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For Redskins, need and best available may coincide at top of draft

Jan 16, 2015, 11:56 AM EDT


New Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has said repeatedly that he is open to drafting a player at any position when the team’s first pick at No. 5 comes on the clock on April 30. He will take the best player available. This is causing consternation among many fans, who want to see McCloughan fill a need with each draft pick, especially the first one.

The way things are shaping up, however, there may not need to be much of a discussion. If you believe some of the early mock drafts that are popping up, the best player on the board at the fifth pick will fit nicely into a major area of need for the Redskins.

Three mock drafts that get national attention all had the Redskins taking either an edge rusher or a strong defensive lineman with both pass rush and run stopping abilities.

Mel Kiper of ESPN mocked Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory to Washington while ESPN’s other draft guru, Todd McShay, had Missouri defensive end Shane Ray going to the Redskins (note that both of those drafts are posted behind a pay wall). Meanwhile, on, Daniel Jeremiah predicted that USC defensive end Leonard Williams was D. C. bound.

Ray and Gregory are good at rushing the passer and likely would play outside linebacker if the Redskins stick with their current 3-4 defense. With one of them paired with Ryan Kerrigan, the Redskins could have the pair of pass rushers that would keep defensive coordinators awake at night.

The Redskins were 22nd in the league with 36 sacks last year and 10 of those came in one game against Jacksonville.

At 298 pounds, Williams would play with his hand in the dirt as an end. Strong, quick and athletic, he’s drawing comparisons to J. J. Watt, although it should be noted that he is a long way for attaining that status. The defensive line desperately needs an injection of youth and Williams would give it to them in a big way.

  1. captblood3000 - Jan 16, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    I have no problem with any of these picks. The Redskins need playmakers on defense. Walter Cherepinski (FWIW) now mocks Ray to the Skins instead of the first offensive tackle chosen.

  2. brucealmty - Jan 16, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Can’t say I disagree with any of these picks, but if the opportunity arose to drop back a few spots and add picks…I’d favor that.

  3. captblood3000 - Jan 16, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    Rich: for NTK. Who could be trade partners for the Skins at #5, and for which prospects? This is more a question for maybe two weeks before the draft, and could be bounded by who the prospects are. Say, Amari Cooper, or one of the top two QBs, or any of the top offensive tackles, or the top edge rusher. 4 is a big enough number, I think. Then, identify one or two teams that really need such a player and what could they offer in picks to make the trade. I assume that if Williams is available the Skins will submit their pick for him in the same amount of time it took Vinny Cerrato to pick Brian Orakpo?

  4. renhoekk2 - Jan 16, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    I live in the Philly burbs and all you hear about is trading up to get Mariota because he is the ideal fit for Chip Kelly’s offense. With the Jets sitting at 6 if one of the top two teams passes on him, he should be available at 5, unless the Eagles trade up to 3 or 4. If the Eagles come calling at 5 to keep him out of the Jets hands, do you do the trade with the Eagles? It would be quite a haul in compensation for the Eagles to give up to move from 20 to 5. But you would be handing a division rival their ideal QB. Do you take a bunch of picks to improve your team even if it means helping a division rival with the most important position on the field?

    • Stephfan - Jan 16, 2015 at 1:07 PM


    • brucealmty - Jan 16, 2015 at 1:20 PM

      Given the Redskin experience with trading-up, do you really think a team would risk repeating that disaster? A 2nd or third round pick is, imo, the best the Redskins can hope to gain by trading back.

      • red - Jan 16, 2015 at 1:41 PM

        If there was a future first round pick and second i would move back. Unless mariota comes in and lights it up thats 2 top fifty picks next year maybe something to consider…

      • wonderfulfaison - Jan 16, 2015 at 3:52 PM

        Yes a team would. Besides, moving up to #5 will cost more than a second round pick just because of how many spots Philly has to jump. Philly would almost certainly have to give up 2 firsts and a second.

        • wonderfulfaison - Jan 16, 2015 at 3:53 PM

          and by two firsts I mean swapping 1st round picks this year and giving up nest year’s first round pick as well.

    • captblood3000 - Jan 16, 2015 at 2:11 PM

      The Eagles would likely give up this year’s 1st rounder (#20) and next year’s 1st rounder and maybe this year’s 2nd or 3rd. The Browns, on the other hand, have picks #12 and #19 which they could trade for #5 and #69.

      • shermanp79 - Jan 17, 2015 at 5:48 PM

        That Cle deal would be one to give serious thought. They could grab 3{our 2nd} pretty good players that should help right away. Who would they want to force them to move. A WR to go with Gordon? They should be able to grab Parker where they are now. I don’t see them wanting to move, instead use theirs and Buf{?} picks to grab 2 guys instead of one, They got that pick by trading down last year. I think they had multiple picks last year, in fact I know they did, They took CB Gilbert and of course Jonny FB later. Their problem is both guys struggled. They should of taken Evans. Then they have some fire power. They should get over 500 next year, they if they draft well.

    • bowlregard - Jan 16, 2015 at 4:07 PM

      If the Eagles want to trade with the Skins, in the unlikely event Mariota falls to #5, they must pay a king’s ransom. The Skins paid such a ransom for RG3. Even though it is a lower pick, the Eagles would be asking for their savior. The asking price will at least be two #1s and Fletcher Cox.

    • shermanp79 - Jan 17, 2015 at 5:18 PM

      He will be gone by pick 2 anyway. That would be a tough thing to do. Short of a Ricky Williams type deal, I think they would pass. They can’t give a Division rival a franchise QB. Your Eagles probably wouldn’t even call. I think he is going to struggle. His accuracy needs to improve.

  5. murphsman - Jan 16, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    I thought the point of drafting Murphy last year was to pair with Kerrigan to create nightmares

    • bowlregard - Jan 16, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      Murphy is what you get when you’re picking in the second round. He provides good depth and is a good rotational player. And perhaps he develops into something more. But an elite pass rusher is usually one taken high up.

      • deepball1 - Jan 16, 2015 at 6:43 PM

        Michael Strahan was a 2nd round pick. It depends completely on who is doing the scouting and Scott M. is a FIRST ROUND PICK in that department.

        As for Murphy, he is a carbon copy of Kerrigan. Good size, great pursuit, gives 100 % all the time on every play, and very smart and able to diagnose the play quickly. But neither of them is a speed rusher and that is what the Redskins need badly.

        Prediction: Murphy will hit the weight room instead of the classroom this spring and he will come into camp and take that next step.

      • Hurry up offense - Jan 16, 2015 at 11:43 PM

        Man I couldn’t of said it any better !!!!

  6. gurnblanstonreturns - Jan 16, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    Shane Ray is certainly worth a look as an edge rusher with the skills to drop into coverage. Leonard Williams is a big body who can press the middle and collapse a pocket. But, anyone who uses a 1st round pick on Randy Gregory will be sorely disappointed. His film reveals a player who takes plays off, gets out hustled and is absolutely eaten alive by decent tackles over and over. Check the game film at for yourself.

  7. bowlregard - Jan 16, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    If they hire Fangio and determine to switch to a 4/3, I’m wondering how this might effect their draft.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 16, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      Fangio ran a 3-4 in San Francisco so it’s logical to conclude that they would keep it here. An given edge rusher might grade higher or lower depending on his potential to handle coverage.

      > >

    • Raymond Martinez - Jan 16, 2015 at 5:29 PM

      Forget the 4/3 .we are 3/4 ready now.kerrigan isn’t a 4/3linebacker.

      • Joe Greene - Jan 17, 2015 at 3:46 PM

        Kerrigan is a 4-3 DE.

  8. ajbus1 - Jan 16, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    I agree that it would be ideal for us to trade back and get some extra picks. There’s some great OTs in the middle part of the first that I’d like to see us get and grab Shawn Oakman in the second to help the D. He’s a beast!

    • Joe Greene - Jan 17, 2015 at 3:47 PM

      Oakman ISN’T in the draft. He announced he was going back to college 3 weeks ago.

  9. Raymond Martinez - Jan 16, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    OT Sherrff and S collins are not a top 5 pick. .if DT leonard williams is available you take him..

    • red - Jan 16, 2015 at 7:54 PM

      I agree with a top 5 pick u cant miss. Williams is a cant miss. If he not there i do go with scherff though, he seems to be another sure thing on o line. Collins might not be worth a 5 but when u factor need and drafting a good safety is the best way to obtain one…

      • dcfaninecuador - Jan 16, 2015 at 8:38 PM

        Just wonder,Red, did (do) you think a number 2pick a couple years ago was “can’t miss”? ANY pick can miss..Ryan Leaf, Art Schlister, Todd Marinovich, etc. (I’m sure these guys were before your time). Don’t get your hopes up because no. 5 “can’t miss”. Get your hopes up that Scot Mc. Knows what he’s doing.

        • red - Jan 17, 2015 at 8:18 PM

          Im not going to throw in the towel on our still developing 2nd overall pick who is a starting player in nfl. Thats not a miss he is a questionable decision at worst

      • Joe Greene - Jan 17, 2015 at 3:48 PM

        Scherff has shown no ability to play OT in the NFL. Short arms, weaker than expected run blocking, and absolutely no ability to handle speed rushers. He’s going to be a LG in the NFL and nothing more.

        • red - Jan 17, 2015 at 8:20 PM

          Well we could use a G. So i defend my position. Scherff would be a nice addition.

        • Joe Greene - Jan 18, 2015 at 5:53 AM

          You would use #5 overall to draft a guard? REALLY?

  10. renhoekk2 - Jan 16, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    there could be some line help in FA. Not sure they will all make it to FA but as of now Iupati G SF, Carpenter G, SEA, Wisnieski C OAK , Bulaga RT GB, are UFA and in their mid-twenties and were either 1st or 2nd rd picks. Maybe we can land one of them.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 17, 2015 at 3:48 PM

      Carpenter and Wisniewski are terrible.

  11. Jax4 - Jan 16, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    Would much rather have Landon Collins at #5. Fills a bigger need

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 17, 2015 at 9:23 AM

      Collins looks like a strong safety with suspect coverage abilities.

      That’s not a top five pick.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 17, 2015 at 3:49 PM

      Can’t cover at the SEC level and gets banged up with his physical style but only average size. He’s going to be another Bama bust at S in the NFL.

  12. quiksilver - Jan 23, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    We also badly need a strong nose guard, one who commands double teaming!!

  13. wildbill1952 - Jan 24, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    The stats are clear over the past 15 years. The won-loss record is better when the offense is in the top 10. Defenses as highly rated as number 4 during that timeframe still produced losing records Even if adding a DL improves the defense, without improving the offense you lose. On this team, to improve the offense you need major improvements in the OL. Not just another 3rd round pick that won’t start this year.

    No consternation, just an observation. Avoid high picks on the OL or getting more than one stellar OL in FA, and there’ll be another losing season. Bank on it. But at least we’ll have another high round pick the following year.

  14. deepball1 - Jan 31, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    if dropping down guarantees that a team gets more starters then why not keep trading and dropping down all the way through the draft until you come up with 32 7th round picks? Ya know why? Because you won’t get starters and the likelyhood of getting quality players DIMINISHES with each passing round.

    So this is why the Redskins don’t need to drop down. They need to stay at number 5 and Scott M is smarter than you folks who want to drop down and drop down and drop down and pick up more picks. MORE is not always BETTER. there will be an ALL PRO at number FIVE and Scott is intelligent enough to spot him. And if his guy is available at 5 then he will take him because dropping down even 2 or 3 slots may end up costing the Redskins the player they have at the top of their best available board. Archives

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