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Redskins Draft Countdown: Duke G Laken Tomlinson

Mar 30, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT


The NFL Draft is just over four weeks away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Laken Tomlinson


What they’re saying:

“Some scouts see upside with him, but I think what you see is what you get. Clunky in a phone-booth type.” — NFL director of scouting “He was really impressive matching up against true power players at the Senior Bowl. He made Danny Shelton quit on a couple of reps when he couldn’t get any push against Tomlinson.” — AFC general manager


How he fits the Redskins: Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan are both going to move the Redskins towards more of a power blocking rushing attack, although there will be some zone plays incorporated. Power is what Tomlinson is about so he would be a good fit in that respect.

Last week Gruden talked about the right guard position and he indicated that he was comfortable going into OTAs with Chris Chester, who has been the starter for the last four years, and second-year player Spencer Long. But Chester is 32 and in the last year of his contract and Long is an unknown quantity. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Scot McCloughan draft a big guard and let him and Long battle it out with Chester possibly ending up as a cap casualty.

After this season, one of the younger guards could be a fit on the left side. Shawn Lauvao’s salary jumps up to $4 million per season after this year and the Redskins could go with a younger and cheaper pair of guards in Tomlinson and Long.

Potential issues: Gruden and Callahan aren’t going to go strictly with a power running game; like most NFL teams, they will mix in some zone plays. Tomlinson has issues on the second level so those will need to be worked out.

Bottom line: Tomlinson is one of the sharpest players in the draft. He is on track to graduate with a double major in psychology and evolutionary anthropology. His aspirations to go to medical school and become a surgeon will go on hold for him to pursue an NFL career. There is not doubt he will be impressive in interviews and that is an aspect that McCloughan values highly.

He is projected to be a second round pick and that may be too high for a guard. It’s a pretty strong draft for the offensive line so perhaps the Redskins will look for a guard later. Then again, the strength of the O-line draft may push Tomlinson down in the draft if other teams have the same idea. If he’s on the board when the Redskins pick in the third he could be hard to pass over.

It seems that Tomlinson would be a good fit with the Redskins and we’ll see if he’s on the board where the Redskins might think he’s a good value.

In his own words:

Tomlinson on doing film work:

“I pick up a lot from watching film, especially with a defender, you want to know what technique or what body posture he tends to go to for certain stunts or blitzes. So film work is real important . . . It’s something that over the years has been more and more important. As you play more, you have more of the experience to apply it to the game.”

Previously in Draft Countdown:

  1. unklewheez - Mar 30, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    We Need bigs up front on the o Line now.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 30, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    If you think he’s going to be a great guard for years, 6th pick in the 2nd is a steal.

  3. troylok - Mar 30, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    There might be a lot of depth at guard in the draft, but there are not a lot of maulers. This guy is a mauler and if he is available in the third round, bring him on. He might be the top rated guard, but if you mix him in with some fo the tackles that are going to be moved to guard in the NFL, I wouldn’t think this guy is numero uno.

  4. deepball1 - Mar 30, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    I am not aware of anyone that the Skins could take in the 2nd round that would be a value pick at guard unless Cameron Irving drops out of the first round. He is a center who can also play guard and that’s what the Skins need.

    They need TWO backup guards and at least one of them needs to be a center a buts well. Irving fits that mold perfectly but Denver could grab him in the first round. or 5 teams ahead of us in the 2nd round may pick him.

    This is a pretty weak Guard Class for anything more than 3rd rounders.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 31, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      That’s funny, deepball. I just was “On the Clock”, and following a strict BPA strategy, I picked 2 guards, A. J. Cann at 38 and Tre’ Jackson at 69. Jackson had a mid second grade. Cann had a late first round grade. Tomlinson had a late second round grade, and he was still on the Board at 69. I’ve read that this draft is relatively deep at guard, especially if you project Scherff and Colllins as guards, as many experts do. Where do get your information?

      Anyway, define need. The Redskins have 4 guards from last year: Lauvao, Chester, Long and LeRibeus. They have Lichtensteiger at center with Larsen as his backup and candidate backup guard. It would be great to add Cameron Erving or any of the guys I mentioned above into that mix. But the Skins “need” two backup guards? Nonsense. Draft starters, then you’ll have your backups.

  5. renhoekk2 - Mar 31, 2015 at 5:29 PM

    Surgeon after playing in the NFL. Has that happened? If the guy is a 10 year starter in the NFL I will be shocked if he is fit to be a surgeon in retirement. A medical doctor sure. But a surgeon?

    • bangkokben - Apr 1, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      Agreed. Especially if you’re playing in the trenches. Ever see Brian Baldinger’s hands? One of his pinkies is shaped like an L.

  6. bob - Apr 4, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Makes sence about top nine. Stay at 5. The free agents signed helps to draft best player instead of needs. 1st round pass rusher. 2nd. Round tackle/guard. 3rd.corner/safety. After that find gems. Go skins.

  7. redskinscaio - Apr 8, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    Why take the 3rd or 4th best pass rusher when you can draft the best offensive lineman! Archives

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