Tomorrow is the big day…for most NFL teams. However, the Washington Redskins must wait until Friday to make their first selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. There are a million mock drafts available on the internet outlining who teams might pick. The overall consensus from draft experts is that the Redskins need help on defense. The numbers from 2012 tend to agree. But which Mock Draft helps the Redskins the most? I’ve selected several “talent evaluators” and analyzed their picks for Washington, focusing on both benefits to the Redskins and the realism of their selections.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper
Round 2 (51): D.J. Swearinger, S South Carolina
Round 3 (85): Robert Alford, CB Robert Alford
Analysis: These are Mel’s “A Draft” selections, meaning that if the Redskins are able to draft these two players, they will receive
a personalized certificate from Kiper himself. These selections rank high in talent but low in probability. The hard-hitting Swearinger may be available at 51, although Mel himself admits that this is unlikely. Robert Alford will almost certainly be off the board by Round 3. Both would be great selections for the Redskins and fill major needs. Still, I think this scenario is very unlikely. Seems unfair that the Redskins will be punished (by Mel’s bell curve) just because good players are drafted by other teams. I look forward to receiving a “B-” when Washington selects the best available cornerback in the second round.
Scouts Inc. (Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl)
Round 2 (51): Johnthan Banks, CB Mississippi State
Round 3 (85): Vance McDonald, TE Rice
Round 4 (119): Earl Wolff, S North Carolina State
Round 5 (154): Aaron Mellette, WR Elon
Round 5 (162): Roger Gaines, OL Tennessee State
Round 6 (191): Jawan Jamison, RB Rutgers
Round 7 (228): Michael Mauti, ILB Penn State
Analysis: Scouts Inc. benefits from having the most detailed Mock Draft. Muench and Weidl do a good job of addressing Washington’s needs round by round (cornerback, safety, offensive line). The exception is the third round, where Vance McDonald stands out as a poor selection. With Fred Davis re-signing and the emergence of Logan Paulsen, the tight end position should not be a top priority for the Redskins in this draft. I am happy with the hypothetical of getting Mauti in the seventh round, so I’ll let the McDonald debacle pass for now.
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang and Dane Brugler
Round 2 (51): Phillip Thomas, FS Fresno State OR Corey Lemonier, LB Auburn
Analysis: I like Rang’s thinking with Thomas. I think with so many decent cornerbacks available in the third and fourth rounds, it makes sense to go with a free safety that will ensure Reed Doughty spends as much time riding the bench as possible. Thomas was a finalist for the 2012 Thorpe Award for being the nation’s top defender, and plays with a tenacity the ‘Skins desperately need in the secondary. Brugler’s pick on the other hand gets low marks because outside linebacker is not a position the Redskins need with Orakpo and Kerrigan on the roster. You can add depth at this position later in the draft, but in the second round, the Redskins need a player who can step in and play this season.
and of course, Fansided’s Josh Sanchez
Round 2 (51): Jamar Taylor, CB Boise State
Analysis: Not to be a website homer, but I hope Josh is right. Taylor is an under-appreciated cornerback with great quickness and agility. However, he is not as well known because of his limited television exposure at Boise. I’m not convinced he is still around for the Redskins in Round 2, but if he is, I sincerely hope Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen pull the trigger.