Updating Washington Redskins' Second Round Big Board, Post-Combine

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Updating Washington Redskins' Second Round Big Board, Post-Combine
Associated Press
While Bruce Allen has salary-cap space to spend this offseason, he'll need to hit on Washington's draft picks.

Despite owning the NFL's second-worst record in 2013, the Washington Redskins, minus a first-round pick, won't have a shot at selecting a franchise-altering talent like Jadeveon Clowney in the 2014 NFL draft.

But with the 34th overall pick in their draft arsenal, the Redskins should have a shot at landing an impact player with their first selection.

Following a Senior Bowl that lived up to its name by featuring only seniors, the NFL Scouting Combine serves as the another chance for NFL teams to get a look at all the prospects they're considering drafting. The questions for the Redskins is, did the combine help clarify how Washington will approach this May's draft?

In need of an upgrade to its offensive line, receiving corps and its defense, Washington could go a number of different directions early in Round 2.

With that said, here are 25 players the Redskins should consider taking in the second round.

All combine info is via NFL.com.

 

Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB

Eric Francis/Getty Images

Despite signing cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a new four-year deal, the 'Skins have a need at corner. While stocked with potential, David Amerson had an uneven rookie campaign in 2013 and still may be best suited to play safety, since his ball skills are his best NFL trait.

By drafting Stanley Jean-Baptiste out of Nebraska, Washington would have options in how it wants to use both Amerson and Hall going forward.

A former receiver, Jean-Baptiste is the type of big, physical corner that has become in vogue after the Seattle Seahawks' success the past few seasons with similarly built defensive backs.

The key questions with Jean-Baptiste are his speed and his tackling. And by running an unofficial 4.53 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, he answered the former question.

Formerly projected as a fifth-round pick at the onset of the draft process, Jean-Baptiste was slotted to go in the third round prior to the combine by CBSSports.com. With an impressive workout under his belt, expect Jean-Baptiste's stock to rise towards the top of the second round.

 

Bradley Roby, CB

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

With slot cornerback Josh Wilson set to be a free agent, Washington could fill his void, and potentially find Hall's replacement, with Bradley Roby of Ohio State.

A first-round talent, Roby finds himself on the second-round radar because of a run-in with the law. Possessing excellent ball skills and elite speed, he ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, Roby could be an impact performer as a rookie in Washington.

 

Jason Verrett, CB

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

A diminutive corner with a bulldog mentality, TCU's Jason Verrett is everything that Josh Wilson wasn't for Washington last season.

Verrett possesses elite speed, which he showcased by running a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine. Adept at pressing opposing receivers, Verrett uses his speed and 39-inch vertical jump to recover when beaten off the line.

 

Lamarcus Joyner, CB

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Logging playing time at cornerback and safety during his tenure at Florida State, Lamarcus Joyner's best position at the NFL level is cornerback.

Diminutive in size, Joyner is best suited to play over the slot. An excellent tackler in the open field, Joyner has the requisite skills to limit yardage after the catch.

 

Ed Reynolds, S

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Judging from what CBSSports.com's Rob Rang had to say, Stanford's Ed Reynolds could be the answer at safety for the Redskins:

Reynolds possesses the lanky build scouts are looking for at the position. Physical and instinctive. Demonstrates good agility and acceleration to handle covering athletic tight ends out of the slot as well as supply deep help over the top. Understands his role as the last line of defense and generally takes excellent angles in pursuit. Force in run defense. Savvy defender and reliable open-field tackler.

 

Turning in a 4.57 40-yard dash time at the combine, Reynolds showcased the speed he used to torment Pac-12 opponents at Stanford.

Whether it's at free or strong safety, Reynolds could start as a rookie for Washington.

 

Jimmie Ward, S

GM Andrews/Associated Press

With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor likely to be off the board before the second round, the Redskins will have to look to the next tier of safeties if they're to address their need at both safety spots.

And in Jimmie Ward, the Redskins could obtain the playmaker they've lacked in this area.

While he doesn't fit the billing of a prototypical safety (evidenced by the nine reps he posted on the bench press at the combine) Ward is the rare safety who is an asset against the pass and the rush.

A sure tackler, Ward is versatile enough to move to cornerback. Matched up with some lackluster competition while at Northern Illinois, Ward could face a steep learning curve as a rookie, thus limiting his impact in his first year.

 

Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB

With Brian Orakpo's contract status putting his long-term future with Washington in limbo, the Redskins would be wise to target a pass-rusher early in the draft.

Judging from ESPN's Todd McShay's tweet about Jeremiah Attaochu, the former Georgia Tech pass-rusher should be a prospect the 'Skins consider taking with their first pick.

Even in the event that Orakpo and Washington hammer out a long-term deal, you can never have too many pass-rushers, as the Seahawks demonstrated last season.

 

Trent Murphy, DE/OLB

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

As productive as he was in his collegiate career at Stanford, questions about his NFL position continue to dog Trent Murphy.

Tagged by draft gurus, like CBSSports.com's Rob Rang, as too weak to be a defensive end and to slow to be a linebacker, Murphy targeted the combine as an opportunity to prove neither was the case.

But after finishing as one of the worst performers in the bench press, Murphy all but confirmed the first of the aforementioned liabilities. In terms of speed and quickness, though, Murphy proved to be one of the top performers in the three-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle.

With an unrelenting motor, and the ability to add strength under an NFL strength and conditioning program, Murphy could very well meet the Jared Allen comparisons that scouts have been bestowing upon him.

 

Kyle Van Noy, DE/OLB

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

In a similar mold to Murphy, BYU's Kyle Van Noy's best position on the NFL level is somewhat of a mystery. Van Noy's lack of bulk may be an issue, as was illuminated by the 21 reps he had on the bench press at the combine.

It's in his run defense that Van Noy's lack of strength is exposed, as he's prone to missing tackles and often gets stonewalled at the line of scrimmage. But in terms of speed, Van Noy startled at the combine.

He was one of the top performers in the 40-yard dash and the 20-yard shuttle.

Fast and fluid, Van Noy's combine performance gives credence to the thought that he could become a three-down player as a linebacker, capable of rushing the passer and covering the new era of tight ends.

 

Ryan Shazier, OLB

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

On tape, Shazier's athleticism jumps out at you. And at the combine, this was again the case.

The Ohio State linebacker was the top performer in vertical jump, broad jump and the three-cone drill. A non-participant for the 40-yard dash, Shazier did register a 4.21 in the 20-yard shuttle.

Athletic enough to rush the passer and cover tight ends and running backs, size is what's keeping Shazier from being a sure-fire first round pick.

Provided he adds some bulk and is partnered with a space-eating nose tackle, Shazier could also see some time at inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, making him a potential fit for Washington's needs.

 

Stephon Tuitt, DL

JOE RAYMOND/Associated Press

A massive defensive lineman, Stephon Tuitt was a manchild at Notre Dame. Tuitt amassed over 20 sacks as a defensive end in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense.

While Tuitt didn't display at the combine the nimble quickness he utilized at the collegiate level, he did put on display the strength he used to overpower opposing offensive linemen. Tuitt's 31 reps on the bench press made him one of the top performers at the combine.

But as impressive as this feat was, Tuitt's physical tools were never in question.

Instead Tuitt, who can be overly reliant on his athletic ability, is lacking in technique. He also has had questions arise about his conditioning and motor.

Clearly a first-rounder in terms of talent, Tuitt is the type of prospect that Washington—which has a glaring need for an impact player along its defensive front—should consider taking if he's available early in the second round.

 

Will Sutton, DL

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Formerly a defensive tackle at Arizona State, Sutton could play defensive end in a 3-4 defense.

A stout run-defender, and surprisingly a good pass-rusher, Sutton could be a fit along a Washington defensive line that gave Kedric Golston significant playing time last season.

Ultimately though, conditioning will be the determining factor in where Sutton is selected. While an out-of-shape Sutton was productive in his senior season at Arizona State, for Sutton to warrant being picked early in Round 2, his body will have to morph back into its 2012 form.

 

Kelcy Quarles, DL

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Cast in the shadow of Jadeveon Clowney, Quarles was a productive player in his own right at South Carolina. He was second in the nation in sacks, among defensive tackles, with 9.5 in 2013.

Despite posting solid numbers in his workouts at the combine, the main question hovering over Quarles' draft stock is whether or not his production resulted solely because of Clowney's presence on the same defensive line.

While this question won't be answered prior to the draft, Quarles has the measurables and talent that would warrant being selected in the second round.

 

Kelvin Benjamin, WR

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

While speed was never his forte to begin with, Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin's 40-yard dash time of 4.61 seconds is sure to hurt his stock in draft class loaded with receivers.

Squarely on the first-round bubble prior to the combine, according to CBSSports.com, Benjamin could now be available for a Washington team in dire need of receivers with his skill set.

Possessing great size and excellent at winning 50-50 balls, Benjamin could aid a Redskins offense that scored on only 52 percent of its red-zone trips in 2013.

 

Brandin Cooks, WR

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Whereas Benjamin's speed could cause him to fall to the Redskins, Brandin Cooks' 40-yard dash time could push him into the first round.

Churning out a 4.33 40-yard dash, the Oregon State product was the fastest receiver at the combine. Additionally, he also was the top performer in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttle.

But factoring into Washington's favor is the fact that Cooks' speed is no new revelation.

In the process of setting the Pac-12 record for receiving yards and receptions last season, it was evident that Cooks possessed elite speed. Size was always the question mark, and save a growth spurt between now and draft night, it will remain one.

In head coach Jay Gruden's time with Cincinnati, the Bengals made it a point to load up on receiving options. With Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and potentially Cooks, he'd be close to emulating that strategy with the Redskins.

 

Jordan Matthews, WR

G.M. ANDREWS/Associated Press

Known as a route-running tactician, Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews surprised at the combine when he ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash.

Marveled at for his hands and body control, Matthews had only to answer questions about his speed. Versatile enough to play on the outside and in the slot, Matthews could become the consistent receiver the Redskins have long sought to play opposite Garcon.

 

Donte Moncrief, WR

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Prior to the 2013 season, then-Ole Miss Rebel wideout Donte Moncrief was rated by ESPN's Mel Kiper as the ninth-best NFL draft prospect—among all players, regardless of position.

Recently tagged by CBSSports.com as a third-round pick after a lackluster junior campaign, Moncrief gave scouts a reminder as to why he was once so highly touted.

His 40-yard dash time (4.40) was one of the best in the class and was actually faster than the time of top-rated receiver Sammy Watkins. Additionally, Moncrief was a top performer in the vertical leap and broad jump.

A prime red-zone target with top-end speed is hard to come by, making Moncrief a player the Redskins should consider taking in the second round.

 

Odell Beckham Jr., WR

In search of a viable No. 2 option to Garcon and a quality return man, the Redskins could fill both needs with a player like Beckham.

Running a 4.43 40-yard dash and finishing as one of the top performers in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles, Beckham has the speed and quickness to be a nightmare in the open field.

While he's still raw as a route-runner, the former LSU Tiger could make an impact with his open-field elusiveness on screen plays and in the return game as a rookie.

 

Cyril Richardson, OL

As reported by Mike Jones of The Washington Post, Jay Gruden acknowledged that the size of his offensive linemen was an issue in a press conference prior to the combine. The unit, while thriving in its zone-blocking running game, was overpowered too many times in pass protection.

With the addition of Cyril Richardson, the Redskins could certainly address this problem. Possessing great size and strength, Richardson is the type of road-grading mauler Washington has lacked the past couple of seasons.

While his detractors point to his conditioning as a weakness, it must be remembered that the Baylor offense he played on ran one of the top uptempo attacks in the nation. 

Versatile enough to play guard and tackle, Richardson could unseat the incumbent starters at guard or right tackle if brought aboard.

 

Antonio Richardson, OT

What the University of Tennessee's Antonio Richardson lacks in technique, he makes up for in brute strength. A non-participant in some drills at the combine, Richardson was a top performer in the bench press, tallying 36 reps.

With a glaring need at right tackle, Richardson would be an upgrade over incumbent Tyler Polumbus. His addition would shore up a Washington offensive line that allowed 43 sacks last season.

 

Zach Mewhort, OL

A versatile technician in his time at Ohio State, Zach Mewhort did little to quell the notion that he wasn't an athlete at the combine.

After participating in nearly all the combine workouts, Mewhort all but confirmed scout's impressions of him with his average showing in the workouts.

A jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none type of player, Mewhort could play every position outside of center for the Redskins. A player like Mewhort could give Washington some flexibility in how it chooses to build its offensive line.

 

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT

Once viewed as an elite draft prospect prior to the 2013 season, Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has seen his stock slide since.

With what NFL.com's Ian Rappaport has tweeted in regards to Kouandjio failing physicals because of a knee injury, Kouandijo's stock could tumble to the point that he'd be available when the Redskins are up to pick in the second round.

Possessing All-Pro talent, Kouandjio would be a good fit opposite Trent Williams should his medical reports check out.

 

Gabe Jackson, G

With incumbent guard Chris Chester owning a hefty cap charge in 2014, the Redskins could look to a prospect like Gabe Jackson as a cheaper replacement.

Judging from NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki's write-up on Jackson, the former Mississippi State product could be an impact player as a rookie:

Big, thickly built, relatively polished blocker who brings a steadying presence to the interior offensive line. Dependability and effectiveness blocking for pass and run combined with sterling intangibles, including football intelligence, make him capable of starting as a rookie and holding down a position for years to come.

 

Jace Amaro, TE

In Cincinnati, Jay Gruden utilized multiple tight end sets with Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham. While Gruden has Jordan Reed, he'll need another playmaking tight end do the same in Washington.

Enter Jace Amaro of Texas Tech.

A subpar blocker, Amaro's value is solely as a receiver. Posting a 4.74 in the 40-yard dash, he's one of the fastest tight ends in this year's draft class and could help stretch the seams of opposing defenses.

 

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE

Only a participant in the bench press at the combine, former Washington Huskies tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was limited by a stress fracture in his left foot, according to Adam Jude of The Seattle Times.

With this injury, along with his weight issues last season, bogging down his draft stock, Seferian-Jenkins could very well be available when Washington picks atop the second round.

To me, his on-field talents compare to those of former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez. Seferian-Jenkins is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses, as he has the speed to run by linebackers and the size to ward off safeties from jumping routes, a skill he can attribute to his basketball background.

With Reed, Alfred Morris and Seferian-Jenkins, the Redskins' play-action offense could be deadly for years to come.

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