NFL.com Media analyst Charles Davis, appearing on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" program, suggested the Redskins could target Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio with the second pick in the second round (h/t NFL.com College Football 24/7 writer Bryan Fischer).
Fellow NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah talked up the idea of Washington moving toward a more power-based blocking scheme under new head coach Jay Gruden. That certainly makes Kouandjio a great fit.
So does Davis' assertion that the 6'7", 322-pounder would slide from left to right tackle in the pros. That would suit the Redskins, considering their struggles up front last season, particularly on the right side.
Tyler Polumbus endured a series of nightmare performances during the later stages of the 2013 season. Kouandjio is likely to be there for Washington at the top of Round 2.
His stock has been hurt by knee issues, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport (h/t College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread on NFL.com).
But if Gruden receives improved reports about the player's health, he might just see Kouandjio as too good to miss.
Gruden has previously indicated there could be some change in the way the O-line blocks in 2014, per Washington Times writer Zac Boyer: "New Redskins coach Jay Gruden said last month at the NFL combine in Indianapolis that there would likely be subtle changes along the offensive line as the team incorporated players who could handle the challenges of an increased power running game."
But as Boyer also points out, Gruden has said he wants a balance between size and mobility:
But if you get the bigger guys who don’t move quite as well, then you lose Alfred Morris’ strength, and that’s the outside zone and stretch and finding holes and lanes to cut through. It can come back and bite you if you want to go big. [You’ve got to] know what you’re doing to make sure you get a lot better.
Gruden's comments actually make the idea of using the team's first pick on Kouandjio more credible. The ex-Crimson Tide behemoth exudes the type of balance between muscle and agility Washington's new sideline general covets.
CBS Sports analyst Rob Rang highlights Kouandjio's blend of attributes:
Quick off the snap and has the lateral agility to slide left to right. Kouandjio uses his athleticism in pass protection well but he's even more impressive as a run blocker, consistently out-quicking defenders to create lanes. Kouandjio relies on good placement, strong hands and an explosive jolt to turn and sustain defenders.
There is also the impact signing wide receiver DeSean Jackson might have on Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen's draft plans.
Prior to Jackson's arrival, adding quality pass-catchers was an obvious priority this May. With Jackson and fellow newbie Andre Roberts on board, that need is not as pressing.
But fixing the O-line still remains a necessity. Pairing Kouandjio with Trent Williams would give Gruden's offense bookend tackles.
That will be too tempting to pass up if Kouandjio is still on the board at 34.