It is certain, if not assumed, that everyone knows who the Redskins intend to select with their desperately-acquired first-round pick, however, it is the later rounds that will garner the most intrigue for their fans.
The Redskins have some pivotal needs, most notably along the offensive line where nearly every spot is a question mark heading into the draft.
With that said, let’s take a look at the Redskins’ best- and worst-case scenarios for each of their seven selections in this year’s draft.
Round 1, Pick No. 2
Best-Case Scenario: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Worst-Case Scenario: Anyone else
The Redskins made their move to secure the No. 2 pick and there is no question they have done so with the intent of selecting Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III to be their quarterback for the future.
Griffin is an athletic specimen who boasts track-star speed to go along with his talented passing game. He is the total package and showed the ability to balance his abilities out, passing for 4,293 yards, 37 touchdowns and just six interceptions despite rushing for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns.
When all is said and done, Griffin could be the greatest quarterback to ever don the burgundy and gold—a return well worth the cost to get him.
Should the Redskins, in some sick, embarrassing twist of fate, decide to pick anyone other than Griffin, it is quite fair to assume riots will ensue. I’m going to give the Redskins the benefit of doubt here, though, and say no one should have to worry about that happening (I hope).
Round 3, Pick No. 69
Best-Case Scenario: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
Worst-Case Scenario: Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
With so much uncertainty surrounding Jammal Brown, the Washington Redskins must do all they can to shore up the offensive line and protect their prized first-round draft pick.
Florida State’s Zebrie Sanders makes for a good insurance policy should Brown be unable to perform and though he needs some time for grooming, could become a serviceable right tackle in the NFL. He was a four-year starter for the Seminoles and excels in zone-blocking schemes, making him a dependable commodity for the Redskins offense.
Should Sanders be off the board, however, the Redskins should stick to bolstering their offensive line with this pick. Miami’s Brandon Washington could also be a good fit for Mike Shanahan. He showed an inability to perform as an offensive tackle for Al Golden and the Hurricanes, but is an All-ACC guard with loads of potential.
Round 4, Pick No. 102
Best-Case Scenario: Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina
Worst-Case Scenario: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Having placed so much focus on offense thus far this offseason, the Redskins need to turn their attention to the defense at this point in the draft. Safety is easily one of the defense’s weak links and will need to be addressed during the draft.
South Carolina’s Antonio Allen is one of the top strong safeties in the 2012 NFL draft class, however, a limited demand for such a player should land him right in the Redskins’ hands.
Allen has great size—at 6’2” and 210 pounds—and is a gifted prospect with the speed and coverage abilities to succeed as a strong safety in the NFL. The departure of LaRon Landry leaves a void in the Redskins defensive backfield, even with the addition of Brandon Meriweather, and could enable a player of Allen’s caliber to step in and be the starter from day one.
Should Washington not be so sure of their current cornerback depth, Chase Minnifield could be a good addition. The Virginia product was an All-ACC standout, tallying 151 tackles and 13 interceptions over the course of his four-year career for the Cavaliers.
Round 4, Pick No. 109
Best-Case Scenario: Omar Bolden, CB Arizona State
Worst-Case Scenario: Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
A torn ACL tarnished what should have been a superb senior season at Arizona State. As a result, his draft stock has taken a big hit as well despite what he is capable of accomplishing on the gridiron.
With a boost to the cornerback position surely welcomed, the Redskins would gladly add a player of Bolden’s caliber into the mix. Bolden is a prospect who can excel in both man and zone coverage, boasting great speed and awareness when the ball is in the air.
Prior to his injury, Bolden was also a phenomenal return man, though the Redskins are not in dire need at the position.
The Redskins may not find Bolden’s health warranting of a fourth-round pick, however, and could seek to improve their defense elsewhere with another Arizona State product—Vontaze Burfict.
Burfict’s name is marred by character concerns and a troubling history of issues on and off the field. His combine performance did not set the world on fire either, but there is no denying the former first-round prospect is worth a look at this time in the draft.
London Fletcher will return for 2012, but the Redskins must prepare for the future and if anyone can whip Burfict into shape, it might just be Fletcher.
Round 5, Pick No. 141
Best-Case Scenario: David Molk, C, Michigan
Worst-Case Scenario: Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
The Redskins still need to bolster their offensive line, and center must draw some attention come draft time. Michigan’s David Molk is a premier fit within Washington’s zone-blocking scheme.
Molk boasts brute strength despite being a bit undersized. Though injuries have riddled his career some, Molk has desirable intangibles and the potential to be a successful center in the NFL with solid coaching.
Unfortunately, Molk might be long gone by the time the Redskins are tabbed to pick in the fifth round and they might have to shift their focus towards adding another wide receiver instead. I have seen Arkansas’ Joe Adams as a mid-round option in a couple of places and really like what the speedy playmaker could contribute as a member of the Redskins.
Round 6, Pick No. 173
Best-Case Scenario: Najee Goode, ILB, West Virginia
Worst-Case Scenario: D.J. Holt, ILB, California
West Virginia’s Najee Goode got tabbed as the sixth-round pick in Zach Campbell’s mock draft this week and I could not agree more that there is not a better fit at this point in the draft.
With London Fletcher growing older—though his play is improving—the Redskins must seek a player who will be able to fill his shoes when it is time for him to hang them up or move on. Goode is a hard-nosed player with all the tools to be a good inside linebacker for the Redskins.
Already a productive player, Goode could benefit from a year or two behind one of the most productive linebackers in the NFL. Fletcher is a highly-respected talent and could be a big aid in grooming Goode into a star.
California’s D.J. Hall is another intriguing option to fill the role at inside linebacker. A well-sized prospect, Hall showcases good lateral agility while fighting to get to the ball-carrier. Hall is another productive tackler that would benefit from a year or two on the bench before he is ready to be a weekly contributor.
Round 7, Pick No. 213
Best-Case Scenario: Bryan Anger, P, California
Worst-Case Scenario: Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech
Sav Rocca is 38 years old and although still a serviceable punter for the Redskins, age will eventually catch up with the sure-footed Aussie—assuming he can even make it back into the United States soon.
Bryan Anger is easily the top punter in this year’s draft class and has the talent to go as early as the fifth round. He averaged 44.3 yards per punt in 2011 for California, kicking 18 for 50 or more yards and 19 inside the 20-yard line.
Anger has the potential to be the game’s top punter for years to come and should not be ignored by a team whose punter’s age and average performance make him an expendable commodity.
It would not be surprising, though, should the Redskins look to add one more wide receiver to bookend their 2012 draft. Virginia Tech’s Brandon Boykin was a consistent performer over the course of his collegiate career, but never stood out as an elite threat in the passing game.
His combine performance was fairly disappointing and did little to boost his stock. At 6’2” and 217 pounds, Boykin does have favorable size. An opportunity to see playing time with a more pass-friendly offense could help him grow into a more dependable receiver at the next level.