With about three weeks until the NFL draft, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper said he has the Redskins selecting UConn cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic with their first two picks.
Kiper also said teams looking to pick a safety – like the Redskins – will have to move quickly because he expects there to be “a run on safeties in the second round.”
“I tried to think free safety [or] corner [and] I gave them Blidi Wreh-Wilson from Connecticut in the second round,” Kiper said on a conference call with reporters when asked about the Redskins’ needs. “And then I actually thought linebacker in the third round, just because you can’t force things, with Jonathan Bostic from Florida.”
But, he added, “You’re going to have to try and find some safety help at some point. It’s a deep safety crop. I think it’s not as great as some people make it out to be, the way it has all shaken down late as we move into April.”
Kiper said he projects safeties Johnathan Cyprien (Florida International) and Matt Elam (Florida) as first rounders who could potentially slip to the second. Kiper projects Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse), J.J. Wilcox (Georgia Southern) and D.J. Swearinger (South Carolina) as second rounders. As for the next tier of safeties, Kiper noted Shawn Williams (Georgia) and Eric Reid (LSU) as possible third rounders.
Kiper also described Duke Williams (Nevada) as an “interesting guy” and made mention of Don Jones (Arkansas State), Ray Polk (Colorado) and Rontez Miles (California of Pa.) as players who could be taken in the fifth round and later.
“There’s a lot of guys, it just depends upon when you want to pull the trigger on a safety,” Kiper added. “Whether you want to do it the second round – and you’re going to have to if you want one those guys I mentioned because they are going to be gobbled up quick. Or do you want to go corner? Is a corner or safety on the board when the Redskins are up with that 51st ?”
As for Wreh-Wilson, he’s a 6 foot 2, 195-pound corner that talent evaluators praise for his size and quickness. Last season, Wreh-Wilson notched 47 tackles, an interception and defended nine passes en route to second-team all Big East honors. Kiper said Wreh-Wilson's coverage skills make him worthy of a second round pick.
Bostic, meantime, racked up 68 tackles for the Gators – eight fewer than Elam – and recorded three sacks as well as a pair of interceptions.