While holding rights to a first round pick is typically an essential building block of a respective team; that doesn’t complete everything.
Successful franchises throughout the league have hit on their draft selections from every round and that’s exactly what the Redskins will need to do.
They are going to need to treat their second round pick as if it were their first round. In addition, that particular player is going to need to come in on day one and effectively contribute.
Due to the salary cap infractions that the league slapped the Skins with, they will not be able to put a major emphasis on free agency. Therefore, the importance of having a successful draft is imperative.
As of now, the Redskins currently hold seven draft selections this coming April. Below is my mock draft for that.
The secondary is the weakest part of the team. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson have not had good seasons, Cedric Griffin is not the long-term answer and Richard Crawford hasn’t seen the field in weeks.
With that said, an obvious upgrade will be needed. Xavier Rhodes has first round talent, but needs to work on being a disciplined cornerback and remaining healthy. (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2013/CB)
At 6’1 and 217 lbs, Rhodes is large for his position. He is aggressive at his position and uses his size to his advantage.
If Rhodes were to be selected, he gives some much needed youth to this position and a physicality that is needed on this defense.
It’s Rambo’s off-the-field issues that are going to cause this talented safety to slip in the draft.
Rambo is a ball hawk and comes away with interceptions and fumbles, just watch his game against Georgia Tech from this year.
I prefer defensive players coming out of the SEC too. They play on some of football’s biggest stages and are going up against top talent.
He might not be able to come in and produce right away, but Madieu Williams isn’t holding the Redskins free safety position for much longer.
I promise I’m not from Athens, Georgia, but Shawn Williams could be a steal here in the fourth round.
He’s your prototypical strong safety at 6’0 and 219 lbs. He’s remained durable throughout his career, plays with emotion and has the intangibles that coaches love.
The Redskins have tried a lot at strong safety this year, none of which has been highly effective. DeJon Gomes had the first shot, but lost his starting job due to inconsistent play. Reed Doughty was next in line, but he’s best used in a backup role. Brandon Meriweather looked great in one half of football, but his ACL injury cut his season short.
Drafting Williams could be a short-term project until he learns the ropes of this defense. Williams is a versatile safety who can come up the line of scrimmage and help out in run support as well as create turnovers.
I’m making one major assumption in this selection; that Denard Robinson can contribute on special teams as a return specialist.
Robinson reminds me of a player like Josh Cribbs. Cribbs was originally a quarterback in college, but translated to the NFL as a returner and eventually as a receiver.
With the selection of Robinson, we can finally say goodbye to Brandon Banks. Now imagine Denard Robinson being used in that option offense that Kyle Shanahan likes to run occasionally.
While the Redskins have an excellent offense, they’ve been producing at a high level without any help from the return game.
Selecting Robinson late in the draft is a project, but this team is still in need of play-makers and that’s exactly what he is.
Since Brian Orakpo went down with an injury, the Redskins have gone with an outside linebacker by committee approach.
Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson, Markus White and Lorenzo Alexander all have been given opportunities and have done a decent job given the circumstances.
As of now, Markus White has been released, Chris Wilson is rarely seeing the field and Rob Jackson has earned most of the reps.
Drafting a hybrid athlete like McCray can put the Redskins in better position in case there are more injuries to come.
At 6’2 and 249 lbs, McCray would need to bulk up some playing in the outside linebacker role, but has been playing in a similar role at Florida.
Freeman has been a workhorse at Clemson. He’s started 47 consecutive games under center and has flashed good athleticism.
The All-ACC center has been guiding one of the more productive offenses in the country and seems comfortable snapping the ball under center and in the shotgun, both of which the Redskins do.
Will Montgomery has had a good season yet again, but a long-term answer needs to be filled. Last year, Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis were selected, but both are guards.
Freeman is already familiar with the position and could eventually push the veteran Montgomery.
The Redskins front office put an emphasis on offense in last year’s draft. As three offensive linemen were selected: Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis and Tom Compton.
None of which have seen the field, as all three rookies did not significantly impress in preseason. Drafting John Wetzel can add to that competition.
At 6’7 and 308 lbs, Wetzel is considered one of the more consistent right tackles in the ACC and that’s where the Redskins will need help eventually.
The Jammal Brown experiment is all but done with, Tyler Polumbus has been decent at times, but is not conducive to the Shanahan zone blocking scheme.
It’s unrealistic that a seventh round draft pick can come in and immediately contribute, but the more competition the better.