It’s mock draft season folks! The 2016 NFL Draft is fast approaching, leading to growing anticipation for fans to see which players will be drafted to their respective favorite teams. Anticipation is only heightened due to the fact that Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are on SportsCenter nearly every other day discussing their mock drafts and big boards. What is frustrating about their mock drafts is they are usually limited to 2 rounds and require an ESPN Insider subscription to access.
This is why I decided to research the draft prospects and create my own 7-round mock draft for my favorite team: the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are coming off a highly successful draft due to a new draft philosophy under GM Scot McCloughan. For this draft, McCloughan has expressed his desire to move down in the draft in order to acquire more picks.
I crafted this mock draft with that in mind, having the Redskins trade their first-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a 2016 2nd round, 3rd round, and 4th round pick. Here is how I envision the draft shaking out:
No picks due to Redskins trading 21st pick to the Los Angeles Rams.
2nd Round (43rd Overall) from LA Rams
Michael Thomas – WR – Ohio State – 6’3″, 212 pounds
With the Redskins first pick I have them taking receiver Michael Thomas out of Ohio State. Thomas has been on the Redskins radar for a while now and for good reason, he has something that the Redskins are clearly missing within their receiving corps: size. That isn’t the only thing he provides, however, as he also possesses great footwork, has reliable hands, and, while he doesn’t take the top off the defense, he displays underrated athleticism. Thomas is fairly raw in his route running and needs to learn the other nuances of the position but he would be given time to develop and learn behind Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson.
2nd Round (53rd Overall)
Adolphus Washington – DT – Ohio State – 6’3″, 301 pounds
The Redskins are in need of impact defensive line players due to the departure of key contributors Terrance Knighton, Jason Hatcher, and Frank Kearse. The coaching staff has conveyed a shift in philosophy that involves the scaling back the use of nose tackles. This shift is leading to the use of more athletic, explosive defensive tackles who can rush the passer, which is why Adolphus Washington is a great fit. Washington is a long, athletic interior pass rusher who has a knack for getting past offensive linemen. The downside to Washington is his decision making, he was suspended last season for attempting to solicit sexual favors from an undercover cop. If he can prove that he has learned from his mistakes and his focus is on football then McCloughan won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a talent like Washington.
3rd Round (76th Overall) from LA Rams
Maurice Canady – CB – UVA – 6’1″, 193 pounds
The Redskins have questions at the cornerback position as Deangelo Hall was moved to the safety position, Chris Culliver is coming off a serious knee injury, and Kyshoen Jarrett has a shoulder injury. This leaves Bashaud Breeland as the top corner with Will Blackmon and Quinton Dunbar as his running mates. With this being the case, the Redskins could stand to add some depth to their cornerback ranks. This is where Maurice Canady comes in. Canady is a long, athletic corner who has the potential to be a great corner as he sports the ideal frame for an NFL corner, has fluid athleticism, and natural ball instincts. There are questions surrounding Canady’s technique, strength, and physicality but these are all teachable aspects of a corner’s game. Adding Canady would give the Redskins needed depth in their stable of corners as well as a high upside player for the future.
3rd Round (84th Overall)
Shawn Oakman – DE – Baylor – 6’8″, 287 pounds
The Redskins address the defensive line again by drafting defensive end Shawn Oakman out of Baylor. Oakman became an internet sensation while at Baylor due to his imposing physique which overshadowed the fact that he was a highly productive player in college. He is a powerful pass rusher who uses his length and strength to his advantage off the snap. He also is a great run defender as he utilizes his length to set the edge and wrap up ball carriers. While Oakman has all the traits of a successful defensive end he is raw as he does not have a great repertoire of pass rush moves and does not have much polish to his game. Oakman would provide key depth to the defensive end position as well as a low floor prospect with value as an early down run defender.
4th Round (110th Overall) from LA Rams
Miles Killebrew – SS/LB – Southern Utah – 6’2″, 217 pounds
The new trend in the NFL is utilizing smaller, athletic coverage linebackers; the Redskins could sorely use this type of player due to their deficiencies in coverage. This is where Miles Killebrew comes in, he played safety in college but his size and skill set would translate well to the linebacker position. He is a physical, hard hitting, athletic player who projects similar to Arizona Cardinals hybrid linebacker Deone Bucannon. Killebrew does have some questions about his instincts and range in coverage as well as his quality of competition in college but his skills would be a welcome addition to the Redskins linebacking corps.
4th Round (120th Overall)
Evan Boehm – C – Missouri – 6’2″, 302 pounds
The Redskins got by last year with a patchwork offensive line after a string of injuries which exposed their lack of depth along the o-line. One position of need is center as Kory Lichtensteiger graded out as an average center and he doesn’t exactly fit the power blocking scheme that Bill Callahan has implemented. A player who would fit this system seamlessly is Missouri’s Evan Boehm. Boehm is a powerhouse at the center position with the strength to maul defenders at the line of scrimmage. His power would be welcome to the Redskins offensive line as well as his toughness and durability. He pairs his power with great recognition before the snap for a well rounded game. His frame is a concern as well as mobility past the first level but Boehm’s power, intelligence, and leadership should allow him to excel at the next level.
5th Round (158th Overall)
DeAndre Houston-Carson – FS – William & Mary – 6’1″, 211 pounds
The Redskins will double dip into the defensive secondary draft pool because they could use some depth at the safety position. The Redskins got a late round gem in last years draft when they took Kyshoen Jarrett out of Virginia Tech. I see them taking a safety out of another Virginia school, DeAndre Houston-Carson out of William & Mary. Houston-Carson started his career as a corner until switching to safety this past season and excelling. He exhibits great instincts at the position with the ability to work on zone and man coverage. He is a sure tackler, leading his team in tackles this past season. He also possesses special teams prowess, which is an important trait for later round picks. Houston-Carson is still learning the position which shows at times with bad angles and slow recognition but if given time to acclimate to the position and the pro game, he could become another McCloughan late round steal at the safety position.
6th Round (187th Overall)
Kevin Hogan – QB – Stanford – 6’3″, 218 pounds
With the departure of RGIII the Redskins are left with 2 quarterbacks on their roster. The Redskins could move forward with only Cousins and McCoy on their roster but it would be wise to add a QB in case of injury. Kevin Hogan would be a good option for the Redskins as he will be available in the late rounds and has many desirable traits for an NFL quarterback. Hogan is a tough competitor with a proven winning track record in his 4 years at Stanford. His size projects well to the NFL and he has extended experience in a pro style offense. The knocks on Hogan are well documented: awkward mechanics, shoddy footwork, average arm strength, and bad pocket presence. These are all aspects of his game that can be developed by QB coach Matt Cavanaugh and head coach Jay Gruden. Hogan is worth drafting because he has all of the traits that can’t be coached and he will be given time to develop behind Cousins and McCoy.
7th Round (232nd Overall)
Derek Watt – FB – Wisconsin – 6’2″, 236 pounds
With the departure of Redskins fullback Darrel Young, the team has a glaring hole at the fullback position. Fullback is not a very important position in today’s pass happy NFL but having a lead blocker for second year running back Matt Jones will be crucial to open up holes for him to run through. Derek Watt is the right player to fill this role as he is a physical and willing blocker in the run game and in pass protection. What is most appealing about Watt is his versatility as he is able to line up in several different positions for blocking, has good enough hands to catch the ball out of the backfield, and shows surprisingly good tackling skills for special teams. He may not be the biggest or have the most skill but he has a versatile skill set and important special teams value that the Redskins could use.
7th Round (242nd Overall)
Ryan Malleck – TE – Virginia Tech – 6’4″, 247 pounds
With the Redskins final pick I have them choosing tight end Ryan Malleck out of Virginia Tech. Tight end doesn’t seem to be a need on the roster due to the presence of Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen, and Derek Carrier but 3 of those players (Paul, Paulsen, Carrier) are coming off serious injuries while Jordan Reed still cannot be counted on to stay healthy for a full season. Malleck provides a similar skill set as Derek Carrier as he is solid yet unspectacular in blocking and receiving but is a good all around tight end. He has reliable hands and displays a knack for finding soft spots in defenses to get himself open. He lacks elite athleticism and strength but makes up for it with understanding of the position, effort in blocking, and solid route running. Drafting Malleck could provide the Redskins the opportunity to release Carrier and provide quality depth in case someone gets injured.