We all know what is going to happen on Thursday night. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will come to the microphone, welcome us all to the 2012 NFL Draft, and shortly after that, he will announce that the Indianapolis Colts have taken Andrew Luck. Then, Goodell will follow that up by saying what Washington Redskins fans have been waiting for months to hear:
"And with the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select: Quarterback Robert Griffin III from Baylor University."
The crowd in Ashburn and in Radio City Music Hall will go nuts. Every draft party in the D.C. area will go nuts.
But what will happen on Saturday afternoon? I'm talking about the late round picks that make teams successful. The Redskins have obvious needs along the offensive line, in the secondary, and at middle linebacker, plus there are a number of players at offensive skill positions that I can't wait to see in the NFL. With that in mind, let's look at ten potential targets for rounds four through seven.
Center William Vlachos, Alabama
Projection: 7th Round-Free Agent
Scouting Report: Vlachos anchored two BCS national championship teams while at Alabama (2010 and 2012) and also paved the way for two All-American running backs, including one Heisman Trophy winner (Mark Ingram), and another Finalist (Trent Richardson). Went to the Senior Bowl and was completely out-of-shape.
Offensive Guard Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina
Projection: 6th-7th Round
Scouting Report: Watkins was the bulldozer who led the way for a potential Heisman candidate in running back Marcus Lattimore, whose season was scuppered by an injury. Watkins was selected as a first-team all-SEC player by the AP. He's literally a huge prospect at 338 pounds, so weight -- or the ability to control it -- may be a concern.
Offensive Tackle Josh Oglesby, Wisconsin
Projection: 5th-7th Round
Scouting Report: Oglesby was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten performer at right tackle for the Badgers. He protected the right side of QB Russell Wilson, and led the way for RB Montee Ball. Does have injury concerns.
Offensive Tackle/Guard Nate Potter, Boise State
Projection: 5th-6th Round
Scouting Report: Potter was a consensus top-five tackle in the draft, and was a potential first-round pick before this past season. His stock dropped throughout the year, but still was named to first-team All-Mountain West. Could be a late-round steal.
Offensive Guard Senio Kelemete, Washington
Projection: 4th-6th Round
Scouting Report: Kelemete started at left tackle for the Huskies, but projects as more of a Guard in the NFL. Known for his quick feet, he improved all his numbers from the combine to his pro day. Inexperience at Guard -- he started as a defensive lineman in college before transitioning to Left Tackle -- is what's holding back his draft stock.
Cornerback Cliff Harris, Oregon
Projection: 6th Round-Free Agent
Scouting Report: Harris is a very talented cornerback and return man who has tumbled down draft boards. He had six interceptions and returned four punts for touchdowns in 2010, but off-the-field troubles killed most of his 2011 campaign. Most famously, an officer asked Harris "Where is the marijuana?" during a traffic stop -- one of many Harris underwent while at Oregon. Harris' famous reply was, "We smoked it all."
Free Safety Janzen Jackson, McNeese State
Projection: 5th-7th Round
Scouting Report: Jackson was dismissed from Tennessee, but not before being named a Second-Team All-SEC Safety as a sophomore in 2010. Jackson is a ball-hawk, as evidenced by his five interceptions as a sophomore at Tennessee, but he didn't stand out at FCS-level McNeese State (finished with just two interceptions in 2011).
Inside Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
Projection: 4th Round-Undrafted
Scouting Report: Burfict is the definition of a mystery. He was unmotivated and overweight last year, as well as a giant headache off-the-field. However, the talent is there. He was a top-15 pick late into the season, but has seen his stock plummet since the season ended.
Inside Linebacker Tank Carder, TCU
Projection: 4th-5th Round
Scouting Report: A deceptive athlete, and an unquestioned leader. The two-time defending Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year has been severely underrated during this draft process. Returned both of his interceptions this year for touchdowns.
Wide Receiver Tommy Streeter, Miami (Fl.)
Projection: 5th Round
Scouting Report: Streeter has a rare combination of size and speed. At 6'5" and 215 lbs, Streeter ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, but he's not just a combine freak. Streeter led the ACC in yards-per-catch at 17.6, and his eight touchdown receptions were fourth in the ACC. He did all this while dealing with instability at the quarterback position in Coral Gables for all of last season. He's the type of big-play receiver the Redskins have been lacking.
The Redskins need to find players in late rounds to help build depth. Obviously, they won't expect every player to make the roster, like in 2011, but a gem or two could be out there.