Round 5, Pick 5
Will Pick: S Quin Blanding, Virginia
Quin Blanding is a polarizing safety prospect. He’s an elite tackler who never had a season with less than 115 tackles during his four years at Virginia. He should be an excellent box safety and special teams player at the next level.
However, Blanding’s lack of deep speed could limit him in coverage. He didn’t test well at the Combine regarding speed, and he doesn’t have great speed backpedaling on tape. He can move downhill very well, but he’s just not a natural pass defender.
Still, adding Blanding to serve as a hybrid safety/linebacker could be a sensible move. He could become a starter if he can get a step quicker. It’s possible that Blanding could be an option with the team’s Round 4 pick, but it’s more likely that he will slip because of coverage concerns.
Should Pick: S Dominick Sanders, Georgia
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Sanders is almost the polar opposite of Blanding. He is a great coverage safety, and he set the Georgia record with a whopping 16 career interceptions. Sanders is a true playmaker and he is being undervalued because of minor concerns about his size.
Sanders may not be the same type of tackler as Blanding, but his ability to hold up in coverage would make him a critical backup. So, if given the choice between the two at this moment, I would lean towards Sanders. But, they are two entirely different players, so it could work out well for them.
Dark Horse: DT Kendrick Norton, Miami
In the event that the Redskins pass on a nose tackle in the first two rounds, they will probably target a guy like Kendrick Norton here. Norton is a solid defensive line prospect would could play a role as a run stuffer in the Redskins defense. That said, it’s more likely that the team will address this need earlier than this point. Still, Norton can’t be counted out.