Reporting Grant Paulsen
With the NFL Draft set to begin tomorrow, it’s time to go three-and-out with predictions for what the Redskins will do in the team’s second draft being run by Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen.
1) The Redskins will not trade into the top-three to draft Blaine Gabbert.
The hot rumor is that they want the Missouri product and that they’d be willing to deal up to No. 2 to call his name on Thursday night. Don’t expect that to happen. The Redskins only have two picks in the first four rounds which means they’d have to give up their top two picks in this year’s draft, and another early pick next year.
Mike Shanahan called this draft class “much deeper” for quarterbacks than he’s accustomed to and also said that it’s “realistic” to assume that trading up will be an unlikely task. If Washington makes a trade tomorrow, expect them to move down.
2. The Redskins will have drafted a quarterback before Saturday.
With as many needs as Washington has, a case could be made that the club could wait a year to find a franchise quarterback. But with Shanahan admitting that he’s high on this year’s quarter-backing crop and because that’s Washington’s biggest need, you should expect the Redskins to draft a signal caller before the end of the third round on Friday night.
The 41st pick could certainly be used on a passer. Christian Ponder out of Florida State and Andy Dalton out of Texas Christian might be options there. But if Washington trades back and doesn’t make a pick in the top-10, whichever second-day pick the club acquires might provide an opportunity to add a quarterback.
3. The Redskins will add a starter to their defensive front-seven with one of their first two picks.
The analysis here is pretty simple: There are ton of quality defensive linemen and pass-rushing linebackers expected to be taken in the first two rounds and the Redskins’ are ravenous for help along their defensive front. Brian Orakpo needs a complimentary rush-first linebacker and there wasn’t a lineman on Washington’s defense who tallied more than 2.5 sacks last season. That doesn’t happen in an elite 3-4.
North Carolina’s Robert Quinn could be in play if Washington stays put at No. 10. If they move down, the Redskins might be able to grab Missouri’s Aldon Smith, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, CAL’s Cam Jordan or Wisconsin’s JJ Watt somewhere in the mid-teens.