2011 NFL Mock Draft: Washington Redskins 7-Round Mock Draft and Position Needs

Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Washington Redskins 7-Round Mock Draft and Position Needs

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    LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 02:  Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan makes a point with a referee in the fourth quarter of a game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the game 17-14.  (Pho
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    With the 2011 NFL combine underway, Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, and the Washington Redskins are beginning to prepare the for 2011 NFL Draft.

    The Redskins have a lot of needs coming off a poor first season under Shanahan, from offensive line to linebacker.  Before getting to the Redskins mock draft, it is time to break down the position needs for the 'Skins.

Offensive Line

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Trent Williams from the Oklahoma Sooners holds a Washington Redskins jersey after Washington selected Williams number 4 overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Offensive Line: The Redskins offensive line was very poor last season.  Trent Williams was ranked as one of the ten worst left tackles according to Pro Football Focus. They also had Jammal Brown ranked as a bottom ten right tackle.

    Brown was still recovering from a hip injury for much of the year and seemed to perform better near the end of the season. Shanahan has admitted that Brown flipped the switch around Week 11 and the Redskins have expressed interest in resigning him.

    The interior of the offensive line is probably the biggest issue for the Redskins.  They have no consistent play at either guard position and are in need of a more talented center.  Casey Rabach is a very good leader but lacks the physical tools to be successful at this point in his career.

    The Redskins should look to add an interior lineman or two during the draft and move Kory Lichtenstein to the center position.


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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins scrambles for yardage during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 26, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Early reports have the Redskins parting ways with Donovan McNabb after the draft.  If there is a CBA reached before the draft, the Redskins will likely trade both him and Albert Haynesworth on draft day.

    Rex Grossman is not the answer for the Redskins future, but he is solid enough to fill in on "spot duty" for the 2011 season.  Grossman is set to become a free agent but will likely be back with the Redskins when the new CBA is reached.

    If the Redskins find someone that they think could be a franchise quarterback in this draft, they may pull the trigger.

Wide Receiver

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    LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 02:  Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong #13 of the Washington Redskins catches a touchdown pass over Antrel Rolle #26 of the New York Giants during the game at FedEx Field on January 2, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Giants won the ga
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    With Santana Moss on the free agent market and the Redskins appearing content to let him walk, the wide receiver position becomes a huge need for the 'Skins.

    The Redskins really like Anthony Armstrong and the potential that he showed last season.  Outside of that they don't have much at the receiver position. 

    Malcolm Kelly can't seem to stay healthy but he is still a part of the team and may have a chance to get significant playing time next season, if he can stay on the field.

    The Redskins need to find a receiver in the draft or bring in a free agent who can start immediately.

Running Back

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 26:  Ryan Torain #46 of the Washington Redskins dives for a touchdown over Don Carey #22 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on December 26, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Gett
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Ryan Torain appears to be the running back of the future for the Redskins with Adam Schefter reporting that Clinton Portis will be released within the next 48 hours.

    Keiland WIlliams showed that he can perform at the NFL level, but he cannot carry the load on a regular basis.  With Torain showing last year that he can be fragile, the Redskins need to address the running back position during the offseason.

    Shanahan has shown the ability to turn late round draft picks into very good NFL running backs. Look for him to work his magic again in this draft.

Defensive Line

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    GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Redskins defensive line is horrible. Haynesworth does not fit in the 3-4 mold and appears to be on his way out of town.

    The Redskins thought they signed a true nose tackle in Ma'ake Kemoeatu, but he was very disappointing in the 2010 season.  The Redskins also added two new players at defensive end, Vonnie Holliday and Adam Carriker, both of which were also disappointing.

    Carriker and Holliday should not be starters in the NFL and the Redskins desperately need to add three new players on the defensive line through free agency and the draft.


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    NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 21:  Brian Orakpo #98 of the Washington Redskins forces Jared Cook #89 of the Tennessee Titans out-of-bounds at LP Field on November 21, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Redskins won 19-16 in overtime.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    With Rocky McIntosh certain to be on his way out of Washington, the Redskins will need to address the linebacker position during the draft or free agency.

    The Redskins like the potential of Perry Riley, whom the Redskins drafted last season out of LSU, to play the ILB position opposite of London Fletcher, so don't expect for them to draft an ILB early in the draft.

    However, the Redskins desperately need an OLB that can rush the passer opposite of Brian Orakpo.  The Redskins will likely address OLB during the draft or free agency.


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    LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 19:  LaRon Landry #30 of the Washington Redskins celebrates a play against the Houston Texans at FedExField on September 19, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Texans defeated the Redskins in overtime 30-27. (Photo by Larry French/Ge
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Redskins secondary ranked near the bottom of the league last season in passing yards allowed.  However, DeAngelo Hall had a very solid season and the reason for their secondary concerns were likely contributed to their inability to rush the passer.

    LaRon Landry was on pace to be a defensive player of the year candidate before he was injured. 

    Carlos Rogers is set to become a free agent and is looking to sign a huge contract this offseason. Rogers stated on an interview with Chad Dukes and Lavar Arrington on 106.7 the fan that he thinks he is better than Dunta Robinson, who signed a six-year, $57 million dollar contract last season.

    If Rogers is looking to get that kind of money, no way he is back in Washington next season, so the Redskins will need to bring in another CB.

    The Redskins also need a free safety to play opposite of Landry.  The Redskins did interview O.J. Atogwe recently and bringing him in would solidify the free safety position for the skins.

    Chances are the Redskins will look to bring in a number two CB in free agency rather than in the draft, unless there is someone the Redskins like in the second round or Prince Amukamara falls to the 'Skins.

Round 1, 14th Overall: Akeem Ayers (OLB UCLA)

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    When the Washington Redskins come on the clock at pick number ten, the St. Louis Rams will be calling.  With Cam Newton off the board, the Redskins will look to trade down and acquire additional picks.

    St. Louis is in desperate need of a big-time wide receiver and will be looking to acquire Julio Jones.  Julio Jones looked incredible at the combine today and more teams may be looking to acquire him on draft day.  Prior to the combine, the Rams likely could have stayed pat at No. 14 and acquired him, but they will likely have to trade up now.

    In the trade the Redskins acquire the No. 14 pick from the Rams and Rams third round pick, No. 78 overall, while sending the Rams the tenth pick and the No. 172 pick overall (in the sixth round) to St. Louis.

    As stated previously the Redskins really need a player that can rush the passer opposite of Brian Orakpo.  Ayers is similar to Orakpo in the fact that he utilizes his athleticism to get to the quarterback. 

    Ayers is a ballhawk and while he doesn't have ideal coverage skills, he knows how to get to the QB.  Drafting Ayers gives the Redskins two young, athletic OLBs that can really rush the passer. 

    Ayers should help the Redskins horrible pass defense by applying pressure on the QB and not forcing the corners to have to cover for ten seconds.

Round 2, 41st Overall: Greg Little (WR UNC)

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    Greg Little likely would have been a first round selection had he played in the 2010 season for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

    Little has really impressed so far at the NFL combine.  Greg Little had three more reps on the bench press than any other wide receiver, coming in at 27 reps (only three had more than 20 reps).  Little came in fourth among receivers in the vertical jump at 40.5 inches and fourth in the broad jump at 10.9 feet.

    Little looked solid during his routes, but was sloppy at times.  That could come with the fact that he hasn't had much game action during the past year. 

    However, Little is a big physical receiver that the Redskins have been looking for years.  He is very strong against coverage and can haul in passes while being contacted.  Little will be a great complement receiver opposite of Anthony Armstrong.

Round 3, 78th Overall (From St. Louis): Marcus Cannon (OT TCU)

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    As mentioned previously the Redskins have a lot of problems on the offensive line and Marcus Cannon is one of the more versatile lineman in the draft.

    The trade with the St. Louis Rams helps the Redskins to acquire a third round pick to help solidify the Redskins offensive line.

    Cannon played OT at TCU but will likely be converted to OG in the NFL.  Cannon doesn't have ideal quickness to play tackle in the NFL but he is big and strong and can utilize that at the guard position.

    The Redskins lack a presence at either guard position and Cannon would immediately become a starter for the Redskins, while providing depth at the tackle position, as well.

Round 5, 141st Overall: Dion Lewis (RB Pittsburgh)

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    The Redskins need another running back to go with Torain and Williams. Dion Lewis had a big season in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Panthers but fell off in 2010.

    Lewis is a quick, shifty running back that would compliment Torain's power style nicely.  Although Lewis doesn't have home-run speed, he can cut on a dime and has the potential to be a solid NFL running back.

    Lewis does need to improve his pass blocking and his vision but should fit in well in Shanahan's blocking scheme and has the potential to end up as a very good running back in this league.

Round 5, 152nd Overall: Greg McElroy (QB Alabama)

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    The Redskins need another QB as McNabb will be on his way out of town soon.  Greg McElroy is a very accurate passer, but lacks ideal arm strength.

    One of McElroy's best attributes is that he is a very intelligent QB that protects the ball very well.  McElroy does not possess all the physical tools that you look for out of a QB, however he does make all the right decisions.  In his two seasons as starting QB for the Crimson Tide, McElroy only threw nine interceptions in his 638 attempts.

    McElroy is very calm in the pocket and has solid mechanics.  He played in a pro-style offense at Alabama so he should easily be able to adapt to an NFL scheme.

    McElroy may not be the QB of the future for the Redskins but he has potential and will likely be a very good backup QB in the NFL.

Round 7, 202nd Overall: Dan Bailey (K Oklahoma State)

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    The Redskins have had kicking woes for years and are seemingly looking to improve here every season.  Graham Gano was among the league's worst in kickers this past season so the Redskins need to bring in some kicking competition.

    Dan Bailey provides that kicking competition for the Redskins.  Bailey capped his collegiate career by receiving the Lou Groza award for being the nation's top kicker.

    Bailey improved during his time at Oklahoma State and only missed two field goal attempts over 40 yards in his senior season.

    As a seventh round selection Bailey is a low risk, high reward selection for the Redskins.


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