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Need to Know: DT Billings, WR Thomas to Redskins in latest mock draft

Mar 25, 2016, 6:07 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 25, 34 days before the NFL Draft.

I’m changing around the Need to Know format a bit. There may be some more tweaks in the coming days and weeks; your comments are welcome.


—The Redskins last played a game 75 days ago. It will be about 170 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 24; 2016 NFL draft 34; Redskins training camp starts 125

Hot topic

Todd McShay of ESPN has a new mock draft out (here’s the link but it’s behind a paywall) and many Redskins fans would be pretty happy if the top of the actual draft, which starts five weeks from yesterday, turned out like McShay predicts.

In the first round McShay has the Redskins going with Baylor defensive lineman Andrew Billings. He could fill the hole at nose tackle and play end as well. He is a load at 6-1, 311 and, as you can see in the GIF in my article on Billings, he plays hard.

In the second round McShay sends Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas to Washington. I’d like to congratulate someone in the national media for recognizing the Redskins’ need to draft a WR, with both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson turning 30 later this year and both entering the final years of their contracts. And who is going to complain about the team finally landing a big (6-3) wide receiver?

It seems that Billings will be there when the Redskins pick at No. 21. Thomas could be gone by early in the second round but you never know how things will unfold.

Fan question of the day

It’s true that Scot McCloughan wants to get more picks in the draft but it’s not necessarily because he sees a lot of defensive talent that he can stockpile. His philosophy is like that of many GMs—the more picks he has the better chance he has of hitting on them.

If you want to hit on, say, six solid players in a draft you probably aren’t going to do it with seven draft picks. You need, as McCloughan said earlier this week, more “swings”. Not all of your picks are going to succeed so if you want to build through the draft, having more picks increases the chances you will be able to do so.

This draft is strong on the defensive line but it’s just OK elsewhere on defense. There aren’t many strong edge rushers and, as seems to be the case frequently, safety is also weak.

So McCloughan’s desire for more draft picks is not about rebuilding the defense so much as it is a general team building philosophy at this phase of the team’s development.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

Stat of the day

Jamison Crowder set the Redskins rookie record last year with 59 pass receptions. The most receptions for a Redskins player in his first year in the NFL was 72 by Gary Clark in 1985. Clark had played in the USFL prior to coming to the Redskins so he was not a rookie by the NFL definition.

In case you missed it


  1. babyteal1 - Mar 25, 2016 at 7:33 AM

    I would be happy with McShays picks…works for me.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 25, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    The OTHER Mike Thomas (Southern Mississippi):

    He’s more likely to still be on the board when we pick in the 2nd. And maybe the 3rd.

  3. thirdistheworrd - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Michael Thomas reminds me so much of Devin Thomas it’s scary, literally and figuratively. All the physical tools in the world, but lacking that football player mentality, the drive you need to see to select a player like that in the early rounds. Also bad route running and suboptimal hands. I see a little of the same one year wonder, combine champ foreshadowing in billings as well. Not psyched to see either one if these guys in our mock draft board. Still, whoever scot picks I’ll be excited about.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:50 AM

      I have some of those same feelings about Eli Apple, who I see mocked to us frequently.

      All the size you want in a CB, and a 4.40 dash at the combine. But ask OSU fans if they saw him cover anybody.

      They’re juniors, so they’re raw and you have that Devin Thomas risk that they never figure it out.

      • thirdistheworrd - Mar 25, 2016 at 11:53 AM

        Agreed. Kendall Fuller is the only CB I’m really sold on, and I’d be really psyched if we picked him up. He has that football player mindset that Scot loves, we need more of, and that translates to a solid player other teams respect even if he isn’t dominant.

        • Shonndon - Mar 25, 2016 at 4:11 PM

          He got killed by Thomas when they played last year and jalen Marshall…

    • ET - Mar 25, 2016 at 11:50 AM

      I get your hesitation about Thomas. He could go either way. But Billings seems like a pretty solid bet to me. Regardless, the Skins need help at both positions, so neither pick would surprise me.

  4. Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    I’m not sold on Michael Thomas…not body type but his game is two similar to Ryan grant he’s not a deep threat redskins need another deep threat who can play next to Djax sometimes because then that open things up down field they wouldn’t know whose going deep down field if they draft Michael Thomas they need to let Ryan grant go because they game is the same Michael Thomas is just a bigger and can be more physical

    • sidepull - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:59 AM

      Not letting RG or CT go. Gruden loves them both. Doesn’t matter what we see, its what Gruden sees. And he is keeping them both. I wouldn’t miss either.

      • Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 2:42 PM

        Who is CT?

        • ET - Mar 25, 2016 at 4:15 PM

          Chris Thompson?

      • Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 5:47 PM

        Ohh I know he’s not getting rid of Chris Thompson unless a rookie beat him out last year they didn’t have a choice to go with Chris Thompson because Silas redd went down…I really like the running back they got on they roster mack brown they groom him all last year and showed promise of breaking tackles in the pre-season

      • Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 5:54 PM

        Gruden also didn’t like the fact he had to go get a running back late last year and Chris Thompson might not even be ready for the start of the season so he might be on IR that’s why its a chance Pierre Thomas has a chance of coming back…my prediction is for the start of the season matt Jones,Pierre Thomas, and mack Brown redskins might draft a RB for extra competition

    • thirdistheworrd - Mar 25, 2016 at 11:47 AM

      I think Crowder is going to be that guy. Jeremy Maclin has an inch on him, but other than that they are identical players. I think once Kirk gets more accustom to throwing mid-range passes and less reliant on an underneath X-receiver, we’ll see a lot more of Crowder deep.

  5. Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    I’m all in on Andrew Billings because he showed power on his game tape and at the combine…I’m hoping they draft Antonio woods from USC he’s another powerful DT who can play DE

  6. thirdistheworrd - Mar 25, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    You know what Billings showed at the combine? Pretty much the same thing Stephen Paea showed at the combine. I’m not as down on Paea as some fans are, I think he’ll be a valuable contributor in our D for a while, but people need to learn to be more afraid of workout warriors and underpants champions. And his game tape isn’t that dominant either. I don’t think he has the gap-holding presence Barry is looking for. If Scot picks him, I’m all in on Billings, I’m just fairly wary right now. But I am much more interested in a guy like Woods or Hassan Ridgeway in later rounds.

  7. Rich - Mar 25, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    I see our biggest needs as nose tackle, cb and wr. A lot of mocks show us taking defensive line in round one. I’m happy to go with the best player available, but do you think we may skip dline in the first round because of that positions depth? The drop off between a cb or wr taken round 1 vs round 2 may be bigger than the dline dropoff.

  8. Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    There’s no question the WR group need to be upgraded but is jay gruden to stubborn to get rid of the weak players he draft…jay gruden don’t like to be wrong and its OK to be wrong with players its apart of the draft you either hit or you miss on players…Trent Murphy going on his third year with 0 progress he’s so far behind they rather find another position for him instead of letting him go now he’s gotta get use to playing a new position witch might also leave to no results jay gruden don’t know how to let go …I bet if it was scot he would’ve been gone cause he always said I’m not tied to no player you either got it or you don’t…I believe this is a make or break season for Trent Murphy and if he play to bad he might get cut before the end of the season like Trent Robinson who was playing safety

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 25, 2016 at 3:19 PM

      Nah, you don’t let a guy like Murphy go. We’re not getting the pass rush you’d like to have from an OLB in a 3-4 out of him, but he’s not terrible.

      He gives us solid depth at the position, and is still on his rookie contract.

      If he eventually leaves via free agency, we might even get a comp pick for him.

      • Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 5:44 PM

        I believe if Houston Bates get more chance he can be a better pass rusher then Trent Murphy… And they got a new guy name Willie Jefferson who had little success in the NFL until he got in trouble in Houston but he can get after the QB as well so that’s why it makes more sense to move Trent Murphy because the pass rushing position is full of talent and if he had to compete in that position he won’t make the roster…he’s OK at stopping the run witch is why it makes sense to move him inside but if he’s not strong or big enough he will get beat everytime

        • ET - Mar 25, 2016 at 6:43 PM

          The problem with moving Murph inside is coverage, no? How could guy like that cover anybody except a blocking TE? I kinda like Murphy, I don’t think he’s a bust yet. But no way does he belong inside. He could be a two-down guy at OLB, why move him to a new position with the same expectation?

  9. Mr.moneylover - Mar 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    John Kim said if they don’t sign nobody else redskins can get a 7th round pick for losing frank kearse.. That could also be the reason why they haven’t officially sign Vernon Davis yet or resign Dashon on goldson

  10. James McFullan - Mar 25, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Mock Draft: #21: Josh Doctson WR/ Ryan Kelly C #53: Nick Martin C/ Tyler Boyd WR #84: Keith Marshall RB #120 Sean Davis SS/CB

    • ET - Mar 25, 2016 at 4:18 PM

      You wouldn’t draft a defensive player until the 4th round?


      • James McFullan - Mar 25, 2016 at 9:51 PM

        I was thinking about Andrew Billings at 21 or Kenny Clark at 53, but I felt that 3 different options was too much per pick.

  11. Jc - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    If you could rid of the “here’s what you need to know” I tried to every entry it would be much appreciated. It gets in the way o the story.

    • Jc - Mar 25, 2016 at 10:30 PM

      Sorry, got auto-corrected. Meant to ask – please get rid of “here’s what you need to know” at the beginning of every article.

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 26, 2016 at 6:55 AM

        Seriously? It’s one flippin’ sentence.

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