Scot McCloughan and the Washington Redskins will certainly sign a few more veterans to fill out their 90-man training camp roster. However, the “Splash signing” portion of Free Agency has come and gone, and now it’s time to fully turn our attention to the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Redskins sat out this free agency period, opting for value signings such as Safety David Bruton, and Terence Garvin, while other teams (ahem, NY Giants…) overpay for bigger name players in an attempt to “quickly” build a winning roster.
That’s just not Scot McCloughan’s style. If I had to bet, I’d say that McCloughan will similarly to last year, trade back a few selections in order to gain more draft picks and continue to fill out this roster with football players. (A mock draft featuring trades will be our next mock draft).
Without further adieu: Justin Byram‘s mock draft 3.0:
Round 1, Pick 21: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
If you paid attention to this year’s Super Bowl, you saw two phenomenal defenses on display; and in particular two extremely talented front seven’s. General Manager Scot McCloughan can build the Redskins defense from the inside out beginning with the defensive line thanks to one of the deepest D‑Line drafts in history.
Why not start in round 1?
Vernon Butler has long been my favorite pick for the Redskins at 21, and I think he is a perfect fit in Joe Barry’s Hybrid 3-4/4-3 scheme. Butler can play across the line and moves surprisingly well for a 6-4 323 pound man. Butler has the size and strength to plug up the middle in a traditional 3-4 look, and the quickness and hand use to have an impact as a rusher from across the line. Butler is the type of versatile piece the Redskins defense is currently lacking,
Round 2, Pick 53: Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
“But Justin, you just added a versatile defensive lineman in the first round, are you crazy?!”
The Redskins would be wise to take advantage of the fantastic defensive line class to snag a first round caliber talent in the second round, and that’s exactly what they would do in this situation. Johnson and Butler would give the Redskins defensive line the shot of youth and versatility it desperately needs. By adding two players with similar skill sets will allow defensive line coach Robb Akey and Joe Barry to get creative with formations and the way he uses his two young disruptive pieces.
By adding Butler and Johnson, the defensive line goes from a unit with a lot of question marks, to a young unit with the potential to become a dominant unit with a few more pieces added.
Round 3, Pick 84: Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers
The Redskins missed out on bigger name, taller receivers like Laquon Treadwell, and Michael Thomas but they get a receiver that plays much bigger than his 6’0 frame in Leonte Carroo. Carroo was a touchdown machine during his time at Rutgers, hauling in 23 touchdowns in 3 years. Although he isn’t the biggest, he has phenomenal body control and jumping ability to grab jump balls and is always a threat in the red zone.
Carroo may never be a number one receiver, but he’s solid in every area of his game, and would be a great long term successor to Pierre Garcon. With Carroo filling Garcon’s shoes long term, and a promising slot receiver in Jamison Crowder, the Redskins have a solid, young receiving core moving forward (Oh yeah, and don’t forget about Jordan Reed).
Round 4, Pick 121: Sean Davis, DB, Maryland
Scot McCloughan loves “football players” and that’s exactly what he would get in Davis. The Maryland product is a versatile defensive back who played all over the field with the Terps. Although Davis saw a lot of time at corner in college, I think his ultimate home in the NFL is as a roaming safety and slot corner who can stick with backs and tight ends in man coverage.
A local prospect who grew up in D.C., Davis wore number 21 at UMD to honor former Redskins great Sean Taylor. I’m sure Davis would be giddy to have an opportunity to suite up in the same Burgundy and Gold his fallen idol once did. Davis and Kyshoen Jarrett would be a solid young safety duo moving forward as well.
Round 5, Pick 158: B.J. Goodson, ILB, Clemson
Goodson may not get the hype that fellow Clemson teammates Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd do, but Goodson is certainly not lacking in talent. A team captain in his lone season as a starter, Goodson made the most of his opportunity in the spotlight, racking up 108 tackles, including 14 for loss and 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble.
Goodson is known more as a “thumping” inside linebacker who sifts through traffic well and is solid against the run. However, its not as if Goodson hasn’t show intelligence and coverage ability at Clemson. Goodson will never develop into a complete three-down linebacker like Luke Kuechly, but I view Goodson as an underrated prospect with potential to develop into a solid three down starter, who can contribute on special teams immediately.
Round 6, Pick 190: Dan Vitale, FB, Northwestern
The Redskins let a solid fullback walk away in Darrel Young, so this pick might seem a bit odd. However, Vitale is such a versatile player who can be used not only as a traditional fullback, but as an extra blocker (essentially a tight end) as well, and has soft hands out of the backfield as a receiver.
Vitale could carve out a solid role with the Redskins, and compares favorably to Green Bay Packers and former Shippensburg University fullback John Kuhn. Vitale also falls under the “football player” category, and will be yet another contributor for a special teams unit that improved last year, but still has a ways to go to be an above average unit.
Round 7, Pick 240: Donte Deayon, CB, Boise State
Deayon may only be 5’9, but you wouldn’t know that from watching him play. Deayon is fearless when pursuing to tackle bigger running backs and receivers. Not to mention Deayon has solid ball skills, picking off six passes the past two seasons.
Deayon’s ultimate home may be the slot, but as the NFL becomes more and more a pass happy league, slot cover men are becoming more and more important. The key for late round picks is carving out a role on special teams early, and Deayon is another candidate to be a contributor on Ben Kotwica‘s unit.
Round 7, Pick 241: Robert Booker, C, Missouri State
Booker is a prospect with good size and strength at 6-3 312 pounds. With experience at guard and center, Booker is an intriguing late round prospect worth developing. Booker would likely be best served with a year on the practice squad, but he has the potential to develop into a solid starter long term.
Whether the Redskins go with Kory Lichtensteiger for one more season, or sign Stefen Wisniewski as a stop-gap while Booker develops, the Missourie State product could be the next McCloughan late round steal.
No mock draft is perfect, for example, I would have loved to add a running back, a kick/punt return threat, and a blocking tight end. However, with just 8 selections, there is only so much you can do.
Thanks for reading!
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