May 8th marks day one of the 2014 NFL Draft, and all teams but two enjoy the luxury of holding one or more first round picks. The Washington Redskins, unfortunately, are one of the two teams lacking a first round selection. However, they are sitting only two picks out of the first round with the 34th overall pick, and it is very likely that top talent falls to them.Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen
Keep in mind that this is not a mock draft, just an observation of the best case scenario for the team when it is their turn to make a pick. The goal is the keep things realistic while also presenting to readers different draft scenarios and possibilities. So, let's get this show on the road.
2nd Round - 2nd Pick - Calvin Pryor - Free Safety - Louisville - 5'11" - 207 lbs. - The Redskins have a big, gaping hole at the Free Safety position, and if Calvin Pryor falls to them, you better believe they will snatch him up. The Redskins' secondary is arguably one of the worst in the League, and it is due in part to poor Safety play. Right now, the Redskins have Brandon Meriweather, Bacarri Rambo, Ryan Clark, and Akeem Davis. Brandon Meriweather can never stay healthy, Rambo has trouble with tackling, Ryan Clark is 35 and isn't a long term solution, and Akeem Davis hasn't even played in an NFL regular season game yet. Calvin Pryor can fix the Redskins' woes at Free Safety immediately. He will bring solid Safety play from day one and if Phillip Thomas is able to come back healthy and make the start at Strong Safety, Washington could have a very improved Secondary in 2014.
3rd Round - 2nd Pick - Kelvin Benjamin - Wide Receiver - Florida State - 6'5" - 240 lbs. - There is no denying the Redskins talent in the receiving corps now. Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Andre Roberts will all be reliable targets for RG3 in 2014, but none of them are above 6'0". Insert Kelvin Benjamin and it makes an already deadly receiving corps even deadlier. Adding Benjamin would give the Redskins' pass catchers the perfect blend of size and speed. A lot of you may be saying, "there is no way Benjamin falls that far." Not so fast. There are several Wide Receivers ranked ahead of Benjamin on many different sports sites and this Receiver Draft class is the deepest it has been in years. Of course it's possible that he slips. You need not look further than last year's Draft for proof. 2013 Draft prospect Keenan Allen was, for a majority of the time leading up to the Draft, considered the best Wide Receiver prospect in the Draft. He fell all the way to the third round. It isn't crazy to think the same thing could happen to Benjamin in this year's Draft, and if it does, the Redskins would be smart to pounce.
4th Round - 2nd Pick - Jack Mewhort - Tackle - Ohio State - 6'6" - 309 lbs. - The Redskins still need some help at the Right Tackle position. Although Tyler Polumbus was rated the 19th best Right Tackle in the League by Pro Football Focus in 2013(many Redskins fans disagree), the position could still use an upgrade, and Mewhort could be the guy. He possesses ideal size to play the position and has also displayed versatility while serving on the Ohio State Offensive Line. He has played Left Tackle and both Guard positions. Those skills can be useful in the event of an injury during the 2014 regular season. To add to the excitement, the Redskins have also had a meeting with Mewhort during the offseason. The team may be interested in what he can bring to their Offensive Line, and selecting him in the fourth round would hardly be a reach. This would be a great value pick for Washington and Mewhort seems to be garnering more attention every day among Redskins fans. Keep him in mind during the days leading up to the Draft.Dri Archer
5th Round - 2nd Pick - Dri Archer - Wide Receiver - Kent State - 5'8" - 173 lbs. - The Redskins still need a Kick/Punt returner. Despite signing players like DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts in Free Agency, the Redskins still haven't fixed their problems in this portion of Special Teams. Sure, they could use DeSean Jackson for that role if they chose to do so, but they probably don't want to put a guy they just paid $24 million dollars into a situation where he can get hurt easily. Archer is currently ranked as a 3rd/4th rounder on cbssports.com. His blazing speed could cause plenty of problems for opposing defenses, and with players like Jackson, Garcon, Roberts, and Reed already on the field, opening things up for Archer should be a piece of cake. Drafting Archer would also give Washington immediate stability at the Kick/Punt returner positions. Head Coach Jay Gruden will be able to use him in different ways on offense, such as putting him in the slot, or letting him serve as a change-of-pace Running Back. If Archer falls all the way to the fifth round, expect his name to be called when Washington is on the clock.
6th Round - 2nd Pick - Antone Exum - Cornerback - Virginia Tech - 6'0" - 213 lbs. - Picking Exum in the sixth round would be perfect for Washington. The team already has DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, and Tracy Porter taking up the depth chart, but it doesn't hurt to add to the competition. Why not bring in a young local talent? Exum would've been much higher on Draft boards had he not been injured during his Senior campaign. The Redskins should take advantage of this situation and draft him if they get the chance in the sixth round. Exum has most recently been used as a Corner at Virginia Tech, but he has the frame of a Safety, and could play either position in the NFL. Washington needs that kind of playmaking ability and versatility in their secondary, and they would be smart to pick up Antone Exum in the later rounds.
7th Round - 2nd Pick - Shamar Stephen - Defensive End - Connecticut - 6'5" - 309 lbs. - Even though the team signed veteran Defensive End Jason Hatcher in Free Agency, the Defensive Line could still use some improvements. Bringing in a project Defensive End like Shamar Stephen in the seventh round would be beneficial for the Redskins. He had a productive career at Connecticut and would be a good selection at this point in the Draft. It is one of those low risk, high reward kind of deals. He wouldn't cost much, but he could potentially bring a lot to the team. Some of the best 3-4 Defensive Ends in the League were taken in the mid to late rounds, such as Indianapolis Colts Defensive End Arthur Jones.
A Draft such as this would address almost all of Washington's needs and would set them up for success in 2014. If the Redskins have a Draft anything similar to this, Redskins Nation would be ecstatic to say the least. Who do you think the Redskins should select on Draft Day?