Washington Redskins Mock Draft: Full Seven-Round Projections
Now that the Indianapolis Colts have officially confirmed that they will select Andrew Luck with the top overall selection in the forthcoming NFL draft, we can begin to speculate as to who the Redskins will take at number two.
There's no mystery surrounding number two, as the Redskins didn't mortgage multiple draft picks for the chance to select a left tackle or wide receiver; this team went all in for the most coveted draft prize outside of Luck: Robert Griffin III.
And while the move to select Griffin means Washington will have to wait 67 turns before they pick again in the NFL draft (barring a trade-up scenario), the team should be commended for doing what it takes to ensure that they'll end up with a player that they desire at the most important position in all of football.
Certainly things can change between now and Thursday night, and given the unpredictability of the NFL draft, we never know precisely what to expect. Regardless, here's a look at a full seven-round projection for the Redskins as they attempt to build towards their future, starting with a new quarterback.
Round One, No. 2 Overall: Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor
The prize, the future, the quarterback who can turn Washington's fortunes around.
That is how much the team believes in Robert Griffin III.
Are those lofty expectations for a young man who is barely old enough to buy beer? Sure, but Griffin has demonstrated a maturity far beyond his years and a presence to handle most anything that crosses his path.
This pick is an absolute layup and a potential franchise changer. That alone should encourage Redskins fans about 2012 and beyond.
Round Three, No. 69 Overall: Zebrie Sanders, Offensive Tackle, Florida State
Part of drafting a franchise quarterback is surrounding him with the pieces needed to stay on the field and succeed.
And although Griffin has rare athletic ability for the quarterback position, he still needs dependable line play in front of him to generate a pocket from which to operate.
One area that the Redskins should be looking to address during the draft is the right tackle spot, somewhere that Zebrie Sanders could line up at from day one.
Sanders isn't an overly nimble guy, but he's got the size, strength and enough athleticism to be a right-side anchor in Washington's zone-blocking scheme.
Drafting a potential starter in Round 3 is an important value, and this match makes a lot of sense for the Redskins.
Round Four, No. 102 Overall: Brandon Hardin, Safety, Oregon State
The Redskins have added a pair of safeties this offseason in Brandon Meriweather and Tanard Jackson, but it won't be long before fans in Washington are wondering how Meriweather got a two-year, $6 million deal.
He simply isn't even close to reliable enough in the back end, and is often far too erratic to stay on the field for the entire game.
Jackson is a better player who seems to have straightened his act out following a year-long suspension from the NFL, and is likely enthused to be reunited with Raheem Morris after playing for the now-Redskins secondary coach in Tampa Bay.
But I still love the pick of Hardin, a talented athlete who didn't play in 2011 because of an injury. Nonetheless, he still has great value both as a safety and a special teams player, where he could prove to be one of the best in the entire draft.
Round Four, No. 109 Overall: Donald Stephenson, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
Forget the fact that the Redskins have already invested in Zebrie Sanders earlier in the draft; this team needs offensive line help in a major way.
Stephenson, who sees himself as a fit in Washington, would add more talent, depth and athleticism to the Redskins line, and that's hard to argue with as an area to address.
He clocked the fastest 40 at the NFL combine amongst offensive linemen and flashed enough ability during his time at Oklahoma to be a capable piece in the NFL. Although he isn't the most refined product in this year's class, Stephenson is an intriguing blend of skill and potential that adds up to a worthy fourth-round selection.
Round Five, No. 141 Overall: DeAngelo Peterson, Tight End, LSU
Sticking with the theme of giving Griffin weapons, Peterson would be a nice find in Round 5 at a position where the Redskins could use some depth.
Fred Davis is the undisputed starter at tight end, but Chris Cooley is an injury concern behind him. Moreover, the NFL is evolving into a tight end-heavy league, with many teams successfully employing multiple tight end sets as a staple of their offense.
Peterson can really run and could be used all over the offensive formation. Expect the Redskins to move Griffin out of the pocket frequently and be unafraid to take shots to the intermediate and downfield passing routes.
That's even more reason to take a flier on Peterson.
Round Six, No. 173 Overall: Audie Cole, Inside Linebacker, North Carolina State
London Fletcher can't possibly play forever, can he?
I'm not putting it past the stud veteran to have at it for three more seasons, but eventually Father Time will catch up and the Redskins will be forced to find another inside linebacker.
Cole, a productive college player with a frame to further grow into, would be a really shrewd addition in the sixth round and the kind of guy who can learn from Fletcher while performing in a special teams role to start his NFL career.
The late rounds of the draft aren't when you target immediate starters, but rather find players with enough upside to contribute down the line. That's Cole.
Round Seven, No. 213 Overall: DeAndre Presley, Cornerback, Appalachian State
Here's a name to keep an eye on—no matter where he ends up—because Presley is a unique prospect.
Primary a quarterback during his time at Appalachian State, Presley is attempting to successfully transition to the other side of the football at the pro level, and may have a shot as a cornerback.
Presley is more quick than fast, and displayed sufficient reactive athleticism to garner a look in the late rounds of the draft.
At this juncture of the proceedings, Presley would be well worth the gamble for the Redskins.