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Need to Know: New mock draft fills key needs for Redskins

Apr 2, 2016, 5:36 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 2, 26 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 83 days ago. It will be about 162 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 16; 2016 NFL draft 26; Redskins training camp starts 117

Hot topics

Here’s a look at five of the most popular posts of the last week here and on

RG3 called Shanny?—Since this was a news story I tried to stay away from opining. But I was sure to note that this was Shanahan’s version of things. As we know, Shanahan’s version of an event and the truth can be total strangers. One indicator that he may have, uh, embellished the story is that the version that he tells makes him look better. That’s the case here so may I recommend taking his version of what transpired with a whole shaker full of salt.

Gruden on unheralded CB Dunbar: ‘He’s going to be a good one’—I thought the Redskins were in big trouble in late November last year when I saw Quinton Dunbar line up across from Odell Beckham when the Redskins and Giants met in a game critical to the Redskins’ playoff hopes. But Dunbar performed just fine and he came up with a key end zone interception in the second half that kept the Giants off the board. It will be interesting to track the progress of the undrafted wide receiver turned cornerback this year.

NFL Mock Draft 7.0: Pondering NFC East decisions—Nose tackle and safety, done and done. I have to think that nearly every fan out there would be pretty happy with the real draft if it turns out like this one (although some might be a little nervious about the Eagles’ top pick). Go take a look.

Can Cousins become top 5 QB?—This one drew more comments than any other post in March. I think a lot of them were confused, believing somehow that Jay Gruden was saying that Cousins is or should be one of the five best QBs in the NFL. His exact quote: “Now all of a sudden when as you’re trying to establish yourself as one of the top five guys in the NFL.” I’m not sure why there is anything controversial there. Should Cousins just settle for getting in the top half, maybe the lower part of the top 10? What happened to your reach should exceed your grasp and all that? Pressure? Come on. Nobody puts more pressure on Cousins than he puts on himself.

Will the Redskins draft a center with their top pick?—I said this in the post and I’ll say it again—them might draft C Ryan Kelly of Alabama at No. 21 but it would be a horrible idea. It’s better to have a good interior O-line than not but spending two straight first-round picks on a guard and a center just isn’t the way to go. Expending high value picks on low value positions is not a good use of the draft.

In case you missed it

  1. bk70 - Apr 2, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Good morning to all and HTTR…
    I’d rather see our 2016 draft look like this:

    Round 1st Choice 2nd Choice
    1 Ryan Kelly C Alabama 6-4 311or Jaran Reed DT Alabama 6-3 311
    2 Vernon Butler DT Louisiana St 6-4 325 or Jeremy Cash SS Duke 6-1 212
    3 Miles Killebrew SS S Utah 6-2 219 or Nick Martin C Notre Dame 6-4 296

    We still need Center, NT and Safety as potential starters in 2016. Also our GM, shy’s away from
    underclassmen, and I think that’s the case with Andrew Billings from Baylor.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      Your 1st round choice is interesting and I know Kelly is becoming a popular selection for the Redskins. The only logic I can see is the fact that with Trent William’s age now is the time to assemble an elite offense line. I like what I saw about Kelly and wouldn’t mind if this was the choice.

      I just don’t know how the team can wait until late round 2 to seek help on the defensive line. Too much talent at that position that could fall to 21. Scot found Preston Smith in the early 2nd round last year but last 2nd is a reach for scooping up another 1st round talent in the 2nd.

      • Trey Gregory - Apr 3, 2016 at 5:23 AM

        @Redskins name: damn man. Get out of my head. I too am not in love with the idea of Kelly in the first, but I could live with it. We have an elite LT and it truly is time to take advantage of him before it’s too late.

        My thing though: We’ve used a first, two thirds, a fourth, and at least one late round pick on Olinemen the past two years. We also signed Lavau and resigned Williams. We’ve invested A LOT into the OLine recently. We also signed OLine guru Billy Callahan. I’m always good with drafting linemen on each side of the ball. But, we already have a pretty damn good, and young, OLine with depth. They should only get better with experience and Callahan’s coaching. Maybe it’s okay to let this position stay as it is for one season.

        But the state of the Dline is about the exact opposite. No recent draft picks (I’m not counting OLBs), no young guys, no elite players, no real depth, and no real DT. Baker is too good at DE to waste on DT. The rest of the guys aren’t starters. So, that’s why I want a first round defensive linemen. We need to build both lines, not just one. Build that DLine, with those awesome OLBs, and the back end of that defense will look so much better.

        Not to mention WR, RB, Corner, Safety, and ILB are concerns. I can live with mediocre running backs by committee and mediocre ILBs. But we’re going to need those other positions REAL bad soon. I would like to see them addressed before another offensive linemen.

        I’ve made it clear I like Billings, but I honestly don’t care who it is. Just go get me a highly rated DT prospect. I get they’re deep and we could get an okay DT in the second. But there’s a big drop off. Some of these guys would be too 10-15 picks in a different draft class. We should get that talent at 21 while we can. I’ll settle for the mediocre center (who can probably develop into a good player after a couple years) in a later round.

  2. bk70 - Apr 2, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Good morning to all and HTTR…
    I’d rather see our 2016 draft look like this:

    Round 1st Choice 2nd Choice
    1 Ryan Kelly C Alabama 6-4 311or Jaran Reed DT Alabama 6-3 311
    2 Vernon Butler DT Louisiana St 6-4 325 or Jeremy Cash SS Duke 6-1 212
    3 Miles Killebrew SS S Utah 6-2 219 or Nick Martin C Notre Dame 6-4 296

    We still need Center, NT and Safety as potential starters in 2016. Also our GM, shy’s away from
    underclassmen, and I think that’s the case with Andrew Billings from Baylor.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 2, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    This is my first version of a mock draft for the Walter Football contest.

    I have us taking Kenny Clark. But I’d love to see McGlue trade back a few spots (enough to pick up an extra 3rd rounder, for instance) and draft Andrew Billings.

  4. garg8050 - Apr 2, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    The more I think about and hear things, the more I’m convinced he will move down in the draft, possibly 10-15 spots, to pick up an extra 3rd, or possibly a 4th and a 6th/7th. I still see a DL being the first pick. After that, it’s anybody’s guess. The ‘Skins still seem comfortable, at least publicly, with a Lichtensteiger/Long duo at Center. I do see them taking a safety, RB, and developmental QB at some point in the draft as well. Wouldn’t mind seeing them take a Center in the 3rd or 4th round. Of course, that would mean Reiter from last year didn’t pan out.

    • captblood3000 - Apr 2, 2016 at 8:46 AM

      Reiter wasn’t big enough. They have him in the weight room.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 2, 2016 at 10:36 AM

      How can you not see DL being the first pick?

      It’s not only the potential biggest need (Safety maybe a close 1st) but it’s also a very strong draft class at DL. Everyone including the NFL scouts have reported on the many talented DL’s coming out this year. With Galette that provides some flexibility at OLB where Murphy or, my choice, Smith move to DE for many downs next season. However NT is a tremendous void on this team right now and with the plethora of talented DTs this teams is most likely going to be in an enviable position, even at 21st, in selecting from at least a few strong candidates. The team is not trading back unless the run on the DL is so strong in this draft it leaves without a future linchpin in that position. Even IF the DL run happens then that leaves some potential strong ILBs or maybe a DB that Scot wouldn’t expect to fall to 21. I just to don’t the logic in trading back at this point.

      • Shonndon - Apr 2, 2016 at 1:04 PM

        Thats the reason u can wait to draft d line because theirs so many of them…but centers, rb, and safeties u have a big drop off after the top 2 or 3

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 2, 2016 at 1:36 PM

          The difference between a late 1st round caliber defense line and a late 2nd is huge. That’s like the difference between a perennial starter and a life time backup. The odds of rebuilding the defense line or even getting instant contributors drop off significantly. If the selection was early 1st and 2nd round like last season then you have a point. Also there are few if any valued safeties to get in the 1st two rounds. It’s a bad year for safeties in the draft. As for center, the 2nd or later is far more logical since even the top centers are rarely drafted in the 1st. Even Ryan Kelly could easily fall to the 2nd round. In the end it’s still best available but, the glut of talented defense line is better to be had earlier than later and especially in this draft.

      • Trey Gregory - Apr 3, 2016 at 5:28 AM

        I agree with the drop off in talent.

        And we’re also not just drafting a DT to play NT. We should be targeting a guy who’s good enough to play 0 technique but then move over and play in a 4 man front. We need that versatility. We can get that in the fist. Sure, anybody can technically move positions. But I mean a guy who excels in it. Someone who will play two positions at a high level. That’s why we need a first round DT in my opinion. Too much value and too big of a need to pass on. I see at least 3 guys who might be around at 21 and are that versatile. We should get one.

  5. colorofmyskinz - Apr 2, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Positions of need in order of priority:
    1- NT
    2- DT
    3- S
    4- C
    5- CB
    6- RB
    7- QB
    8- WR

    Now I know this is not necessarily draft order. But in order to understand your draft strategy and draft trade strategy you first have to develop your positional need in order of priority.

    My guess is they take DT at number 21, S/NT/C at number 2 and trade number 3 to GB for their 3-4th rounds picks.

    That way we get 4 picks in 4 th round. And we get 5th, 6th, and 2- 7ths

    Then you will see us pick up almost every position I listed before we leave the 5th round.

    Then we still have 3 picks.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM

      The team still runs a 3-4, so there is no DT position to draft on. U

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM

        Unless you are thinking the team is moving to a 4-3

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 2, 2016 at 11:07 AM

          The team is in a 4-3 for most of the defensive snaps already.

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 2, 2016 at 11:09 AM

          What they want to find is someone stout enough to be a 3-4 NT, but with the athleticism and stamina to stay on the field when they go to their nickel package.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 2, 2016 at 11:51 AM

          That’s mostly in Nickel situations. The 3-4 is still their base defense on 1st and most 2nd downs.

      • Trey Gregory - Apr 3, 2016 at 5:31 AM

        I do that too. I say DT when I mean NT. I should probably clarify. But I do want a guy who can play both if possible.

  6. COSkinsFan - Apr 2, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Those picks would satisfy some big more immediate needs. If Doctson, Treadwell, Apple or Alexander are available at 21, I would take whoever I thought best from those four and wait till the 2nd for the dline. Hopefully our gm can work a good trade down scenario. Who knows?Scott hasn’t been answering my calls lately Lol. After last years draft its nice to know our team will be improved after the draft!!! HTTR!!!!!

  7. Mr.moneylover - Apr 2, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Jay gruden not gonna hold nothing back from kirk cousins this year last year he admitted he was bein to safe with the play calling because the two new O-linemen but this year I expect the play calling to be way better something Similar to what we seen at the end of last year.. We actually seen how aggressive jay gruden play calling was…I’m just hoping kirk cousins make progress

    • bowlregard - Apr 2, 2016 at 1:10 PM

      They got more aggressive after the first Dallas game. That’s when things took off. If they’ve got another gear then great. Katie bar the door.

      • sidepull - Apr 2, 2016 at 5:01 PM

        More no huddle would be nice.

  8. robert herrera - Apr 2, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    I still believe getting a great defensive lineman in the draft. Its wise to create a young group of talented hungry linemen and linebackers. Good luck redskins management.

    • sidepull - Apr 2, 2016 at 5:06 PM


    • bangkokben - Apr 2, 2016 at 5:27 PM

      Exactly. Where is the mantra: “You build a team on the line of scrimmage.” ? Seems like most folks were content with that being on the offensive side of the ball. The Redskins have drafted just three d-linemen in the past ten drafts. Jarvis Jenkins in the 2nd round in 2011 and two DTs in 2006 (Anthony Montgomery round 5 and Kedric Golston round 6). Because of this disregard, the Redskins have had to pay rotational guys like Jean-Francois and Kendall Reyes $3M/year instead of the $500-$800K that a draft pick makes. The Redskins have had to go to Free Agency for Cofield, Bowen, Carriker, Hatcher, Paea, Jean-Francois, Knighton, and Reyes. Now that this draft is deep (but not infinite), it is time to fix this issue.

  9. Jlb12300 - Apr 2, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Rich I was wondering have you put together a mock draft or thought about who you think the Redskins will choose in the first 4 rounds. I think that would be a good read.

  10. pyroman99 - Apr 2, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    I’m not going to get specific with draft specifics – after the first few picks, nobody gets it right, due to trades and various weird decisions from the other 31 teams. So, I’ll just state where I think BPA and the Skins’ needs align.

    1) DT – preferably someone who is stout enough to play NT in the base 3-4 and athletic enough to help in the 4-3 we seem to play 70% of the time. The experts say the D-line is a strength of the draft – why wait if there’s a guy at #21 who has Pro Bowl potential? (Note: It’s said that Scot doesn’t like underclassmen, but nobody says why. Could be he feels they lack physical / emotional maturity, and/or there’s simply less film to evaluate. IMO, if Scot thinks a guy’s really good, it won’t matter.)

    2) DE – also with versatility in both the 3-4 and 4-3 against the run and the pass. We need youth here. I’m not sold on Trent Murphy – he seems like the classic “tweener” who never quite finds a positional home.

    3) DB (CB or S) – with Culliver likely out for awhile, we need another CB, and you can never have too many against 4-receiver sets. With Goldson gone, nobody among many candidates has really stepped up to grab either S position. Late round CBs rarely seem to work out as anything other than ST players (yeah, I know about Dunbar).

    4) WR – I’d look for a largish possession type guy as a potential successor to Garcon. Must be able to block. We have a speed guy in Ross, but no big WR.

    5) RB – I’m not quite sold on Matt Jones due to injury and fumbling, but I like what he represents – good size / speed, and can catch. I’d put a premium of receiving ability – defenses often seem to lost sight of RBs in the shuffle, and a short pass into space can turn into big gains. IMO, this was one reason AlMo was let go.

    6) ILB – What we have is Sort of OK, but no better. But except for the rare guy with obvious play-making ability, this is really hard to project. A young backup / development guy would be useful.

    7) C – A lot of people are clamoring for this, but I see it as a relatively low priority unless one of the top candidates falls into our lap. Lets see how the Lichty / Long experiment works. But please, dump LeRib – does anyone really think he’s going to improve on knowing snap counts and being accurate with shotgun snaps?

    8) QB – A development QB would be useful, but only if there’s someone who really shows a glimpse of NFL potential. Otherwise, just get a FA body for camp purposes.

    ALL of these ideas are completely contingent on who’s available when we draft, and what sorts of trade deals Scot manages to make.

    Also, remember that there are essentially 2 more FA periods: a) post June 1 thru training camp (goodbye to Andre Roberts), and b) pre-season cuts through Week 1. There will be guys released who could be useful.

  11. James McFullan - Apr 2, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    My mock draft
    21: Josh Doctson WR TCU
    53: Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio St
    84: Nick Martin C Notre Dame
    120: Maliek Collins DT Nebraska
    158: Vernon Adams Jr QB Oregon
    187: Fabian Moreau CB UCLA
    232: Keivarae Russell CB Notre Dame
    242: Quinton Jefferson DT Maryland

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 2, 2016 at 7:09 PM

      James. Not to be mean or anything, but you can’t expect people to take your mock draft seriously with Ezekiel Elliott late in the 2nd round.

      • James McFullan - Apr 2, 2016 at 7:46 PM

        I know, I’m just posting the results from my mock draft on

  12. bangkokben - Apr 2, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    Here are the free agents the Redskins have signed this year, including their own, and their respective cap numbers:

    $19,953,000 Kirk Cousins QB
    $3,000,000 Kendall Reyes DE
    $1,814,583 David Bruton S
    $1,800,000 Colt McCoy QB
    $1,100,000 Mason Foster ILB
    $1,100,000 Junior Galette OLB
    $975,000 Will Blackmon CB/S
    $850,000 Tress Way P
    $680,000 Josh LeRibeus C/G
    $675,000 Chris Thompson RB
    $675,000 Terrence Garvin OLB
    $635,000 Logan Paulsen TE
    $625,624 Ziggy Hood DE
    $620,000 Kendric Golston DT/DE
    $600,000 Will Compton ILB

    The Redskins also re-signed Duke Ihenacho, S, and signed TE Vernon Davis. Both of their contracts are not yet up on Other reports have Ihenacho’s contract at $675,000. Archives

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