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Need to Know: A possible drafting dilemma for the Redskins at No. 21

Mar 29, 2016, 5:00 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 29, 30 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 79 days ago. It will be about 166 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 20; 2016 NFL draft 30; Redskins training camp starts 121

Hot topic

A mock draft done by Peter Schrager of Fox Sports highlights what could be an interesting dilemma for Scot McCloughan.

In the mock, he has the Redskins taking defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson of Alabama with their first-round pick, No. 21 overall. That’s not an issue; The Redskins want to get younger along their defensive line and he would be a good fit. But in this mock draft Robinson is the seventh defensive lineman off of the board.

With the next pick, Schrager has the Texans taking Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. He is the first receiver off of the board. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon both turning 30 this year and both in the final year of their contracts, wide receiver is very much a need in this draft.

Assuming Scot McCloughan is on the clock with Treadwell and Robinson on the board, what should he do? Should he take the best receiver in the draft? Or the seventh-best defensive lineman?

McCloughan’s short answer would be “best available player”. But at some point, you have to figure that you run out of defensive linemen who are better than the best receiver in the draft (and if you want to say that’s Josh Doctson that’s fine; Schrager has him going to the Vikings at No. 23). So McCloughan could decide to go with a wide receiver in the first and come back in Rounds 2 and/or 3 on Saturday and stock up the defensive line. The bigger names, of course, will be gone but this draft should have some quality linemen left on Saturday.

It must be noted that this is just a mock draft and that the way things actually unfold on April 28 could be quite different. But teams do go through mocks drafts just to figure out how they will handle such situations. McCloughan will undoubtedly have a plan for such a scenario. But he’s not about to tell you and me what it is.

Fan question of the day

Not sure what you mean by “heavy” but the way I would use it the answer is probably no.

I think you could have a Week 1 a rookie starter on the defensive line. You’ll probably have all veterans at linebacker. In the secondary a rookie safety could emerge if they take one in the first few rounds. Same with a corner, although I think that if Chris Culliver is healthy by Week 1 he and Bashaud Breeland will be the starters. So that would be two and maybe three rookie starters out of 11 positions. By my thinking you would need to have one or two more rookie starters to call it “heavy” on first-year players.

Same thing if you’re talking about the entire depth chart. Let’s say that Scot McCloughan gets the 12 draft picks he wants and he takes seven defensive players with them. We’ll probably see five of them make the team. There will be between 24 and 26 defensive players on the 53-man roster. So, again, I wouldn’t necessarily call that “heavy”.

I think a better term to use might be youth heavy. The only likely starter over the age of 30 is safety DeAngelo Hall. Only two other defensive players, Will Blackmon and Kedric Golston, are over 30. The rest are 28 or younger.

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

In case you missed it

  1. robert herrera - Mar 29, 2016 at 6:04 AM

    Stick with getting a defensive lineman at 21. After that pick a receiver. Stopping the run was one of the Redskins biggest problems.

    • Lex - Mar 29, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      Stopping the run is important but if the best DL is 7th best imo that equals second rd talent, therefore youd take treadwell if hes available. There will be more DL just as good later like Ridgeway

      • robert herrera - Mar 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM

        You made a good point about having a elite wide receiver. Well let’s see how the draft unfolds on day one. The skins really do need some big and quick guys up front to stop the run. A good example was Denver’s defense in the super bowl.

  2. sidepull - Mar 29, 2016 at 6:14 AM


  3. colorofmyskinz - Mar 29, 2016 at 6:31 AM

    Probably no pick at 21 is most likely to get his additional 3 picks. I don’t think he can get 4 picks by giving up 21st pick. My guess is he try’s to trade 21st for a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks, giving us 10. Then we will have 6 picks between the 2nd and 4th rounds. There is where we will get our Dline, Safety, Corner, WR, TE/center and RB. Then we will have 4 more picks for backup core players.

    So mute point is my call. No 21st pick for us. Just my guess.

    • COSkinsfan - Mar 29, 2016 at 8:16 AM

      I hope he can find a trade partner for this to happen. That would be a good way to get better quickly.

    • bangkokben - Mar 29, 2016 at 8:53 AM

      He’s not trading the 21st pick. There will be plenty of ways to get more picks. Last year: “No. 69: Washington → Seattle (D). Washington traded this selection to Seattle in exchange for Seattle’s 2015 third, fourth, fifth and sixth round selections (95th, 112th, 167th, & 181st).” Wikipedia source: “Seahawks Trade up in Third Round to Select WR Tyler Lockett”. May 1, 2015.

      • skinsgame - Mar 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM

        The problem is, the Seahawks got a starter in Lockett and the Redskins got projects. I’m not going to compare Lockett directly with players the Redskins ended up with but, so far, the Seahawks got the better end of that trade by getting a solid contributer vs potential depth, later on.

        • bangkokben - Mar 29, 2016 at 2:22 PM

          Whoa. Lockett is a good player and a STARTER this year – last year he was the 3rd WR – but the Redskins got back:
          95th Matt Jones (current starting RB)
          112th Arie Kuandjio
          167th traded to the Saints for the 187th and also this year’s Saints 6th rounder
          181st Kyshoen Jarrett
          187th Evan Spencer
          This year’s 187th

          That’s how you build a roster. I like your implied point about Lockett when it comes to the top rounds because that is where you find impact but as to last year you could debate who had more impact on their teams Tyler Lockett or the combo of Matt Jones & Kyshoen Jarrett. Considering where each team started and where they finished, I think the Redskins duo had more impact on their team’s success AND the Redskins needed more players.

          Bottom line it is what you do with the pick/picks. Vinny and Shanny trading back for the most part was watching a poker player slowly lose all his chips hoping for an inside straight. On the other hand, in one draft, Scot picking is like watching Tony Gwyn collecting hits no matter who’s pitching.

        • Trey Gregory - Mar 29, 2016 at 4:18 PM

          @Bang. I know what you’re saying about the starters vs projects. But I’m not sure I wouldn’t have preferred to just take Lockett in the 3rd and Jeremy Langford in the 4th instead if how it worked out.

          I like Crowder, Jones, and Jarrett. But I’m more convinced that Lockett and Langford are going to have good careers than Crowder and Jones. Who knows how our later picks would have worked out? Who knows if McCloughan would have even taken Lockett or Langford? But I was convinced Lockett would be good after watching him at KState. If I can spot that, I’m sure McCloughan was way ahead of me.

          I just don’t think trading back and getting volume is as safe as some fans seem to think. There’s a reason guys get drafted earlier than others. You could end up missing out on some great players for a bunch of mediocre players. Too early to say any players from the 2015 draft are great or anything else; that’s just one way I’m looking at it. I would HATE to miss out on a pro bowl DT because we traded out of the first for a bunch of rotational players. I think a team needs a few stars.

          The early picks could just as easily bust and he later picks could work out. I just think you’re playing the odds taking the earlier guys. But you never know how this stuff will work out.

        • bangkokben - Mar 29, 2016 at 4:46 PM


          I AM OPPOSED TO TRADING OUT OF #21, PERSONALLY. My whole point is that Scot can trade back out of a later pick (69th in the example) and pick up the more picks that HE SAYS he wants and use the #21 on the BPA and get an impact player there. Later on, impact is less likely.

          As for Lockett, I don’t think he was really on the ‘skins board (possible medical) unless Scot knew that Seattle was more in love with him and thus willing to trade half of one’s normal allotted picks for.

        • Trey Gregory - Mar 30, 2016 at 1:06 AM

          @Bang. Yup, you clearly stated you want him to stay at 21 but maybe trade back later. My bad, I was writing that on a quick break and combined a couple replies/thoughts into one.

          My bottom line is that I don’t want to miss out on BPA in the first three rounds. Those seem to be the rounds where you usually find starters/good players for your team. It seems like the cutoff between the third and fourth round is pretty steep. And it doesn’t help that we’re in the lower half of each round. There’s always exceptions, I would just prefer to keep those picks. If he wants to move around after that, have at it. Which seems to essentially be what you said in another post too.

          Of course I know Scot knows what he’s doing more than I do. It would just make me nervous is all. I want those players.

          And wow, I felt like I followed Locket pretty close and I didn’t remember any medical issues. But I looked it up and, wow. That sounds intense. It just makes it worst that it was undisclosed. But man, this guy was one of the best college rout runners ive ever seen. Then he had the pedigree, hands, and accolades. I just felt it with him. I hope his career isn’t cut short

        • skinsgame - Mar 29, 2016 at 5:15 PM

          Again, I don’t want to compare players vs players, but since you insist…Jones doesn’t count as they swapped picks that round. They could’ve taken him but used the pick to trade down. The other 3 picks are projects or cut. It’s possible they get really good but Lockett is proving to be really good already. Third round picks are usually thought of as year two starters and while Jones and Lockett are both projected to be starters, the bigger question mark, by far, is on Jones. Jarrett might have been good but we can’t yet tell because of his injury.

        • bangkokben - Mar 29, 2016 at 6:21 PM

          Often there’s a big gap between the top of the 3rd and the bottom of 3rd and thus the compensation. 26 picks later was Jones. So the Redskins didn’t trade back so that they could get Jones “at value” and some more picks. Instead Seattle sought the trade and was willing to give up four picks. Then the Redskins stuck to their board and continued to take BPA. The point, however, is that Scot wants to get more picks and he can do it from any point in the draft. My preference is that wherever he moves back, it’s further from the top.

    • hotpicksblog - Mar 29, 2016 at 1:00 PM

      exactly right. Not going to get 3 picks for number 21 unless sliding waaaaaaaaaaaaay down into the very late 2nd round. But I think it certainly is possible to slide down 5 or 6 spots and get a 3rd and 5th and then use his 2nd to slide back and pick up another 3rd and 5th. I believe Scott would be thrilled to own the 3rd through the 5th rounds.

      • ET - Mar 29, 2016 at 2:01 PM

        This kind of scenario seems somewhat likely if Scot feels like he can nab his preferred guy at, say, 28th instead of 21st. But that’s a real-time decision that obviously requires a like-minded trading partner.

        I’m guessing Scot & Co. game out a number of trade scenarios in addition to the mechanics of drafting. We’re unlikely to ever see detailed documentation of the process, but I’m sure it’s fascinating.

        • Trey Gregory - Mar 30, 2016 at 1:09 AM

          It would be awesome to somehow get access to that. Pretty sure they keep that close to the vest, but getting access to the war room would be an awesome contest. Or something like that.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 29, 2016 at 7:21 AM

    A’Shawn Robinson has the ideal body. But does he have that love of football that McGlue searches for?

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 29, 2016 at 7:24 AM

      P.S. and if you want to say that’s Josh Doctson that’s fine

      O.K. I don’t mind if we take Doctson at 21 and go D with the next two picks.

      • lezziemcdykerson - Mar 29, 2016 at 8:00 PM

        I had one of the comment section experts tell me that drafting a WR 1st would be a SHOCKINGLY dumb move. They aren’t here today so no trolling, unfortunately. I preferred Doctson over Treadwell I think JD is a little longer and has that freakish body control. It’s a move that I’m all for, especially when you consider how quickly our TE position deteriorated. Our WR situation is shaping up to be another need for years to come. I feel like I say this a lot but, we’re not that far off on defense. If we can draft and hit on one DB (I’m not picky CB or S) or a NT (maybe we get Lean Roast back and get both) that could be enough instead of bankrolling this defensive draft like so many people want us to. We have too many needs on either side of the ball to just hone in on defense because this is a supposed good defensive draft. We can’t afford to play wait and see on offense, I feel like getting the skill position core around Kirk is arguably more important than beefing up a patchwork defense. Young RB, Young slot receiver, young but oft injured TE, Oline is getting younger. Can’t drop the ball coughRYANGRANTcough on drafting receiver we had 6 games we didn’t score over 20 points.

        • Trey Gregory - Mar 30, 2016 at 12:16 AM

          I don’t think it would be stupid to take a WR first if we end up with an elite guy. There’s a decent chance we end up with the best receiver in the draft at 21. I might prefer a DT, but it would especially make sense if we get Knighton back. I would still hope for a DT in the second, as I think that’s a pretty big need even with Pot Roast, but WR is absolutely going to be a big problem if we don’t start addressing it.

          I too am sold on Doctson. This guy wreaked havoc on my college team every year. I’m all too familiar with how good he is. Could be a lot like AJ Green in my opinion. Or maybe more like Alshon Jeffeey. Either way, I think he’s going to be very good. I’ll be happy if we get him. I would just be happier if we took a guy like Andrew Billings.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Mar 30, 2016 at 5:07 PM

          I was trying to think of someone to compare him to and I was thinking Plax because he’s a big Red Zone target and seems to have that field awareness to get his toes down in bounds. He also kind of reminds me of a bigger Pierre Garcon where he puts in effort, attacks, goes after the ball. Garcon has his physical limitations where effort doesn’t always get it done and that’s where Doctson could excel. It seems like the general consensus is, going into next year, that we should drop DJax and resign Garcon. I haven’t said anything on it because, to me, it’s a matter of preference and I prefer DJax. Call it Santana-Syndrome but I love a little scrappy speedster that can play outside… actually anywhere. He even helps on special teams occasionally. I know there’s been some bonehead stuff, I was pissed at him too, can’t say that he’ll grow out of that but we’re a different monster when he’s on the field. JD and Pierre just seem a bit redundant. If Lean Roast comes back I’m sure it’ll be a team friendly Gallete-esque contract so I wouldn’t be surprised if we still took a NT at some point in the draft but not high enough to get Billings. All depends on what Scot values more, the NT available when the position has been seemingly sured up for, at least, this season or the best WR? I’m glad the Matt Millen-tine gospel I’ve been preaching is finally catching on. Thanks for backing me guys!

  5. bangkokben - Mar 29, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    It’s not about taking the 1st WR or the 7th DL. The 7th DL may be the 3rd DL off the Redskins’ board and now getting quality at an immediate need position is going to be harder if you pass on the DL.

  6. justhereforquestions - Mar 29, 2016 at 9:28 AM


    We’ve heard a lot throughout this pre-draft season about DL depth in this draft, but how about the WR depth? Are there a good crop of WRs in this year’s draft? I would like your opinion on any potential sleepers out there at WR

    I watched a little bit of stuff on Keyaris Garrett from Tulsa for example and I think he could be a steal. Any mid to late round WRs you like in this draft?

    Thanks Rich!

  7. celeoinc - Mar 29, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    You have to pick the best player. 7 best DL has a much higher chance to be a bust than the best receiver in the draft. We cannot afford to waste a first round pick. Go for rhe sure thing.

    • rtcwon - Mar 29, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      I don’t follow college closely but I would say the opposite. I’ll go as far as the 9th DL in this draft will be a better player than the second WR, RB or first ILB.

      And there are no sure things in any draft at 21.

    • ET - Mar 29, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      There ain’t no sure things in the draft, man, only probabilities. Fortunately Scot is fairly gifted at playing the draft day odds.

  8. Mr.moneylover - Mar 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Treadwell gonna go in the top 10 or 15 there’s no way redskins gonna go after him that don’t make sense they have a better chance of getting josh doctson if they wanna go after a WR or they can go after WR will fuller…I really think if Andrew Billing is gone and jarren reed on the board I think they will go after the best CB on the board to try to sure up the secondary…you can always find a undrafted good WR if they don’t target that in the draft

  9. renhoekk2 - Mar 29, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    The 7th best DL may still be better than the #1 ranked WR. They usually give each player a draft grade regardless of position played. It’s not hard to imagine that the 7th best DL in this draft might have a higher draft grade than the top WR. IT wouldn’t mean they are getting a lesser player if they go DL.

  10. Mr.moneylover - Mar 29, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    From what I seen they met with A’shawn Robinson and Andrew billing at the combine I don’t think they met with DT jarren reed not saying they won’t but its hard to see them picking a DL with that first pick if both guys already gone

  11. captblood3000 - Mar 29, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    I’m with celeo. Get the Best Player Available. When you draft for need (DL, in Rich’s scenario) you get a less talented team.

    There are several positions where teams often draft for need: QB, LT, CB, edge rusher. With the exception of CB (at least this year), the Skins are set at those positions. They have little temptation not to follow their draft board.

    Besides, if Robinson is the 7th best defensive lineman, this draft must have a glut of good defensive linemen. So the Skins can get a good one later.

  12. skinsgame - Mar 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    It isn’t a dilemma. Any GM that employs “BPA” has a ranking system and uses it. So much hand wringing by fans and folks that believe in drafting “need” and try HARD to fit that scheme into the “BPA” scenarios. This team has “need” at every position, nearly. “Need” is constantly changing and that is why drafting the best player, according to how the team ranks them, is the only way that works.

  13. metalman5150 - Mar 29, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    I am in love with this Doctson kid. Straight up jump ball connoisseur.

  14. James McFullan - Mar 29, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    Rich, how do the Redskins feel about the LG position?

  15. James McFullan - Mar 29, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Mock draft: Trade with the Broncos for the 31st pick and 63rd pick for the 21st pick. Broncos get Paxton Lynch.
    #31: Andrew Billings NT
    #53: Chris Jones DE/ Kenny Clark DE
    #63: Nick Martin C
    #84: Keith Marshall RB
    #120: Sean Davis SS/CB

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 29, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      That would be so totally ideal.

      I just have a feeling both your choices at #53 will both be gone.

  16. zatoichi7 - Mar 29, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    i predict he will do what he did last year when faced with the same dilemma.

  17. metalman5150 - Mar 29, 2016 at 3:11 PM

    just watch this highlight reel of Doctson catching these jump balls.


    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 29, 2016 at 5:41 PM

      I’m sold on Doctson. Not the biggest need for us, D.T.. is, followed by safety.

      But I’d love to see him making plays in a Redskins jersey.

    • goback2rfk - Mar 29, 2016 at 9:30 PM


  18. lorcanbonda - Mar 29, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    This is a dilemma which is not even remotely likely. This points to how silly pre-draft mocks can get rather than a likely dilemma that McC will face.

    That being said, a choice between Robinson & Treadwell, take the receiver & pick up a DT in the second round.

    Better yet, trade down a few spots to take a DT & CB with that pick.

  19. smotion55 - Mar 30, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    take Treadwell all day long and get best d-lineman to fit in the 2nd round. No way a Lazy Robinson should be graded out as high anyway, he keeps droping

    • James McFullan - Mar 30, 2016 at 5:16 PM

      So in other words you want a slow recievers with bad verticals?
      Comparison with Josh Doctson
      Vertical: Doctson 41″ Treadwell 33.5″
      40: Doctson 4.5 seconds Treadwell 4.63 seconds
      Height: Doctson 6’2″ Treadwell 6’3″
      So Josh Doctson is faster, but even though he is shorter he can get higher in the air. In other words Josh Doctson is better.

      • Trey Gregory - Mar 31, 2016 at 2:04 AM

        And Doctson’s ability to go up and get the ball is remarkable. I honestly can’t figure out why Treadwell is considered the top WR. I don’t know if it’s a SEC thing or if I’m just missing something. Fuller, Coleman, Doctson, Thomas… There’s a few very good prospects in this draft. I’m cool with passing on Treadwell and trying for another receiver in the second. But, like I said, if they take Doctson in the first, I’ll be happy. Cousins, or whoever the QB of the future is, will have a target who can go get the ball for years.

        There’s some interesting later round picks too. I think Sterling Shepard and Jay Lee are interesting depending on when they’re available. But I’m sure there’s some more lower key guys from schools I don’t watch as much. Would love to hear if you guys know of any receivers you would like in the later rounds.

  20. John - Apr 1, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    You guys can talk all you want about the kid from TCU in a conference that does not play defense. He makes nice catches and can jump but I’ll take Treadwell. He reminds me a lot of a Redskins receiver who they said was not fast enough but you had to double cover him on every play. He was of similar size, could catch the ball in traffic and when he retired he held the receiving record for most catches. He wore #81, Art Monk! Archives

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