The NFL Draft is right around the corner, so let us all once again rejoice, for it is time to get in to the spirit of clairvoyance and prediction with the Official Redskins Capital Connection Round One Mock Draft!
This mock covers the full first round; all 31 picks. As you can see, we haven’t mocked any trades at all during the first round, which we acknowledge is certainly unlikely. Where we think potential trades may occur, we’ve noted it in the selections for each team.
That lack of trades includes the Redskins first round selection – we have Scot McCloughan staying put at 21 and making his selection as assigned.
In mocking the selections for each team, careful consideration was made in attempting to strike the perfect balance between team need and available talent.
Following significant round one trades, we’ll update this mock as necessary.
Do you agree or disagree with any of the selections we’ve made here? Are you pleased or displeased with who we’ve mocked to be the latest rookie to don the burgundy and gold? Well, don’t hesitate to let us know on Twitter @ChadwikoRCC! We’d love to hear your feedback!
Redskins Round One Mock Draft – Updated April 20th
|#1||QB Jared Goff, California|
Prior to the Philadelphia/Cleveland trade, we had the Rams taking Wentz with this pick. Since then, it is starting to appear more and more likely that the Rams are smarter than we gave them credit for, and that Goff will in fact be the #1 pick in 2016.
This is the right move for the Rams as they begin life in Los Angeles, and if they surround Goff with the support he needs in terms of coaching and talent, he'll succeed.
|#2||QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State|
We said that Cleveland would want to trade down from 2, and 48 hours later that is exactly what they did.
Philadelphia gave up a lot to get to second overall when you consider that they started from pick 13, and considering the money they have assigned to Sam Bradford this trade looms as a potential disaster for the Eagles.
Interesting times afoot in the city of brotherly love.
|#3||CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State|
With quarterbacks going 1 and 2, the Chargers get the luxury of selecting the absolute best non-quarterback in this draft.
They'll no doubt be torn between Ramsey and Tunsil, but at the end of the day the upside for Ramsey is too appealing to pass up. He can be the anchor of the Chargers defense for the next decade.
|#4||DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State|
The Cowboys no longer have to worry about the temptation that would have been eminent had Jared Goff been available here; all reports are that Jerry Jones learned the valuable lessons of Quarterback depth and development in 2015 when Romo missed a majority of the season. But with the top two quarterbacks gone, they're free to address other needs.
Even before the suspensions of Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence, Joey Bosa made a whole lot of sense for the Cowboys at this pick. Annoyingly for Redskins fans, Bosa will be a dominant force on their defense for years to come. He's a genuine blue chip player who fits nicely in the Dallas defensive system. NFL media draft guru Lance Zierlein strongly believes that Bosa will be the pick for Dallas at four.
|#5||LB Myles Jack, UCLA|
An absolute superstar in the making, Myles Jack can be a tone-setter for Jacksonville on defense.
Jack's ability to close down on the ball carrier and make strong pre-snap reads are already borderline elite, and the Jaguars are in a division with three other teams who now believe they have their franchise quarterbacks (Luck, Osweiler, Mariota) so will put a premium on ensuring that their defense is as strong as possible.
All recent indications are that Jack's knee injury rehabilitation has gone to plan and that he'll be ready for the 2016 'Jack in Jax' season.
|#6||RB Ezekial Elliot, Ohio State|
Perhaps the first surprise selection in this mock, but Ezekial Elliot to Baltimore makes a ton of sense when you think about it. The Ravens are still paying Joe Flacco a whole heap of money, and they'll hope that with a receiving corps of Steve Smith, Breshad Perrimen, Kamar Aiken and Mike Wallace that they have the receiving weapons required to move the ball.
The story is a bit different at running back though, with 30 year old Justin Forsett the presumed starter going into the 2016 season, and Terrance West backing him up. In a division of solid defensive fronts, that's not going to make for a happy outcome, and the Ravens most recently won a Super Bowl by having a solid mix of air and ground offensive firepower. They'll be excited at the prospect of returning to such a playstyle.
|#7||CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida|
The 49ers dreams of landing home-state hero Jared Goff have gone up in smoke, so this pick now switches focus to best available talent to shore up a roster with numerous holes.
Vernon Hargreaves can step on to the 49ers as the best cornerback on the roster from day one. Any time you can do that with a draft pick, it's a damned good selection.
|#8||OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss|
There's still rumors that Cleveland are shopping pick 8 in yet another trade-down scenario, but if that doesn't occur, having Tunsil fall in to their laps is a dream come true.
Drafting Tunsil removes the anxiety that Joe Thomas asking for a trade or leaving during free agency would have incurred, and instead gives the Browns flexibility and depth at a crucial position
|#9||DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon|
When you have a superstar like Gerald McCoy at defensive tackle, adding another potential superstar to work beside him in the trenches would make Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht salivate.
Buckner just flat out looks like an NFL player already, and has impressive technique that will excite Tampa Bay fans from early on in the 2016 season. He is quick off the snap and has a great suite of moves that help him to be an effective pass rusher.
|#10||DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville|
Big Blue has had a somewhat busy offseason, adding solid players such as cornerback Janoris Jenkins and former Redskin linebacker Keenan Robinson. When it comes to their pass rush, they still have Jason Pierre-Paul and they added Olivier Vernon, but would be and should be looking to upgrade the inside of their defensive line.
Sheldon Rankins is considered by some to be the best true defensive tackle in this draft, and has the potential to transform the Giants defensive line into a disruptive and dominant force.
|#11||DE/OLB Leonard Floyd|
John Fox and Vic Fangio would be thrilled to continue an offseason roster build that included adding Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker by drafting Leonard Floyd as well. Floyd, who would likely play the outside linebacker type of role in Fangio's system, would have a chance to work alongside guys like Lamarr Houston and Pernell McPhee as he develops into the three-down type of player that he can turn into.
|#12||WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss|
After some offseason speculation that both Head Coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees may depart New Orleans, they both re-committed to the Saints cause. Now, General Manager Mickey Loomis can repay their faith by giving Brees the best weapon on the board in the draft in Laquon Treadwell.
Don't believe the pre-draft buzz that Treadwell will still be on the board in the late first round. The Saints lost veteran Marques Colston this offseason and need to add a tall weapon to their offense at some point if they have any hopes of being competitive this season, so Treadwell makes perfect sense.
|#13||CB Eli Apple, Ohio State|
Brent Grimes is gone and although the Dolphins traded for Byron Maxwell as part of the deal that saw Philadelphia trade up to pick eight, their secondary is still extremely thin in a division that contains Tom Brady.
Eli Apple makes far too much sense here for Miami. His 6'1 height gives him great size to match up against taller receivers, and his work ethic and attitude will win over Miami fans quickly.
|#14||DT Jarran Reed, Alabama|
Khalil Mack. Bruce Irvin. Sean Smith. And now Jarran Reed. In the space of 18 months, the Oakland Raiders have transformed their defense into one of the fastest, nastiest, and most talented in the entire league.
Jarran Reed can plug right into the Raiders defensive line and start causing havoc alongside his team mates. Some may call this pick too early for Reed, but the Raiders will feel confident that they have their guy in Reed.
|#15||OL Jack Conklin, Michigan State|
Before they traded down, the obvious pick for Tennessee was Laremy Tunsil, because the Titans need to upgrade their offensive line badly. They have their franchise quarterback. They brought in DeMarco Murray at running back. They have talented young receivers in Dorial Green-Beckham and Delanie Walker. The thing is, for any plays designed to get the ball into those players hand, Mariota needs time for said plays to develop.
Conklin is versatile enough that Tennessee can plug him in wherever they see his best fit across their line, which is likely at right tackle, but could just as easily be at one of the guard spots as well.
|#16||CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson|
Perhaps one of the most confident prospects in the entire draft, Alexander has the potential to quickly make himself the face of the Lions franchise in the wake of Calvin Johnson's departure.
Alexander reads the play really well, and is strong in man coverage. Detroit knows that they need to have cornerbacks capable of slowing down players like Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery and Stefon Diggs, and Alexander will go a long way to helping them do so. Some may consider him a reach here, but look for him to go in the first above current valuations present in the media.
|#17||DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson|
Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Drew Brees are the quarterbacks that the Falcons face the most, and at present the quality and depth of their pass rushing attack is weak at best. Vic Beasley was a strong addition last year, but he can't do it all by himself. Adding Shaq Lawson will turn these two into a fearsome combination.
|#18||OL Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame|
Keeping Andrew Luck upright is priority number one for the Colts. Priority number two is improving the ground game. Stanley does both of these things exceptionally well, and he also has the athleticism to keep up with Luck when he escapes the pocket and extends plays with his feet.
In the course of doing this mock draft, the fact that Stanley has slid to eighteen is somewhat of a surprise, so don't be shocked if he goes earlier than this and a player like Conklin or Decker is the pick here for the Colts
|#19||ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama|
Rex Ryan enjoyed his best success in New York when he had strong play at the inside linebacker position to build his defense around. Reggie Ragland brings speed, football smarts, and toughness to the defense, and would be a great Rex Ryan type of player.
|#20||QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis|
It's mid-April and the Jets still don't know who their quarterback is going to be when OTAs and minicamp's commence in a few short weeks. If they wanted to, they could have brought Ryan Fitzpatrick back by now, and the fact that they have yet to do so seems to indicate they are keen on selecting a young Quarterback in the draft.
There were reports that they had tested the waters about trading up to pick one with Tennessee but never got a deal done, so there is every possibility that they may still look to trade up to pick two with Cleveland to get their guy. If that doesn't occur, then Lynch at 20 seems the obvious choice.
|#21||S Keanu Neal, Florida|
When you think of the modern day safety, you want a player with great speed, great size, who can shut down running lanes, play both man and zone coverage effectively, close down angles and prevent yards after the catch, and who can succeed as both a single high safety as well as in a variety of other packages.
Keanu Neal can do all of that, and more.
When watching tape of Neal, what you'll see consistently is his explosiveness at getting to the ball, and then his bone-crunching -yet importantly perfect form- tackles as he lays wood against ball carriers and brings them down. Neal is the type of safety who will make receivers think twice about crossing the middle knowing that Neal's eyes are lighting up at the chance to bring the pain.
What you won't see on tape helps tell the complete story about Neal; every scout and talent evaluator who has interviewed him speaks highly of his character, his team-first attitude, and his work ethic. He comes from a good family, and was a leader in the Florida locker room. This is the definition of a Scot McCloughan football player.
Neal has never had a significant injury in his high school or college career, which given his physical play style is an extremely positive sign; if you're a hard-tackling defensive player, having had a major injury such as a knee reconstruction or broken collarbone can signal an inability to remain healthy throughout an extended NFL career. There appears to be no such concerns with Neal.
Furthermore, Keanu Neal ticks almost every single 'draft trend' box we know about from McCloughan's history in the NFL; he's from a big SEC school, he has 'NFL size', he's a leader, and he is a high character guy.
He's a football player, plain and simple, and Redskins fans will come to love him should this indeed be the selection on draft day.
|#22||WR Will Fuller, Notre Dame|
The Texans gave Brock Osweiler a big pay day, and now they need to give him some help. DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL today, but there's a big drop off in talent on the Texans roster after him.
Some reports suggest several teams have Will Fuller as the number one receiver on their boards, and the Texans are a great landing spot for his skillset.
|#23||WR Josh Doctson, TCU|
Teddy Bridgewater continues to develop into a solid young quarterback, and the addition last year of Stefon Diggs certainly was a big step in the right direction for a team that considers itself in the hunt for the NFC North.
The Vikings still lack of big redzone threat though. Josh Doctson can be such a threat, and when added to the mix with Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and Charles Johnson, this Vikings offense is suddenly looking extremely potent.
|#24||S Karl Joseph, WVU|
The Bengals go best available talent here, and although many seem to be mocking a receiver to them in the first round, there simply isn't a talented enough player on the board at this spot that justifies the investment.
Karl Joseph is also a popular player to mock to the Redskins in recent weeks, and some who read this mock may be surprised to see Neal drafted before Joseph, however there are still lingering concerns about his health following knee surgery. Latest reports suggest that Joseph "may" be ready for camp. Not will be ready. "May" be ready.
|#25||DT Andrew Billings, Baylor|
With players like Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree , the Steelers clearly know the value of a dominant defensive front. Yet they have a big gap at the defensive tackle position (unless you think 2014 sixth round pick Daniel McCullers is about to develop into a stud) which saw them exposed on numerous occasion in 2015.
Billings has great strength and pure power, and can be a disruptive force on the defensive line which will allow those aforementioned linebackers to do their work with increased freedom.
|#26||OLB Darron Lee, Ohio State|
The Seahawks lost Bruce Irvin to free agency, but have the chance to replace him with the speedy All-American linebacker from Ohio State in Darron Lee.
Is slightly undersized for the position in the NFL, but can make up for that with a great range of moves and versatility.
|#27||C Ryan Kelly, Alabama|
Aaron Rodgers has had almost no consistency at the centre position in recent years, and his high sack-rate and frequency in which the pocket collapses has been proof enough of that.
NFL Draft guru Matt Miller raved about Ryan Kelly recently, and had him as the 16th best player in the entire 2016 draft class. The fact that Green Bay can take him at 27 would be something that excites the cheese heads in Lambeau Field.
|#28||DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State|
The Chiefs already have a potent front seven, but there are question marks over Tamba Hali and Justin Houston moving forward, and the defensive ends that bookend Dontari Poe leave much to be desired.
Andy Reid and Bob Sutton will enjoy the versatility and talent that Ogbah brings to the Chiefs as they continue to shape their defense.
|#29||DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech|
In a draft filled with promising defensive tackles, the Cardinals know that the second round will see somewhat of a run-on of such prospects having their names called. Therefore, taking the best available player at 29 who just happens to also be a defensive tackle makes a great deal of sense for a team with a highly talented secondary.
|#30||CB William Jackson III, Houston|
Jackson has the size that is crucial to match up with the receivers that the Panthers face in their division throughout each year, including some of the best in the NFL like Julio Jones. He's a different type of cornerback than Josh Norman, which gives the Panthers fantastic flexibility in how they implement their passing down packages.
|#31||DE Robert Nkemdiche, Miss.|
The Super Bowl champions won't be too worried about taking "the weed guy" in the first round. After all, it is a legal substance in their home state of Colorado.
Nkemdiche has elite size, speed and power, and will be a fantastic addition to a dominant defense.
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