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

Apr 7, 2016, 5:11 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 7, 21 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 88 days ago. It will be about 157 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 11; 2016 NFL draft 21; Redskins training camp starts 112

Hot topic

The imaginary casino chips have been gathering dust lately so let’s take them out and look at the odds on who the Redskins might pick at No. 21 when the NFL draft gets underway three weeks from today. At they recently took a look at who some recent mock drafts had the Redskins taking. I chose five players who were mentioned most frequently and/or came in the more recent mocks in their collection.

Since it’s been a while, a refresher—it’s $100 in imaginary chips and I spread them out among the possibilities according to the chances I think each one has of actually being the pick.

Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama, $10—Reed and Terrance Knighton are very different players but I think that the Redskins let Pot Roast walk because they wanted more out of the position. Reed is younger and cheaper but I believe the Redskins will think they can do better and get a more versatile player.

Andrew Billings, DL, Baylor, $30—His combination of quickness and power give him a high ceiling. He could play nose tackle, 4-3 tackle, and possibly 3-4 end. A versatile weapon who could be a steal at No. 21.

Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama, $15—Ask me again in a week or two and he could be the favorite or he could draw the minimum $5 bet. He could be a major part of the solution to one of the Redskins’ biggest liabilities last year, rushing defense. But is he good enough to overcome the liability he could be when the other team drops back to pass?

A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama, $20—If Billings is gone, Robinson could be the best defensive lineman left on the board. He’s more versatile than Reed, probably more useful against the pass, although his ability to pressure is in question as well.

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU, $25—I hope I don’t really have to explain why receiver is a big need for the Redskins because Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are both in the final year of their contracts. But I guess I just did. Doctson (6-2) is the big WR the team has been seeking for years.

Stat of the day

Kirk Cousins’ completion percentage last year was 69.8 percent, which is No. 8 on the all-time list for that stat in a single season. Of the QB’s who had better seasons in this category than Cousins did, three are in the Hall of Fame (Baugh, Steve Young, Montana) and one, Drew Brees, is certain to make it there. The other two are Kenny Anderson and Tony Romo.

In case you missed it

  1. abanig - Apr 7, 2016 at 5:49 AM

    $100 Keanu Neal. Gruden’s mentioned they need a safety, Scot has been part of organizations that have drafted safeties high or signed high priced safety. Neal is this drafts sleeper. He’s a throw back to the safeties of a decade ago. He’s got speed and all, but he can also hit. He needs some work on coverages, but most safeties do coming out unless you’re a top 10 FS talent.

    • hail74 - Apr 7, 2016 at 6:53 AM

      I like Neal too but I don’t think I’d bet the full 100 he’ll be our top pick. Also I know we need to improve the D line and I’d be happy with Billings but A’shawn isn’t a Scot type and the rest will more likely than not sit on passing downs, not sure that’s worth a first round pick.

    • Lex - Apr 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

      Hes a big time hitter but i dont see any Safetys as first round talent. Ramsey who is a tweener but wont be avail when we pick. We need to focus on the pass rush an stopping the run imo

      • abanig - Apr 7, 2016 at 8:19 AM

        Yeah, I hear ya. I just wanted to see what people would say. Neal can cover better than what people think. I put Neal in the Bob Sanders/Eric Reid category. A lot of ppl thought they’d go mid to late 2nd also.

      • wvredskins - Apr 7, 2016 at 8:44 AM

        Karl Joseph isn’t 1st round talent? Go and watch his film and I guarantee you will change your opinion.

        • ET - Apr 7, 2016 at 1:57 PM

          Karl Joseph is a pretty great prospect, but doesn’t his torn ACL rightly take him out of 1st round contention? I’d be happy with him as a 3rd pick and content with Joseph as a 2nd rounder. 1st round? No way.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 7, 2016 at 4:35 PM

          From everything I’ve heard, everything I read, not many people expect Joseph to go in the first. I’ve heard radio call after radio call of hosts saying the teams with higher picks should be able to grab Joseph in the second. And the injury has a lot to do with that.

          I haven’t watched every single safety prospect play or even a majority of a few guys snaps. So I’m not qualified to say. I just know ive heard multiple qualified guys, former GMs and such, say that there’s no safety worthy of a first round pick outside of Jalen Ramsey, who will probably play corner.

          That might also have to do with the quality of other players in this draft more than Joseph himself. A lot of people think he will be good. Just not worth taking in the first.

      • renhoekk2 - Apr 7, 2016 at 9:16 AM

        A good tackling safety who has cover ability goes a long way to stopping the run and improving your defense.

    • renhoekk2 - Apr 7, 2016 at 9:10 AM

      I was kind of starting to think the same way All we hear about is the hole at safety since Sean Taylor passed. Maybe trying to replace a top 5 draft talent with mid/late round talent and over the hill FA might have something to do with it. Maybe, just maybe it might require another first round caliber safety to fill the void. I’ll take Neal or Joseph in the first round. With the lack of safety talent that comes out of college today, I doubt either will be around come pick 53. Nobody can say taking safety in the first round isn’t good value after ST21.

      • abanig - Apr 7, 2016 at 9:39 AM

        That’s my thinking. Seems to me several safeties could go in the top half of round 2. It’s pretty clear we don’t want to trade up. I’m sure there is a guy they like more than the others, my choice would be Joseph or Neal because I believe they could develop into a free safety. The others are strong safeties except for Thompson & Powell but they seem like 3rd round picks to me.

        I’m personally afraid of trading back in round 1. The skins need the best player they have on their board in round 1.

        That could be a DL, ILB, S or even a WR, C or RB. My preference would be to get more talent on the defense early in the draft and then, draft the depth guys later for offense.

        • renhoekk2 - Apr 7, 2016 at 1:40 PM

          I would not mind them trading back and getting additional picks. I would think either Neal or Joseph would be available in round 2, just not at 53. They need to upgrade defensive starters and depth at most positions. When you are banking on a converted rookie WR to improve your pass defense that pretty much spells it out as far as the talent and depth on your team. They need to draft WR and RB on offense also. Too many wholes to fill with just 8 picks. I think additional 3rd or 4th round picks will do more for them then additional , 6th and 7th round picks will. So trading back early in the draft is fine with me.

        • abanig - Apr 7, 2016 at 1:46 PM

          If you trade back with you’re 1st pick you’re missing on the best player that you could get in the draft.

          We did this in 2008 when we traded back from 21 to the early second and picked up two seconds. We got Devin Thomas – the WR who cared more abt modeling than football – we got Fred “smoke dog Davis!” Who smoked himself out of the NFL and we took Malcolm Kelly a wide receiver that everyone knew had chronic knee problems.

          Also, Allen did this in 2014. He traded back and missed on Stephon Tuitt and then drafted Murphy. Tuitt just played like a pro bowler last year while Murphy was benched and will be making a position change to DE.

          Learn from the past… Don’t repeat it!

        • John - Apr 7, 2016 at 11:23 PM

          Regarding trading back in 2008 and drafting Murphy. They had Vinnie drafting in 2008 and they lacked a 1st in 2014 because we traded that pick away in the deal for the greatest QB ever….LOL… but at least we were winning off the field.

        • abanig - Apr 8, 2016 at 4:49 AM

          It’s not about who was drafting, it’s that trading back took the best players off the board that we could have taken with out nature pick.

          We passed on Stephon Tuitt, he’s going to be a pro bowler. He was one of my favorite prospects in the entire 2014 draft.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 8, 2016 at 1:49 PM

          That’s my exact fear for trading back this time around. People act like Scot and just pull pro bowlers out of a hat. It’s absurd. There may be a gem or two later, but there’s a reason guys go when they do. If you pass, you’re probably getting a less talented player. McCloughan doesn’t literally see the great players other missed on and draft them in later rounds. A lot of it is calculated luck. Taking a guy based off potential that he may, or may not, realize down the road.

          McCloughan admitted as much with his shotgun approach. He knows the later round guys can bust just as easily as they hit. That’s why they’re drafted in the later rounds. And the further down you go, the more likely they bust. How many McCloughan picks didn’t make the team last year? At least 3, right?

          There’s always the Tom Brady or Terell Davis who makes people think their team can beat the house too. And the Jemarcus Russell or Trent Richardson who make first round picks seems risky. But go back and study the drafts. As a whole, they generally get it pretty close. And some of the later round bloomer’s success really has to do with coaching, situation, and their drive (which is impossible to truly know until they hit the NFL).

          I hope we stay rounds 1-3. Then Scot can shotgun all over the place later. It’s not a guarantee those first 3 picks hit. But I like the odds better.

        • abanig - Apr 8, 2016 at 1:57 PM

          Totally agree. People just fall in love with the “number of picks” well the number doesn’t mean much if guy don’t have a 1st & 2nd round pick.

      • Rich Tandler - Apr 7, 2016 at 10:28 AM

        I can say it. It is arguably the second least valuable position on the defense outside of inside linebacker. Like with any low-impact position, it’s better to have a great safety than a mediocre/bad one but you can have a good defense with mediocre safeties.

        • renhoekk2 - Apr 7, 2016 at 1:28 PM

          So where is the hole in the defense Rich? Obviously they have them. Their pass defense has been terrible the last two seasons. Bottom 10 of the league. Is it cornerback then? It would seem poor pass defense and poor run defense could be helped greatly by improving the talent at safety. Have the players they’ve chosen at safety been that bad that even mediocre doesn’t describe it? Because they haven’t been getting by with what they’ve been putting back there. Every season they seem to trying different players at the position, trying to convert CB to safety even. Why not stop the madness and draft a quality position and put it to rest? Is another 6th round pick going to fix it?

        • ET - Apr 7, 2016 at 2:07 PM

          I’m surprised to see a full $15 on Ragland, as a player with known coverage issues as a “low-impact” inside ‘backer. He seems to have a pretty glaring flaw even before comparing his position’s value to the rest of the defense.

        • Rich Tandler - Apr 7, 2016 at 4:19 PM

          As I explained, I go back and forth on him. And remember, this is just among these 5 players. Obviously if the choices are open to the field the chances would be lower.

      • John - Apr 7, 2016 at 11:01 PM

        No thanks. Take the best available. The only first round safety is the kid at FSU. At pick 21 you might miss out on several better players on the DLine that make your corners and safeties better.
        Given a choice between a Sean Taylor and a JJ Watt, if both were available at the same time, I’d take Watt over and over again. Watt blows up plays at the line and teams have to account for him on every play. Watt being doubled creates opportunities for other rushers.
        The line and linebackers set things up for the secondary. When QBs have less time to throw, they miss receivers and throw picks. You can’t say the same for secondary players.
        Enough of the cries that we need another Sean Taylor.

  2. sidepull - Apr 7, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    I just want to see the Redskins pick a starter for the D with their first pick. There are a lot of nice defenders that can help the Redskins but not all of them are going to start. If they go D line, I want to see the recipient of the 21st pick, stop the run and pressure the QB. Just get it done Scot. My money is on D line, all of it. Last year I lost all my money.

    • Trey Gregory - Apr 8, 2016 at 3:15 AM

      Lol, I told everyone who would listen that there was zero chance McCloughan would take Scherff at 5. Oops. That was a shocker.

      But I’m feeling a lot more confident about a DT this time around. Not because WR doesn’t make sense, it does. There’s just going to be some really good DTs at 21.

      It won’t shock me if we go WR in the first them DT in the second though. Or some other combo. There’s just too many possibilities at 21. But I will be shocked if we don’t have at least either a WR or DT before the third round starts.

  3. smotion55 - Apr 7, 2016 at 6:56 AM

    Sounds like a very good pick for me. automatic upgrade from anybody they have had in the middle since they switched to the 3-4. Hope they get another D-Lineman somewhere else in the draft also. I like Rankins but he has gone way up on al boards. I like the thought of Doctson in the 1st also. He has the best hands I have seen in a long time,

  4. colorofmyskinz - Apr 7, 2016 at 7:02 AM

    I agree. We need Dline with number 21. Look what it did for the Broncos. Manning was horrible at O and the Panthers were unstoppable last year. Look at the impact a Dline can make in the most important game of the year.

    If the person picking watched the Super Bowl last year, it is clear as day! Dline and defense wins championships!!

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 7, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    If we go WR at 21, I’m in agreement with Josh Doctson.

    As for DT, there’s still a number of other guys who could fit the bill. How many would be left at 53 though is a fair question. If we could trade back…

  6. sidepull - Apr 7, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    I would take a Chris Jones even though he got a ticket for driving on suspended. Bullard may be there in a trade back but he wont be there late 2nd.

  7. bangkokben - Apr 7, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    $100 on the field. I’ll back whomever the ‘skins draft there and the five mentioned certainly make sense to some degree. I just don’t trust the mock draft system. Someone not mentioned in any of the final mocks will be selected first by the Redskins.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 7, 2016 at 10:16 AM

      2 round Redskins-only mock draft for ben:

      21. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
      53. Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas

      • sidepull - Apr 7, 2016 at 11:29 AM

        I am sold on Ridgeway. Not hearing a lot about him but watch him and folks will know that is a great pick and a “football player”

      • bangkokben - Apr 7, 2016 at 6:16 PM

        Here’s the part on Scherff/Redskins about a 1/4 down the page:

        Who nailed it: Nobody

        Who was way off: Pete Prisco had Scherff dropping to the Chiefs at No. 18, the farthest away from where he was actually selected.

        Most common landing spot: No. 9, Giants (23 of 61 mocks)

        Notes: Rob Rang actually had Scherff going to Washington in each of his first six mocks, but switched course and dropped him to the Jets at No. 6 in each of the last two weeks. Scherff had a very wide range of individual selections — he went as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 25, but his overall average had a very tight range of 8.4 to 10.3. There was very rarely a consensus on him in any given week — only twice did more than one Crowd member have him in the same slot.

        Good guess. If the 5th pick was hard for the mock crowd, the 21st could be more of a challenge. At this point, I’m suspecting a DB that the vast consensus will say that we reached on but I’m hoping for D-line help.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 8, 2016 at 3:09 AM

          Oh, 21 is damn near impossible to mock. Too much human element involved. The top is a lot easier then one team goes rogue and it all falls apart.

          I just like mocks as a general idea of where players may go. But they’re doing really good if they nail 10 of 32.

        • bangkokben - Apr 8, 2016 at 7:46 AM

          “I just like mocks as a general idea of where players may go.”

          This is my issue. It is GENERAL, but when fans start saying this team reached or this guy or got a steal based on these “generalities,” it smacks of absurdity. These mock “gurus” for the most part are throwing darts.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 8, 2016 at 1:54 PM

          Absolutely. These guys are absolutely throwing darts. Pretty sure you and I could sit down and mock the first round as accurately as Mel Keiper.

          But it’s the later rounds. I don’t have the time, resources, or availability to watch film on the majority of college athletes, interview them, and talk to their coaches. Or talk to the scouts who have. So I appreciate the mocks that go beyond the first round. Especially just to know where some of my favorite college athletes may go later.

          But you’re correct. It’s absurd for a fan to say someone reached based off a mock draft. It’s someone, with a lack of information, criticizing someone, with all the information, based off the opinion of someone, with half the information. Hope that makes sense.

  8. Lex - Apr 7, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    I like Nkemdiche or darron lee but wouldnt be upset with any of the above names

  9. skinsgame - Apr 7, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    $100 on Best Player Available. Scot does not believe in drafting “need”. They’ll draft the BPA regardless of position or try to trade down.

    • sidepull - Apr 7, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      Smart Bet. Sure bet.

    • warpath1 - Apr 7, 2016 at 8:45 AM

      Was Scherf BPA at 7 last year?

      • sidepull - Apr 7, 2016 at 9:05 AM

        Dunno. I was hoping Williams at the time. Redskins got a lot of flack for taking the G/T at that spot and initially it may have been deserved, but he did wind up being a mauler. Not so bad. I think time will tell. Its always easier to pick in hindsight. Who would you have taken in a re-do?

        • warpath1 - Apr 7, 2016 at 9:54 AM

          just indicating that maybe scot will shy away from BPA to nail down a position. That being said, if we added a mauler center #1, then, having an offense that can control the clock with an effective run game will keep our defense off the field and in turn will be less tired. Just a thought.

      • skinsgame - Apr 7, 2016 at 5:48 PM

        The only way to know that for certain is to be inside the organization but, Scot has repeatedly said he drafts BPA, not need.

      • bangkokben - Apr 7, 2016 at 6:05 PM

        He probably was but he was drafted at five. If you believe reports, Donte Fowler then Amari Cooper THEN Scherff on the Redskins board.

      • Trey Gregory - Apr 8, 2016 at 3:05 AM

        BPA vs need is a pretty simple idea actually. Makes sense once you think about it.

        I think they rank these players on a scale that goes up to 9. Prospects like Barry Sanders and Dion Sanders were 9s.

        So let’s say Leonard Williams was a 7 and Brandon Scherff was a 6.5 on McCloughan’s board. Not a ton of difference. That’s where need comes in. Some of these GMs will add an extra point, or half point, to a guy if he’s of a position of need.

        But if a guy is a 3, at a position of great need, and anther guy is a 6, at a position they have established: they’re going with the 6. That’s how need comes into this. The player still has to be worthy of the pick, but need could get them a couple picks higher than usual. Need is just one part of the BPA equation.

  10. cbckbrown - Apr 8, 2016 at 2:13 AM

    I agree with Neal. I think if he or Billings it even someone like Elliot drops they stay put. Otherwise they def trade down

    • Trey Gregory - Apr 8, 2016 at 2:44 AM

      I don’t see Billings, or another very promising DT prospect, not falling to 21. There’s just too many good prospects. And if there is a run on them, that will just push down some of these other guys at different positions worthy of the pick.

      I guess my point is that there are 21 players worth taking in the first round of this draft. We should be able to get a good player at 21. Archives

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