The end of the regular season only means one thing to those who didn’t make the playoffs: it’s mock draft season. It’s a time of year where “experts” make countless predictions about who will go where.
Below are four players mocked to the Redskins from of four preliminary different mock drafts. Because early mock drafts are notoriously inaccurate and change drastically by early May, I’ve included my thoughts as to how likely these picks are and what grade that pick would receive.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller: QB Drew Lock (Missouri)
This pick entirely depends on Lock’s pre-draft workouts and combine performance. Because of his strong arm and prototypical size, Lock might shoot up draft boards and the Redskins would have to trade up to draft him. Lock has dealt with dysfunction and led his team back from a 1-5 start into a bowl berth his junior year.
He was heavily criticized after a rocky sophomore season but bounced back throwing 44 touchdowns the next year. To be the quarterback of the most dysfunctional organization in professional football, you need a quarterback like Lock that thrives despite bad circumstances.
However, in his mock, Miller says the Redskins’ 2019 offseason “will center around finding a franchise quarterback.” Even though Alex Smith might never play again, the Redskins might be better off passing on drafting a quarterback this year as next years’ class will feature three of the top quarterback prospects in recent memory with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
In fact, despite being two years older than Tagovailoa and Fromm, Lock is not nearly as pro-ready. That being said, I still think Lock has the arm and potential to become an elite passer.
Likelihood: I don’t think Lock will still be around at 15. He has the prototypical frame and arm strength scouts fall in love with which could make him a top-10 pick. There are too many horrid quarterback situations in the league for a prospect like Lock to fall that far.
CBS Sports Ryan Wilson: OG Chris Lindstrom (Boston College)
Lindstrom is a good player. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s excellent in pass pro but doesn’t get a ton of vertical movement on down and zone blocks. However, his technique is textbook and if he doesn’t get vertical movement, Lindstrom does a great job of walling off defenders. Given the Redskins were down to what felt like their 17th-string guard by week 17, it could make sense to draft a guard.
Despite the injuries, drafting Lindstrom in the first round would be a big reach. Few guards are good enough to be first round draft picks–like Brandon Scherff and Quenton Nelson–and Lindstrom is not nearly as dominant as either was their final college season. However, Lindstrom would be a great option in the second round and would be a plug-and-play average to above-average starter for years to come.
Likelihood: Make no mistake, Lindstrom will be a starter for years to come. However, I really don’t see the Redskins picking a guard in the first round.
USA Today’s Steven Ruiz: DB Byron Murphy (Washington)
Murphy might just be the best cornerback in this draft. He checks off all the major requirements for a true lockdown corner: he’s physical but doesn’t commit penalties, he’s athletic and aggressive but doesn’t get out of position, and most important, he’s confident but not cocky.
Despite being 5’11’’ 180 pounds, Murphy can deliver bone-crushing hits to opponents. I see Murphy being a number one corner for years to come. If you want to see why he’s likely to be the first cornerback taken, just look at his performance against Utah this year.
This would be a steal for Washington. As Ruiz suggests, if the Redskins were to draft Murphy, they would then have the talent and depth to cut Josh Norman, saving the team $8.5 million dollars in cap space. However, given Murphy’s athleticism and film, I’d be surprised if he was still available at 15.
Last year, the Redskins passed on Derwin James who has been one of the most dominant defensive backs in the league. While James is a safety and Murphy is a cornerback, the Redskins desperately need secondary help; Josh Norman is too old, DJ Swearinger was cut, and Quinton Dunbar was injured for much of the season.
Likelihood: I don’t think Murphy will still be on the board at 15. Murphy will almost certainly have a great combine which will propel him up draft boards. It also doesn’t help the Redskins that he’s just 20 years and already an elite prospect. I’d love this pick, but I don’t think it’s realistic.
Walter Football:WR A.J. Brown (Ole Miss)
I don’t think Brown is a first-round talent. He’s a great athlete and gets good separation on routes, but this pick would be very risky considering how inconsistent first-round receivers have been in years past.
Some players like Calvin Ridley have thrived but others like Corey Coleman–who was also the 15th overall selection–or John Ross, the 9th, have been complete busts so far. Only game-changing receivers are good enough to warrant a first-round pick and Brown is not that. I see Brown turning into an average, but not bad, receiver in the NFL (see Josh Doctson).
This would not be a smart pick for the Redskins. While the Redskins have very little talent at receiver, they’d be better off waiting until the later rounds to draft one. Brown is just not a special talent and isn’t the answer to the Redskins’ pass-catching woes.
Likelihood: With former first-rounder Josh Doctson still struggling to break out, I don’t see the Redskins taking another chance on a mid-round receiver. This would be a panic pick for Washington that wouldn’t do enough to solve their receiver woes.