The NFL Mock Draft is now just over a week away, so we are starting to get a better idea of who teams will draft, as opposed to just the (semi) educated guesses of professional bloggers like myself. So now that we have a little bit more intel from the teams we can begin to narrow the potential selections of each team down to just a handful of prospects. So having said that, who might the Redskins take this year at No. 10 overall? I believe that it will come down to either a quarterback, a wide receiver, or a player on the defensive side of the ball. As for who that player may be, there are a few factors that might determine that.
We know how much the Redskins need a quarterback, and I think in an ideal situation, they would like to take one of the top two prospects in the Draft in Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert. But at this point we can pretty safely say that those two players will be off the board when the Redskins pick. Since they lack the ammunition (and hopefully the desire) to trade up in the first round, that probably won't happen.
So that leaves a few options. They can either reach on a quarterback who doesn't deserve to be taken at their selection (Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett for example) or trade back in the first round, and hope to land one of the second-tier QB's (Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder or Colin Kaepernick). If the Redskins do walk away from this Draft with a quarterback, I would hope, and expect them to take that second path. So that means that a quarterback should not be in play at No. 10, so we can't really predict one to be taken there.
There has been some talk about the Redskins taking a receiver, either A.J. Green or Julio Jones, that slips to them in the first. Nobody actually expects Green to be on the board, but there is a strong possibility that Jones would be the pick if he is there. But we have also heard rumblings that a team such as the Rams might trade up past the Redskins to ensure they can take him before Washington has a chance to.
Jones is the kind of player who teams will fall in love with on Draft Day because of an incredible combine performance, so I expect him to be taken way before he is expected to go, or the target of a team that trades up to make sure that they acquire him. I think the Redskins like Jones, but I don't believe they will go out of their way to get him, or be too gravely disappointed if they can't land him.
So that leaves us with a player on the defensive side of the ball as the likely selection for the Redskins. If you listen to Mel Kiper, that is where the Redskins are likely to go. It would be the smart choice for a team in dire need of upgrades along the front seven. So barring any trades or unforeseen slips by the top prospects, who might be available?
Kiper throws out the names Cameron Jordan of Cal and Robert Quinn of UNC, and I think both would be good choices for the Redskins. Quinn would be a great bookend for Brian Orakpo, while Cameron Jordan would be a perfect fit at defensive end in the Redskins' 3-4 scheme. Those are the two names that probably have the best value and the best fit, but there are other prospects on the defensive side of the ball (Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara, Auburn DT Nick Fairley, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers and Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt just to name a few) who could fit very well on the Redskins and might be available when they pick.
I think both Jordan and Quinn would be solid value selections and much safer picks than the Redskins typically make. If the Redskins are serious about building their team the right way, and I believe they are, than a player like Quinn or Jordan might be the best option for them, and it is where I expect them to go in the Draft.