t like to be one there, maybe a corner, Gruden sure loves offense but they’ll take the best defender available. Unless, of course, there’s a wide receiver who is too good to pass up.
But they also could go with a right tackle. Later in the call, Mayock was asked about that possibility. He thinks that although the two most logical players for them are Cyrus Kouandjio of Alabama and Morgan Moses of Virginia, the former is likely to be gone by the time Washington picks and the latter could be. But there’s another guy Mayock thinks will fit.
“A guy that nobody is talking about that I love is Joel Bitonio from Nevada,” he said. “Most people assume he's a guard. I watched him handle Anthony Barr from UCLA. I watched him against Florida State. I watched him against Boise who has a good edge kid in Demarcus Lawrence. I think Bitonio will start day one at right tackle and I think he'll be there at 34.”
When looking at who the Redskins might draft it’s hard not to think back to March and their big effort to sign Donald Penn to play right tackle. If they were delighted with the play of Tyler Polumbus there they would not have made that push. Penn ended up signing with the Raiders but it is doubtful that the organization has stopped looking at alternatives. If Gruden and Bruce Allen believe that Bitonio can be a plug and play starter they should give him serious consideration.