Washington Redskins 2013 Mock Draft: How to Fix Biggest Problems in 7 Rounds

Joe VersageCorrespondent IIDecember 18, 2012

Washington Redskins 2013 Mock Draft: How to Fix Biggest Problems in 7 Rounds

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    When the Washington Redskins conduct their draft in April, they will do their best to address some of the team's most glaring problems. 

    It may be bad juju to write about the Redskins' weak spots when they're still fighting for a playoff berth. But there are holes on Washington's roster and the team can be better next year if they get filled.

    In the following slide show, we'll describe what ails the Redskins and what they can do to improve in 2013. 

Round No. 1: No Picks for Skins

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    The chances of the Washington Redskins selecting anyone in Round 1 are slim to none. 

    That's because the Redskins traded away their pick to the St. Louis Rams to move up in last April's draft to select Robert Griffin III. Washington doesn't have a first-round selection in 2014's draft either for the same reason.

    There normally would be a possibility of moving up into the first round by trading multiple picks or a player and a second-round pick. But there's little chance of that because Washington's first choice will likely be between picks 40 and 50 in Round 2 and they simply don't have much to offer. 

    With his popularity rising, Kirk Cousins could be offered to teams in need of a quarterback. Even former Redskins General Manager Charley Casserly has voiced his opinion on Cousins' value.

    The former Michigan State star tore it up in the preseason and looked poised and mature in Sunday's win in Cleveland. But he was a fourth-round pick of Washington's eight months ago and looks like a perfect fit as Griffin's backup.

    I may be wrong, but I don't think one 300-yard, two touchdown regular season performance is enough to fetch a first-rounder in April.

Round No. 2: Cornerback

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    In the second round, the Washington Redskins should have a pick between 40 and 50 and I'd say that's a perfect time to shore up the secondary.

    There were a lot of what-ifs entering 2012 at the safety position, but if Washington can finally get Brandon Meriweather back healthy, they may be better off focusing on cornerback. 

    According to CSN's Rich Tandler, "the Redskins could decide to start all over again at the position," unless DeAngelo Hall agrees to a paycut.

    Josh Wilson could also be a goner because "the net savings for releasing Wilson would be about $2.57 million." 

    I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the Redskins will get two corners in April's draft.

    The Redskins would be ecstatic if North Carolina State's David Amerson was one of them.

Round No. 3: Offensive Tackle

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    CSNWashington.com's Rich Tandler is always a reliable source when it comes to Redskins news. I also enjoy reading his RealRedskins Blog. So, when it comes to predicting who Washington will choose with their first pick in 2013's second round, I refer to Tandler.

    This is what I dug up from a blog post he wrote on November 28.

    Other than the players on the current roster the Redskins could find a right tackle in the draft or in the veteran free agency market. They don’t have a first-round draft pick due to the Robert Griffin III trade and they are hampered by an $18 million salary cap penalty so it might be difficult to land a top-line player through those methods.

    Tandler's column also names Tyler Polumbus as an obvious choice to man the right tackle spot because of his salary and starting experience this season. But Polumbus still has a lot to prove and a concussion against the Browns doesn't help his cause for showing what he can do in the closing weeks of 2012.

    Jamaal Brown and Jordan Black were also mentioned, but Brown was put on season-ending injured reserve and may never play again because of a recurring hip problem.

    Meanwhile, Black's fate was sealed on Monday, without having to re-retire. Black will miss the Redskins' next four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Many Redskins have come to Black's defense, but that's a story we'll keep an eye on.  

    So, who should the Washington Redskins pick in Round 3?

    Wisconsin tackle Ricky Wagner is a no-brainer, but I'd be shocked if he gets out of the second round. 

    The Redskins could also select Tennessee guard/tackle Dallas Thomas or choose from a group of juniors who may skip out on their final year of college eligibility.

    One of those juniors is Jake Matthews. Matthews is a Texas A&M teammate of first-round prospect Luke Joeckel and he has an intriguing bloodline.

    According to Wikipedia, Matthews is "the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and the younger brother of former Aggies center Kevin Matthews. Jake is also the cousin of [current NFL linebackers] Clay Matthews III (Green Bay Packers) and Casey Matthews (Philadelphia Eagles)."

Round No. 4: Outside Linebacker, Safety or Running Back

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    A game-breaking wide receiver like Oklahoma junior Kenny Stills (if he declares) or Florida State senior Rodney Smith would be tempting in Round 4, but memories of 2008 draft busts Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly are still fresh in the minds of Washington Redskins' scouts.

    According to The Sports Xchange (per CBSSports.com), "Thomas and Kelly combined for just 49 catches, 473 yards and three touchdowns before being let go in 2010 and 2011, respectively."

    Therefore, a safer choice would be Florida outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who could provide valuable depth behind Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. 

    A talented free safety like South Carolina's D.J. Swearinger could also fill a need. Or Washington could settle for a running back like Oregon's Kenjon Barner. Barner is dynamic and would enable the Redskins to cut the chord with current second-stringer Evan Royster.

    I still think Roy Helu has the hands and talent to be a nice change-of-pace runner behind starter Alfred Morris. But you can never have too many running backs.  

Round No. 5: Inside Linebacker

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    I personally have the utmost respect for 37-year old London Fletcher.

    First of all, he's a gamer, who has shaken off numerous injuries this year to keep his consecutive games streak alive. Fletcher is also one of the purest tacklers that has ever graced an NFL gridiron.

    But the Washington Redskins can't deny that they're shallow at middle linebacker and something has to be done this coming offseason.

    If Washington chooses to address the need in the draft, they could choose Alabama star Nico Johnson. Johnson's a relentless pursuer of running backs, but he may have to be selected one round earlier.

    Another diamond in the rough is Arizona linebacker Alonzo Highsmith Jr., who should be available in the fifth round.

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

    The Redskins have two choices in Round 5, so there's no reason to shy away from solidifying the defense. But with its second pick in the fifth, Washington would be wise to take a stab at somebody with versatility on offense and special teams.

    Florida's Trey Burton fits that description to a tee. He excelled at multiple positions for the Gators, including running back, wide receiver, tight end and special teams.

Round No. 6: Defensive End or Cornerback

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    The Washington Redskins know what kind of value a team can get in the sixth round. Just imagine where they might be right now without rookie rushing star Alfred Morris.

    In 2013, they could back-fill the need for depth at defensive end by choosing either among selecting Nebraska's Cameron Meredith or USC's Devon Kennard.

    Meredith is a high-motor guy who gets after quarterbacks, while Kenard brings flexibility. With the USC Trojans, he played middle linebacker in 2010 before transitioning to defensive end for his junior and senior seasons.

    Washington could also snag a late-round corner like North Carolina's Tre Boston.  Boston is also versatile, with the ability to play safety, if necessary. 

Round No. 7: Defensive End or Tackle

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    If the Washington Redskins wish to add another defensive end, they could find a gem in Missouri's Brad Madison, UCLA's Datone Jones or Clemson's Malliciah Goodman.

    Madison is a senior edge rusher who showed toughness in 2011, when he played hurt with a shoulder injury.

    Jones has played both end and tackle and is described by UCLA's website as "a disruptive force in opposing backfields."

    And finally, there's Malliciah Goodman, who best known for his massive hands. According to clemsontigers.com, "Goodman's hands measure 11.5 inches from fingertip to fingertip, a figure that will would have been among the best at the NFL Combine."

    Goodman also has stamina. As a junior in 2011, he set a school record for snaps by a defensive lineman with 767.  

    It's always fun to look ahead at the offseason, especially when there are holes to fill. But Washington will be patient for now, after securing its fifth consecutive victory last Sunday.

    The Redskins 38-21 win over the Cleveland Browns has them knocking on the doors of the postseason. In other words, the draft can wait.


    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.