With the first waive or two of free agency complete, it’s time for a Washington Redskins mock draft. The Redskins have acquired Terrell McClain, DJ Swearinger, Stacy McGee and Terrelle Pryor so far in free agency. This will allow the Redskins front office to take a best player available approach during the 2017 NFL draft.
Round One (17) TRADE Miami Dolphins (22): Christian McCaffrey RB, Stanford: If Bruce Allen is good at anything, he’s good at dealing picks. There have been multiple times during Allen’s tenure where he has dealt picks in what looked like a lopsided affair. The Redskins are in a prime trade back spot, the Dolphins and Buccaneers have shown interest in OJ Howard and David Njoku. In this scenario, the Dolphins jump the Buccaneers in order to get their hands on one of the premier tight ends. At the end of the shuffle the Redskins nab their running back of the future in McCaffrey. McCaffrey is currently the 14th ranked overall player on my big board and provides value as a runner and receiver. McCaffrey is the perfect fit in Gruden’s west coast scheme, he can tote the rock on all three downs and even split out wide in empty sets. Pryor, Doctson, Crowder, Reed and McCaffrey would wreak havoc on opposing linebackers and secondaries.
Round Two (49): Chris Wormley 5tech, Michigan: The Redskins opted to bring in two big time run stuffers and let Chris Baker walk, which is fine. Although McClain and McGee are nice pieces in a defensive line, they still need to address the 5tech (base 3-4 end) position. Wormley played out of position at Michigan and filled an EDGE rusher style of role. Wormley projects much better as a 5tech who possesses the athletic ability to shift inside to the 3tech postion in sub-packages. Wormley, McClain, McGee is an upgrade from the 2016 starting rotation.
Round Three (81): Brad Kaaya QB, Miami: The Redskins can’t force Kirk Cousins to stay in DC and this pick might add more fuel to that fire, but you have to prepare for life without Cousins. Call me crazy but I see some Brady like traits in Kaaya. Unathletic? Check. Struggles with interior pressure? Check. Extremely accurate up until 20 yards down field? Check. Smartest guy on the field? Check. I’m not saying Kaaya is Brady, because he isn’t. Brady has developed in to what looks like the best quarterback of all time. What I am saying is that if you put Kaaya behind a good interior offensive line, in a quick passing game system he has the chance to succeed.
Round Three (97) FROM Miami Dolphins: Cameron Sutton CB, Tennessee: Nickel corner back is probably the most underrated need for the Washington Redskins and the entire NFL. The NFL has evolved into a dynamic passing league, forcing defenses to play in their nickel and dime packages for 70% of the snaps. You need a nickel corner back in today’s NFL and the Redskins desperately need one. Kendall Fuller doesn’t belong on the inside and Cameron Sutton can assume that role immediately. Sutton possesses the fluidity and COD skills to mirror the quickest of quick receivers.
Round Four (114): Jalen Reeves-Maybin LB, Tennessee: Could the Redskins starting linebackers use an upgrade? Sure. However, I do believe that Will Compton and Mason Foster can be much better behind a serviceable front four. Su’a Cravens has officially moved to safety for the 2017 season. Reeves-Maybin can assume the dime-linebacker that Cravens left, forcing Compton and/or Foster off the field during major passing downs. Remember how I said everyone needs a nickel corner back because of today’s NFL? You should probably get a dime-linebacker too.
Round Five (154): George Kittle TE, Iowa: Niles Paul and Derek Carrier both have an extensive injury history and could be looking in on the wrong side of the roster in the near future. George Kittle could fill the void of Carrier and Paul making an immediate impact on special teams. Kittle is the best blocking tight end in the 2017 draft class and has incredible upside after absolutely destroying the NFL combine.
Round Six (201): Xavier Woods S, La Tech: Once you get into rounds five and six, you start looking for depth and special teams help. Xavier Woods provides just that. Woods can provide depth at both safety positions and even play some nickel corner back in a pinch. Although he doesn’t possess the elite fluidity or COD skills to run with speedy receivers, Woods is a heat seeking missile who possesses elite instincts against the run. Woods reminds me a lot of former Redskin, Kyshoen Jarrett.
Round Six (209): Ejuan Price EDGE, Pittsburgh: When the Redskins are healthy (and not suspended) they have one of the deeper EDGE rosters in the NFL. Trent Murphy was recently popped for PED’s and suspended four games while Junior Galette still remains an unknown. Although I have faith in Galette returning from two achilles tears, the EDGE position still should be addressed in the upcoming draft. Price will be utilized as a sub package pass rusher who can come in and do what he does best for twenty snaps a game.
Round Seven (220): Chase Roullier IOL, Wyoming: The Redskins will look to provide depth within their offensive line. Although the offensive line is strong, the Redskins lack depth at the guard and center position after losing Kory Lichtensteiger to retirement. Roullier has proven he can play both guard and center at a high level, his versatility should help him stick on the 53 man roster or practice squad.
Round Seven (235): William Likely CB, Maryland: If Likely were 3 inches taller and not coming off injury we’d be talking about him being a first round talent. That is just how talented the 5’7 corner back can be. Likely was one of the most dangerous returners in the country before going down with injury. His experience on special teams should allow him to stick on the 53 man roster and compete for a back end corner back job. Likely is an underdog due to his size but I’d go to war with him any day.
Despite the dysfunction in the Redskins front office, they still have a very young and talented roster. The 2017 draft is crucial for this teams future no matter who is running the show.