Washington Redskins 2013 Mock Draft

 
on April 02 2013 10:55 AM

Reinforcing the secondary is the biggest priority for the Washington Redskins in the 2013 NFL draft. However, Mike Shanahan's team also needs help along the offensive line, particularly at right tackle.

Even without a pick in the first round after the trade for Robert Griffin III in 2012, the Redskins have enough selections to fill their needs.

A tough-tackling safety, recently recovered from a horrific injury and an IVY League offensive lineman represent their best picks.

Round 2: Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State

There are more athletic and dynamic safeties in this draft class than Phillip Thomas. However, the Redskins need the Fresno State star because of his knack for forcing turnovers.

Thomas has keen instincts in underneath coverage and a flair for getting his hands of the ball. He is also a competent run defender.

Thomas has rebounded well from the broken leg that derailed his draft hopes in 2012. He is tough and savvy enough to quickly become a starter in Washington.

The Redskins are wafer-thin at safety. Brandon Meriweather missed the entire 2012 campaign through injury, while Tanard Jackson served a league suspension.

The Redskins need a playmaker at safety and Thomas fits the bill.

Round 3: Shawn Williams, S, Georgia

After taking the opportunistic Thomas in the second round, the Redskins will add a versatile strong safety in round three. Georgia's Shawn Williams is a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's coverage schemes.

Haslett often employs a two-deep shell with man coverage underneath. Williams has a good understanding of zone principles and effectively patrols the deep routes.

Closer to the line, Williams is a rugged eighth man in run-stopping fronts. He is a thumping tackler across the middle and also a useful weapon in blitz packages.

Haslett's 3-4 zone blitz system demands an all-action safety, in the mold of Pittsburgh Steelers' star Troy Polamalu. He lacked this player in 2012 after LaRon Landry left in free agency.

Williams fills that void and would complete an excellent two-round haul that would give Haslett his starting safeties.

Round 4: J.C. Tretter, OT, Cornell

IVY League standout J.C. Tretter suits Shanahan's famous zone-blocking system. A former tight end, Tretter converted to left tackle at Cornell.

Shanahan's scheme requires agile linemen able to swiftly shift out into space and create zones for running backs to exploit. Tretter boasts quick feet and is a fluid mover off the line.

He played on the left side at Cornell but could switch over to the right in Washington. There Tretter could challenge journeymen pair Tyler Polumbus and Jeremy Trueblood for the starting tackle spot.

Round 5: William Gholston, DE, Michigan State

The Redskins can never have enough linemen for their 3-4 front. They re-signed defensive end Kedric Golston in free agency, but drafting William Gholston would add further depth.

Veteran Adam Carriker missed 14 games with a torn quadriceps tendon in 2012.  CSNWashington.com recently reported Carriker experienced a "setback" in his recovery.

Youngster Jarvis Jenkins filled in last season. However, he missed his entire rookie campaign in 2011, with a torn ACL.

Gholston would be good cover in the event of further injuries. The Michigan State lineman is a little quicker than the average 3-4 end.

With the right coaching, he could be a useful rotation player along Washington's three-man front.

Round 5: Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State

The one thing Robert Griffin III's read-option, pistol offense was missing in 2012, was a speedy, pass-catching running back. Utah State's Kerwynn Williams is the exact kind of diminutive and shifty multipurpose weapon all read-option schemes need.

The 5'8", 195-pounder is an excellent receiver and a quick-cutting runner in the mold of Darren Sproles. Adding his versatility in the backfield alongside Griffin and Alfred Morris, would give defenses plenty to think about.

Round 6: Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois

Michael Buchanan would add another pass-rusher at the edges of Washington's 3-4 defense. Brian Orakpo is returning after missing 14 games with a torn pectoral muscle and Ryan Kerrigan is developing nicely.

However, top reserve Rob Jackson is suspended for the season's first four games, due to drug violations. The Redskins already signed Darryl Tapp as cover, but need another option.

Buchanan can be that player, despite a disappointing 2012 for Illinois. He is a tall and rangy rush end with varied pass-rush moves.

Round 7: Travis Howard, CB, Ohio State

Travis Howard is a natural zone defender, who would add some size to the Redskins' cornerback rotation. Washington's need for high-round cornerbacks isn't as pressing as it might appear.

They brought back DeAngelo Hall, according to CSNWashington.com. They also signed E.J. Biggers in free agency and still have Josh Wilson and Richard Crawford on the roster.

Howard fits their zone coverage schemes well and could feature in multiple defensive back packages. He has good size for the position at 6'1" and 200 pounds.

He also gambles on the ball to produce interceptions. Howard is not an elite athlete, but his good ball skills would give him a chance to make the Redskins' roster.

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