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Need to Know: Who’s the favorite to be the Redskins’ top pick?

Apr 18, 2015, 5:51 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 18, 12 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.

Good questions but too many options here to deal with in one morning. What I’ll do here is look at possible picks if they stay at No. 5 and maybe at some point next week look at some trade down possibilities.

Let’s get out $100 in mythical casino chips and I’ll split them up over the players I think have the best chance of becoming Washington Redskins with the No. 5 pick in the draft 12 days from today.

Edge defender Dante Fowler Jr.–$30: He might not be the best pass rusher among the edge players who are considered to be the cream of the crop but he’s the best all-around defender of the group. He’s been my favorite for the pick at No. 5 for the last two months and while some things have changed Fowler remains the favorite, albiet not as much of one as he was before.

DL Leonard Williams–$25: I think there is about a one in four chance that he will be there and if he is I think that taking him is a no brainer. Of the players in this draft, he is the one most likely to become an All-Pro at some point in his rookie contract.

Edge defender Vic Beasley–$15: Fowler is the best all-around OLB prospect in the draft and Beasley may be the best pure pass rusher. If Scot McCloughan thinks that Beasley can be coached up to play the run better and develop another pass move or two he could be the pick.

Wide receiver Kevin White–$10: I know many of you insist that there is not a need a wide receiver. All I can say is that I doubt that McCloughan, looking at the ages and contracts of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, sees it that way. White could have the most upside of any player in the draft, a counter to Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper–$10: I used to have White rated ahead of Cooper due to the West Virginia product’s size and ability to catch the ball when there is not much separation. But there’s a lot to be said for being perhaps the safest, most fundamentally sound player in the draft. Cooper could be that guy.

Edge defender Shane Ray–$5: If Beasley isn’t the best pure pass rusher in the draft then Ray is. However, many are skeptical that Ray has the athletic ability needed to player 3-4 OLB. If McCloughan is among the skeptics he stays away. Since some of you will ask, I think Randy Gregory is too high risk to take at 5. He could be in play if they trade back to the middle of the first round.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota–$5: I think this is still lurking out there, enough to throw a chip on it, anyway. There are plenty of reasons for the three teams drafting in between the Bucs, who are sure to take Jameis Winston, and the Redskins to pass on Mariota. A trade can’t always be negotiated and Mariota could be there when the Redskins are on the clock. In that 15-minute period, the decision to move on from Robert Griffin III and to start to Mariota era could be made. Again, slim chance but it’s out there.


—It’s been 111 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 148 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 2; 2015 NFL Draft 12; Redskins minicamp starts 59

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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In case you missed it

  1. Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    I want Shelton honestly or one of the wideouts. Even though I like the pass rushers we can still filing one in the second round or 3rd because pass rushers are deep. Also I don’t know much about the other wideouts other than speed and height but if we get a wr I won’t be mad at all

    • unklewheez - Apr 18, 2015 at 6:39 AM

      If you like Sheldon you like Williams

    • sidepull - Apr 18, 2015 at 7:11 AM

      Shelton all the way!

    • captblood3000 - Apr 18, 2015 at 9:59 AM

      No, if Shelton you will love Williams.

      Unless you’re the GM of the team with with the #1 pick, you never know what will happen in the draft. But no Shelton at #5 is almost a certainty. His highlight film is impressive, but that was against Eastern Washington. Top tier PAC-12 teams neutralized Shelton. The 7 players Rich names above are better than Shelton, and Rich doesn’t include Winston because Rich expects Winston to be off the Board before #5.

    • deepball1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      could you please list the pass rushers who are “deep” that will still be available in the 3rd round? I am anxious to have your update on double digit sack masters who are going to be floating around in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Please respond ASAP because I can’t wait.

      • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:25 AM

        First off deepball go sit somewhere because all you do is troll people on here. You bash everyone’s OPINIONS! Have you ever heard of if you ain’t got nothing nice to say don’t say it at all. And finally rich has went over late round draft prospects for later rounds 3 and onward. And I also did say anything about anyone putting up double digit sacks so pipe down

      • wvredskins - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:18 AM

        Well Deepball I dont have a name for you but I can guarantee that there is a double digit “sack master” somewhere in the rounds from 3 to 7. Its a matter if he can be found.

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:23 AM

          Thank u wv

        • nomaan78 - Apr 18, 2015 at 4:56 PM

          Haouli Kikaha, Washington 19 sacks last year. Anywhere from 2nd to 4th round

  2. warpath1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    I like, most likely to make all-pro in rookie contract. edge rushers worry me cause they rarely look as good in the pros as they do in college. 5 is too good of a pick to flip a coin on. take a sure thing please, even if you make pick too early. each pick needs to count for us this year. williams, cooper, white, mariota HTTR

    • sidepull - Apr 18, 2015 at 7:16 AM

      It is a gamble with picking an edge rusher, I mean there are a number of guys to choose from and they could easily pick wrong. It has always been a gamble going WR for the Redskins. That’s why I think DL, Shelton or Williams are locks. That NT position could be locked up for a while with no worries.

    • deepball1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      so in other words never draft an edge rusher in the top 5 because they might not look good??? Tell that to Denver and Von Miller. LOL

      • warpath1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        nice overreaction to a comment

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 18, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    I’m on board with any of Fowler, White, or Beasley.

    My concern about Shane Ray is he might be a guy who only comes in on passing downs: bad against the run and unable to drop back into coverage, he only rushes the QB.

    (Beasley didn’t drop back into coverage in college, either, but it seems like he has the ability to do it.)

    Mariota would be fine trade bait, I just don’t think there’s any real chance of him getting to pick 5.

  4. redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    Yea, I totally agree with Mr. Tandler. It looks like, according to the press, that this is going to happen,

    1. Bucks – Winston

    2. Titans – or whomever trades up – Mariota

    3. Jaguars – Williams

    4. Raiders – White or Cooper

    5. Redskins – Fowler

  5. redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 9:26 AM


    Hey Rich,

    I’ve been following all the Mock Drafts done by CSN and the guys over at, CBS, etc… and many of the big names have changed their picks in the top five for all the teams except the Raiders. Why is everyone so sure the Raiders are going Cooper or White? Did their GM let it slip that he’s going WR no matter what?

    • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      I doubt the gm let anything slip but it’s obvious they need receiver help. They have an ok qb, their line is soild, the only thing that could use some work on there team is cb and safety.. So natural wr is the one postion besides running back that they drastically need.

      • jasonnecros04 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:15 AM

        why would we draft another WR????… we have garcon, d-jax… we could draft a wr in the later rounds if need be. might as well say you want to draft a kicker in the second round..

        btw.. were wont be taking Shelton.. should be gone around the first round

        what do you think cerrato????

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:20 AM

          Lmao Jason you are funny but if your thinking about future, pot roast may not be here next year and djax or garçon may not either. That’s my reasoning behind it. On top of that why draft a pass rusher when there are so many in the draft this year to choose from? I wouldn’t dare draft a offensive linden nor non of the qb’s

        • jasonnecros04 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:37 AM

          good point about the future with garcon, d-jax and pot roast. but again you don’t know that for sure. I don’t know what your smoking but WE need quality lineman up front. knowing mclovin he will find some guys for DT and WR!!

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:59 AM

          To Jason first I know we need linemen but even rich and scouts have said no linemen will come off the board in the top ten if it’s on the offensive side of the ball?! So why draft a linemen when there are good ones in the second and lster rounds? So I don’t know what your smoking but you were the gm and drafted a linemen on the offensive side of the ball at 5, you would be a fool. Why because there are better players in the draft

        • jasonnecros04 - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:56 AM

          when did I ever say to draft a oline with the 5th pick… I was only stating that we need o lineman than wr right now..if I was a gm.. I would trade out of pick #5 and get extra picks so when the 2nd or third rounds come.. we can draft some additional help.. if its a wr or inside line backer…

    • captblood3000 - Apr 18, 2015 at 9:46 AM

      Plus, either player might be at the top of the Raiders’ board at #4.

    • captblood3000 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:07 AM

      Rich was going to compare White and Cooper for us. Did I miss that? If not, he might include something on their availability at #5. Of the two, the late Al Davis would take White: he’s faster than Cooper. That was easy, but not current.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:20 AM

      Answer too short of NTK–nobody “knows” the Raiders are going to take a WR. It’s a matter of looking a needs and quality of players available.

      • redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:52 AM

        Even if that means passing on Williams if he drops down?

        • captblood3000 - Apr 19, 2015 at 3:31 PM

          Yes. The Raiders have a 2nd year starting quarterback but no one to catch his passes. Taking White or Cooper might result in more wins for the Raiders in 2015 than taking Williams.

  6. deepball1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    a top 5 pick must be special. Dante Fowler is not special. He is only good. A solid Defensive end in the 4-3 and could be a starting linebacker in the 3-4. Special? No. Double Digit sacks in the NFL? no. Heck he didn’t had double digit sacks in college….so how does he suddenly become more dominant among men?

    Rich you are just playing follow the leader and buying into what some of the so called EXPERTS are saying about Fowler…..everybody says he is good but NOBODY has said he is special. So whoever takes Fowler in the top 5 is leaving sacks on the table. Beasely doesn’t play the run as well??? Hey, how many games did the Redskins win last year by stopping teams on 3rd and 8? ………Yea….I thought so.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      The best player available is not automatically “special”. You take whoever is going to be the best player; that player may or may not be special, just the best.

      I am forming my own opinion, thanks. It’s an informed, realistic one, unlike, well, some people have.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:33 AM

      Oh, and you can knock off the condescension any time, deepball1. Like how about now. Last warning.

      • deepball1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:54 AM

        OH…and you forgot to mention how many games the Redskins won last year by stopping teams on 3rd and 8.

        If you can’t handle simple questions Rich…..and if you are too sensitive…you shouldn’t be in the public eye.

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM

          Deepball you need to lay off man you are whinning like a girl!

        • warpath1 - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:13 AM

          someone needs a snickers

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:16 AM

          😂😂😂😭😭 at warpath

        • jasonnecros04 - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:15 AM

          im with deep ball on this one..

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:19 AM

          What you Jason and deepball fail to realize is it’s his opinions period. Second no said anyone one was special? He is giving a guess on who they might pick!

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:22 AM

          I’m not anyone’s side kick Jason. It’s just pointless to snap at someone is stating their opinion! Second it’s not my fault he whinning like a female dog? And third like I said no one said anything about anyone being special but even deepball said fowler would be a good starter so why not draft him is what I wanna know and who would he draft since he is sudden a gm.

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:28 AM

          Jason what are you? Deepball’s sidekick

        • jasonnecros04 - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:45 AM

          your a funny guy there Stepthan.. lol

        • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:57 AM

          It’s one thing to state your opinion but when you constantly cry bout the same stuff in almost every post what would you call that. It may be an opinion but it’s also whinning

        • Rich Tandler - Apr 18, 2015 at 1:19 PM

          I can handle it just fine, deepball. But you can’t come in here an give an opinion to anyone without being a condescending jerk despite being asked not to take that approach time and time again.

          Joe Green is not longer allowed to post here. And now neither is Joe Green Lite.

    • Skulb - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:10 AM

      I bet you`re popular at parties. “Hey everyone, let`s invite that guy who spends all evening trying to pick fights!”

      • wvredskins - Apr 18, 2015 at 11:23 AM

        lol. Yeah he def seems to be “that guy”

  7. bowlregard - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    Could have put a couple of chips on Scherff.

    • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      If they pick him at 5 that’s the dumbest mistake the redskins could make when there is still one possible good wideout, Shelton, Beasley,fowler, etc

      • jtaylor68 - Apr 19, 2015 at 3:08 PM

        For what it’s worth…..I agree with you on this.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:31 AM

      If they trade back out of the top 10, Scherff may be in play. I don’t see any chance they take him at five.

  8. dabulr7 - Apr 18, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    I’m pushing for Kevin White. If he is there at #5 you have to take this guy. He one of those one of a kind players you don’t come by to often. With his size speed and big play ability he’s that breakout player we need.

  9. oaklandred - Apr 18, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    The Florida State qb clearly is going first, then TEN picks either Willams or Mariota, (but since they have a qb, if the coaches get the say they’ll probably take Williams). JAC apparently likes Fowler, (but you’d think they would take Williams if he was there). OAK takes a receiver, White or Cooper.

    So, I’m thinking the most likely thing is that we’ll see Mariota and either White or Cooper will be the choices on the board for us, along with Beasley. Then CLE may get into it and offer us a big deal to move up.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 18, 2015 at 1:23 PM

      The Raiders could pick Williams, he’s already said he’d like to play for them. How many players do the Raiders hear that from these days?

      I think it’s Willams or WR, 50-50, if those are their options at 4.

  10. johnnymojo - Apr 18, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    Deepball1, I have never read 1 positive comment from you about the Redskins. Are you a fan? I understand the team hasn’t given us fans much to cheer about, but every time I see a comment from you, I know its gonna be negative. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but based on your history, I just don’t see why you are a fan. Go cheer for the cowboys. And when this team becomes a contender again (2-3 years from now) please do us a favor and keep quiet. Tandler is a pro. He follows our team for a living. We are just fans. So I’m pretty certain his assessments are on point. If you don’t like what he’s got to say, then stop visiting the website. So basically all we ask of you is to STFU. THANKS AND HTTR

    • Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 1:20 PM

      Mojo I couldn’t agree more

  11. timwillhidetimwillhide - Apr 18, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    I would take Beasley. He has the athletic ability to play all of the Linebacker positions in any Defensive set weather it be 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, nickel, etc…….He has shown that he can add weight and still be explosive and was Highly productive in college. Even if he didn’t work out at OLB he could be moved inside or use him on nickle pakages and 3rd down as a rusher. if we switch to the 4-3 that would be one less linebacker we need. I think for these reasons he is the best and safest pick

    • captblood3000 - Apr 19, 2015 at 3:22 PM

      I don’t often agree with you, Tim, but you could be right on this one. Beasley may not be every down player in his rookie season, but may become any every down player.

  12. austrianhttrfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Rich, I would like to know, I remember, a few years back, some drafts were called deep in star power or what so ever…I´de like to know…is this a draft where experts are really happy with the player pool, that trading down an aqquiring more pics make also really sense?
    And I´m talking mostly here about the later rounds of course….

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 18, 2015 at 1:47 PM

      Have heard there are about 8-9 really good players at the top and then another 40 or so who are pretty good. Pretty typical situation in that if picks you get after the first two rounds are iffy.

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Apr 18, 2015 at 2:36 PM

      I feel this Draft is extremely deep at the RB position as to were you can get a good RB late in the Draft or as a UDFA. The interior Oline is dece bhai t into the mid rounds.

  13. obxskins - Apr 18, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    Little surprised the OL from Iowa didn’t even get $5…think 5 bucks would be a reasonable bet..never know!

  14. kenlinkins - Apr 18, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    Wow, IMO the new GM must be doing his job pretty well if some many Redskins fans (and I hope NFL GM’s) are still trying to figure out his plans A, B, C and D for draft day! With so many holes in the Redskins roster any NFL GM must believe that McC could do all most anything with the 5th pick. The good news is that by keeping his powder dry he has max leverage over anyone wanting to move up and with 7 or 8 guys who could be valued to the cost for such a move it leaves him in a win / win. My best guess is that all his running around looking at guys is part of the plan to increase the value gained in this years draft and if this web site is any measure of how well he has hidden his desires then most of us Redskins will be happy on draft day. Until then, all we can do is guess as to the plan A, B,C and D!

  15. Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    @jason please stop saying anything bout me because the difference is I state my opinion with trolling people like you are doing. And I’ve been on this blog for years and deepball is always trolling because no one likes his opinions. So think about thank. You have a nice day #httr

  16. Stephfan - Apr 18, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    Still hope we get white or Shelton.

    • redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 8:09 PM

      I’d be down with Shelton… Shelton and Pot ROast in the middle during GOAL LINE formations! Nobody would run down the middle.

  17. mrl - Apr 18, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Skins r set at we, they have major holes to feel n the secondary, rg, and rt but I don’t c anybody at those positions worth the #5 pick, so n my opinion the only logical options r Fowler and Leonard Williams, I personally prefer Williams even though he doesn’t play a position we really need upgraded

    • captblood3000 - Apr 19, 2015 at 5:44 PM

      There’s an article in this morning’s NY Times that talks of Williams as a future Hall of Famer. If he falls to #5, you either take him and trade for picks equivalent to the #1 pick. Fortunately for us, the Redskins have a GM who understands value.

  18. redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    My ideal draft would be to trade out of the 5, and get two picks in the first round. Take Strong Safety Collins out of Alabama and an inside offensive lineman like Sherff or Erving. 2nd round, the Skins need an inside lineman badly. Real Bad…

    • redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 8:07 PM

      * I meant that in the second round the SKins should focus on an inside middle linebacker! MLB not offensive lineman….

  19. redskinscaio - Apr 18, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    The Saints have 2 picks in the first as well. Maybe they would like to move up? Archives

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