Best bets for the Redskins 3rd rounder

Best bets for the Redskins 3rd rounder
April 25, 2012, 3:51 pm
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We have studied the mocks. We know the team needs. Now it's time to offer up our best educated guesses on which players the Redskins will target in the third round with the 69th overall pick.Obviously if a talent at a non-need position is on the board, the Redskins may have no choice but to deviate from their plan. For thepurposes here, I focused on those obvious weaker areas, specifically offensive line, cornerback, inside linebacker and running back. Safety is a concern, but unless Notre Dame's strong safety Harrison Smith falls this far (he won't), there likely will not be a prospect worthy of the early third round selection.For each position, I listed prospects who fit into the range of the Redskins pick and a player who could slide down.Tackle: Zebrie Sanders, Florida State...Right tackle figures to be the most immediate concern regardless of whether Jammal Brown returns or not. Sanders has the size and smarts to step and play significant minutes as a rookie. Lack of strength likely pushes him into the third round, but that's why they invented weight rooms...Mitchell Schwartz (California) likely goes late second, James Brown (Troy) middle third.Overall, the talent pool at tackle is not deep and even right tackle is a major need, the Redskins might simply have better options elsewhere.The slider- Mike Adams, Ohio State...Considered a first-rounder throughout the draft process, Adams stock is sliding due to apoor combine (only 18 reps at 225 pounds) andreports hetested positive for marijuana at the combine. Factor in an injury history and maybe the 6-foot-7, 320-pounder drops all the way to round three.Interior lineman - C Ben Jones, (Georgia); G Brandon Brooks, Miami (Ohio)...Jones or any center could be a touch early at 69, but he is the best of the remaining bunch.Brooks, a four-year starter,is picking up some steam as a second-round option, but could easily slide outside the top 63 selections...The Redskins depth at guard is scarce and depending on Kory Lichtensteiger's recovery from a knee injury,tacking on apotential starter might be a priority. Finding a backup for center Will Montgomery is required somewhere in the draft.The slider- guardKelechi Osemele, Iowa State. The first team All-Big 12 selection started 43 games for the Cyclones and makes sense for the Falcons and Steelers in round two, but value could drop if teams only view him as an interior options.Cornerback: Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette...You could see 8-10 corners selected in the first two rounds, but the position is deep this season, enough to have a instinctive cover option like Bentley potentially available in the third. If you're looking local, Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosley is more likely than Virginia Chase Minnifield to go early in the third.The slider -Trumaine Johnson, Montana...not even sure there such a thing as a slider at this position considering the depth. Johnson'svalue seems to be anywhere from the 40's to the middle of round three. At 6-foot-2 he has excellent size,but off the field concerns and playing far outside the BCS level could drop him into the Redskins range in round three...Inside linebacker: Bobby Wagner, Utah State...If there is a run at this position in the second round, the relentless tackler will be snatched up. Most projections do not have such a run occurring so the Redskins and Wagner would bring tremendous athleticism to the middle of the defense. Once you get past Wagner, the remaining choices feel like fourth or later round options.The slider - Mychal Kendricks, California...Russ Lande from the Sporting News is among those that love the 2011 Pac 12 defensive player of the year. Kendricks was the fastest linebacker at the combine, but like interior offensive lineman, inside linebacker is not a position teams love targeting early in drafts.Running back: Chris Polk, Washington...When I was coming up with prospects to profile this month, I skipped over the inside runner with tremendous pass catching abilities because I kept thinking his value would firmly rise into the second round. Maybe it has, but I've read enoughtwo-round mocks without his namelisted to think maybe it hasn't. Can be a three-down option and with Roy Helu would give the Redskins two tremendous weapons in thepassing game...If the elite backs fall into the second round, then Oregon's LaMichael James and Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead could alsofall into the early third round territory.The sleeper - Since Polk could be considered the slider, I'll go the other way here and mention my favorite middle round option,Temple's Bernard Pierce. The power back has a nose for the end zone and he will make some team look rather smart in the future.And the winner is...Based on need, talent, position scarcity and likelihood the player will be available, my official prediction is...Sanders. If all the non-sliders are available at 69, I would rank them as Polk, Sanders, Wagner and Bentley. The corner goes last simply because there will be viable options in the fourth...Get on the record people. Whodo you have the Redskins taking in the third???