In his first Mock Draft of 2012, ESPN’s Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has projected the Redskins to select Cornerback Morris Claiborne of LSU. Before we go wild and start ranting or raving about Kiper’s pick, it is well known that many of these mock drafts that come out in January almost never look the same in February, March, and especially not in the weeks leading up to the draft in April. So let’s take this with a grain of salt. As an example for comparison, in Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of 2011, he had the Redskins selecting Cam Newton at pick #10. That would have been nice . . .
For what it’s worth, Claiborne is considered the top defensive back in the draft by many, and is the best defensive prospect overall, #4 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board. He is 21 years old, 6’1, 185 lbs. and according to Kiper is “an exceptional pure cover corner with impeccable instincts at the position.” I must admit my first impression to this pick was simply, “Eh . . .another top 10 pick on a DB?” Champ Bailey and Sean Taylor were sure fire hits as top 10 selections by the Redskins, but more recently Carlos Rodgers and Laron Landry come to mind, and neither player exactly changed the fortunes of the defense and turned it into a top unit, yet more importantly made a noticeable impact in the win/loss column. With the quality of Wide Receivers just in our division alone (Nicks, Cruz, Austin, Bryant, Maclin, Jackson, etc.) I can certainly see why the Redskins would look to upgrade at Cornerback, but like I said . . . “eh.” For what it’s worth, two players I have my eye on to be “immediate impact” players for our offense were Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State, and RG3 of course, but unfortunately Kiper had Blackmon going at pick #2 to St. Louis, and Griffin III to Cleveland with the 4th pick. But again, history tells us that if Mel Kiper says Claiborne to the Skins with the 6th overall selection in January . . . it’s almost a guarantee that he in fact won’t be the pick in April. Thoughts?