Washington Redskins Draft Talk Heating Up: Which Need Do They Address?

Zachary Ball@MLBDraftCntdwnAnalyst IApril 14, 2009

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 10:  Rudy Burgess #3 and wide receiver for the Arizona State Sun Devils gets tackled by Tyson Jackson #93 and defensive end for the Louisiana State University Tigers in the first half at Sun Devil Stadium on September 10, 2005 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald released his most recent Mock Madness 2009, a compilation of mock draft results for where everyone who's anyone thinks the Redskins will go with the 13th overall pick.

I thought it would be fun to go over these so called "experts" picks and see what you guys think. I'll list what I think and how pleased I would be with who they're projected to take. Let's get it on...

Mel Kiper's pick: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

Really? Wow, Jason Campbell sure has taken a beating this offseason. First, it's the Jay Cutler to Washington rumors, then this? Poor guy. I was pretty taken aback when I heard on SportsCenter how the Broncos didn't want Campbell and that's what prevented that trade from going down, but I don't think that Sanchez is the answer. That's coming from a guy who loooooooooves quarterbacks. 

Does anyone remember that the Skins drafted Campbell and he sat for almost two years? What do you think is going to do happen if they draft Sanchez, who has started only 12 games since high school? You think maybe they'll sit him for a year, maybe two? Hmm... I wonder. And two years from now, do you think Sanchez will be playing any better than Campbell. I like Kiper, but this pick makes nooooo sense whatsoever. More importantly, if they take Sanchez...what happens to Colt "Savior" Brennan?

Pat Kirwan (NFL.com), NFL Draft Countdown.com, The Huddle Report, Charles Davis (NFL Network): Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU

I like Jackson. He's an athlete. At 6-foot-4, 296 pounds, he's as strong as an ox who was twice named second team All-SEC. He finished his career with 19.5 sacks, including 10 in his sophomore year.

He's also quite possibly the most solid defensive end in the draft, aka the safest pick. He might not have the upside of an Aaron Maybin, but there is a greater chance he'll still be playing in the NFL in 10 years. 

The Skins improved their line this offseason with Albert Haynesworth, obviously, but they're still lacking a "true" starter who can make an impact. Sorry Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson, Alex Buzbee and Renaldo Wynn.

Here's why I think the Jackson pick makes sense, at least more so than Sanchez: his presence gives the Skins two talented ends (with Andre Carter), takes more pressure off of both Carter and Haynesworth, and allows Phillip Daniels, who struggles to make it through a season completely healthy, to exert maximum effort while he's on the field in a part-time capacity. 

I'm listening to Charles Davis of NFL Network right now on Jacksonville 1010 XL sports radio and he sounds like he knows what he's talking about, so I'll gladly take Jackson at No. 13. Plus it means we get to keep Brennan. Woohoo!

Todd McShay, Clark Judge (CBS Sports): Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee

Different player, same story. Either way the Skins go, it's still pretty clear that they could use the 13th pick on a defensive end and get a pretty good player. I don't know about drafting Ayers this early, especially if Jackson and Maybin are still on the board, but let's examine him. 

A first team All-SEC his senior year, Ayers notched only three sacks, but what he lacked in statistics he made up for with his intimidating presence. He was one of few standouts at the Senior Bowl and showed up offensive tackle Andre Smith.

He has great size, good agility, and is good against the run. If I had the choice between Ayers or Tyson Jackson, I'll probably give the edge to Jackson, just because he was a four-year starter on a national championship contender. Ayers just managed to crack the starting lineup his senior year and doesn't have the stats that Jackson accumulated.

Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk), NBC Sports.com, Football Futures.com, Draft King.com, NFL Draft Blitz.com: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss

I really can't see the Skins going any other position but offensive tackle with their first pick. Take into consideration that the starters on their O-line are all WAY up there in age. All over 30 years of age, all with a history of injury.

Chris Samuels can probably make it through a few more years, but Randy Thomas and Jon Jansen are trips to the IR just waiting to happen. I doubt all three will make it through 2009 unscathed. And THAT is why I prefer the Skins to take an offensive tackle. But, only if there's still one there...and his name isn't Andre Smith.

I like Oher. He's got great game, and you just know that if he didn't have the learning disability thing going against him, he just might be having talks with the Lions. Oher is physically one of the most ready to play in the NFL, but mentally is another issue.

Many feel that he might take some extra attention to be able to make up for his disability. But I say, if you have a player who's going to need some extra coaching, why not let him learn from the guy who created the "Hogs" and the best offensive lineman the Skins have had since the Hogs, Chris Samuels.

I think Samuels could take Oher under his wing and tutor him, on and off the field. He could teach him all the finer intricacies that make Samuels one of the best tackles in the game when he's healthy. He will also show him the ways of an NFL player off the field, one that hasn't been in any real trouble since he was drafted a decade ago. He could also bond with the youngster over what it's like for a high draft pick. 

Great Blue North Draft Report, James Alder (About.com): Andre Smith, OT, Alabama

No...no no no no no. Nooooo. If the Skins take Smith, I'll turn in my spot on the season tickets list, which now stands at 236,143.

Those are the big five thrown out there by reputable sources, but others throw out names like Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing, both linebackers from USC. I'd be happy with a linebacker too, but I'd be even more happy to have Marcus Washington back :(

I think the Skins have bigger needs for their first pick than a linebacker. London Fletcher is a solid player for at least three to four more years. Rocky McIntosh is finally coming into his own, and I think H.B. Blades is a lot better than anyone gives him credit for. He's like a Reed Doughty, except with talent. 

If I'm going to draft a franchise type player with the 13th pick. I would rather have a franchise offensive tackle than a linebacker. But, throw in the defensive end position, and it's close. Overall, in summary, I'm pretty sure I would rank the Skins actual needs as such:

1. Offensive tackle
2. Defensive end
3. Linebacker
4. Backup running back
5. True No. 1 wide receiver
43. Quarterback

In terms of players, here's how I'd rank them, by how much I think the Skins could use them, and who will most likely be available when they pick at 13:

1. Michael Oher
2. Tyson Jackson
3. Robet Ayers
4. Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
5. Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.