Every year I have a favorite draft candidate that I'd like to see the Redskins draft as their top pick. This started around 2004 when I actually found the draft interesting and had time to actually give NFL Football the fanatical obsession that I give it now (before then school got in the way).
Anyway here are my picks from past years:
2004- Sean Taylor
2005- Antrel Rolle or Carlos Rogers
2006- (2nd rounder) D'Qwell Jackson
2007- Amobi Okoye
2008- Branden Albert
2009- Michael Oher
Before I get started on this years 2010 pick, I'd like to look back on my pick last year. I think Michael Oher had an outstanding rookie season last year and he looks like he could be a very talented LT/RT for years to come. SHD has become a big fan. But, I have to admit if I thought that the Skins had even the slightest chance of Brian Orakpo at #13, I would've gone with him. I really thought Orakpo was going to the Browns at #5 (even though my final mock draft says otherwise). Anyway on to the 2010 pick.
Normally, with this post I'd give you the player's profile and some analysis followed by some You Tube footage. Not this year however. Mark "Om" Steven over at The Om Field has written some great player files on some of the Redskins top draft prospects. So instead of wasting my time and try to re-create the same thing, I'm going to link you to those articles and give you a chance to see what we might be getting if the Skins go another route instead of the way I want them to head:
The Jimmy Clausen Files
The Sam Bradford Files
This is where a chunk of the Redskins fan base is going to have a major disagreement with me. It's a simple argument really and I can't say that either side of this argument is either right or wrong. At #4 do the Redskins draft a franchise QB or do they find their next elite left tackle? Simple right? Well not so. You have to ask yourself some questions before you can automatically make your choice. First, do the Redskins need offensive line help? Second, does the Redskins need a franchise QB? Third, what is the current and future situations at each position? Fourth, do the prospects available fit the desired need? These are just the logical questions. Then you have to go with your gut and your accumulated football knowledge and try to figure out if the player fits the scheme/system that you believe that Mike Shanahan will be running and is that player going to make it in the NFL?
In the end, you really don't know. The draft is an art and not a science. There is no real formula to determine if a player will be successful in the NFL.
So to answer the questions:
1. Yes Xs 1000. The Skins have no LT, no backup LT a questionable RT and other serious issues with age at the other interior line positions.
2. Yes. (surprised some of you out there didn't I?) So far Jason Campbell has improved as a QB but has yet to show the clutch and consistent qualities that make up a franchise QB. He has shown toughness and class during his tenure here. He has many of the intangibles and has a great work ethic. But he's inconsistent and sometimes you get a guy that makes excellent reads and makes plays and other times you get a guy that doesn't see open WRs and overthrows them if he does. He also has a very slow release.
3.At QB Jason Campbell is a RFAthis year and will be a UFA next season. Rex Grossman has been a starter in the league and is signed through 2010.
At LT if the season started today, Stephon Heyer would be the Redskins starting LT, not sure who would be his backup.
4. If the Skins draft Sam Bradford, Bradford will probably have to ride the bench in 2010. One reason is that he'll need to adapt to a pro style system. Clausen on the other hand has played in a pro style system at Notre Dame and could start in week one. However with the O-line being so porous, it might not be a bad idea to bench him for the 2010 season. My pick however would be a starter in week one and would already be protecting the QB whomever is taking snaps under center. I also believe that my pick fits the scheme that Mike Shanahan will be running (more on that in a moment).
My gut tells me we need to play it safe in this draft and pick an O-lineman. I'm not sold that either Bradford or Clausen are the solutions to the Redskins problem and a failure here at QB at #4 could ruin any success Mike Shanahan hopes to bring to this franchise. I just get a bad vibe on Clausen, it's nothing personal but even the draft experts have no clue where to rate him. I've seen some argue he's the best QB in this draft and that he is the real deal and others question whether he's really a first round talent. The guy I'm going to select has no red flags on health or character. He is a left tackle unlike some of the other LT prospects that people wonder are better fit to be right tackles. The only concerns with him is improving on some techniques and playing up to the level of talent that got him noticed while blocking against the likes of Brian Orakpo.
So without further ado, I present the 2010 IIWII Consensus Draft Pick (Click on name for his profile/stats)
-Incredibly long arms
-Very athletic able to get to LB on 2nd level, also able to get to the safety on the 2nd level on one play
-Quick off the ball
-nice initial punch, and able to drive a player off the line of scrimmage
-good directional blocking
-very nice kick step able to keep defenders off the edge.
-never let a single DE come even close to the QB, looks like they're at least a yard away from the QB.
-Seems able to hold his own against either power based or speed based rushers.
-Nasty on the point of attack, looks like he's got that mean streak that O-linemen need
-able to take out multiple blockers on one play
-can pull and take out defender on pulling block
- Needs to work on leverage both on run and pass blocking.
-Sometimes he looks likes he's moving in slow motion compared to those around him
- May have trouble with open field blocks? Missed a player on a screen pass (however so did two other linemen that were with Okung on the play)
-Needs to maintain his blocks, sometimes releases/loses defender too soon.
That's about it. When I watched Bryan Bulaga in the Iowa vs. Georgia Tech bowl game, I thought he struggled a bit (granted it was against 1st round prospect Derrick Morgan) in both his run game and his pass blocking, Bulaga recovered against the initial attack, but I think in NFL games that loss of balance/control would lead to a sack. I also thought Bulaga struggled with stretch plays and looked like a much better power run blocker (thus, if Gibbs and Bugel were still here I think Bulaga may have been the better option) and pulling tackle than Okung. I can see why some draftniks think that Bulaga could be a much better RT than LT in the NFL.
In the end, I think that LT is the biggest need for the Redskins and one could argue may be the biggest value at #4 if Okung is still on the board and Bradford, Suh and McCoy are off it. Yes, the Redskins need a QB prospect to develop but I'd feel more comfortable if the Skins go after a Colt McCoy in the 2nd round or a Jarrett Brown in the 5th round than to take the risk with Clausen or Bradford in the 1st. It's about time the Skins finally use the first round to build their O-line (their last was in 2000 with Chris Samuels). By drafting Okung the Redskins start to replenish their O-line and they get a week 1 starter, two things that the Skins could desperately use in the new Mike Shanahan era