The Washington Redskins drafted the present and future of their franchise in last year’s draft, trading up to select Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. Moving up cost them two first round picks, including their top selection this year.
The results of last year’s moves mean the Redskins’ first pick won’t come until the 51st overall pick of the draft--the 19th pick of the second round. Their second pick of the draft will come at pick 85 of the draft (23rd of the third round), followed by their third pick of the draft at 119th overall (22nd of the fourth round).
The Redskins have four more picks after that: 154th overall (pick 21 in the 5th round), 162nd overall (pick 29 in the fifth round), 191st overall (pick 23 in the 6th round) and 228th overall (pick 22 in the 7th round).
With so much invested in RGIII, Washington will more than likely use their draft picks to build around the quarterback, giving him plenty of weapons to use. Some draft experts believe the Redskins will use their second round pick on a talented wide receiver for Griffin.
The top three receivers of the draft will likely be drafted in the first round-and-a-half, but there should still be plenty of quality receivers left by the time the ‘Skins pick.
Receivers projected to be drafted between rounds 2 to 4 include Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton, Tennessee’s Justin Hunter, Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton, Texas’s Marquise Goodwin, West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey and Baylor’s Terrance Williams.
If the Redskins could get their hands on Patton, that would be a steal. Patton isn’t the fastest or biggest receiver in the draft, but he’s been called the “most complete” receiver by some, thanks to his natural ability to run great routes and get open. He also has reliable hands when it comes to catching and holding on to the ball. Pairing Patton with Redskins’ receiver Pierre Garcon would be beneficial in the continued development of RGIII.
But while that’s one ideal scenario for the ‘Skins, the Skins may alternatively be able to strengthen their defense by selecting a safety instead. One of the safeties that may be available for the Redskins is D.J. Swearinger of S.C. State, a hard-hitting safety that has a nose for the ball. Swearinger has the ability to contribute to the defense immediately at the start of the season.
If Washington doesn’t select a safety with their first pick, they may opt to beef up their pass-rushing department and select a defensive end. Some mock draft boards have Southern Methodis University defensive end Margus Hunt as the ‘Skins’ 51st pick; Hunt gets after the quarterback relentlessly and recorded 11-1/2 sacks last season for SMU. He could join Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan as Washington’s elite pass rushers.
Whomever the Redskins pick at 51st overall should be an impact player, because they won’t get another chance to select another player in the first 80 picks of the draft.