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 NFL.com, 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.
Follow Us On Twitter
- Gruden presser wrapup: Even he's not sure what a catch is
- Why all options are on the table for Redskins' offensive line
- With injuries at cornerback, Fuller is the next man up for the Redskins
- Will DeAngelo Hall return to the Redskins in 2017?
- A lucky win for the Redskins? Or were Giants lucky to be in it?
- Need to Know: Redskins 29, Giants 27 by the numbers
- MRI reveals Redskins' DeAngelo Hall has completely torn ACL
- Su'a Cravens channels Chappelle Show in perfect postgame tweet after Redskins win
- Jamison Crowder drops Giants special-teamer with obscene juke
- Quinton Dunbar did something Redskins haven't done since before Facebook existed