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Need to Know: Is a Redskins trade down from pick No. 5 inevitable?

Apr 28, 2015, 5:19 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 28, two days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

McCloughan talks trade down

Is a trade down from the fifth pick in the draft inevitable?

Perhaps that’s too strong a word, but my big takeaway coming out of Scot McCloughan’s pre-draft news conference yesterday is that he would very much like to trade down.

“I’d love to get 10-plus [picks] out of this thing,” he said what I asked him about trading back.

“But, if not we’ll be okay,” he quickly added. “If we stay put at [pick No.] 5, we’ll get a good football player at 5.”

Although McCloughan will make the best of it if a deal doesn’t happen, the team has more needs than picks right now. It’s clear that he wants more than the seven picks the organization currently has in order to rebuild a team that has won a combined seven games in the last two years.

It seems that the ideal scenario for McCloughan would be if USC defensive end Leonard Williams slid down past the first four picks. He is widely considered to be the best player in the draft and other teams would want him. It’s not like the Redskins couldn’t use him but McCloughan also knows that his phone will be ringing if Williams is there.

“It might bring a trade more into play,” he said. “We do feel good about our defensive front.”

If that’s not putting up a “For Sale” sign on the pick if Williams is there, I don’t know what is.

At the very least, McCloughan would love to be in the position to either take the best player in the draft or get a solid return of additional picks instead.


—It’s been 121 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 138 days until they play another one.

Days until: 2015 NFL Draft 2; Redskins minicamp starts 49; Redskins training camp starts 93

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. austrianhttrfan - Apr 28, 2015 at 5:33 AM

    Maybe after all…there is a chance we get Scherff or Flowers (OT)…if we in case trade back this could be very much realistic I think….or Dubree….kinda like the scenario…
    Tough I actually already fell in love with the idea getting Beasly/Fowler or Williams but maybe it´s the best for the team!

    • jonevans511 - Apr 28, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      That’s exactly how I feel. Would love to snag Fowler or have Williams fall in to our laps, but realistically I don’t know nearly as much as Scot so I’ll sit back and watch him work. Frankly if we stockpile picks and take the best football players available to us, there’s no way this draft will be a bust unless the players don’t hold up their end of the bargain. That is always a risk, which is why I love the idea of acquiring as many picks as possible. More chances to hit on a hidden (or not-so-hidden) gem!

  2. troylok - Apr 28, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    I don’t think McGloughin would be talking about it unless he had gotten a few calls making inquiries. I think a lot of these draft day deals are setup beforehand with agreements in principle if a certain player is available when a pick comes around. I hope he gets his ten picks and then I hope he totally cleans up in the draft. I hope.

  3. sidepull - Apr 28, 2015 at 6:40 AM

    I am all for letting Williams slide and pick up Shelton and another pick for O line. Wouldn’t that be great? Will it happen? Its a possibility, slim, but that’s what I hope for. Two more days of suspense!

    • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      The Redskins could easily have Shelton or take an OL prospect @ 5. Getting Williams is unlikely. There’s a small chance both Jacksonville & Oakland pass on Williams.

      • captblood3000 - Apr 28, 2015 at 8:54 AM

        The Redskins could “easily” take any of the players you mention because none of them are worth the number 5 pick. Put another way, picking Shelton or Scherff or Flowers at #5 would be like trading down without getting additional picks.

        I recall Rich giving us a 20% chance that the Redskins will pick Williams. That was before the Titans tipped their hand that Mariotta is the likely #2 pick. If you assume that Oakland takes either White or Cooper (value meets need), then the big question is who will the Jaguars select.

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:40 AM

          Yeah, got ya, I was just saying. The problem with the trade down is we need a partner and seeing that all these prospects from the #5 guy through the rest of the first round seem about equal prospects means that we likely are t going to be able to trade down.

          If Cooper and Williams are gone, I personally would rather have Danny Shelton than Beasley or Fowler but I get why people want the pass rusher. I just think long term Shelton is a guy who can replace Knighton and start at NT for the skins and be an all-pro for the next decade for them.

          Then, I look at Scherff, La’el Collins or Peat @ 5 vs Beasley or Fowler and I kind of come to the same conclusion. Scherff/La’el Collins/Peat would start day one at RT and play there for the next decade and maybe if we’re lucky be pro bowlers.

          I like both Beasley & Fowler but we absolutely sold that they are better 3-4 OLBs that Trent Murphy? I’m not so sure they are the run stuffer he is and with Murphy’s long arms, he has the ability to get a lot of deflections and make plays like that, like what we get out of Ryan Kerrigan.

          Man, it’s going to be a tough choice for McCloughan if Leonard Williams is gone for sure.

        • brucefan1 - Apr 28, 2015 at 11:21 AM

          “Put another way, picking Shelton or Scherff or Flowers at #5 would be like trading down without getting additional picks”

          Man, I love the other way you put that, cap! It hits that “draft for need first” argument right on the head! Badda-BING!

          Gonna use that logic in future such discussions. OK? ;^}

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 11:47 AM

          I don’t think Beasley or Fowler are leaps and bounds better than La’el Collins, Shelton, Peat, or Scherff.

          All of these prospects have their own questionmarks.

          Beasley has questions about his size – if he can keep the 246 pounds on, or gain more – and also if he can hold up against the run or be more than just a one trick pony as a pass rusher.

          Fowler and Dupree seem to have it all, do everything well, are big and athletic, but neither have the production Beasley does and I question if they’ll ever be double digit sack guys.

          So, when you look at the analysis of these 3 pass rushers and their questionmarks, how can you determine that La’el Collins, Shelton, Peat, or Scherff aren’t worth the 5th pick?

          I mean people do understand that if we don’t take one of the 7 picks above that they will all go in the top 20 right? And most will go in the top 15, with a few in the top 10.

          You can basically put these 7 guys along with Kevin White, Trae Waynes, Devante Parker, Erek Flowes and Malcolm Brown in a hat, pull out a name and get an equal prospect.

          I mean that’s part of our problem with a trade down right? We’re sitting @ #5 and the top 2 elite prospects (Cooper & Williams) that we would want the most @ 5 will likely be gone. So what prospect does a Cleveland, New Orleans, Miami or another team trade up for?

          I think we’re going to be stuck @ 5 and we’re going to take either Beasley, La’el Collins, Dupree, Dante Fowler, Erek Flowers, Peat, Scherff, or Shelton and the way I see it all of these prospects are about equal in their draft grades and their potential as great players for the Redskins, so it doesn’t matter which one of them they take imho.

  4. abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    I don’t think it’s inevitable, but anything is possible. At 5 there is going to be a player available that the redskins really like and he may not be an elite prospect (if Williams & Cooper are gone) but he’s going to be a very good prospect. I think the skins should stay put and take of best available of who’s left over between Beasley, Dupree, Fowler, Shelton and White.

  5. abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    If the Redskins do indeed trade down, there’s a possibility they get Shelton, an OLB and OL prospect all within the top 50 of the draft.

  6. kenlinkins - Apr 28, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    I just do not see a trading partner out there if both Williams and Mariota are gone. Maybe the Falcon try and move from 8th to 5th to get a pass rusher but IMO they could not give more then 1st / 3rd which leaves over 75 value points on the table (and I do not think that the new GM will do that on his first draft pick in DC). Maybe Cleveland wants a WR and offers 1st (12th) 2nd and 5th (but not likely) but I do not see them giving up both 1st for Redskins 1st and Cousins. IMO either Fowler, Beasley, White or Cooper will be on the board and one of them will be the pick. My best guess is Fowler. Unless the new GM is willing to take picks in 2016 (which most devalue by one round) I think the Redskins will use the 5th over all pick in 2015.

    • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      I agree. Cleveland, New Orleans and Miami could stay where they are and get players they need. There’s not a huge difference between Kevin White, DeVante Parker & Jaelen Strong or between Beasley, Fowler & Dupree, Ray or Gregory. On top of that, even if Shelton is gone, there will still be other talent there for these teams like both of the top Running backs (Gurely & Gordon) offensive lineman (Scherff, Peat, Collins, Clemmings, or Flowers) and defensive lineman ( Armstead, Brown & Goldman) or they could possibly still get s DB like Trae Wayne’s in the teens where they pick.

      I honesty don’t think the Redskins find a trading partner and they take Beasley or Fowler at 5.

      • brucefan1 - Apr 28, 2015 at 11:38 AM

        Wow, you guys are good! Ya know yer stuff.

        Only monkey wrench in the works here is Shane Ray (or is it “Inshane” Ray?), and what he’s done to his stock in the last 24 hours..

        Heard the ex-Falcon GM say this morning that he could see Ray dropping into the 2nd or THIRD round after the egregious lack of judgement he showed by getting busted for pot just a few days before the draft!

        That being said, if the Skins do get a crack at him in the middle rounds, do they take a flyer on him? The dilemma of where to take a Dez Bryant or a Tyrann Mathieu or a Jameis Winston….or a Lawrence Philips (YIKES!) always intrigues me.

        • bowlregard - Apr 28, 2015 at 12:49 PM

          Don’t you mean Gregory?

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 12:59 PM

          IMO both Gregory & Ray are idiots and they should fall to round 2 just because of their stupidity, but if I’m McCloughan, I don’t want either of them because it seems they’re as dumb as Fred Davis

        • ET - Apr 28, 2015 at 2:38 PM

          Stay away from Gregory and Ray—they both knew they had to be straight during the pre-draft process, and yet they couldn’t manage it. Clowns!

  7. hk2000 - Apr 28, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    Trade down doesn’t have to be from the 1st, he can still get the 10 picks by trading down in later rounds. This trying to predict exact deals in the draft is just ridiculous, there are endless scenarios, just trust in your GM and wait for it to happen!. Besides, we have so many needs, I wouldn’t be surprised to see starters from rounds 4+

    • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 8:30 AM

      Yeah, I’d rather stay put at 5 and 38 and then start trading down in the 3rd round to acquire more mid and late round picks.

    • kenlinkins - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      The Redskins tried that in 2011 and ended up with Jenkins, Hankerson, Helu, Gomes, Paul, Royster, Thomson, Hurt, White, Robinson and Neild after picking Kerrigan. I hope the new GM can do a better job with the extra picks.

    • ET - Apr 28, 2015 at 10:37 AM

      I’d rather see any horse-trading later, while keeping the 1st and 2nd round positions intact. Anything can happen, I suppose, but those two picks are in a nice spot to grab some quality prospects. While there are clearly lots of holes to fill, the Skins need more impact players ASAP.

      • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 10:46 AM

        Agreed. It’s about quality, not quantity in the first two rounds of this draft

  8. captblood3000 - Apr 28, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    If the best player in the draft is still available at #5, it’s no different from having the #1 pick. There are two ways to take advantage of that good fortune: trade down for the full appreciated value of the #5 pick, or pick Williams.

  9. redskinscaio - Apr 28, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Well, it’s 4/28. If I could take two players in the first round by trading back, it would be Sherff and the best ILB in the draft… McKinney maybe? Anthony? I don’t know, but I”m sure the gm does.

    • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:09 AM

      I’d rather have Eric Kendricks (Mychal of the Eagles’ younger brother or Denzel Perryman at ILB than Anthony or McKinney).

      • bowlregard - Apr 28, 2015 at 12:52 PM

        There’s word that Kelly has soured on Mychal Kendricks. He could get cut like DeSean. Not a Chip kind of guy, apparently. And the Eagles would seem then to be penciling in Kiko and Ryans at ILB.

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 1:15 PM

          Hmm. If that happens, the skins should pounce on Mychal Kendricks. I love how that guy plays ILB.

          I’d be worried about both Alonso &
          Ryan’s if I was Kelly because they’re both coming off of major knee injuries

      • kenlinkins - Apr 28, 2015 at 6:42 PM

        You are correct about more than Kyle wanting Cousins in Cleveland. Kyle departed Cleveland after in fighting with the owner about playing “Johnny Football” sooner than he was ready (in Kyle’s mind anyways). Soon after Kyle left the news about Mr. Football requiring rehab came out and Hoyle made it known he was not happy. You have to remember at one point the Browns were within 5 points of being 9-2 (2 point lost to Pitts and 3 point lost to Ravens in games 1 &3) but getting to 7-4 was not bad before the wheels came off ending in a 7-9 season. The talk started again about getting Cousins after Kyle departed and has been in the back round all off season, so more then Kyle wanted him. IMO many Browns fans had the mind set that Hoyle could become the started until Johnny Football was ready. Browns fans are not to happy with Mr. Football right now and IMO would welcome Cousins in a trade if the cost is not too high.

  10. renhoekk2 - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    The second rd pick is very much in play also. After the first rd is over and all of the teams have a chance to reset their boards, there will be players that “fell” out of the first rd that will be coveted by some teams. If the Skins trade down in the first and acquire an extra 2nd rd pick, I very much expect them to trade their second rd pick. Unless there is a player at a position of need that is just too good to pass on.

    • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      Like last year when we traded back and still got Trent Murphy while adding a second third rounder and Allen took two offensive lineman?

      That’s definitely a possibility.

    • bowlregard - Apr 28, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      A lot of Mocks have the Skins liking Tomlinson in the 2nd, but also that he’d be available later, maybe even early 3rd.

  11. abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    Rich, have you given any thought to the Redskins including Kirk Cousins in a trade along with their #5 pick?

    Like let’s say the Browns want to trade up and we want both of their firsts but they aren’t willing to do it.

    Does make sense to throw in Kirk Cousins and our #5 pick to Cleveland for their #12 & 19th pick?

    I think it does. I think that’d be a good trade for both teams.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:17 AM

      Maybe. But that would value Cousins at a second-round pick. Nobody values him that high. Redskins still might have to add a 4th or 5th.

      But, like I said, it depends on Farmer and McCloughan.

      • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:27 AM

        Got ya. So, #5, Kirk Cousins and our 5th round pick (which is almost a 4th). I think that should do it, and then we’d have #12 & 19 in the draft.

        • kenlinkins - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:53 AM

          That has been the talk in Cleveland for a few weeks now as a back up plan if the Browns can not make a deal to get Mariota somehow. Many in Cleveland think Cousins would be a good pocket cold weather QB and if they can land DL Williams or WR Cooper / White, that it would be a WIN WIN. IMO the Redskins would get the better of that deal.

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 10:33 AM

          Well if I’m the Redskins, I don’t do the deal if Leonard Williams is on the board.

          The Rest I agree with. The browns trading up for Copper/White and getting Cousins would be a great scenario for them on draft day, and you don’t usually say that about yhe Browns.

          Then, the Redskins could hopefully take Danny Shelton @ 12 or Dupree/Ray/Gregory and then an OL @ 19.

        • Rich Tandler - Apr 28, 2015 at 10:24 AM

          Assuming that Cleveland still wants Cousins. As I’m sure you know, Kyle Shanahan is no longer there.

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 10:36 AM

          Yeah, I know. I’m just spitballing here! Lol

        • bowlregard - Apr 28, 2015 at 12:58 PM

          Interesting scenario. But I’ll be Scherff is gone by #12. If I knew he’d be there that would make a big difference. Then again, if Trae Waynes is there at 12 I’d bet we’d have further opportunity to trade down.

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 1:18 PM

          I have the Vikings taking Waynes @ 11 in my mock, but if the skins traded down and he was available @ 12, he’d even be worth consideration IMO, not a trade down piece.

        • kenlinkins - Apr 28, 2015 at 1:59 PM

          Kyle is now with the Falcons. It will be interesting to see how the Falcons do with so many EX Redskins coach’s there. (Shanahan, Morris, LaFleur, Turner and McDaniel).

        • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 4:49 PM

          I do realize that Kyle is not in Cleveland anymore, but there were more people than just Kyle that wanted to trade a 4th round pick for Kirk Cousins last year and I’d say those other people are still in Cleveland.

          So, I’d try to make the deal including Kirk to see if that gets us closer to getting #12 & 19 from the Brownies

        • bangkokben - Apr 28, 2015 at 4:17 PM

          No where to go but up for them. In the last two seasons, the Falcons have been more disappointing than the Redskins. Sure they’ve had injuries as well but 4-12 and 6-10 with all that offensive talent in a weak division.

  12. obxskins - Apr 28, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    Rich/anyone else..would you trade the 5th pick to Eagles for DT Cox and the n1st round pick? That is if MM is there for Chip…alot of ifs…IMO.I would do that deal, Cox is a beast!

    • mjthomas85 - Apr 28, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      Rich, there has been a lot of talk about trading Kirk Cousins and the 5th pick in the draft for the 12th and 19th picks Cleveland has. However, we also have a lot of money tied up in WR salaries. Is there any chance we package Cousins and one of our WR’S for either the 12th or 19th pick in the draft with Cleveland and keep our 5th pick?

      • Rich Tandler - Apr 28, 2015 at 4:14 PM

        Cousins would maybe fetch a fourth, one of the WRs about the same, there’s no chance that adds up to a first rounder. And I’m not sure where the “talk” about the deal you mention first is out there. It’s just flat made up.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 28, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      Zero chance I’d do that deal. I’d need a lot more, if I’d even make a deal at any price to give Phil their franchise QB.

      • abanig - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:37 PM

        So us and the Eagles swap picks and we get Fletcher Cox???

        I’d do that trade in a heart beat. Cox is a starring quality 3-4 DE. Then, the skins could take Landon Collins, an OT or OLB @ 20.

  13. charge1 - Apr 28, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Any chance we picked up Rgs option and are telling everyone our pic is for sale as a smokescreen to get Mariota? Or maybe we already have a deal with the Titans? I see Jay Gruden really just doesn’t like rg3 just like Mike Shanahan. Archives

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