2015 NFL draft is full of young and talented athletes ready to make a difference, the issue is, few of them will succeed at the next level. If Washington selects the following players, the team would be another step closer to a long awaited playoff birth.
Round 1, 5th Overall: Outside Linebacker Dante Fowler Jr., Florida
At the start of free agency, the best player for the Redskins to draft at number five would have been Leonard Williams out of USC. Williams possesses great athleticism, and is a satisfactory pass rusher. Due to Scot Mccloughan revamping of Washington’s defensive line, Williams is no longer the ideal pick. Fowler Jr. is a tough pass rushing linebacker. He has a great motor, which is an attribute the Redskins have overlooked in the past. Fowler is also extremely versatile, at Florida he blitzed from both the two and three point stance, while taking reps at defensive end. Fowler is able to get to the running back quickly, but occasionally over pursues and misses the tackle. The OLB out of Florida has shown no off the field issues in college, which again proves he possesses little to no risk with the 5th overall pick. Fowler is a rare mold of low risk, high reward, with a huge ceiling.
Round 2, 38th overall: Strong Safety Landon Collins, Alabama
Collins falling this far is a stretch, but in a recent mock draft by Mel Kiper and Todd Mcshay, Collins was available at 38. Though the Redskins brought in two safeties in the offseason, it is doubtful that they are the long term solution to the Redskins struggles in the secondary. Collins possess what former Redskins safeties Bacarri Rambo and Ryan Clark didn’t; great run support. Collins takes great angels towards backs and is able to complete tackles. One slightly negative aspect of Collins game is his passing defense. Collins was suspect with the angels he took while covering deep passes at Alabama. He dropped a few interceptions, and miss timed quarterback’s releases. Overall Collins would be a steal at this spot, and would make an immediate impact for Washington.
Round 3, 69th overall: Inside Linebacker, Denzel Perryman, Miami
Perry Riley was a disappointment for the Redskins last year. The Redskins could find a great two down linebacker here with Perryman. The senior out of Miami lacks ideal height, but makes up for it with his strong frame. Perryman excels in the run game, as he is an explosive tackler. Though he struggles in coverage outside of the box, he performs well with over the middle routes. He sheds blockers, and does not let second level linemen knock him out of the play. Perryman can simply make big time plays, and has the potential to be a leader in a struggling defense.
Overall, the ‘Skins still have many holes in their shaky defense. However, having a first round pick (which feels like we haven’t had forever with the lovely RG3 trade) is cause for optimism in Washington. Come thursday night, Washington has the potential to take another step forward…. If they draft correctly.