[Editor’s Note: The information in this post is not associated with the thinking or decision-making of team executives. Any information is based purely on the speculation of the writers referenced.]
Driving home from Redskins Park last night, it was finally warm enough to roll down the windows for the first time this year. After an unseasonably warm winter, spring is right around the corner in the Nation’s Capital.
This can only mean three things: cherry blossoms, Nationals baseball, and Redskins mock drafts. Out of respect to fans of the American League and those with seasonal allergies, we focus on the third here at Redskins.com.
Today’s featured draft comes to us from Josh Buchanan of JBScouting.com, who has compiled the first seven-round mock draft that I’ve seen for the Redskins this offseason. Here’s what you need to know:
- Buchanan, a North Carolina native, has been a Redskins fan since birth. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he was featured on the blog last season as well.
- He runs his draft site, which focuses primarily on the smaller non-BCS school players. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA).
- Along with 31 other draft-heads, he Twitter mock-drafted all 32 teams’ draft spots for NFLDraftWizard.com. The rules are simple: you get the original draft slots of your respective teams, and you can trade up or back, but no trading players or for future picks.
As a personal philosophy, Buchanan told me that he never, ever trades up, and will always look for the best value at a given pick. Last year, Buchanan targeted none other than Ryan Kerrigan with his first overall pick, but traded back to the mid-20’s to acquire more picks. Tragically, Kerrigan was mocked-up at 22nd overall, so Buchanan dropped back to second round and selected receiver Randall Cobb.
“I thought it was so cool that the guy that I really wanted is that guy that the Redskins selected,” he told me. “I wish I could’ve grabbed him, but once he was off the board, I was moving back.”
Even though the Redskins had a historic draft with 12 picks, Buchanan took it a step further with 16 total selections. One of his seventh-round selections turned out to be right on the money, as he chose nose tackle Chris Neild with pick 221. Neild, and his amazing beard, actually went 32 picks later to the Redskins.
“People were laughing after the draft, saying, ‘Hey man, they must’ve looked at your draft!'” he said with audible pride. “I know they didn’t, but it was still really cool to get that pick right.”
So clearly Buchanan comes into this year with an added touch of credibility, and a mission to acquire as many mid-round picks as possible. None of the compensatory picks have been announced or awarded yet, so these are still premature in a sense. But here’s a first look at what Buchanan is predicting for the Redskins for April 26-28:
1st- 6th overall- OT/OG Riley Reiff, Iowa
2nd- 39th overall- QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
4th- 100th overall- CB Josh Robinson, Central Florida
4th- 101st overall- DT Mike Martin, Michigan
4th- 103rd overall- DT Billy Winn, Boise State
4th- 121st overall- WR Chris Givens, Wake Forest
5th- 133rd overall- OT Brandon Mosley, Auburn
5th- 157th overall- FS/SPT Justin Bethel, Presbyterian College
6th- 164th overall- ILB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada
6th- 176th overall- OT Tony Bergstrom, Utah
7th- 197th overall- FB Emil Igwenagu, Massachusetts
7th- 221st overall- WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech
My take: A couple things jump off the page at first glance, and most notably the lack of a quarterback at the top of the board. The Redskins have been linked to every signal caller under the sun this offseason, and many draft boards predict them trading up for a shot at Robert Griffin III. The next most-popular option is quarterback Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is talented but untested as a signal caller, having started his collegiate career at receiver. Early indications have been cracking the first round, and probably the Top-10, considering the number of quarterback-hungry teams. He could slide, but I’m not sure if he’ll actually be available at No. 39.
But I digress.
Buchanan stayed at Nos. 6 and 39 for his first two picks, before trading back, and back, and back out of the third round, stocking the back end of his draft board.
He said was pleased to address two top needs on offense with his first two picks, and projected Tannehill has a good project that fits the Shanahan athletic mold. “If you give this guy a few years on the bench to learn the game, I think he can be that franchise guy,” he said.
And the pick that excited him the most? Fifth-rounder Justin Bethel from Presbyterian College. Bethel played in only five games in 2011, but had four interceptions and a touchdown from the free safety position. He also has a nose for the fotoball on special teams.
In 2011, the Redskins had one blocked kick on special teams, with Orakpo blocking a field goal in Week 1 against the Giants. Meanwhile, over the course of his 38-game career in the Big South Conference, he blocked nine kicks.
“Not only do they acquire depth at safety with Bethel, but he’s a game-changer on special teams,” Buchanan said.
Finding quality picks in the mid-to-late rounds is where being a scout for the smaller schools is a major advantage. What do you think of this first, full draft board?