Redskins' Mock Draft: Instant Contributors Washington Can Find in Every Round
If the Washington Redskins' 3-13 record in 2013 doesn't already tell you, then the team's relative inactivity in free agency should: They are in dire need of some instant contributors in the NFL draft. And without a first-round pick, the sledding will be even tougher for general manager Bruce Allen to find them.
Offensive tackle, receiver and the secondary have to be the chief areas of concern for Allen and head coach Jay Gruden, who have six picks in total.
With that said, here are some impact rookies that Washington can find in every round.
Round 2: Bradley Roby, CB
The Skins gained a marginally better cover man by swapping out Josh Wilson for Tracy Porter.
But considering his reputation as a flailing tackler and the fact that he's on his fourth team in four years, odds are that Washington doesn't improve on the 58 receptions of 20-plus yards it allowed last season.
Enter Bradley Roby.
With Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com praising his ability to mirror and shadow opposing receivers, Roby could slide Porter into his proper role as a No. 4 corner.
Possessing excellent ball skills and elite speed—he ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash—Roby should be able to parlay his physical skills into a role as the team's nickel corner.
Round 3: Jack Mewhort, OT
Through the ouster of Will Montgomery and the signing of Shawn Lauvao—and to a lesser extent, acquiring Mike McGlynn as an insurance policy for Chris Chester—the Redskins have upgraded an offensive line that made a pinata out of Robert Griffin III last season.
But one problem spot remains: the right tackle spot being manned by Tyler Polumbus.
Judging from Washington's failed pursuit of tackle Donald Penn in free agency, the team is aware of this reality.
After four seasons at Ohio State, where he logged starts at every position along the offensive line except center, Jack Mewhort is a viable candidate to supplant Polumbus in the starting lineup.
Compared by CBSSports.com's Rob Rang to David Stewart, Mewhort's game should remove any doubt regarding his NFL readiness: "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."
By selecting Mewhort and having Trent Williams already in tow, Washington would have the bookend tackles it needs to protect Griffin for the long haul.
Round 4: Ed Reynolds, S
After the Redskins trotted out the likes of Reed Doughty, Brandon Meriweather, Bacarri Rambo and E.J. Biggers at the safety positions last season, upgrading the safety spot should have been a high-priority item on the to-do list.
Nearly three weeks into free agency, all Washington has done is re-sign Meriweather and Biggers.
The team had the 27th-ranked pass defense with them last season, and Doughty's departure isn't going to lead to much improvement on this front by itself.
But instead of pursuing safeties like T.J. Ward, Donte Whitner or Jairus Byrd to rectify this problem, Bruce Allen is eyeing Phillip Thomas as a potential starter, according to Mike Jones of The Washington Post.
Considering Thomas missed his entire rookie season to injury, the Skins better inject some new blood into the competition at safety.
Capable of playing both safety spots, Ed Reynolds would be a good prospect to add to the mix. A natural at making plays on the ball, he has seven career interceptions and was one yard shy from tying the NCAA record for interception return yards in 2012.
In his assessment of Reynolds, CBSSports.com's Rob Rang called him a "force in run defense and a reliable open-field tackler."
Possessing a skill set that Washington is lacking at safety, he would have a good shot at winning the starting job as a rookie.
Round 5: Brandon Coleman, WR
While he's no DeSean Jackson in terms of speed, Brandon Coleman is no stranger to making plays deep downfield.
In his collegiate career at Rutgers—far from "Quarterback U"—Coleman averaged more than 21 yards per catch and scored on one out of every five catches over three seasons.
Additionally, at 6'6", he doesn't miss too many jump balls.
For a Washington offense that only scored on 52 percent of its red-zone trips in 2013, it's easy to envision the role that Coleman could fill as a rookie.
Round 6: Dri Archer, RB/WR
The Skins had one of the worst return units in the NFL last season. In fact, they were the worst.
An owner of electric game-breaking ability, Dri Archer could be Washington's remedy for this problem. He ran a 4.26 40-yard dash at the combine and had four career kickoff-return touchdowns at Kent State.
Additionally, thanks to the time he logged at receiver and running back in college, he profiles as a Darren Sproles or Dexter McCluster-type player in the NFL.
While Washington's receiving depth chart could make it hard for him to see the field as a rookie wideout, Alfred Morris' lack of receiving skills could lead to Archer seeing time as the third-down back.
Round 7: Colt Lyerla, TE
An athletic marvel from Oregon, Colt Lyerla has drawn comparisons to Rob Gronkowski.
How does a player compared to Gronk last till the seventh round, you ask?
As CBSSports.com's Rob Rang notes, off-the-field problems have caused Lyerla's stock to plummet:
Abruptly quit the team on Oct. 6, calling his choice to leave the Ducks as a "personal decision." This occurred after missing the Ducks' Sept. 14 game against Tennessee for what Lyerla later called the stomach flu but head coach Mark Helfrich characterized simply as "circumstances."
Arrested Oct. 23, 2013 when undercover police discovered inhaling a "white powdery substance" inside a car. Lyerla later admitted the substance was cocaine. This was hardly Lyerla's only run-in with police. He had his driver's license suspended Oct. 11, 2013 after receiving four driving tickets in the previous 24 months.
In the event that Lyerla cleans up his act, he has the tools to be a productive NFL player. An excellent run-blocker with tantalizing agility for a man his size, he could form quite a tandem with Jordan Reed.
With Lyerla, Alfred Morris and Reed, the Redskins' play-action offense would give defenses fits next season.
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