The Washington Redskins kicked-off their pre-draft process last week scouting both the East-West Shrine game and the NFLPA Bowl. This week things get ratcheted-up a bit with the Senior Bowl — showcasing some of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft.
With a new coaching staff and philosophy, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Redskins bring in a different mold of players. Jay Gruden likes tall and long receivers that can go vertical, create yards after the catch and be physical. He also likes bigger offensive linemen that can move.
The Washington Redskins have several holes to fill this off-season. Obviously, some will be masked, as you can’t fill every need in one year. However, I think the Redskins are in a good position to get a lot better on both sides of the football. The process starts with games like the Senior Bowl — a game that boasts a lot of potential talent the Redskins could target.
Top Needs: DL, OL, WR, ILB, CB, S
Below I’ll list names of players I think fit the mold of guys Washington could draft. I believe they plan to get bigger, faster and nastier moving forward.
Names to keep an eye on in the Senior Bowl:
- Brandon Linder, Miami (6ft 5, 316): Projected by many to go in the fifth round. He’s also capable of playing right tackle.
- Cyril Richardson, Baylor (6ft 4, 343): He’s a big guy who can move, but many scouts I talk to don’t believe he’s a fit for the zone blocking scheme. He’s a nasty mauler but still a raw prospect. Many believe it’s best if he goes in the 2nd, but could be a late first round pick.
- Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6ft 7, 331): Henderson is a massive guy who struggled on and off-the-field in college. He never lived up to his 5-star recruit status, although he has loads of potential. He can play right tackle in the NFL. He has first round talent, but currently projects as a mid round pick.
- Morgan Moses, Virginia (6ft 6, 325): This guy is having an awesome week of practice so far according to reports. Jay Gruden is used to having big Andre Smith in Cincinnati who is 6ft 4, 335 lbs. Moses is very nimble on his feet to be so big. He has to watch his weight. But the guy is from Richmond, Va and is apparently putting on a show in Mobile, Alabama this week. He projects as a right tackle. Could go in the 2nd round if his pre-draft dominance continues.
- Jon Halapio, Florida (6ft 4, 320): Had a serious pectoral injury in 2013. He can play both guard and right tackle. Projects as a mid-round pick.
- Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State (6ft 3, 339): He also projects as both a guard and right tackle. Needs to watch his weight. Powerful, yet nimble guy for his size. Projects as a 3rd to mid round guy at this point.
- Tyler Larsen, Utah State (6ft 4, 317): Durable, consistent player who has nice mobility and a good punch. Projects as a mid round pick.
- Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA (6ft 4, 231): He’s a Bruin, so that automatically makes him a player of interest. I think he could play ILB in a 3-4. Projects as a 3rd to mid round pick right now.
- Jordan Tripp, Montana (6ft 3, 237): This is an interesting player. Went to Montana, so isn’t a big name. But is a smart, instinctive football player who can cover. He’s listed as an OLB, but I think he could play ILB in a 3-4. Projects as a mid round pick.
- Christian Jones, Florida State (6ft 3, 234): I have a tough time saying Christian Jones and not using the word “beast.” This guy is a physical freak. He’s raw. But has elite coverage skills, he can rush the QB and is just a versatile player. He has game changing potential and could play ILB in a 3-4.
- Kyle Van Noy, Brigham Young (6ft 3, 244): Instinctive, versatile football player who can also cover. I think he’d be a fit inside a 3-4.
- Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6ft 2, 215): Big, long corner who likes to get an initial jam on receivers. He’s only played corner since his Junior season in college. Not as physical a tackler or good in open space as you’d like. Many scouts project him as a third round pick.
- Keith McGill, Utah (6ft 3, 214): Big, athletic corner who will probably run a surprisingly fast forty. 3rd or 4th round pick.
- Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State (6ft 2, 199): This guy stood out to me. I think he’d make a better free safety in the NFL.
- Jalen Saunders, OU (5ft 8, 164): He’s the smallest guy at the Senior Bowl, but he’s the most explosive. For his size, he’s very tough and scrappy. He projects as a slot receiver or what I call “utility receiver” in the NFL — he can do several things for you. He’s an elite returner. Plays a lot bigger than his size suggests. Mid round pick.
- Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech (6ft 2, 342): This is a big man who is a prototype zero technique (nose tackle in 3-4). He’s a hard guy to move, but also has some nice burst. Projects as a fourth round pick. But his stock could rise.
- Will Clarke, West Virginia (6ft 6, 271): Inconsistent and needs to gain some muscle weight. But he has potential to be a good 5-tech (3-4 Defensive end). Projects as a mid round pick.
- DeAndre Coleman, California (6ft 5, 315): Prototype 5-tech, but like most 3-4 defensive ends, doesn’t provide much against the pass. A lot of teams want that next JJ Watt. He’s a guy you want to stop the run. Late round pick.
- Daniel McCullers, Tennessee (6ft 7, 348): This is a massive individual. However, that can be both a positive and a negative. He projects as a nose tackle, but is very tall and can lose leverage often. Projects as a third round pick.
- Brent Urban, Virginia (6ft 6, 298): This guy has a some upside and could develop into a nice 5-tech. Savvy football player — projects as a mid round pick.
- Terrance Brooks, Florida State (5ft 11, 197): He’s a smaller safety, but so is Earl Thomas and he’s probably the best in the NFL. I haven’t watched many of the safeties in the draft class on film yet, but he appears to certainly be one of the few “true” Free Safeties. Projects as a third to fourth round pick.
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