The NFL Draft is just over six weeks away and I’ll continue researching draft prospects. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.
40 time: 4.35 sec.
What they’re saying:
Strengths: Has desired NFL frame for the position. Goes and gets the ball with consistency. Had issues with drops in 2013 after transferring in from JUCO, but caught everything in sight in 2014. High points the ball. Asked to run more types of routes in 2014 and delivered with increased productivity.
Weaknesses: Pigeon-toed and runs heel to toe. Allowed to play in space and must learn to get off line of scrimmage against press coverage. Must answer questions abound about his top-end speed.
—Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
How he fits the Redskins: I know that many of you are going to scream that wide receiver is not a need and the team can’t waste the No. 5 pick on a pass catcher. The first thing I would say to that is that you’re not paying any attention to McCloughan, who says that he will take the best player available. I’ve also said that need often does factor into the grade that determines the best available. But in this case that doesn’t matter because the team does have a need to draft a wide receiver.
You have to keep in mind that a draft is more about seasons 2-4 years from now than it is about the coming season. Even that high in the draft, the emphasis is on the future. Let’s look at the current top of the depth chart at wide receiver. Pierre Garçon will be 30 by the start of the 2016 season and DeSean Jackson will be 30 by the end of it. Their salary cap costs combined will come in at a little under $20 million. It will be time to replace at least one of them.
Once you establish the need the rest is easy. He’s the big, fast, physical receiver the team hasn’t had in, well, forever.
Potential issues: He’s only had one big year at the collegiate level. After starting out at a junior college he transferred to West Virginia. In 2013 he had just 35 receptions for 507 yards and five TD’s. Then in 2014 he exploded with 109 catches for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. It’s fair to have concerns that he was a one-year wonder.
Bottom line: The conventional wisdom is that the Redskins will take an edge rusher at five and you can count me in as a fan of both Randy Gregory (Countdown profile here) and Dante Fowler Jr. (profile here). But I don’t necessarily see McCloughan going what the Mel Kipers and Mike Mayocks of the world think he will do.
It will be hard for McCloughan to resist White’s upside. I’d rate it as a mild surprise but not a complete shock, if he pulled the trigger on the big, fast wideout.
In his own words:
On what was behind his jump in production from his junior to senior years:
Motivation. My junior year I put bad film out there. That's not the kind of receiver, the kind of player I am. Going into my senior year, I just put everything on the line and do what I had to do . . . Like I've been telling teams. It finally clicked. I'm going to do what I have to do. I'm going to work hard and do anything and everything possible that I can.
Previously in Draft Countdown: