You know that impossible-to-shop-for relative when it comes to birthdays and holidays? When it comes to mocking the 2017 NFL Draft, that relative is the Washington Redskins.
This isn't some clickbait ploy. Trust me — I spend way too much time pondering picks for such nonsense.
For the first round, the Redskins are damn tricky and, frankly, frustrating. Their needs simply don't mesh with the overall draft board. That's based on my projections for their 17th overall pick, but my mock isn't out of whack compared to others.
For say the Cowboys and Ravens, no sweat. Whether we're talking about their top need on offense (wide receiver) or defense (pass rusher), Baltimore will have options without having to reach or causing future roster issues. Dallas won't have any issue adding help for its suspect secondary and defensive line. Things just don't fit as nicely for the Ashburn crew.
Based on straight needs, the Redskins ideally land defensive line help. However, there might be just a single option — Michigan State's Malik McDowell — considered worthy of the 15-25 range and he's not a coveted a nose tackle.
Washington could consider drafting an inside linebacker for the long haul even after signing free agent Zach Brown, but the top two options — Rueben Foster and Hasson Reddick — are not available in this version. Wide receiver and cornerbacks could end up getting pushed down into the Redskins' range, but those aren't areas of need now and arguably the future.
The best prospect available might Forrest Lamp. He plays guard. Washington needs a better option on the left side, but selecting an interior offensive lineman in round one for the second time in three years might make coach Jay Gruden's head explode.
All of this is why some mock drafters are slotting the Redskins a running back even though Gruden has done nothing but praise Robert Kelley. Maybe Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey make sense if available, but the idea of going RB in the first isn't terribly appealing and either player could squeeze out the effective Chris Thompson.
Regardless, the Redskins can still land a stud and someone capable of helping immediately. Just remember that team president Bruce Allen said in light of the current transition with the organization's general manager role, the team's "draft board" would make the final decision. Combined with the way the early picks might shake out, seemingly anything is possible for Washington in round one. Heck, that could even include quarterback, which would mean every single position unit is in play at 17.
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