Washington Redskins: Pre-Combine Defensive Rankings

The annual spectacle known as the NFL Combine will commence in Indianapolis Friday, February 20, with offensive draft prospect up first. The Washington Redskins brass will be in full attendance for the first time with Scot McCloughan captaining the ship.

Washington is open for business at almost every position this year. On defense you could say they have needs at literally every position. Below will be rankings of the top defensive prospects headed to Indy based off personal film study and research.

Offensive Rankings (2/16/15) 


Interior Defensive Lineman:

1. Leonard Williams, USC
2. Danny Shelton, Washington
3. Arik Armstead, Oregon
4. Eddie Goldman, FSU
5. Malcolm Brown, Texas


Leonard Williams is by far the best player in this draft. He can play any position on the defensive line in any scheme. Danny Shelton is a rare player as there are only a few of his kind in the NFL. Arik Armstead could be a riser as he also obtains some rare traits that could intrigue teams. His upside is through the roof.

Edge Rushers:
1. Randy Gregory, Nebraska
2. Shane Ray, Mizzou
3. Dante Fowler Jr., Florida
4. Bud Dupree, Kentucky
5. Vic Beasley, Clemson


Randy Gregory is a technician who wasn’t always allowed to pin his hair back and rush the QB. He rushes QBs like a receiver trying to get off press coverage. Shane Ray has an explosive first step. Dante Fowler may have the most upside. Vic Beasley more than several of these players. However, his size will be a concern. He may not be a three-down guy. All these edge rushers come with risks. It’ll be interesting to see which ones pan-out.

1. Paul Dawson, TCU
2a. Shaq Thompson, Washington
2b. Benardrick McKinney, Miss. State
3. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
4. Denzel Perryman, Miami
5. Kyle Emanuel, North Dakota St.


Paul Dawson is excellent at sniffing out the football. He has some character flaws, but is a highly productive player. Shaq Thompson should be a glorified safety. But wherever you play him, he’s just a purely talented football player. Kyle Emanuel is such an intriguing player to me. He somewhat reminds me of Jordan Tripp, who the Dolphins drafted last year. I thought Tripp could make a transition from DE/OLB and play inside a 3-4. I think Emanuel could be capable of doing that too.

1. Marcus Peters, Washington
2. Trae Waynes, Michigan State
3. Jalen Collins, LSU
4. P.J. Williams, FSU
5. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon


Marcus Peters is a talented corner, but has to answer the question about his character concerns. Ifo is coming off a serious knee injury and will get knocked for being a smaller CB, but he’s a good player. I think Ifo can be one of the better corners in this draft, whether he plays inside or outside.

1a. Shaq Thompson, Washington
1b. Landon Collins, Alabama
2. Derron Smith, Fresno State
3. Eric Rowe, Utah
4. Anthony Harris, UVA
5. Jaquiski Tartt, Samford


Safety is a very tough position to evaluate. But one thing is certain, this draft lacks good ones. Shaq Thompson, as mentioned, should be a glorified safety. Mike Mayock mentioned on his conference call that teams could use Thompson like the Cardinals used Deone Bucannon. Mayock says he could remind some of Kam Chancellor. Eric Rowe is a corner who could make a transition to safety. I think he could be a good free safety.


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