Draft chatter: Chances good that best available at 34 plays D-line

Draft chatter: Chances good that best available at 34 plays D-line
April 30, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Could the Redskins end up drafting a defensive lineman or pass rusher with their top draft pick?

Since the Redskins have Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan at outside linebacker and the added Jason Hatcher to a line that already went four deep with solid, experienced players the position is not on the wish list of many fans.

But you can never have too many pass rushers especially when one your main rushers, Orakpo, is playing on a one-year franchise tender. On top of that, three of the Redskins’ top down linemen are over the age of 30 and have expensive contracts. And depth on the defensive line is always an asset.

It just so happens that a D-lineman could be the best available player when the Redskins’ first selection comes up when they go on the clock with the 34th overall pick. Consider Daniel Jeremiah’s ranking of his top 50 prospects on NFL.com. Here are the four players he has ranked from 31-34:

31. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
32. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
33. Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
34. Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

This is a prospect ranking, not a mock draft, so it doesn’t take into account the needs of the teams drafting in front of the Redskins. But having at least two or perhaps three of those players on the board when they pick is a plausible scenario.

Ealy and Ford are edge rushers, Tuitt would fit as a 3-4 end who could provide both run support and pass pressure and Nix is a nose tackle. The Redskins likely would be very happy to have those options in the mix when they are ready to make their first pick.