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10 NFL Draft Prospects Every Washington Redskins Fan Should Know About

Marcel DavisCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2014

10 NFL Draft Prospects Every Washington Redskins Fan Should Know About

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    The NFL Draft is just one avenue that Bruce Allen will use to upgrade Washington's roster.
    The NFL Draft is just one avenue that Bruce Allen will use to upgrade Washington's roster.Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    While the Washington Redskins' firing of Mike Shanahan may paint him as the cause of a dismal 3-13 season, a lot of holes throughout the roster are also to blame.

    Washington's receiving corps, offensive line, secondary and linebacker unit are all in dire need of upgrades.

    Considering owner Daniel Snyder's checkered past in free agency, the NFL draft serves as the best means for the Redskins to address these areas.

    Since Washington doesn't own its first-round pick, courtesy of the Robert Griffin trade, none of the following prospects are currently projected to go in the first 20 picks.

    With that said, here are 10 prospects every Redskins fan should know about.

     

    All draft projections are courtesy of CBSSports.com.

Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Penn State

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    Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

    Just a junior, Robinson posted 97 receptions and 1,432 yards in 2013 with a freshman at quarterback.

    It's no wonder that he officially declared for the NFL draft.

    Touted as a bubble first-rounder, Robinson has skills that are eerily reminiscent to Anquan Boldin's.

    As CBSSports' Dane Brugler states, "[L]ike Boldin he is a good-sized athlete with deceiving acceleration and strength at the catch point to be both a possession target and big play-threat."

    With Pierre Garcon as the lone consistent receiving option in Washington, Robinson could serve as a viable No. 2 option for Griffin as a rookie.

Martavis Bryant, Wide Receiver, Clemson

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    Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    Often cast in the shadow of Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins at Clemson, Martavis Bryant finally had his moment to shine in 2013.

    After two forgettable seasons to open his career, the junior receiver posted 42 receptions, 828 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013 and is now rated as a third-round prospect.

    Although he's still relatively raw in reading coverages and running routes, he has the size and athletic ability that would make him a prime red-zone target for Griffin from Day 1. He would bolster a Washington offense that only scored touchdowns on 52 percent of its red-zone trips in 2013.

Donte Moncrief, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    Despite being slotted to go in the third round, Donte Moncrief possesses elite ability. Just prior to the 2013 season, ESPN's Mel Kiper rated him as the ninth-best NFL draft prospect.

    What changed?

    Well, for starters, Moncrief had a decline in production. While his totals of 59 catches and 938 yards weren't far off from his sophomore campaign, he didn't make the jump that many evaluators expected.

    Nonetheless, the same skills that made him a top prospect to begin with are still present.

    Owning great size and deceptive speed, he could provide Griffin with yet another front-line receiver.

Jack Mewhort, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State

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    Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

    In four seasons at Ohio State, Jack Mewhort has logged starts at every position along the offensive line except center.

    For a Washington team that has widespread issues across its O-line, such versatility would be a welcome addition.

    As it stands, though, his best position at the next level may be right tackle.

    Judging from CBSSports' Rob Rang's description, Mewhort could potentially supplant incumbent Tyler Polumbus as a rookie if selected:

    Excellent size, strength and technique to quietly star up front for the Buckeyes. Latches onto opponents and easily controls them, showing off the long arms, strong hands and subtle combination of lateral agility and balance to handle pass-blocking duties at tackle in the NFL.

    Slotted to go in the second or third round, with the selection of Mewhort and Trent Williams already in tow, Washington would have the bookend tackles it needs to protect Griffin.

Cyril Richardson, Offensive Guard, Baylor

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    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    First, Mike Shanahan allegedly said it, and now Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post is reporting that Griffin has bragged about his influence over owner Daniel Snyder.

    If this is true, then Griffin would be wise to plant the seed that Snyder draft his former Baylor teammate Cyril Richardson.

    With his experience playing guard and tackle, Richardson possesses the versatility that Washington should covet with its makeshift offensive line. In addition to protecting Griffin, he has the girth and menacing mentality that would make him a good fit for Washington's running game.

    He is firmly on the first-round bubble, so the Redskins have to hope that Richardson is available in the second round.

Shayne Skov, Linebacker, Stanford

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    Stephen Lam/Getty Images

    With London Fletcher's overdue departure, Washington has a void at inside linebacker.

    Projected to go in the second or third round, Shayne Skov is a player whom the Redskins should target to fill it.

    While he's had his spat with injuries, he has been productive in his time at Stanford. An average athlete, he relies on his football instincts—diagnosing plays pre snap—to find the ball-carrier.

    With mobile quarterbacks becoming en vogue within the NFL, Skov's experience in spying quarterbacks like Oregon's Marcus Mariota is also a plus.

    In the mold of a James Laurinaitis, Skov is poised to be a solid starter at the NFL level.

Trent Murphy, Outside Linebacker, Stanford

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    You can never have enough pass-rushers in the NFL. So regardless if Washington retains Brian Orakpo—and thus overpays him—it should pay Trent Murphy his due diligence.

    Yet another bubble first-rounder, he proved to be a relentless pass-rusher in his time at Stanford. He had a sack in nine of Stanford's 13 games in 2013 and tallied 14.5 on the season.

    Furthermore, while he's no J.J. Watt, Murphy has made a habit of batting down passes when he can't get to the quarterback.

    He may lack elite athleticism, but with his constant motor and infectious play, he'd upgrade Washington's pass rush.

Dee Ford, Defensive End, Auburn

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Defensive end in a 4-3 defense or an outside linebacker in a 3-4—wherever Dee Ford lines up, he's a threat to get to the quarterback.

    Case in point: the BCS Championship Game. Boasting one of the best offensive lines in the country, Florida State couldn't keep Ford from draping its Heisman trophy-winning quarterback.

    Ford tallied two sacks and put consistent pressure on Jameis Winston throughout the contest.

    Due to his size, run support may be an issue for Ford going forward. Still, projected as a second-round pick, he has the tools to be a pass-rushing specialist early on in his career.

Lamarcus Joyner, Cornerback, Florida State

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    While he's displayed his versatility by playing both safety and cornerback at Florida State, Lamarcus Joyner's NFL role will be at cornerback.

    Despite being diminutive in size, he projects to be a physical cornerback who excels in run support. With more teams electing to run the football against nickel defenses, teams will need their nickelbacks to have these skills.

    The issue with Joyner, though, is his propensity to be overaggressive. Overly eager to make a play in the backfield, he is susceptible to play-action fakes.

    Nonetheless, with the proper tutelage, he possesses the tools that would make him an upgrade over Washington's current nickel man Josh Wilson. And just for the price of a second-round pick.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Cornerback, Nebraska

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    A physical cornerback out of Nebraska, Stanley Jean-Baptiste would be a welcome addition to Washington's maligned secondary.

    Projected as a fifth-round pick, he has starting potential.

    Once a former receiver, he has the size and ball skills that teams covet at the next level. Solid in press coverage, he has drawn comparisons to Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.

    The lone deficiency in his game is his tackling. How he improves this aspect of his game will go a long way in determining what type of career he carves out.

    Lacking elite speed like Browner, Jean-Baptiste has the requisite skills to be a starting safety if he can shake his Deion Sanders-esque aversion to tackling.

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