Immediately after the Redskins' season ended in January against the Giants, it's likely that most fans and analysts would've looked ahead to the 2017 NFL Draft and said that Washington should address the defensive line with their first-round pick at all costs.
However, as the draft has gotten closer, it feels like that "D-line or nothing" attitude has faded to a certain extent, with some becoming more open to the team taking a linebacker, a safety or — the horror! — a running back as well. CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay, for one, went as far as to strongly argue against taking a defensive tackle first in a piece written Monday morning.
"While this year's college crop has a lot of depth in positions that will help the 'Skins, defensive tackle does not appear to be one of them," Finlay said in his blog, titled "This isn't the round to demand the Redskins draft early round defensive tackle."
As it turns out, it might not be the one to ask for a defensive end, either.
"In the first round, I don't see anybody that I would take as a run stopper where they're picking [at] 17," former GM and CSN draft expert Charley Casserly said in a draft preview.
Casserly did go on to outline three options that should be available from the second round on, though, with two of those prospects being guys Finlay identified, too.
Here are those three names, along with Casserly's comments. They may not bring with them the hype that other first-round choices would, but Casserly still thinks all three would go a long way in improving an ailing Redskins' defense.
1) Caleb Brantley (Florida): "There are games where this guy plays like a first-rounder, there are some games he plays like a third or fourth-rounder. But on his good days, he's strong versus the run and gives you some inside pass rush... On the good days, he can do it. We'll see if he can get turned on to play that way every week."
2) Chris Wormley (Michigan): "He plays defensive end in a 4-3 but I think you could play him at a defensive end in a 3-4, which is more of a run-stopping situation. I think this guy is a good run-stopper and I think he can give you something on third down as an inside rusher."
3) Dalvin Tomlinson (Alabama): "There's a guy at Alabama that I think can be a really good value as a nose tackle in the third or fourth round: Dalvin Tomlinson. A big, strong, physical guy. He's not going to get anything on pass rush on third down, but they've got some guys that can already do that. But he'd help them a lot to stop the run, which is something they're not very good at."
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