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Draft chatter: An instant starter at tackle for the Redskins?

May 3, 2014, 10:55 AM EST

Joel-Bitonio-

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.

  1. alextwrs - May 3, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I like this kid more than moses and I think Moses will be picked before Bitonio which is great for us.

  2. fraja926 - May 3, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    I like Bitonio’s tape better than Moses and Cyrus. Kids going to be a great one and I like that you noticed a position we tried to fill in FA but didn’t seal the deal. I just don’t see a d-lineman or OLB that would be worth taking being available at 34. oL, corner, and one of Buchanan/Jimmie ward seem like the most logical fits.

  3. Caleb Ackman - May 3, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    I still think we need to draft Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois. I understand the need for a new OL but we have players there that we have experience. At safety, we have Clarke who is 35 years old, Meriwether who is one more illegal hit away from being suspended for a season and Rambo has not proven to be the guy yet. And not to mention Phillip Thomas has never seen game time action yet.

    • internetcareer - May 3, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      First of all you don’t go into each season thinking you need another starter behind your starter because your starter will get injured. We can pick up a veteran after June Cuts though. Nobody can afford to have great backups at every position so you go into the draft trying to replace the worst starter on your team first. Just because Clark is 35 doesn’t mean much because he is not injury prone and D. Green played until he was 40, so we should be okay with Ryan Clark until Thomas or Rambo can develop and NEXT year the Skins can draft a safety in the first round if need be.

      With that said the weakest/most important area of the team right now continues to be protection for Griffin and the actual weakest part of that is the INTERIOR. I would draft a guard with at least the 3rd round if not the 2nd.

      • Philip Fox - May 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Thank you finally someone understands it wasnt polombus it was lict chester n mont

  4. alextwrs - May 3, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    We put a lot into last years draft as far as safety youth. We cant go down that road unless they are a starting stud in my eyes. We gotta get Thomas involved and let clark teach as well. We all know about meriweathers liabilities but he was our best playmaking option by far and for that money, not bad at all. Put pressure on the pocket and our safeties and DB’s ini general will be that much better. Draft oline MLB and DLIne. From the inside out, that what good teams do.

  5. kenlinkins - May 3, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    The good news is that there will be talent seating there for us at pick #34. It could be a O-Lineman or D-lineman, CB, TE, SS/FS, WR or even a ILB. This teams still needs to improve the quality of the 53 man roster and better players make better teams. As long as we do not pick a QB or RB (unless Morris or RG3 gets hurt before the draft) I will be happy. Now we have to trust GM Allen and his plan over the next two years to rebuild this roster and start winning football games again. I do not want to see another 3-13 team for any reason. GM Allen and Coach Gruden you guys are up, let’s see what you got!

  6. shermanp79 - May 3, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    I agree with so much of what is said. I find it interesting Mayock mentioned WR. I have said I still think they need a big target and RZ option. There isn’t much height. If Benjamin was there or Mathews could they pass? I think the DL is an issue and I’m not sure Hatcher can repeat stats. They have a couple of LBers and have so many young OL. I too think the middle of the OL is more Important than RT. It will be interesting to see how the pick. They have more needs than can be filled this year so long term talent is the most important thing. I think they will draft DL,OL, OLB, ILB and a WR or TE in this draft. But who knows, I can’t wait til it’s over and we then know and then you will have FA and it’s 2nd wave plus June 1st cuts and Vets who get cut at the end. They can still get a couple of guys who will help this team.

    • Rich Tandler - May 3, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      Jumping in here, I keep seeing references to June 1 cuts here. The are largely a thing of the past. Literally. Most June 1 cuts have already taken place. Teams can designate up to 2 players they cut after the start of the league year as June 1 cuts. The cap implications are the same, the player can move on while there is still some money left in the free agency market, and the team doesn’t have to let the player into its facilities since if the player gets seriously injured working out or in OTAs the team could be on the hook for his salary for the rest of the year.

      Not that there won’t be some more veterans cut after the draft when teams have their replacements in hand. But rarely are the types of fairly high profile players we used to see as cap casualties after June 1.

      Good talk here, just wanted to interject that into the thought process.

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      • shermanp79 - May 6, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        Now that you point it out and I think about it, I can’t remember ant June 1st cuts the past few years. LOL Did something change during the last Deal? I think it works better getting them into your system earlier. There are plenty of guys still available and maybe we sign another guy or two. Does anyone know the Skins cap space? I know that Jackson Deal took what we had and more. I think Bowen still could get cut. If we take a guy at #34 that could do it. I know they still need another guy, I think they need two guys. I still want that true NT guy in a 3-4 defense. It makes sense wanting another OLB. I think it’s just as important as the ILB position. We have a young guy at each but know nothing of their skills due to not playing or injury. The money for RAK is just too much, even if he has a monster year. When you factor in the Kerrigan factor it’s even worse. We have Sharper and a couple other guys. I think Sharper could fill the position for a couple of years. He hasn’t played badly when he has started and he is only 25, he could still improve and the need might not be as important as the OLB position next year. It would be better to have a guy or two , that can take RAKs position. They could even let Kerrigan move to the other side. The new guy could start on the weaker side while learning the position. If they lose Rak and need that position filled next year, they would need to draft that guy in the first and depending on record, that pick may not be high enough to get that guy who can come in and play at a high level and start day one. It would take that urgency away. They have more needs than they can fill this year. So, I am OK with them taking the best value when picking, even if another need may be greater this year than the one they fill at #34.

  7. Hart - May 3, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Rich..how does Tom Compton look to you? Is he equal to the tackles coming out this year that would be available at 34?

    • Rich Tandler - May 3, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      Haven’t really seen him since last preseason; we can’t watch practice during the season and he only played a few snaps. Unless he’s improved a lot I don’t think he’d be as good as Moses or Bitonio. That doesn’t mean that Compton couldn’t be an adequate starter but probably not as good as a player picked at 34.

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      • captblood3000 - May 3, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        It’s too bad we didn’t see Compton, Gettis or LeRibeus in the last three games of last season. As far as the draft goes, could you suggest possible starting RTs who should be available at #66? Possible starting interior linemen who should be available at #102? After that I assume drafting a starter would be like catching lightning in a bottle.

        • Rich Tandler - May 3, 2014 at 7:51 PM

          You are asking to catch lightning in a bottle to get an immediate starter at 66 and you’re doing it blindfolded at 102. Yes, this is a deep draft but that doesn’t mean that you can pluck guys in the third and fourth and slap them in the lineup in September. That’s why the Redskins spent money in free agency because you can’t count on getting immediate starters in the draft past about the middle of the second round. Even there, they don’t all start.

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  8. Hart - May 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Why DIDNT we see the young linemen play the last 3 games? I cant figure that one out. U pull Robert but not polumbus,chester,or listerine. At least put Gettis or Compton in.

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