HAPPY DRAFT DAY! For the first time since 2011, the Redskins will have a selection during the NFL Draft's opening round. And after a very promising free agency period that drew acclaim from around football circles, first year general manager Scot McCloughin will continue to overhaul the Redskin roster through the draft.
During his pre-draft press conference Monday, McCloughin alluded that he wanted to acquire more picks, under the right circumstances, by trading down. So, when I put my GM hat on for this mock, I did exactly what McCloughin wants to/should do; trade back as many times as possible to get as many picks as possible. In my mock, I traded back four times and netted 12 picks total, plus a fifth rounder for next year. Make this happen for real tonight, GMSM.
Cleveland Browns get:
Round 1 - Pick 5
Washington Redskins get:
Round 1 - Pick 12
Round 2 - Pick 11
Round 3 - Pick 13
Round 1 - Pick 12 (from Cleveland): OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska
This pick could draw from criticism as Randy Gregory, while talented, comes with some character issues. A failed drug test at the combine back in February didn't help improve his reputation. But at 12, the Redskins would be foolish to pass on this kind of talent.
Gregory would be an ideal fit as an edge rusher in Washington. The former Cornhusker has a dominant first step yet under-rated brute power to move and shed blockers in his way. Greg Cosell from SI's MMQB podcast said Randy Gregory has similar traits to future Hall of Famer Jason Taylor. If Gregory can sniff what Taylor did in his career, this would be a slam dunk of a pick.
Minnesota Vikings get:
Round 2 - Pick 6
Washington Redskins get:
Round 2 - Pick 13
Round 4 - Pick 11
Round 2 - Pick 11 (from Cleveland): OT D.J. Humphries, Florida
Right tackle has been an issue for the Redskins since Jon Jansen was cut in 2009. Tyler Polumbus won't be/shouldn't be back in 2015, Morgan Moses isn't ready to start and is coming off a season ending foot injury and Tom Compton is likely better suited as a back up. Drafting D.J. Humphries would finally solidify that spot.
At 6'5 307 lbs., Humphries has the type of size that McCloughlin looks for from his linemen. NFL.com described the former Gator as a player with a "Nasty play demeanor with legitimate toughness to his game. Plays through and past the whistle. Stays cranky." He would be a day 1 starter and would provide bookends that the Redskins desperately need.
Round 2 - Pick 13 (from Minnesota): CB/S Quinten Rollins, Miami (OH)
Quinten Rollins is my personal favorite prospect in the draft. He was a four-year basketball player for Miami (OH) before using his remaining semester of eligibility to play a season of college football. All he did was intercepted seven passes and be named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Rollins dominated Senior Bowl practices, impressing scouts on hand as both a cornerback and a free safety. His seamless transition from the hardwood to the gridiron is due to his outstanding athleticism and natural instincts. Those traits would make him an ideal fit as a free safety, another spot where the Skins have been looking for answers for some time now. Dashon Goldson's prescene means Rollins can have somewhat of a 'redshirt' year to become acclimated to the new position.
Philadelphia Eagles get:
Round 3 - Pick 13
Washington Redskins get:
Round 3 - Pick 20
Round 5 - Pick 9
Round 3 - Pick 5: RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Another Nebraska product, another home run (hopefully). Ameer Abdullah is exactly what the Redskins wanted when they drafted Chris Thompson from Florida State in 2013; a speedy change-of-pace back that can spell Alfred Morris, play on third downs and can score from any place at anytime.
Despite his smaller stature, Abdullah is a pinball on the football field. He has incredible balance and plays behind his pads, breaking far more tackles than a guy his size should. He also showed superhuman durability, racking up 993 touches in his career (813 carries, 107 kick/punt returns 73 catches) while shattering most of Nebraska's yardage records.
Round 3 - Pick 20 (from Philadelphia): WR Rashad Greene, Florida State
The Redskins need at receiver isn't as pressing at first glance, but if you look a little deeper, it would behoove the team to start reloading sooner than later. Pierre Garcon's production took a major hit and is due over $18 million over the next two seasons. Plus he turns 30 before the beginning of the 2016 season. Andre Roberts had a disappointing 2014 and really isn't a good fit in the slot or as a return man. And with three receivers from last year's roster now gone (Leonard Hankerson, Sanatana Moss, Aldrick Robinson) the Redskins have to restock.
Rashad Greene is another record-setter, becoming the Seminoles' all-time leader in receptions last year. His silky-smooth route running and effortless stride makes him a dangerous intermediate receiving threat. Greene should be the type of guy that makes a killing in the middle of the field as a slot receiver.
Seattle Seahawks get: Round 4 Pick 6
Washington Redskins get:
Round 4 - Pick 13
Round 7 - Pick 31
Future Round 5 Pick
Round 4 - Pick 11 (from Minnesota): CB Senquez Golson, Ole Miss
Golson could be the steal of the draft for the Redskins if available. Many teams will shy away cause of his size and their fear is justified. 5'9 176 lbs. is tiny for a cornerback. But Golson is a baller witha nose for the football.
The Ole Miss product turned down a lucrative baseball contract to play college baseball and became one of the more explosive players in the SEC. Golson had nine interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 2014, en route to being named unanimously a first team All-American, He is fast, physical, fluid and uber competitive. He may be overmatched with the taller receivers, but he would be an ideal slot corner with the ability to stay in the hip pocket of quicker guys or blitzing off the edge. While the futures of DeAngelo Hall and Tracy Porter in doubt, Golson would be a nice addition for future seasons.
Round 4 - Pick 13 (from Seattle): DT Gabe Wright, Auburn
Gabe Wright reminds me of a poor man's Stephen Paea. He has room for growth as a run-stuffer, but his lightning quick burst and quick hands makes him a perfect fit as a three-technique in the 3-4. With Paea, Jason Hatcher and Ricky Jean-Francois on the roster at defensive end, Wright could be a better-than-average rotational player. With Hatcher's inability to stay on the field, Wright has the potential to start in his abscene.
Round 5 - Pick 5: G Mark Glowinski, West Virginia
You didn't think I'd do a mock without including someone from my alma-mater on the list, did you? Even if Mark Glowinski weren't my second favorite Mountaineer behind Kevin White, this would still be a good pickup for the Redskins.
Shawn Lauvao has been a bust, and an expensive one at that, at left guard. Chris Chester is no longer a NFL starter and still may get cut before the season. The team has hopes for 2014 third rounder Spencer Long, but in my opinion, how good could he possibly be if he couldn't beat out Lauvao and Chester for playing time? Don't even get me start on Josh LeRibeus.
Glowinski is a former tackle that can play anywhere on the line except left tackle. He has an immensely-strong upper body with surprisingly nimble feet. He pulls with ease and has the range to get to the second level, which will come in handy in Bill Callahan's new running scheme.
Round 5 - Pick 9 (from Philadelphia): WR Stefon Diggs, Maryland
Go re-read what I said about Rashad Greene. It goes double for this Maryland native. He could also give the Redskins the return man they've needed since Brian Mitchell. Yeah...its been that long.
Round 6 - Pick 6: TE Rory “Busta” Anderson, South Carolina
Boom or bust pick here with Rory Anderson, but what a boom it'll be if he can overcome several shortcomings. Injuries to hamstring and bicep has kept him off the field for the Gamecocks. He underwent surgery to repair a torn bicep in 2014. That and an occasional case of the dropsies has hurt his draft stock.
That being said, Anderson could reward a late-round gamble by the Redskins, or any team for that matter. He has all the natural receiving ability of a wide receiver with the size and blocking ability of a tight end. He has what seems to be an unlimited catch radius, using his 6'6 frame to snag any ball near him. If healthy, Anderson would be an excellent movable chess piece in an offensive scheme that could create nightmares for defenses.
Round 7 - Pick 5: OLB J.R. Tavai, Southern Cal
Spent only one year as a full-time starter for USC due to an assortment of injuries and is considered a tweener by most scouts. Still, J.R. Tavai is a tough-nosed player with a motor that just doesn't quit. His athleticism, or lack there of, will probably limit his chances or developing into a starter as a pro, but he has the football IQ and knack for being around the ball that coaches rave about. I think he would have the chance to stick on the practice squad or back of the roster player and contribute on special teams.
Round 7 - Pick 31 (from Seattle): CB Dexter McDonald, Kansas
The Redskins had him in for a pre-draft visit a few weeks ago, and if you watch his highlight tape, you'll see what of why that is. Unheralded by most draft boards, Dexter McDonald is a long and physical cornerback that NFL teams look for. He doesn't have ideal long-range speed to cover down the field and his technique will need some work, but he is great in jam coverage when asked to get his hands on a receiver. Could be a fit in cover-2 base scheme.