Mel Kiper is the biggest name in the Mock Draft game, so when he comes out with a new Mock Draft, it's fairly big news. Today, he released his latest Mock at ESPN, and did a chat this afternoon to help explain himself. In the first round of his new mock, he has the Redskins taking Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt. Here is his rationale.
One pressing need on the other side of the ball is at defensive end, and Watt has a chance to be a tremendous player at that position. A high-energy guy capable of diagnosing plays, contributing in various schemes, and holding up well against the run while getting after quarterbacks in the pass game, he's the kind of low-risk pick that makes sense for the Skins.
There have been questions about whether or not Watt can play effectively as a defensive end in the Redskins' 3-4 scheme, but if the Skins are comfortable putting him there, he can be a good fit for them. But there are other players still on the board here (Robert Quinn, Da'Quan Bowers, Prince Amukamara and Cameron Jordan) I think the Redskins might like a little bit better.
In the second round, he has the Redskins taking Christian Ponder at No. 41, which is significantly lower than I have seen him in other recent mocks around the Internet. If he is there at that pick, I think it would be a good risk for them.
As for his chat, here are some highlights of his Redskin-centric analysis.
- He lists four running backs that the Redskins could target in rounds 5-7: Roy Helu (Nebraska), Darren Evans (VT), Bilal Powell (Louisville), Anthony Allen (GT).
- The Redskins would likely "jump" on Baylor NT Phil Taylor if he is available at No. 41, but he has Taylor going off the board late in the first.
- If they want to go defense in the first round, it could come down to Quinn and Watt.