With the 2015 NFL Draft hours away and the Redskins holding a pick in every round including the #5 selection overall, I have a few hopes. Here they are.
1. I hope Scot McCloughan listens to himself and his scouts only. Influence from anyone that doesn’t have winning “on the field” as the only priority on draft weekend is a problem.
2. I hope that they don’t trade down. At #5 overall, the Skins will have an elite prospect to choose from. Either Cooper, Williams, or Fowler Jr. should be available when they go on the clock. A trade down probably gets them a prospect that is very good but not as elite as one of the three above.
3. I really hope McCloughan does what he said he’d do and takes the best available player regardless of position. There isn’t enough greatness on this team at any position to pass on potential greatness. I think Leonard Williams and Amari Cooper are the two best players on the board. Williams is a million times better Day 1 than Hatcher, Paia, or Rickey Jean-Francois. He would be the most impactful defensive front-7 player they’ve had on their roster in years. Cooper is Julio Jones….gamechanger. Sure you have D. Jackson but for how long? Garcon is probably out of here by 2016. Don’t pass on great for good.
4. I hope they don’t take Clemson LB Vic Beasley at #5. Beasley has been rumored to go to the Skins in their #5 spot. He’s an athletic pass rusher for sure but his tape reflects a guy that isn’t interested as much in stopping the run. The 5th overall selection in the draft shouldn’t be a 3rd-down specialist. I’d have less of an issue if they traded down and picked Beasley in the teens but if they take him, that means they passed on a much better prospect at #5 (Williams, Cooper, Fowler Jr.). BTW, Shane Ray is easily the 2nd-best 3-4 OLB in my view but the weed bust sends him plummeting down the board.
5. I hope they get OL help. While it’s not on my top 2 needs list for this team (pass rusher and safety are 1 & 2), it would be 3rd on the list. If they were to trade down and get a player like Iowa’s Brandon Scherff, it would lessen the blow of not getting an elite player like Cooper, Williams, or Fowler Jr. I doubt seriously that Scherff would be there unless they traded down no lower than 8th (Atlanta’s pick) because the Giants at #9 would be a likely spot for Scherff. While right tackle is important, the Skins could use some help at guard as well.
6. I hope they draft a RB. I love Alfred Morris but I get the sense that they want more then just an early-down runner. This draft is loaded with running backs of all shapes, sizes, and specialties. I think Gurley and Gordon are stars but they’ll be long gone by the 2nd round. From rounds 2-4, here are a few that I wouldn’t mind seeing in Burgundy and Gold next year: Ameer Abdullah/Nebraska; Jeremy Langford/Mich State; Duke Johnson/Miami; Tevin Coleman/Indiana; David Cobb/Minnesota; David Johnson/Northern Iowa. I really like Langford in particular. He’s big (6-0/210), fast (4.4), productive and versatile. When I watched Michigan State this year, he just looked like an NFL back.
7. I hope they don’t reach for a safety or CB. The safeties in this draft are all flawed and the only great corner has baggage. U of Washington CB Marcus Peters would have been a top-10 pick if he hadn’t got kicked off the team. Corners like Waynes (Mich St) and Johnson (Wake Forest) can cover but can’t get off blocks in the run game while guys like Senquez Golson (Ole Miss) can do both but he’s so small at (5-9 or less).
8. I hope they draft Miami ILB Denzel Perryman. He may be the most physical big-hitting defensive player in the draft. He’s smaller and slower which is the only reason he’ll still be there in the 2nd round. He’s football smart, a ferocious competitor, and was highly productive. He would be the perfect replacment for Perry Riley and the combo of Perryman and Keenan Robinson inside would be great for years to come.
9. I hope they get a kick/punt returner. Two names for you….Tyler Lockett/Kansas State and Steph Diggs/Maryland. Most around here know Diggs and he’s going to be an instant impact player on special teams if he can stay healthy but Lockett was one of my favorite players to watch the last few years. Lockett is a legit #2 WR and on many teams a #1 and will help immediately as a returner. In a draft filled with wide receivers, Lockett is underrated. He may not be that big (5-10/180) but he’s got top-end speed, great hands, elite ball skills, and was clutch for an always-overachieving Kansas State program.
10. I hope that the QB they take is either Brett Hundley or Sean Mannion. A bit presumptuous that they will take a QB but my gut says they will at some point in this draft. If they do, Hundley and Mannion are my next-best after Mariota/Winston. Mannion is pro-ready at 6-6/230. He played for Mike Riley’s pro-style system at Oregon State. He can really throw it. I’m surprised that Hundley isn’t the obvious choice as the 3rd-best QB in this draft. He’s got very good size (6-3), a strong arm, good speed and great feel/vision in the pocket and as a runner. He’s going to start in the league within 3 years.