The Redskins are at the NFL Combine this week without a first-round draft pick in their pockets. They do have their second-rounder, which is the 34th overall selection and they should be able to get a quality player who can contribute right away.
Who will they take? With all of the needs the team has there are numerous possibilities. Over the coming days we’ll take some possibilities from the Top 50 prospects list compiled by Josh Norris for our corporate cousins at Rotoworld.
Safety Calvin Pryor
Measurables: 6-2, 208
College highlights: Pryor was named first team All-American Athletic Conference in 2013 for the second time in his career. He made 69 tackles, forced two fumbles and intercepted three passes.
Norris’ take: “A huge hitter. Takes aggressive angles downhill. Wants to get in on the action. Very good flashes while playing in the box or closer to the LOS.”
Fit with the Redskins: The Redskins have been trying to solve the safety position for many years, ever since the loss of Sean Taylor in 2007. They tried using a high draft pick in 2007 but LaRon Landry turned out to be inconsistent and, ultimately, injured. They’ve tried late-round draft picks like Kareem Moore and free agents like O. J. Atogwe. But the usually end up with Reed Doughty as one of their starters.
A player like Pryor could change that pattern of futility. He has size, ball instincts, and he can deliver a heck of a hit (although his tackling form needs work to get up to NFL standards). As Norris notes he is more comfortable playing closer to the line of scrimmage but he can handle playing deep.
The Redskins did draft two safeties last year but it is hard to say if Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas can develop into starters. Thomas is a mystery, having suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury during the preseason. Rambo started a few games but he quickly found his way to the bench due to an assortment of issues. It would be unwise for the Redskins to count on either one of them developing into a starter and certainly not in 2014. Pace is good enough to come in and start right away.
Availability: Norris has him as his 33rd-ranked prospect but says that he could go in the top 25. CBS says that he’s a first-or second-round pick but all four of those picking in their mock drafts have him gone with the Eagles’ pick at 22 overall at the latest. But it’s early in the process and we will have to see how things shake out during the next couple of months.