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Need to Know: Would the Redskins take D-linemen 1-2 in the draft?

Apr 11, 2016, 4:55 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 11, 17 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 92 days ago. It will be about 153 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 7; 2016 NFL draft 17; Redskins training camp starts 108

Fan question of the day

This is an easy one if you’re talking about taking two defensive linemen at some point in the draft. It’s easy to see Scot McCloughan grabbing one early as everyone predicts they will and then going back and taking another one late Saturday afternoon, especially if he manages to deal for some additional picks.

The more interesting question is if McCloughan would draft multiple defensive linemen during the first two days of the draft, say in the first and second rounds or in the first and third.

With the depth at the position in this year’s draft it’s entirely possibly that a D-lineman will be the best player on the board in both the first and second rounds. McCloughan constantly preaches taking the best football player regardless of position. Would he pull the trigger a second time?

There certainly is room for two young defensive linemen on the roster. The Redskins will probably carry six. Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean Francois, and Kendall Reyes are locks. That leaves room for two more and a team that has drafted just one defensive lineman in the first four rounds of the draft since 1998 (Jarvis Jenkins, 2012) could certainly use the injection of youth that two top-100 picks would provide.

That said, I think it’s possible but unlikely. Need does factor into the equation when evaluating who the “best available” and that alone could preclude the Redskins from doubling up at one position. If they consider a D-lineman in the first any other DL in the next two or three rounds he would have to be the best available by a considerable margin in order to get picked. Should it be close McCloughan would likely go with a player at another position of need.

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

Stat of the day

Since the 1970 merger the Redskins have had 24 first-round draft picks. The position they have drafted the most is defensive back. The six they have drafted are Darrell Green (1983), Tom Carter (1993), Champ Bailey (1999), Sean Taylor (2004), Carlos Rogers (2005), and LaRon Landry (2007). Taylor and Landry were safeties, the other four were cornerbacks. They have also draft four quarterbacks and four wide receivers in the first round.

In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Apr 11, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    Dline, edge rusher, OLB are the most important positions to make a large difference in playoff results. I think Grudens and Scots stance is you can never have enough at those positions. Defense wins championships.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 11, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    Someone like Chris Jones, than a nose tackle.

    Or maybe NT first, then Jonathan Bullard. I could see DL with 21 and 53 happening.

  3. cbckbrown - Apr 11, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    Guarantee they take 2 before the end of the 5th, maybe 4th. I’m thinking someone in the first two and then someone who is really solid but because of the dline depth this year falls like Matt I. From Temple. Probably get him as a starter in the 4th

    • abanig - Apr 11, 2016 at 8:44 AM

      The only DL they’ll draft in round 1 that will be a starter is a NT. The skins actually have decent to good starters at DE with Baker & Paea

      • volzy3000 - Apr 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

        I agree with both of you. Im not as excited about picking DL in the first anymore, since all the talk about most of them not being three-down players… combining that with your point abanig, the only DL player I would love for us to draft in the first is Vernon Butler (and Sheldon Rankins, but he’ll probably be gone when we pick), since he is said to have the potential to rush the passer while clogging up the middle. Id be very happy to see them use the first pick on something other than DL though, since there are so many good DL players that should still be available later on…

  4. abanig - Apr 11, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    They should but probably won’t

  5. bangkokben - Apr 11, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    With twelve d-linemen on the roster, the four “locks;” and then two vets with experience, leadership, and low cap hits (Golston & Hood); it is hard to see TWO top draft picks getting selected even if the vets are just insurance in case of camp injury. Then there is the fact that there is no true nose, the party line of: “maybe we don’t need a true nose,” and the possibility of moving Murphy and/or Smith to end and suddenly you have perhaps 14 d-linemen which makes one think are they considering a four man front? Even then, Kerrigan would be an end not an OLB. Suffice it to say, there is already a log jam of mediocrity at d-line and I expect at least three cuts after the draft. Guys like James Gayle, Christo Bilukidi, Kamal Johnson, Anthony Johnson, and even Jerrell Powe have to be sweating the draft.

    Same goes for the linebackers – 16 already on the roster. That with the 12 DL and the team theoretically has four strings of the front seven. At least the LBs can provide special teams bodies. With just 12 DBs, the more I think someone like Eli Apple may be the ‘skins first pick. At least the team will draft a CB, S, and sign a bunch of UDFAs. Lastly, with there only being 30 offensive players and the need to get this group to 43, it will interesting to see how many of that 13 will be draft picks.

    • ET - Apr 11, 2016 at 1:01 PM

      “Suffice it to say, there is already a log jam of mediocrity at d-line and I expect at least three cuts after the draft.”

      It really IS a logjam of mediocrity—plenty of hard-working, serviceable players (nothin’ wrong with that), and nobody truly exceptional. I personally like our DL personnel overall, but a difference maker would be a welcome addition. Unlikely to find a true difference maker at 21 or later, but a good pick will raise the overall talent level of that front three/four.

      That said, I’d be happy if Scot tries to address the shortcomings at CB and safety with at least one of the higher picks. And I think that’ll happen in some fashion.

      • bangkokben - Apr 11, 2016 at 1:13 PM

        I am in complete accord. If a difference maker can be had there, get him. J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald were not exactly seen as difference makers, although they were both taken earlier. It is possible that a difference making DL could be taken there considering the depth but even if the pick simply has more talent, it will help the overall unit.

  6. renhoekk2 - Apr 11, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Noah Spence is one of the best EDGE guys in the draft. I wonder if Scot would take him in the first, and go DL in the second. Not saying “Should” take him, just what if. He is considered a top 15 talent but was kicked out of Ohio State for multiple failed drug tests while there. Has passed every drug test since enrolling at E.Kentucky and seems to have turned it around. There are no guarantees that Gallette will be the same player after injury, or P Smith will take the next step. Orakpo had his best sack season as a rookie, and never took that step.

  7. smotion55 - Apr 11, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    This GM talks about both lines a lot so it would not surprise me if he goes DL, C, DL with the 1st three picks, He might even take Kelly in the 1st . At # 21 Kelly is not as far fetched now as I thought before, some mocks have him going before us so we will see. I would take the best free safety available in the 2nd round after reviewing the roster. I believe Jarrett and his shoulder are not coming back any time soon if he comes back at all this year or ever for that matter. No FS on the roster at all that is healthy.
    1st D-Line
    2nd Free Safety or SS at least
    3rd D-line- WR-RB
    4th Center – WR-RB

  8. smotion55 - Apr 11, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Question for Rich. Would it be possible they draft a free safety in the 1st round at all .

  9. hotpicksblog - Apr 11, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    my opinion is that we won’t know the outcome of the 1st round until its over…..and that looking at the players in the draft is like a kid in a candy store looking at all the candy, mouth water, smelling the sweet sugar BUT……

    the kid only has enough money for ONE piece……..Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  10. sidepull - Apr 11, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    I have wanted to see them pu a NT since they have instituted the 3-4. I am not sure they are at all concerned about it. I am starting to believe that they may pass on any DL until maybe the 3rd. I like Ridgeway. Lots of upside and I like UDFA or 7th, Zimmer. Could def see them snagging DB or WR in the first. C in the 2nd. Archives

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