2011 NFL Mock Draft: Which QB Will Replace Washington Redskins' Donovan McNabb?
Another week, another mock draft.
The draft creeps ever closer, and with the draft being the only thing worth talking about unless you want to talk about the lockout (breaking news: both sides hate each other and it's still being litigated), all eyes are focused squarely on the draft, which is the only football news worth talking about and the only news that's sort of interesting.
The speculations and buzz is at a fever pitch, and it's certainly no different for the Washington Redskins. With the 10th pick overall, the Redskins have been seen as taking pretty much anything and anyone. The Redskins, as has been said ad naseum, needs to fill a lot of holes, and as of now, they don't have many draft picks.
So, let's take another spin around the 2011 NFL Draft and see who the Redskins could and should take, and the moves they should make.
With the 18th Pick of the NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins Select...
The Redskins trade the tenth pick to St. Louis for a 3rd and a 5th round draft pick, then trade the fourteenth pick overall to San Diego for a 2nd round and 4th round draft pick.
Picking at 10 this year sucks.
Taking the players that are the best available at this point all seem to be bad for various reasons. Julio Jones might be there (or A.J Green), but drafting wide receivers in the first round is always risky and, while it fits a need, there's other needs. The same could be said of cornerback Prince Amukamara; corner is also a need, but there's no point drafting a corner if the defensive line is still in flux.
Da'Quan Bowers and Robert Quinn are solid draft prospects in their own right, but both are better fits as 4-3 defensive ends than 3-4 outside linebackers, both have health concerns, and both have question marks about their college production, since both are one year wonders.
It's too high to take a defensive lineman or offensive lineman or the quarterbacks available. With no draft picks, the Redskins can't trade up to get Blaine Gabbert, Patrick Peterson, Von Miller or even Cam Newton.
The only way to do it is to go down. The Rams will come a calling for one of the two wide receivers available to find a big time receiving threat in Josh McDaniels big play offense. The Redskins will be shocked when the Chargers come a calling, and decide to reach and draft Robert Quinn. This will allow the Redskins to trade down yet again, get more draft picks, and fill more holes.
With the 18th pick, the Redskins will think about taking Aldon Smith or Ryan Kerrigan, but will decide on going with defensive end Cameron Jordan instead. Cam Jordan is one of the cleanest, hardest working characters in the draft, and he's established a solid track record of production on the college level.
Jordan racked up 6 sacks in his senior season at Cal, and had seventeen sacks over the course of his career. He's a solid, wrap up tackler who can stop the run, and also get in the quarterback's face and disrupt play.
A lot of converted 3-4 linebackers will still be on the board, but how many 3-4 teams have book end outside linebackers? Can you name me the guy that lines up next to Terrell Suggs? What about Clay Matthews? Tamba Hali?
A disruptive defensive end (as proven with players like Cullen Jenkins and Haloti Ngata) can be just as good as having someone rushing the quarterback outside, and it feels a real hole and need. If the Redskins can find a nose tackle, the defensive line can be solidified and solid for a long time.
Round 2, Pick 1
The 49ers send their 2nd round draft pick to the Redskins for the 41st pick in the draft, in exchange for a 3rd and a 5th round pick.
Andy Dalton, quarterback from Texas Christian University.
The run on quarterbacks will start in earnest in the second round, and the Redskins are in the best place possible to snag one of them. However, looking at the board, and who might fit where, the Redskins will take a chance on potentially missing out when they trade with the 49ers, so they can move up and snatch up Christian Ponder.
I fully expect Mallett, Locker and of course Ponder to be gone by the time the Redskins pick, and that's fine with me; I picked Andy Dalton in one of my first mocks, and I should've stuck with him through it all. This pick really is a competition between Ponder and Dalton; whoever is the guy on the board at 41, the Redskins should take him. But since it's been rumored that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is high on Dalton, I'd put him in at this pick over others.
All Andy Dalton did at TCU was win. In the course of winning and turning around their football program, Dalton rewrote many of the records set by former Redskins quarterback and Hall of Famer "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh. A four year starter, Dalton threw for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions in his senior year, led his team to an undefeated season, and then shocked many people when he led his team to a victory of the favored Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
Dalton has maintained a consistently high completion percentage. He doesn't have the biggest arm in the world, but neither did Drew Brees when he came out of Purdue, and what he can do is more than good enough for the Redskins style of offense. What he needs to work on is coming out from under center; he didn't have to do a whole lot of it playing in the Horned Frogs spread offense. He also needs to speed up his release a little it.
That said, Dalton's got the the brains, the physical ability, and the leadership to be a solid quarterback, and would be a welcome addition to the Redskins.
Round 2, Pick 2
Stefan Wisniewski, offensive guard/center from Penn State University.
The Redskins can't get out of the draft without addressing the key needs on their offensive line, and in Wisniewski, they get an athletic, versatile linemen who can play at either guard or center and be an improvement of the current options at either.
Wisniewski comes from a football pedigree (his father and uncle both played for PSU and would both play in the NFL; his uncle Steven would go on to become a Pro Bowler), is intelligent (became the first Penn State student-athlete named to the ESPN Academic All-American three times), and helped open holes for Evan Royster on his way to become Penn State's all time leading rusher.
Wisniewski is a day one starter with big time upside who you can line up at any position on the interior offensive line and be productive.
Round 3, Pick 1
Austin Pettis, wide receiver from Boise State.
The Redskins need wide receiving threats, and many a fan will be boo-hooing the 'Skins not selecting A.J Green or Julio Jones in the first; it's just what we do in the DMV. Complain about the people we should've drafted.
Meanwhile, in the third round, there's a very good wide receiving talents that will be worth a third round pick.
Austin Pettis is coming off a 71 reception, 951 yards, 10 touchdown season catching passes from Kellen Moore. What he lacks in top end speed (he only ran a 4.61 at the Combine), he makes up for in being a crisps route runner with excellent hands. The Redskins have a lot of speedy wide receivers---Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, and even Santana Moss if he resigns (perhaps Malcolm Kelly, if he can ever stay healthy---but having a tall, physical guy who can run routes and be a red zone threat with awesome hands?
How can you pass that up?
What Pettis lacks in speed, he'll likely make up for in production. The Redskins have a lot of slot/speedy receivers; they need a possession guy who can move the chains, be a threat in the red zone, and garner attention for the smaller slot guys to do their work underneath.
Round 3, Pick 2
Shane Vereen, running back from the University of California at Berkeley.
I've written before that while the Redskins have a lot of holes, running back probably isn't one of them. That being said, Shanahan leaving the draft without at least running back would be unheard of. While he's been pretty solid with guys he's picked later than this, Cal product Shane Vereen is a prospect too good to pass up in my mind.
Vereen is coming off a 1,167 yards rushing season where he rushed for 13 touchdowns and scored 3 touchdowns receiving. At the Combine he ran 4.5 flat; he's got an ability to make people miss, hit a hole and break a big one at any point, which would add a much needed dimension to the team.
The Redskins have some power in Keiland Williams and Ryan Torain. Some speed would be a welcome addition to the team, and Vereen could add that dimension to the football team and potentially be another "where did Mike Shanahan find that running back?" type of pick.
Dontay Moch, defensive end/outside linebacker from the University of Nevada.
Dontay Moch's draft stock tends to fluctuate up and down between the third and fourth round. As an undersized 4-3 defensive end, he's not rated very high, but the will be a team that stands him up and tries to make him an outside linebacker.
Moch's seems to work better as a pure pass rusher; he looks lost when he has to drop back into coverage, but he makes up for some of his defencies in that with his athleticism. He's a solid tackler, he's got enough speed to get around tackles, and is all around a solid outside linebacking prospect, who could possibly come in and compete with someone like Rob Jackson for a starting job.
Round 5, Pick 1
Sione Fua, nose tackle for Stanford University.
The Redskins won't get out of the draft without taking a nose tackle, and Sione Fua is a solid nose tackle prospect. He's not the most disruptive guy, but nose tackles usually aren't--their job is to absorb blocks, force o-linemen to pay attention to them, and help create holes behind them for the linebackers to do their job.
Fua is more than a good prospect to do that. He has to work on getting stronger at the next level, but even so, he'd still be an upgrade over Ma'ake Kemoeatu, and at the very least could provide some all important depth at the position.
Round 5, Pick 2
Justin Boren, offensive guard from Ohio State University.
The Redskins need depth at guard, and they could use anyone who could be a potential playmaker. Justin Boren will be one of the best guard on the board at this point, and the Redskins would be stupid not to take him.
Boren has had a successful career playing for Michigan and Ohio State. He's an athletic guy who can be contribute in the running game and in the passing game, who only needs some work on his overall technique to get better. Boren has some big time upside, and in keeping with Mike Shanahan's ability to pick up talent in the later rounds, if Boren falls this far, he has the potential to be another draft steal.
Round 5, Pick 3
Jeremy Kerley, wide receiver from TCU.
The Redskins went out and drafted Andy Dalton in round two. Now, they draft one of his favorite targets. Jeremy Kerley racked 56 receptions for 565 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also scored three touchdowns rushing, threw one touchdown pass, and is dynamic on punt returns and kick returns.
Primarily a slot guy, Kerley is a big play waiting to happen. I said before that the Redskins had a lot of slot guys with speed, but I'm thinking the Redskins won't shy away from adding another wide receiver to their receiving core, especially one as versatile as Kerley.
Round 5, Pick 4
Jason Pinkston, offensive tackle from Pitt.
The Redskins round out their quartet of fifth round draft picks by adding Pittsburgh tackle Jason Pinkston. The Redskins ranked amongst one of the worst teams in the lead when it came to running the ball on the left side. If the Redskins can't resign Jammal Brown or pick of a free agent tackle, their best bets would be to resign Stephon Heyer (yikes) or hoping former seventh round draft pick Selvish Capers can work out.
Here, the Redskins cover their bases by drafting a potential right tackle in Pinkston. Pinkston is a solid tackle against the run, which will tremendously---the Redskins can't just run it to Trent Williams side every time, after all. He needs some work in pass protection with his footworkk, but he's a coachable guy who can develop into another solid offensive linemen on an o-line that definitely needs them.
Charles Clay, fullback from the University of Tulsa.
It's getting a little offensively heavy at this half of the draft, but that's because there's a lot more depth offensively in the back half the draft at the Redskins positions of need. One position that doesn't get a lot of talk is the position of fullback.
Mike Sellers has been a great teammate and player, but the Redskins need to start thinking about his replacement. While Darrel Young is the current back-up, no one knows how good he can really be.
Clay is another versatile player who can also be split out to play some tight end. He's a great blocker who can also spell the running back, and who is a solid blocker. He only rushed for 266 yards this season, but his 43 receptions for 526 yards and 7 touchdowns.
With this pick, the Redskins get yet another multiple role player and potentially add depth not only at fullback, but at tight end as well. (Clay participated in the Combine as a tight end, but played in the Senior Bowl as a fullback.)
Round 7, Pick 1
Dan Bailey, kicker from Oklahoma State University.
Another day, another time I'm still taking a kicker in the second round. Like I said, I like Gano, but I like him more as a kickoff specialist at this point than the field goal kicker. Bailey's got a strong leg, a good track record, and hey, it's the seventh round, why not?
At worst, there will be some competition to put Gano on his toes.
Round 7, Pick 2
Tyrod Taylor, quarterback from Virginia Tech.
Do I really think Tyrod Taylor will fall all the way to the seventh round?
No, not really. There are a lot of quarterback needy teams in this draft, and Taylor is athletic, he's got a big arm, and he has some talent. But evaluating quarterbacks is always a weird...thing in the NFL, and even though I like what Taylor brings to the table, it's not unfeasible that teams take players like Greg McElroy, Nate Enderlee and even Pat Devlin over Taylor.
Why? Because he's got that nasty "he's an athlete, not a quarterback" tag that plagues players like former UAB product Joe Webb. Taylor is the kind of guy who will get drafted as a quarterback, but inevitably, someone will try to turn him into something else.
So why do I think the Redskins are different?
For one, Mike Shanahan isn't afraid to draft depth at any position, and even though he signed John Beck to a contract extension, the fact that he never really got his shot at bat at the end of the season and didn't shine in preseason either probably leaves him as a permanent third-stringer, and possible trade bait to a team that needs a back-up quarterback or another third stringer.
Taylor is a local guy, and I really think he's a gifted. The Redskins experimented with running the Wildcat formation, but the whole thing is pretty much pointless if you can't throw out of the formation. Like Brad Smith, Taylor could be used in the formation. He can definitely run with the football, he can definitely throw the ball, and he would be an absolute double threat in the backfield, as well as a potential back-up quarterback.
I like what Taylor brings to the table and I thinke he probably is better than anyone wants to give him credit for.
Round 7, Pick 3
Kris Durham, wide receiver from the University of Georgia.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mr. Not-Quite-Irrelevant. Durham will have a long, long, long draft wait, but the Redskins would be wise to not over look Durham given the opportunity. He's 6'6", he runs 4.4, and in his senior season, he notched 53 receptions, 659 yards and 3 touchdowns. Though he didn't really take off until his senior season, he's still a solid receiving prospect with good hands and blazing speeds.
The Redskins need depth at wide receiver, and Durham had a solid Pro Day according to Mike Mayock...he also wasn't invited to the Combine, which means he might be completely off teams radars.
Still, that being said, you can never go wrong drafting tall, physical receivers (unless you draft Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas in the same round), and who knows; Marques Colston was drafted second from last, and he helped the Saints get a Super Bowl ring.
1st Round: Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, Cal
2nd Round: Quarterback Andy Dalton, TCU
2nd Round: Offensive Guard/Center Stefan Wisniewski, Penn State University
3rd Round: Wide Receiver Austin Pettis, Boise State
3rd Round: Running Back Shane Vereen, Cal
4th Round: Outside Linebacker Dontay Moch, Nevada
5th Round: Nose Tackle Sione Fua, Stanford
5th Round: Wide Receiver Jeremy Kerley, TCU
5th Round: Offensive Tackle Jason Pinkston, Pittsburgh
6th Round: Fullback Charles Clay, Tulsa
7th Round: Kicker Dan Bailey, OSU
7th Round: Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
7th Round: Wide Receiver Kris Durham, Georgia