Washington Redskins' Mock Draft: Early Predictions for 2013

Joe Versage@@dcjoevCorrespondent IINovember 19, 2012

Washington Redskins' Mock Draft: Early Predictions for 2013

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    Six games still remain in the 2012 season, but it's never too early to peek into the future of the Washington Redskins.

    This week, we'll look forward to 2013 with an extra-early Redskins mock draft.

    In April, the Skins will be on the clock and under pressure, with just seven picks in six rounds. They'll also be without the luxury of a first-round choice.

    That selection disappeared on March 22, when Washington consummated a blockbuster trade with St. Louis to draft Robert Griffin III with the second-overall pick of 2012. 

    In that trade, Washington swapped the No. 6-overall choice to move up four spots in the first round. Then they handed the Rams their second-round pick (in 2012) and a pair of first-round selections over the next two years. 

    That sounds like a lot for one man, but so far, Griffin appears to be worth his weight in gold. In fact, he appears to be the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Patience is all that's needed from here on out. 

    As for 2013, here are the rest of Washington's draft choices:

    Round 2: One selection

    Round 3: One selection

    Round 4: One selection

    Round 5: Two selections (second one is from Washington's trade of Albert Haynesworth to New England on 07-28-11)

    Round 6: One selection

    Round 7: One selection

    It's always fun to look ahead, so let's toss a few darts at Washington's draft board, in the hopes that some of them will find the bull's-eye five months from now. 

Round 2: Pick No. 40

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    After Sunday's 31-6 romp over the Eagles, Washington stands at 4-6 with six games to play. That's just one win short of last year's 5-11 finish.

    Next week, the Redskins play the first of two games against Dallas and still have to face Philly and, for a second time, the New York Giants. Their only non-division games are home against Baltimore and at Cleveland in Weeks 14 and 15. 

    If the Skins manage an even split, they would close at 7-9 and would pick somewhere between numbers 38 and 42 in the second round. I think Washington will finish at .500, but to be fair, we'll choose No. 40 to start and use it as a guide for Rounds 2 through 7. 

    Head coach Mike Shanahan will focus on needs early on, so don't be surprised if an offensive lineman is considered with his first pick.

    RGIII's talent has been breathtaking, but fans tend to hold their breath when pass rushers bear down on him.

    Keep an eye out for Wisconsin tackle Ricky Wagner. At 6'6" and 318 pounds, he's a former basketball player with the type of athleticism that Shanahan covets. He's also a possible Outland Trophy candidate with experience at both tackle spots, so his versatility is appealing.

    Tennessee's Dallas Thomas could be a nice fit (according to Bleacher Report Columnist Daniel Barnes), but the senior may have competition if a couple of juniors forgo their final year. 

    Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel is one of the more impressive ones, but he's a "Top 10 prospect," per SBNation's Dan Kadar

    Michigan's Taylor Lewan could be a possibility, or Washington could choose between right tackle prospects Jake Matthews and D.J. Fluker, if they decide to exit college early. Fluker stars at Alabama, and Matthews is Joeckel's teammate at Texas A&M.

    The Redskins could be smitten if junior edge rusher William Gholston leaves Michigan State a year early. But they can also cure an ailing safety corps by drafting one of college football's best at that position.

    Florida's Matt Elam, Texas star Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid of LSU are all tackling machines. 

    According to WalterFootball.com, Elam may be taken by the Eagles before Washington's pick. If he is, the Redskins could settle for Vaccaro, who was a unanimous choice for First-Team All-Big 12 honors in 2011.  

    Reid also has impressive credentials. He's a 6'2", 208-pound junior who played in a Tigers secondary that included Morris Claiborne, Brandon Taylor and Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu.  

Round 3: Pick No. 72

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    After losing Brian Orakpo to a season-ending injury, it became painfully obvious that the Redskins were shallow in depth at the linebacker position.

    Next spring's third round could be a good time to patch things up with a relentless player who can stand on the edge or put his hand in the dirt.

    Illinois star Michael Buchanan fits that description to a tee, and if he's available, Washington would be foolish to pass him up.

    As a junior in 2011, Buchanan played alongside Whitney Mercilus, who led the nation in sacks. Mercilus was then drafted 53rd overall by the Houston Texans in last year's second round.

    Washington could try to upgrade their receiving corps with Josh Boyce of TCU. They could even act like the Oakland Raiders and roll the dice with high-risk, high-reward prospect Da'Rick Rogers. But I think they'll get better value with defenders in the third round.

    If available, the Redskins should choose Florida cornerback Xavier Rhodes in Round 2. But if they wait until the third round for a corner, San Diego State's Leon McFadden would be a steal.

    According to Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, McFadden "lived up to his billing as the Mountain West Conference's preseason Defensive Player of the Year by intercepting three passes [in a game], two of which were returned for touchdowns."

    Cornerback will certainly become a position of need following next season. According to WalterFootball.com, "Josh Wilson will be a free agent and DeAngelo Hall will be due $9 million in a contract year."

    If Washington passes on a safety with its first choice, they could make a play for Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson, if he's still on the board in Round 3. 

Round 4: Pick No. 104

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    Washington lucked out last April when they chose rookie rushing star Alfred Morris in the sixth round out of Florida Atlantic.

    In 2013, they would be smart to give Morris a complimentary back, but they may have to act a bit faster.

    If Oregon's Kenjon Barner keeps running the way he's running, he may be long gone by Round 4. Barner entered the season as a Heisman candidate and has a game's worth of highlights to plead his case.

    Against USC, Barner rumbled for 321 yards and five touchdowns on 38 carries (per Yahoo Sports). That performance shattered the Ducks' previous record for rushing yards in a game. Unfortunately, former Oregon star LaMichael James was on the sidelines to witness it all. 

    Arkansas running back Knile Davis is another good runner who could be available when the Redskins pick in the fourth round. But Washington could shy away from him because he missed the entire 2011 season with an ankle injury.

    If Washington passes on a back, they may want to check out a few linebackers because they'll be flying off the board midway through the draft.

    Top prospects include Georgia's Alec Ogletree, Iowa's James Morris and Alabama's Nico Johnson.

Round 5: Pick No. 136 and Pick No. 158

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    Washington fans may want to pay attention to the fifth round of the 2013 draft, because it's currently the only one that includes two picks for the Redskins.

    Early in Round 5, General Manager Bruce Allen may want to address Washington's pass rush to help a defensive unit that has had all sorts of trouble defending the pass in 2012.

    Maryland defensive tackle/end Joe Vellano and USC defensive end Wes Horton are two intriguing prospects. So are linebackers Alonzo Highsmith (Arizona), Alec Ogletree (Georgia), and Kenny Tate from Maryland.

    Highsmith is the son of former NFL running back Alonzo Highsmith, Sr., who played his college ball at the University of Miami.

    Tate is versatile enough to play safety, but if the Redskins want a natural safety, they could go for Clemson's Rashard Hall or Georgia Tech's Isaiah Johnson.

    22 picks later, Washington will have a slew of pass catchers to choose from. I personally like Auburn's Emory Blake, but I can see the Redskins making a play for Arizona's Dan Buckner or Florida's Trey Burton.

    Burton has excelled at multiple positions, including running back, wide receiver, tight end and special teams. But don't confuse him with New England's Wes Welker or St. Louis' Danny Amendola, because Burton towers over them at 6'3", 228 pounds.  I'd compare him to Denver's Eric Decker instead.

Round 6: Pick No. 162

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    If Washington picks at No. 40 in the second round, they'll pick at No. 162 in the sixth. That would be just a few slots after their second choice in the fifth round, so they can't fall asleep at the wheel.

    If the Redskins think they can catch lightning in a bottle twice, they could go for Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood to spell Alfred Morris

    Then again, they won't go wrong if they choose among defensive ends Cameron Meredith (Nebraska), Devon Kennard (USC) or Travis Long (Washington State).

    Washington could snag safety Drew Fry of Cincinnati or they could settle for late-round corners like Rod Sweeting (Georgia Tech) or Tre Boston (North Carolina).  

    Quarterbacks Dayne Crist (Kansas/Notre Dame) and Casey Pachall (Texas Christian) should also be available in the sixth round, but unless Kirk Cousins gets traded, I think the Redskins will shy away from drafting another rookie quarterback for the foreseeable future.   

Round 7: Pick No. 200

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    You can never have two many cornerbacks, so we'll list what should be left for the Redskins to choose from when they pick in the seventh round.

    Miami's Brandon McGee or Cincinnati's Devan Drane may be on the board at No. 200. But if the Skins wish to add another linebacker, defensive end or wide receiver, they could find a gem among the following prospects:

    Mike Taylor - OLB (Wisconsin)

    Nathan Williams - OLB (Ohio State)

    Brad Madison - DE (Missouri)

    Datone Jones - DE (UCLA)

    Malliciah Goodman - DE (Clemson)

    Aaron Dobson - WR (Marshall)

    Roy Roundtree - WR (Michigan) 

    Things will certainly get interesting for Washington when the 2012 season comes to an end. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. After Sunday's impressive showing, the Redskins are suddenly alive and well in the running for a postseason berth. If they continue their strong play, it could shake things up in a big way for future mock drafts.


    Joe Versage is an NFL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He previously covered the Buffalo BillsWashington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens as a television beat reporter. Follow him on Twitter at: @JoeVersage 

    Unless otherwise noted, all profiles are courtesy of the NCAA or Wikipedia.com. Additional information was obtained from Redskins.com, CBSSports.com and NFL Draft sites such as NFLDraftWizard.com, WalterFootball.com, FootballsFuture.com.