The Redskins' NFL Draft will go one of two ways.
It sounds silly to say -- team drafts can go thousands of different ways -- but really for the Redskins it boils down to how aggressive they're willing to get for a quarterback. The front office let Kirk Cousins walk last offseason and acquired Alex Smith accordingly -- a move that was working okay for them before Smith's devastating injury. Now, they're left in no-QB limbo -- worst spot to be in.
However, a sneaky benefit from letting Kirk Cousins go (and a subsequently quiet free agency in 2018): the comp picks. The Redskins have 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th compensatory selections in the upcoming draft -- that's an incredible haul. That amount of pick flexibility will help them move for a QB, if that's the direction the front office wants to go.
If not, they can just surround Colt McCoy with talent and go 6-10 anyway.
Pick 15: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Lock is my pick here, as he's the most likely QB to fall out of the Top-10 among the consensus top guys (Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins). I wouldn't like spending a Round 1 pick on him -- I don't even know if I want to spend a Round 2 pick on him -- but when you need a quarterback, you have to go a-reachin'.
Lock's strength are his ball velocity, ability to throw from various arm angles, and deep ball. His short accuracy needs work to survive in a West Coast style offense like he'll run in Washington, but he has developed over his time at Missouri, and can win outside of structure, which will help him survive in Year 1 as he becomes acclimated to the NFL game.
Pick 46: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Pre-Combine, if I had seen Kelvin Harmon to Washington at 15 overall, I wouldn't have batted an eye. Little high for his value, but I get the pick.
Post-Combine, Harmon's gonna fall. There were too many good testers that will shine teams' eyes above Harmon's no-nonsense, but unsexy tape. All the better for the Redskins, who desperately need Harmon's ability as an X-receiver given the poor development of Josh Doctson. He can win one-on-one and fix inaccuracy -- skills a rookie QB desperately needs.
Pick 76: Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
I've heard the Redskins might like Alabama defensive linemen. I've heard the Redskins need a pass-rusher at outside linebacker. I've heard there's one from Alabama who's pretty good.
And Bob's your uncle.
Miller may not become a trustworthy player at the next level because he's so often banged-up, but the upside he offers as an outside track rusher is tremendous. He gets to hang behind Ryan Kerrigan and be a situational rusher early in his career, which could help him recover and develop his frame to prevent further injury.
Pick 96: Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
Safety wasn't supposed to be this dire a need for the Redskins circa Week 10, when HaHa Clinton-Dix was just acquired via trade and D.J. Swearinger was still on the roster. But Clinton-Dix looks to hit free agency and Swearinger was cut in end-of-season drama, so there's a gap next to Montae Nicholson.
The Skins would like to fill that with Troy Apke, I'm sure -- but adding Jaquan Johnson right around pick 100 makes sense. Johnson is undersized and lacks ideal ball-skills, but he's a dream special-teamer and depth piece because of his motor, physicality, and ability to play different spots on the defense.
Pick 153: Lamont Galliard, iOL, Georgia
Good value pick around 150, taking a super-steady SEC starter to bolster an interior offensive line group that got absolutely decimated by injury last year. The Redskins likely want to enter 2019 with Arie Kouandjio as their titular starter at LG, but they could use competition at that position, as well as a backup for C Chase Roullier.
Gaillard's center experience makes him likely the sixth man on the interior for 2019, but he can push for left guard if Washington is willing to open a camp competition. Good technical player who's ready to contribute in Year 1.
Pick 173: Foster Moreau, TE, LSU
Moreau killed the Combine -- better than we really expected, though he did have plus athleticism moments on his LSU tape. That said, that LSU tape does illustrate a player who needs development in his routes and in his blocking, though he has the want-to and the physical tools.
Jeremy Sprinkle hasn't really developed into a viable TE option for the Skins, so they're still looking for that answer when Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis both finally hang up the cleats. Moreau has a good shot at increased playing time in Year 2 and 3.
Pick 206: Dre Greenlaw, LB, Arkansas
I'm really curious to see what happens with Reuben Foster for the Redskins, and I won't pour resources into the position until I know what the answer is there. As it stands, the Redskins need to introduce some youth to their off-ball linebackers, and Greenlaw brings good play speed and range to a corps that's currently lacking for athletic ability.
Pick 227: Anthony Ratliff-Williams, WR, North Carolina
Doubling down on pass-catchers makes sense when you're as bereft as the Redskins are, and Ratliff-Williams represents tremendous value in the seventh round. A Combine snub who vanished in an anemic North Carolina offense this year, Ratliff-Williams brings a strong deep component to run opposite Doctson and Harmon, winning more so with speed and explosiveness than size and physicality.
Pick 253: Ryan Bates, OT, Penn State
Developmental offensive linemen always make sense, and Bates' Combine really perked up my ears. He has more of a guard frame than a tackle -- he made starts there earlier in his career after moving to tackle in his final seasons -- but really moves well, with a balanced and athletic frame. His hands need work, but you can do worse for offensive line depth -- which, again, the Redskins are wanting for.