ESPN NFL Draft insider Todd McShay did the conference call thing with writers this week. Here are some of the highlights, focusing on both players and positions that could be of interest to the Redskins plus some overall draft themes... Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley, profiled last week by Rich Tandler, is a potential day two target."Hosley, he's 5'10", it's not a terrible height. The average cornerback in the NFL is only 5'11". Only 178 pounds, though, so he's short and lean, and when you look at it, he has short arms, too, 30 inch arms, and it's a bigger deal than I guess some people might think with the arm length because it just helps -- the longer the arms, the more capable you are of going up and competing for the ball. So I do think his size will factor into his evaluation. I think his coverage skills are good. I think his instincts are very good. Ball skills are obviously upper echelon, but I don't think he supports the run very well.
"There are enough negatives there for him to fall to the third round, but I think there are enough positives that he won't fall to the third day." Running back does not figure to be a top priority for the Redskins, but another option could certainly be added. We have previously taken a closer look at Temple's Bernard Pierce and Utah State's Robert Turbin. Washington's Chris Polkis another name to watch, perhaps early in round three."Well, Chris Polk, there's a lot things to like...With Polk, I don't see the explosiveness in his running that maybe some people do, but in the same breath, I think he runs with a wide base. I think he runs with good balance. He's competitive. He runs hard, there's no question about it.I mean, what's not to love about him in the passing game? I think he's an above average blocker coming out of the college ranks, and he does as good a job as anyone in this class in terms of catching the ball, running routes. He's just real, real natural in the passing game.
"There's value in that, and he's the type of guy, just the passionate, diligent worker, loves the game, all those sorts of things, that will contribute on special teams, as well.
"Now, the negatives, I told you the explosiveness, I don't see that agility and acceleration. And also the two shoulder injuries, or surgeries, that he had, just looking at my notes here, I think in 2008 he had the first one, had season ending surgery, and then 2010, underwent a second surgery...But I think Polk, ultimately probably best -- I think third round is a good range for Polk. I don't see him getting into the second. I don't think there are a bunch of teams that are looking for running backs that high."Adding interior offensive lineman figures to be high on the Redskins radar. No wonder we profiled a pair of centers - Georgia'sBen Jones and Baylor's Philip Blake.McShay was asked about another top center prospect, Michigan's David Molk."And as far as Molk...I think he's instinctive, smart enough, and has all the mental part of the game that you need to be a center in the NFL. I do think, again, there are physical limitations there, but I think when you start to look at the center position, you've got Peter Konz from Wisconsin, and then you can make -- I would argue that he's probably the second best center in this class. Ben Jones would be the other guy from Georgia, but I think both those guys, Jones and Molk, are in the fourth round range." The Redskins are not in the market for a defensive end. This year, that sounds like that is a good thing."You know, I'm interested to see where these defensive ends go; I really am, because I think as a group it's overrated. It's an overrated group because of the pass rushing potential.There's a strong chance that Quinton Coples falls, and it wouldn't shock me if we're sitting there at 17 and he's on the board. If that's the case, Cincinnati, if they're comfortable, that's about a good spot where you could take Coples and take a chance on him, and if it doesn't work out you can live with it because the potential for him to be a big time impact player is there." Safety is arguably theweakest position in the draft. That explains why some boards have Wisconsin's AaronHenry as a top 5 free safety and yethe remainsonly a late round option who was not invited to the combine. "You know, I think he gets drafted, I really do. I watched some more tape of him recently. I think he's versatile, and when you watch him on tape, he makes some plays, he can come up and support the run, and I just -- when you look at his body of work, his experience playing, I think he has -- I think he can come in and contribute right away on special teams.
"To me, can he play the cornerback position and turn and run? You know, there's questions with that. He's going to have to be protected."