For this mock, each player has been assigned a composite ranking, these rankings were determined by taking each prospect’s ranking from CBS Sports, Daniel Jeremiah, FanSpeak, Matt Miller, Jon Dove, DraftTek, and Chris Burke and averaging all of the rankings to create one composite ranking. The composite rankings assist in providing a more accurate assessment of a player’s value in the upcoming draft.
The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine has officially ended and it has provided everyone a glimpse at all of the prospects that have been talked about since the college football season ended. Each prospect’s performance has had an impact on their draft stock, whether it be positive or negative, leading to a shake up in the prospect rankings, big boards, and mock drafts that are used to estimate a prospects value. Because of this, each team has a new crop of players that have landed on their radar and in their pick range due to the shift in prospect value. Therefore, at this point the Redskins brass should have a more developed understanding of who they want to target in the draft with each of their picks and those who predict the draft should as well.
The following mock draft will provide a peek at the players available for each of the Redskins 10 picks:
Round 1 – Pick 17 (17th Overall)
Haason Reddick – Inside Linebacker – Temple – 6’1″, 237 pounds – rSenior
Composite Ranking: 25.50
There are a variety of different ways the Redskins could go with their first round pick but what they should do is pick the best defensive player available and based on the current rankings that player is likely to be Haason Reddick. After a superb showing at the combine, Reddick is flying up draft boards and teams are drooling over his potential. Reddick’s calling card is his versatility; he has experience playing at all three levels of the defense which has helped him develop a unique skill set that not many players boast. His best position at the next level is going to be at linebacker because it’s where he can best utilize his skills as a pass rusher, run stopper, and playmaker. Reddick is exactly what the Redskins need due to their current lack of athleticism, versatility, and sideline to sideline playmaking ability at the inside linebacker spot. Selecting Reddick would be a risk considering his inexperience at the inside linebacker position and tendency to rely on his athleticism rather than his technique, however, his limitless potential and versatile skill set make his selection a risk worth taking.
Round 2 – Pick 17 (49th Overall)
Marcus Williams – Free Safety – Utah – 6’1″, 202 pounds – Junior
Composite Ranking: 57.67
The safety position in this year’s draft is stacked, which means the Redskins should be able to find a player capable of being their long-term solution at the position. Marcus Williams would be a natural fit; providing the Redskins with a natural free safety to play alongside Su’a Cravens. Williams is a prototypical free safety; boasting the ideal blend of athleticism, instincts, football intelligence, and ball skills needed to succeed at his position. He makes use of all these tools to put himself in the right position to make plays on the ball frequently and impact all phases of the game. If asked to nitpick, Williams could stand to add some weight to his frame to make him a more effective tackler and lessen the punishment his body takes when he attempts to take on bigger players. All in all, the Redskins need a natural free safety to plug into their lineup and Marcus Williams more than fits the bill.
Round 3 – Pick 17 (81st Overall)
Dalvin Tomlinson – Defensive Tackle – Alabama – 6’3″, 310 pounds – rSenior
Composite Ranking: 79.67
If the Redskins hope to fix their atrocious run defense they need to add some beef to their defensive line. They took a step forward in that department following the signings of free agent defensive linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee but their work is far from done. Adding a player like Alabama’s Dalvin Tomlinson would make the Redskins defensive line a force to be reckoned with. Tomlinson is a prototypical Alabama defensive lineman; possessing refined technique, a strong understanding of how to use leverage, and strength at the point of attack. He excels against the run by creating a strong base, anchoring, and maintaining gap discipline to clog running lanes. Furthermore, he keeps his hands active in the pass game to make up for his lack of pass rushing ability. The main concerns about Tomlinson regard whether he will be able to produce at the same level with lesser talent surrounding him and if he will ever be able to develop any sort of pass rush to make his game more well-rounded. Even if he never develops his pass rush, Tomlinson’s stout run defense, impeccable intelligence, and strong character make him a low-risk pick that has the ability to contribute right away.
Round 4 – Pick 9 (116th Overall) via CIN
*Redskins trade 114th pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for the 116th pick and a future 6th round pick
Isaac Asiata – Guard – Utah – 6’3″, 323 pounds – rSenior
Composite Ranking: 120.67
Barring any unexpected moves, the Redskins missed their opportunity to upgrade the guard position through free agency as the top options at the position are already off the market. This leaves them with the NFL Draft as their only avenue to find a guard to compete with Arie Kouandijo for the starting spot this upcoming season. Isaac Asiata is a player to consider due to him being an ideal fit for the scheme that offensive line coach Bill Callahan has implemented over the past few years. Asiata is a big bodied, powerful guard who utilizes incredible strength and maximum effort to constantly win at the point of attack and control the line of scrimmage. He excels at driving defenders back in the run game and does well to anchor in pass protection to keep defenders from getting any sort of push. Asiata’s aggression can sometimes work against him by leading him out of position or into a vulnerable position and he needs to do a better job at locking onto the defender rather than relying punching and hand fighting. Regardless, Asiata’s aggression and power make him suitable for the Redskins power based scheme and he has the ability to take over at left guard right away.
Round 4 – Pick 17 (124th Overall)
Carlos Henderson – Wide Receiver – Louisiana Tech – 5’11”, 199 pounds – rJunior
Composite Ranking: 124.00
Following the departure of veteran receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon the Redskins are faced with the tough task of replacing their top two wideouts, both of which posted 1,000 yard seasons in 2016. The addition of former Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor gives the Redskins a capable option on the outside to pair with Josh Doctson, however, it would be prudent to add another capable receiver through the draft as insurance. Carlos Henderson is one option that should be considered due to his well-rounded game and availability in the mid rounds of the draft. Henderson has the ability to do it all from the receiver position; he has the speed to threaten the defense vertically, the footwork to work the sidelines, strong hands to catch the ball in traffic, and the agility to generate yards after the catch. On top of all of that, Henderson is a first-rate return man who would improve the Redskins kick return game right out the gate. Granted, Henderson did not face the stiffest competition playing in Conference USA but his skill set is translatable to any level of competition which makes him a worthwhile selection.
Round 5 – Pick 10 (154th Overall)
Shaquill Griffin – Cornerback – UCF – 6’0″, 194 pounds – Senior
Composite Ranking: 141.00
The Redskins cornerbacks, believe it or not, look to be on strong footing entering the 2017 season, however, the group is sorely lacking quality depth and could stand to add some upside for the future. Due to the aforementioned needs, Shaquill Griffin would make an excellent addition to the team, as he would fulfill both needs at a reasonable cost. Griffin is a player who has largely flown under the radar throughout the pre-draft process but an eye opening performance at the combine has boosted his stock significantly, making him a safe bet to be picked somewhere between the fourth to sixth round. Griffin is a physical corner who plays with an edge, seeking to make life difficult for any receiver that steps in his path. He is at his best when asked to perform press coverage, where he excels at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupting the timing of their routes. His athletic ability is a plus; displaying fluid athleticism that enables him to competently mirror receivers and challenge for the ball at the point of the catch. Griffin’s instincts and anticipation could use refinement and his long speed leaves much to be desired but he has the skills necessary to become a valuable contributor to the Redskins secondary in the near future.
Round 6 – Pick 17 (201st Overall)
Deatrich Wise Jr. – Defensive End – Arkansas – 6’5″, 274 pounds – rSenior
Composite Ranking: 218.33
As mentioned earlier, the Redskins have several holes to fill along their defensive line which is why it would be surprising if they didn’t double dip into this deep defensive line class. There are many fascinating options along the defensive line in the latter stages of the draft that have the potential to be contributors early on in their NFL careers. One such player is Arkansas defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr., who is looking to put a disappointing senior season behind him and prove he has what it takes to be successful at the next level. To put it simply, Wise is a powerhouse. He has long arms, strong hands, and ridiculous upper body strength that he uses to gain control of opposing linemen off the snap, all of which enable him to set a hard edge in the run game and toss offensive linemen around during his pass rush. Although his pass rush is unrefined, he has shown the ability to bull rush effectively and he makes sure to keep active hands to knock down passes when his initial rush fails. Wise has all the tools necessary to be successful in the NFL but his game is particularly raw; he will need a considerable amount of refinement to become a significant contributor. Ultimately, Wise has a lot of growing to do but that shouldn’t stop the Redskins from bringing him on board and allowing defensive line guru Jim Tomsula work his magic on him.
Round 6 – Pick 25 (209th Overall)
C.J. Beathard – Quarterback – Iowa – 6’2″, 219 pounds – rSenior
Composite Ranking: 244.00
With Kirk Cousins all but gone after this season the Redskins quarterback situation going forward is questionable at best, even so, with so many holes to fill on their roster it would be unwise to spend a high pick in a weak quarterback class such as this one. A player that the front office should keep their eye on in the late rounds is former Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard. Once regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, Beathard has seen his draft stock plummet after nagging injuries took a toll on his performance during the 2016 season. Beathard’s current value sits somewhere in the sixth or seventh round, making him a low-risk, high-reward selection for the team that takes a chance on him. Beathard is a player who possesses many of the important characteristics thrown around so often by quarterback experts like Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden. He is a pro-style quarterback who has solid footwork and mechanics, a strong arm that can make all the NFL throws, and a natural feel for the quarterback position. Moreover, he performs well under pressure; keeping his eyes downfield at all times and delivering strikes while under pressure. Beathard does have issues in his game that need to be addressed such as his tendency to hesitate and deliver the ball late to receivers, slow movement through his progressions, inability to manipulate the defense with his eyes, and proneness to being sacked. In spite of these red flags, Beathard is a worthwhile selection who serves as an upgrade to current developmental quarterback Nate Sudfeld and has the potential to develop into a solid starter if he works out the kinks in his game.
Round 7 – Pick 2 (220th Overall)
Tashawn Bower – Outside Linebacker – LSU – 6’6″, 250 pounds – Senior
Composite Ranking: 244.00
Outside linebacker was seemingly one of the most stable position groups on the Redskins roster until the NFL hit Trent Murphy with a 4-game suspension for use of performance enhancing drugs. While the position remains a strength, the future at the position is not as bright as it seemed to be previously. As a result, the team needs to consider bringing someone in to compete with Preston Smith, Houston Bates, and Lynden Trail for a roster spot and the opportunity to play a significant role on the team in the near future. One of the best options at the position late in the draft is Tashawn Bower, a developmental prospect who is still learning the nuances of the outside linebacker spot. Bower was never a key player for the LSU defense over the years, yet, he started to come into his own this past season when he made the switch from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker. His skill set is tailor made for the outside linebacker spot; he is quick off the snap and displays the burst necessary to get after the quarterback, he flashes fluid athleticism that allows him to operate in space and perform zone coverage duties, and he has the length to control the edge and disrupt passing lanes. At the moment, Bower’s pass rush is a work in progress and he needs to polish his technique if he hopes to become a legitimate threat off the edge, nevertheless, he would provide stiff competition at the outside linebacker spot and, if developed properly, could become a force at the outside linebacker spot.
Round 7 – Pick 17 (235th Overall)
Chuck Clark – Defensive Back – Virginia Tech – 6’0″, 208 pounds – Senior
Composite Ranking: 346.00
The recent signing of D.J. Swearinger is a move that should go a long way in shoring up the depth issues that plagued the safety position for the Redskins all of last season. While this signing helps in that regard, it shouldn’t keep the team from continuing to add players to their safety ranks. Adding former Virginia Tech defensive back Chuck Clark is a move the Redskins front office should seriously consider when the draft rolls around. Clark was a three year starter at a Virginia Tech program that has earned a reputation for churning out NFL ready defensive backs, thus earning the nickname of ‘DBU‘. While Clark is not as highly regarded as other Hokie defensive backs who have come before him, he has a lot to offer due to his experience playing at every position in the secondary. Through playing all these different positions, Clark has cultivated a well-developed understanding of coverage which he pairs with top-tier instincts and play recognition to make plays all over the field. His sure tackling would also be a welcome addition to a Redskins team that too often falls victim to poor tackling habits, leading to plenty of missed tackles. Clark is solid in many areas but lacks the size and athleticism to truly separate himself from the pack at his position. In the end, he is a reasonable final round selection whose versatility would make him a solid depth option and valuable special teams contributor, plus new defensive backs coach Torrian Gray would know better than anyone how to effectively utilize Clark to maximize his value to the team.