The three-headed monster above has the tall task of rebuilding an NFL franchise. Will they do it the right way?
Despite the fractured relationship between the NFL owners and the (now de-certified) NFL Players Association, one thing is for certain—there will be a draft on April 28-30, 2011.
It is still unknown whether or not there will actually be a season come September, but coaches and general managers, although unable to talk to any of their current players, are still tasked with scouting and grading new ones.
I've said it many times and it's been said by many others—the Washington Redskins have a ton of needs. There are needs on every side of the football and there is a definitive lack of depth at nearly every position.
These needs for talent and depth can not and will not be satisfied with one draft. It will take multiple drafts and numerous successful free agent signings to put this franchise in legitimate Super Bowl contention.
Signing free agent safety O.J. Atogwe was a step in the right direction. There was a need at free safety and Mike Shanahan and co. addressed this need with a solid player at a decent price.
The Redskins can continue this movement in the right direction by drafting responsibly and by improving the entire roster one step at a time. There is no quick fix.
As I stated in my very first article on Bleacher Report, the Washington Redskins are rebuilding, and it's about time they started acting like it.
I had hoped they would be able to possibly trade Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth for some additional picks, but without a new CBA, teams can only trade picks, not players.
This is my third go at a mock draft for the Redskins. My first mock was based strictly on need. My second mock was a post-NFL combine edition and this third one will take into account all of the latest and greatest Pro Day buzz and other draft-related hoopla.
Here we go...
Mike Pouncey, like his brother Maurkice, will anchor the interior offensive line for a decade.
In the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Redskins will do what they did in 2008, only this time with (hopefully) more success—trade down.
You'll recall in 2008, the Redskins traded their 21st overall pick and a third and fifth rounder to the Atlanta Falcons for their two second rounders and a fourth. With those two second round picks, the Redskins selected wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly.
Thomas has since been cut (by two teams) and is a backup to the backup for the New York Giants, and Malcolm Kelly hasn't been able to see the field due to chronic knee issues.
Let's hope the Redskins will make better decisions this time.
The San Diego Chargers will come calling for the 10th overall pick to either draft A.J. Green or Julio Jones to fill the void that will be left by Vincent Jackson inevitably moving on or draft a 3-4 pass rusher in Robert Quinn, Aldon Smith or Akeem Ayers.
In exchange, the Redskins will receive the 18th overall pick, one of San Diego's second rounders (50 overall) and a third rounder (82 overall). The Redskins will also send their fifth (141 overall) and sixth rounders (172 overall) to San Diego in the deal.
With the 18th overall pick, the Redskins will select C/G Mike Pouncey out of the University of Florida.
You might be thinking that this is a bit high for an interior lineman, but just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers how important their Pouncey was to their success.
Phil Taylor is the Nose Tackle the Redskins need for their 3-4 defense.
With the 41st overall selection, the Redskins select Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor (previous pick: Jake Locker, QB, Washington).
Taylor has the size (6'3'', 330lbs) and strength to be the nose tackle the Redskins wanted Albert Haynesworth to be.
With Haynesworth likely out the door, they will need a big, bruising body to provide a strong push up the middle.
Jim Haslett will definitely have to coach him up and make sure the effort is where it needs to be, but he is more than capable of making an impact right away.
Andy Dalton will be chosen as the Redskins quarterback of the future.
With the 50th overall pick, the Redskins select Andy Dalton, QB, Texas Christian University (previous pick - none, acquired from San Diego).
Mike Shanahan probably would have preferred to get Jake Locker in this year's draft, but he'll probably sneak into the first round and the Redskins have bigger needs.
Dalton can be described with one word—winner.
He posted a 42-7 career record in four years at TCU and had an impressive 2010 season with 27 touchdowns, six interceptions and a completion mark above 66 percent.
He's big enough (6'2'', 220lbs) and has the athleticism to effectively run Kyle Shanahan's offense.
Again though, the best thing Dalton brings to the table is a smart, competitive, winning attitude which is something the Redskins haven't had since Mark Rypien.
Greg Little could end up being the big-play wide receiver the Redskins never got out of Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly.
With the 82nd overall pick, the Redskins select Greg Little, WR, University of North Carolina.
Like a few of his UNC teammates, Little missed the 2010 season due to violating NCAA rules. This will be the reason this first round talent falls to the third.
He's big (6'3'', 230lbs), he's fast (4.45 forty) and he's strong (27 bench press reps to lead all receivers).
With Santana Moss possibly being out the door and his big-play production definitely on the decline, the Redskins will choose to add a weapon to their offense here in the third round.
Little will develop into the true number one receiver the Redskins haven't had for a decade.
Elmore, 44, has a high motor and could be a nice complement to Brian Orakpo on the edge.
With the 152nd overall selection, the Redskins take DE/OLB Ricky Elmore, University of Arizona.
Elmore played defensive end at Arizona, but is believed to have the size (6'5, 260lbs) to play 3-4 OLB in the NFL.
He has a high motor with good strength and quickness, putting up 10.5 sacks in 2009 and 11 sacks in 2010.
He will also be a good producer on special teams until he's ready to be a regular contributor on defense.
Could this be the next great Mike Shanahan running back to go late in the draft?
With 202nd pick in the draft, the Redskins will take a flier on Dion Lewis, RB, University of Pittsburgh (previous pick: Ugo Chinasa, DE, Oklahoma State University).
Okay, so he's tiny. Really tiny.
Lewis stands at about 5'6'', and all of 190lbs, but he's fast and incredibly shifty.
Shanahan has a history of finding running backs late in the draft and making them into stars in the NFL.
Teams will likely shy away from Lewis because of his size and because he only played two years of college ball, but I think he could be a diamond in the rough.
He could be the third down, game-changing type back the Redskins have been searching for.
With the 213th overall pick, the Redskins select Daniel Kilgore, OG, Appalachian State (previous pick: Daniel Kilgore).
I still like Kilgore here. He's an athletic, mid-sized offensive guard who can do well in Mike Shanahan's zone blocking scheme. He's definitely not a flashy player, but he'll provide some good depth to the offensive line.
Kilgore has remained at this pick for all three of my mocks. For more about him, check out my previous mock.
Graham Gano was the worst kicker in football in 2010. Should he be replaced?
First Round, 18 overall: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Second Round, 41 overall: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
Second Round, 50 overall: Andy Dalton, QB, Texas Christian
Third Round, 82 overall: Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
Fifth Round, 152 overall: Ricky Elmore, DE/LB, Arizona
Seventh Round, 202 overall: Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh
Seventh Round, 213 overall: Daniel Kilgore, G/C, Appalachian St.
As you can see, by trading down in the first round, the Redskins didn't really acquire "more" picks as most fans would like. What they did, however, is acquire more picks in the first three rounds.
Is a first (18 overall), a second and a third a bit much to move up for a first (10 overall), a fifth and a sixth? Maybe, but you never know. If the Chargers want that player (Julio Jones, Robert Quinn) bad enough, they'll move up in a hurry.
As I said, it's hard to address all of their needs with one draft. One glaring need that wasn't addressed, as you can probably guess by the picture I've chosen for this slide, is kicker. Graham Gano is terrible.
I originally had them drafting Alex Henery out of Nebraska, but they had bigger needs at that spot.
Looking forward to your comments!