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Need to Know: If the Redskins draft an edge rusher at No. 5, which one will they take?

Apr 6, 2015, 5:09 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 6, 24 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question if from the comment section here on Real Redskins:


Happy to answer your question, Jeff, and thanks for framing it that way. Asking what the odds are gives me a chance to utilize one of my favorite recurring themes here on Real Redskins–the mythical casino chips.

There are four highly rated edge defenders who could be on the board when the Redskins go on the clock with the fifth overall pick. All of them—Dante Flowler of Florida, Randy Gregory of Nebraska, Vic Beasley of Clemson and Shane Ray of Missouri—have been linked to the Redskins in various high-profile mock drafts. If the Redskins take one of them, which one will they take?

If I had a mythical $100 in casino chips, here is how I would spread them out among the four contenders:

Dante Fowler, $45—I think Fowler is most likely to be the pick because he’s the best all-around defender of the group. He has spent plenty of time on two feet so he will adjust quickly to the 3-4 outside linebacker spot. Some scouts believe that once he settles into one position instead of moving all over the field like he did at Florida he will truly blossom into a star.

Vic Beasley, $35—He is also well suited for the outside linebacker spot. His speed and quickness make him an exceptional edge rusher but his run-stopping ability is suspect.

Shane Ray, $15—Although he’s quick and powerful, many doubt if he has the athletic ability to play linebacker and at 245 lb. he’s not big enough to play end in a 4-3. The former issue could make the Redskins hesitant to draft him and a combination of the size and athleticism might send him further down in the draft.

Randy Gregory, $5—Even before his failed drug test at the combine was revealed I was doubtful that he was Scot McCloughan’s type of player. Red flags include him losing his scholarship offer to Purdue due to academic issues in high school, a propensity to take plays off, and two failed drug tests prior to the one at the combine. There’s no question that he’s talented but there are too many other good edge rushers on the board to deal with the potential issues.

By the way, not that anybody asked but right now if I had $100 to bet on what position the Redskins will draft if they stay at No. 5, I’d put $60 on edge rusher, $30 on wide receiver and $10 on the rest.


—It’s been 99 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 160 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 14; 2015 NFL Draft 24; Redskins training camp starts 115

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 6, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I’d agree that Fowler would be the odds-on favorite, Rich. But he’s also the one most likely to be off the board before we pick.

    So if it comes down to Beasley, Ray, and Gregory, I’m going with Beasley, followed by Ray, then Gregory.

    If the Raiders pick a WR, then we could have a shot at Fowler or else Leonard Williams. I’m guessing Williams would be the pick in that case.

    • ET - Apr 6, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      If Fowler’s already off the board (the most likely candidate, I agree), you’re probably right about Beasley and Ray. But I don’t think McC will touch Gregory, even if there is a trade back and he’s still twisting in the breeze in, say, the bottom of the 1st. Skins are more likely to take someone like UVa’s Harold in a later round rather than get burned on a Gregory pick. (I hope.)

  2. mrhart76 - Apr 6, 2015 at 8:47 AM

    Shane Ray looks like he can play. Plain and simple. He’s FAST . Quick ass first step. He gets to the qb.

    • jonevans511 - Apr 6, 2015 at 6:49 PM

      Dion Jordan “looked like he could play” too, for the EXACT same reason you mention about Ray. Speed does not mean much if you don’t have the size (or at least brute strength) to offset the fact most good OLs will use your speed against you. I’m not saying Shane can’t or won’t be a good player, in fact I won’t be surprised if he succeeds. I am just wary of his play against the run and wonder if he’s worth a top-5 pick.

  3. shermanp79 - Apr 6, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    I agree with your chip breakdown. I’m liking Ray a bit more than initially, he has a bit more power than Beasley. I would prefer a trade down a few spots and take Dupree over Gregory. I think Gregory can put weight on but he may be the one who plays the lightest. Plus you have all the concerns with a recent Drug Screen failure. Why would someone be so stupid knowing the impact it could have on him. This is the biggest moment of his young adult life. I think Scot stays away from the risk with such a high pick and this being his first Draft. He wants to start with a bang, continue the momentum from FA into the Draft. We need an impact player without the risk.

  4. Lex - Apr 6, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    I disagree about Fowler, I think hes a decent player but not worth a rd 1. Vic Beasley imo is the most dynamic out of the bunch and most pro ready to replace Orakpo

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 6, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      Agree vic Beasley is pro ready because he put on more weight

  5. deepball1 - Apr 6, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    Dante Fowler is will be an average player in the NFL and if Scott M is as smart as I think he is….Fowler will not be the pick. Shane Ray ran slower at his pro day because he tried to please NFL scouts by going up to 150 pounds. The NFL is famous for ruining people by trying to alter them to fit what they think is perfect.

    Just let Shane Ray be who he is and he would be the best pass rusher. Who care is Fowler is an all around guy and plays the run pretty well. He is Brian Orakpo 2.0. Lets not go through that again,

  6. timwillhidetimwillhide - Apr 6, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    I would go for Beasley. With his tremendous athletic ability he could play any Linebacker spot in a 3-4 or 4-3 wich is rare. He has great production and with proper coaching he can improve his run stopping

  7. renhoekk2 - Apr 6, 2015 at 9:25 AM

    I’ve already argued my case on this topic. Too many first rd edge rushers taken over the last three drafts turned out be JAG’s. Just A Guy. I suppose if Fowler is there he is worth the risk. He is an every down player. Beasley and the others can’t play the run so are they going to be a situational pass rusher until they develop and learn how to play run defense? I would want my #5 first rd pick to start and play the majority of the snaps at his position. I can get situational or developmental players later in the draft. A lot of playing run defense is engaging 6-5 320lb guys and trying to stalemate them. That takes a lot of “want to” not just technique. If you are already a playoff team you can get away with your first rd pick being a part time player. When you lack as much talent as the Skins do, you need your first rd player on the field as much as possible. There are edge guys that will be available in the top of the second rd if you want part time rotational players.

  8. kenlinkins - Apr 6, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    My Night Mare draft: 1. Williams DE, 2. Folwer OLB, 3. Beasley OLB, 4. White WR, and no trading partner to move down. The Redskins would be looking at two QB’s, a system WR, Ray and Gregory. While there is only a small chance that the draft breaks out this way it would increase the odds that the Redskins would draft a QB and we fans watch another drama filled season. My dream draft would be: 1. Winston QB, 2. Fowler OLB, 3. Williams DE, 4. White WR and the phone rings off the hook for Beasley or Mariota, and the Redskins get a great deal to move back, but that dream could turn into a night mare again if the Redskins use the 5th pick to take Cooper WR out of Alabama as there are rumors that the new GM feels he is the BPA over Beasley, Ray, Gregory, and Shelton. Even Rich states here that there is a 30% chance that the Redskins pick a WR with the 5th pick. Maybe Cooper will be the BPA, but I just do not see it.

    • obxskins - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:07 AM

      I do believe if your night mare came true ALOT of teams would be wanting to move up to get Winston. I would love for Williams to be there at 5 for my dream come true.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 7, 2015 at 9:35 AM

        Winston still on the board when the Redskins are up were my exact same thoughts. It may actually be the best scenario for the team. I could see us getting next years #1 and this years swapped #1 trading back. However, such a draft order is not going to happen. No Way!

  9. obxskins - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    .I will be in minority here….but I keep seeing terms like “worth the risk” or ‘chance”, with number 5 pick…well the number 5 pick is not worth a gamble, take best OL to start building our houses foundation with strong foundation stands during storms! Not gambles on potential with the no. 5 pick! Do have faith in do your thing Mr. General Manager

    • renhoekk2 - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:39 AM

      Agree. Edge rushers seem so hit or miss? 2011 is the last time first rd edge guys as a group actually panned out. Right now we have very weak RT play. What happens if TWill get injured? Then we have no LT or RT. If they take a OT in the first rd he most likely will start day 1 at RT and will have the talent and ability to move over and play LT if needed. Sounds better than taking a part time pass rusher or WR that will be backing up Garcon and Jackson. I know you are drafting for the future not just this season but getting a guy you plug in day 1 and can be a starter for the next 10 yrs seem like you would be addressing the future and the best “value” to me.

      • ET - Apr 6, 2015 at 11:59 AM

        A lot of the values assigned position-by-position do seem arbitrary. It’s kind of crazy to proclaim a guard or right tackle who could start for a decade not a good value for X pick in round 1.

        NFL coaches and scouts are also guilty of groupthink, creating trends in certain types of receivers, defensive backs, tight ends and so on. That seems to drive a lot of the perceived value—the way running backs have fallen off the face of the earth in terms of draft value, for example.

        • Rich Tandler - Apr 6, 2015 at 1:39 PM

          They’re not arbitrary. The values exist because quality players at positions like guard can be found later in the draft. > > >

        • ET - Apr 6, 2015 at 5:33 PM

          They’re “arbitrary” in the sense that I could spend my 1st round pick on an allegedly high-value position (say, WR) and get a bust or less-than-projected performer while knowingly passing on a lower value position (say, RG) when the “lesser” pick could be a Day 1 starter with long-term value.

          Quality players at every position can be found later in the draft. We can all think of many examples.

        • bangkokben - Apr 6, 2015 at 7:38 PM

          The reason a right guard is less valuable is not arbitrary. There may be a handful of right guards that have made their teams better – actually elevated the play of their teammates – in the history of the game. When you are drafting in the top five you need to find impact players that elevate the play of players around them. Lavar Arrington, Sean Taylor, or Chris Samuels types. Griffin was that type of player initially as well. Then there are the cornerstone positions: Franchise QB, elite LT, pass rusher, cover corner, and #1WR. You draft these guys in the top five if they are actually there, not because you think so-and-so might become one one-day. You’ve got more picks later for that. Just because your kicker scores the most points doesn’t make him the most valuable.

  10. mac7163 - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    Fowler, Beasley, and Ray are the top three pass rushers in this years draft. Fowler is the clear cut number one because he can put his hand in the dirt as well as play in a two-point stance. he played in the SEC so he faced a high level of competition each week and had to perform. While Ray played in the SEC as well is a step slower then Fowler. Beasley has a great upside because of his speed unfortunately with his size he could get caught up against larger tackles and could be a liability in the run. if Fowler is off the board in the Redskins have to make that choice between Beasley and Ray either way they will have a quality player to select from at the number 5 spot

    • bowlregard - Apr 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      But Beasley showed he is very strong. Wondering if strength could make up for relative lack of size.

  11. bangkokben - Apr 6, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    This is the 1st year in forever – since the year after Beathard drafted D. Green that I don’t care. I don’t care because I don’t have too. We finally have a GM that will make the right decision. Whoever Scot takes is the right pick – or at least we can then start the debate. If he takes Mariota then I’ll lose all faith. Until then he knows better then anyone on this board.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 6, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      I think I had a couple of months believing in Shananahannigans. Then he did the McNabb trade.

      • bowlregard - Apr 6, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        Shanahan had a very difficult time with Haynesworth, McNabb, and Griffin. The first situation he inherited, and the others may have been forced on him by a meddling owner. Can only speculate. Anyhow, the front office seems to be in such a better place now.

        • bangkokben - Apr 6, 2015 at 7:50 PM

          Shanahan deserves ALL the criticism. He walked in here with his eyes open. He was not that bad as a talent evaluator (leaps and bounds better than his predecessor) but lost his edge as a coach and his interpersonal skills are horrible. Part of the reason we have Gruden now is because he the opposite to Shanahan in some regards. Shanny didn’t tell anyone what was wrong with his players including his players. Everyone points at Griffin’s decline in 2013. What about Fred Davis and Josh Morgan? Ask the coach what was wrong, no answer. Ask the players and they’d say they wish they knew.

      • mr.moneylover - Apr 6, 2015 at 3:12 PM

        Shanahan didnt know what he was doing hes known to draft bad players and make questionable decisions thats why the team is so messed up now and scot m. Tryna fix it since this his team now

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 6, 2015 at 3:24 PM

      Scot m. Is very smart…if we draft marcus mariota dont lose faith it can be because of trade bait but I seriously think teams lower then the redskins are looking to trade up…but I agree with you on the I dont care who we pick cause I believe scot m. Is eager to show he can turn a bad franchise into the best franchise in the lead…I think scot m. Gonna do so good in his four years here dan synder gonna extend his contract…they looking for mentality tough players and physical nasty players thats been scot m. Kind of players for years now….richard Sherman get beat sometimes but hes mentality tough to were he not gonna just give up he gonna fight back

  12. goback2rfk - Apr 6, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    These pass rushers available are really good but certainly not spectacular. I would not draft any of them at number 5. Hopefully Mariota is still around at 5 and the Skins can trade the pick down and rip off another team like the Rams did to us in 2012.
    I think 5 is an awkward spot for the Skins this year. And picking up an over priced Goldson was questionable Mr. Scott. That was a Bruce Allen move. No one is talking about how many times Goldson has been burned for big plays in the last 2 years. He will certainly not be a big help when it comes to the overall secondary.
    Overall, I am not very excited where the Skins are moving right now. Lets see what happens in the draft.

    • mr.moneylover - Apr 6, 2015 at 3:08 PM

      Look at who he was backing up a second year player CB Jonathan franklin when dashon goldson was backing up chris culliver in san Francisco they both played at a high level so you cant really judge him on his time in tampa bay but scot m. Believes he still can play at a high level and hes a better option then the safties we got on the roster now…would you rather have B.merriweather and ryan clark or jeron johnson and dashon goldson??? Cant bash scot m. Cause that move at all our defense is clearly better then years pass all they gotta do is get on the same page and stay healthy…these are the players thats gonna play until scot m. Draft and develop the kind of guys he want this is a rebuilding process if you dont like what hes doing so far switch teams and dont hop on the redskins bandwagon when redskins start winning games in a couple years

    • wvredskins - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:37 PM

      So your telling me you are not impressed with what SM has done so far in FA? I think he has done an exceptional job. He has fixed the aging Defense of line. Our best D Lineman from last year in Chris Baker wont even be starting. He will most likely rotate in. He grabbed a really good cover corner in culliver an what do you know Culliver and Goldson has chemistry together. Are defense is looking a lot better than last year. Goldson isn’t what he was but maybe if we are generating good pass rush and better play from our corners his play along with jeron Johnson might be Great. Who knows tho. a long way til we find out. BUT I would have to say I am excited where the skins are moving right now. Looking good to me. Its your opinion tho.

  13. dnice - Apr 6, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    What about Tre Wyanes at 5 I don’t think any of the edge rushers are a sure thing but I do think Tre is

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 6, 2015 at 2:28 PM

      This just in: Nobody is a sure thing. Nobody.

      • nclrbrt - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:20 PM

        Absolutely, brother!

  14. mr.moneylover - Apr 6, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    If they pick pass rusher dante flower jr. Or vick Beasley if they go O-line in the second round I got them picking the O-linemen coming out of duke

  15. rcjur - Apr 6, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Fowler Jr then Beasley but if DT Williams is there………you better take him!

  16. skins1970 - Apr 6, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    The only player that is a must draft if he is there is Leonard Williams. As for anyone I will trust Scot’s decision even if it is a QB or WR because if know Marcus Mariota or one of the WRs it will because he truly thinks they are the BPA and not just drafting them because they will sell jerseys. Archives

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