Round 1, Pick 17 (17) Malik McDowell, NT/DE, Michigan State
The Redskins get the disruptive force up front that they've desperately needed for years. Malik McDowell not only possesses the talent to become an All-Pro player in the NFL, but has the versatility to dominate anywhere along the Redskins’ front. The former Michigan State Spartan is as adept at collapsing a pocket with brute strength and explosion as he is getting skinny to slither though gaps in the run game. His technique can be sloppy and rumors have been floated about McDowell’s less-than-ideal work ethic. But I believe in Jim Tomsula, in addition to strong leadership in the locker room, to motivate him.
Round 2, Pick 17 (49) Budda Baker, FS, Washington
Anyone that has paid attention to my Twitter feed over the past two months knows my affinity for Budda Baker. Taking the former Washington Husky at pick No. 49 addresses to glaring needs for the Redskins; free safety and nickel corner. Baker's range covers every blade of grass on the field as a ball hawking single high safety. But he is equally proficient when sliding into the slot to lock down his receiver. The fact that he is also a great tackler despite & an effective blitzer despite his size (5'10, 195 lbs.) is a bonus.
Round 3, Pick 17 (81) Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
If we're talking just football, hes one of the best players, regardless of position in the entire draft. But we can't have a discussion about Joe Mixon without acknowledging the off the field domestic violence incident that has been documented and poured over for months now. Off the field exploits aside, this is the back that Jay Gruden has longed for since he arrived in Washington. Mixon would be a great asset in the Redskins outside zone running scheme, as he can put one foot in the dirt and be the secondary in the blink of an eye. He also is an excellent receiver, creating instant separation from linebackers and safeties ill-equipped to guard him. While his between the tackle running is questionable, Mixon would be a perfect fit in the Redskins search for a do-it-all back.
Round 4, Pick 7 (114) Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
The Redskins showed legit interest in Alabama’s Ryan Anderson pre draft, visiting him in Tuscaloosa earlier this month. Instead, they opt for his teammate Tim Williams at pick 114. Williams isn't the complete & well rounded outside linebacker that Ryan Anderson is, in my opinion. But he brings something that the Redskins lack off the edge, which is a lightning quick first step. The All-SEC performer racked up 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons despite only starting two games as a senior. If the Redskins can get around several red flags with Williams (misdemeanor gun charge, several failed drug tests while at Alabama), then he would give the defense an instant boost as a situational edge rusher.
Round 4, Pick 16 (116) Alex Anzalone, ILB, Florida
The addition of Zach Brown should end the Redskins’ search for more talent at inside linebacker. In selecting Alex Anzalone, the Redskins would be getting player that always flashed, but never quite reached his potential at Florida due to injuries. Anzalone's Senior Bowl week and solid combine performance refreshed our memory of what he is capable of when he stays on the field. The former Gator has the fluid hips and quick burst to track down ball carriers from sideline to sideline. He has the ability to take on & effortlessly shed blockers in the run game but also has the athleticism to drop into coverage and cover tight ends up the seam.
Round 5, Pick 10 (154) Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee
Third straight SEC player could become the steal of this mock draft. Josh Malone went to Tennessee as a decorated five-star recruit. His first two years were somewhat underwhelming, but he burst on the scene with a dynamic junior season in 2016 (coinciding with quarterback Josh Dobbs improved play). Malone has the desired size that the Redskins are looking for from their wide receivers (6'3, 208 lbs.) to box out receivers and the sneaky speed (4.40 forty time) to run away from them in the open field. He tends to let balls come to his chest instead of high pointing, which will be problematic in the pros, but pick 154 is great value for a wideout with a sky high ceiling and oozes potential.
Round 6, Pick 17 (201) Xavier Woods, FS, Louisiana Tech
Everyone remember Kyshoen Jarrett? Redskins safety drafted in 2015 whose career was cut short due to nerve damage in his neck. Well, meet his clone, Xavier Woods. Their statures and skillsets are almost identical in every way. The three time All-Conference USA performer out of Louisiana Tech always is around the ball and making huge plays. He tallied 14 interceptions, six forced fumbles and 20.5 tackles for loss in his career, a testament to Woods' nose for the football. Much like Jarrett, Woods did not allow his size to stop him from becoming an enforcer on the field, delivering big hit after big hit. What he lacks in athleticism he more than makes up for with his high football IQ and playmaking ability.
Round 6, Pick 25 (209) Jarron Jones, NT, Notre Dame
Jarron Jones is the quintessential boom or bust prospect. Jones is an athletic freak with early round potential. When he turns it on (like he did against Miami) he was just about as dominant as any defensive linemen in the country. However, the injury concerns are poor work ethic has relegated him to a late round draft choice. If Jones can get his mind right, stay healthy and allow himself to be motivated and coached up, the Redskins have nose tackle that could be an immediate contributor. If he gets injured or falls out of favor with the Redskins coaching staff due to continued laziness, at least it only cost a sixth rounder.
Round 7, Pick 2 (220) Will Likely, CB, Maryland
It was impossible to ignore Likely as he was routinely one of the best players on the field, even when Maryland faced the Michigan and Ohio State's on their schedule. Despite his diminutive stature, Maryland’s Will Likely was going to be a day two draft selection. But a blown ACL, in addition for his 5'7 180 lbs. frame makes his draft stock very complicated. If Likely can get healthy and return to form, he would certainly be worth a flier selection. The former Terp is a twitchy athlete that did just about everything for Maryland, playing corner, safety, kick/punt returner and even moonlighting as a wide receiver and running back. Taking a chance on Likely this late in the draft could produce get dividends as slot corner and return man.
Round 7, Pick 17 (235) Elijah Lee, ILB/OLB, Kansas State
As a WVU Mountaineer alum, I've watched the former Wildcat work over my team each of the past three years before declaring early for the draft. Elijah Lee has played both inside and outside backer during his time in Manhatten, Kansas, performing admirably at both. Sticking to the there of adding more speed to the defense, the versatile linebacker has plenty of that, whether he is coming strong off the edge to get the quarterback or perusing a ball carrier on the opposite side of the field. Though Lee is a tad undersized to play inside linebacker (223 lbs.), he has the speed and hit-first ask questions later mentality to excel on special teams while developing as a defensive contributor.