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Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Loving the silly mock drafts

By Stephen L. Carter

I have wasted large chunks of the last couple of days hunting through mock NFL drafts around the Internet. Now, mock drafts are a pretty silly idea, and grading them – who guessed best? – is even sillier. But being silly can be fun. Based on what I have gleaned from this silly enterprise so far, I hope that the mock drafts are as inaccurate as ever – especially least about the Redskins.

In truth, my fondest hope would be that we draft nobody at number 10, that we trade out of that 10 slot in exchange for something lower in the round, along with a couple of other later picks. (Surely there is somebody who craves Cam Newton!) We have so many holes to fill, and, as the saying goes, the price slope is steeper than the talent slope. (This makes the NFL draft quite different from, say, the NBA draft, where the talent slope tends to be absurdly steep.)
But I am assuming that the Redskins will instead do what they so often do with high draft choices: announce that they have found the player who will save them from mediocrity for years to come. Well, then, who to draft?

The latest mock draft at Sports Illustrated has the Redskins picking Cam Newton, if indeed he falls to the tenth spot. had the Redskins drafting Newton, but has recently changed its view. It now has Newton going earlier, and Washington picking Robert Quinn, the undoubtedly skilled but ethically challenged defensive end from North Carolina. You remember Quinn, right? The All-American? Oh, no, wait. He didn’t play in his senior year.

I have found several other mocks that match the Redskins with either Quinn or Newton – and Newton seems to be the favorite – but one of the experts over at CBS has Washington drafting Julio Jones, the big, physical Alabama wide receiver who has already signed his first endorsement contract. The true outlier is, which projects Jake Locker, the Washington quarterback.

My own view? Stay away from quarterbacks. Not a good year. Newton is a project, with basically one outstanding college season behind him. Blaine Gabbert has a pro arm, but has excelled only in the spread offense. Locker has serious accuracy issues, and studies suggest that accuracy as a college quarterback is an excellent predictor of success as a pro quarterback.

We could use a talented wide receiver threatening enough that defenses have to account for him, and by all accounts Jones fills that bill. But we drafted a passel of receivers a few years ago, and the decision proved disastrous. No doubt the Shanahans are excellent judges of talent, but drafting wideouts still leaves me nervous.

So, what about Quinn? Everyone agrees that he has the talent, and our defensive line last year was horrific. (Want a scary stat? How about this one? No Washington defensive lineman had as many as three sacks in 2010. Nor did anybody on the team, other than the reliable Brian Orakpo, who tallied 8.5.)

As long as we are indulging the silliness of mock drafts – and if you have read this far, then you are as silly as I – Quinn likely fills the biggest immediate need, assuming that no free safety is available. Still, I wind up where I began: best is to trade the pick if possible.

By Stephen L. Carter  | February 28, 2011; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins, Stephen L. Carter  | Tags:  Redskins, Stephen L. Carter  
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Next: So long and farewell, Coach Janky Spanky


Totally agree. Trade out of that 10th spot if there is a taker and pick up an extra lower round pick. NO to Newton. I think they should go defense with the first pick and maybe even the second unless Locker is still on the board.

Posted by: VaBroker | February 28, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan likes to draft lines 1st then the QB (as goes his drafting style) let's hope he doesn't change.

I think they can trade down and still get a good lineman, pick up a pick or 2, and get a QB still in the 2nd round.

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo | March 1, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

You'll love our Mock Draft, it PWNS Sports Illustrated

Posted by: richturpin | March 1, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

agree with vabroker. no to newton, stockpile picks if possible. Quinn is a beast with the 10th pick if no takers to move up. Cannot remember did we lose a pick in this years draft from the mcnabb trade? some many needs @ every position year after year we never have enough draft picks.

Posted by: dab1460 | March 1, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"No doubt the Shanahans are excellent judges of talent" Really? Says who? Didn't they cut Ryan Torain in the preseason for Larry Johnson? Didn't they draft (projected to go undrafted) Terrence Austin (3 catches)only to cut him in the preseason and keep Roydell Williams (8 catches) along with 39 year old Joey Galloway (12 catches as the #2 receiver)? Didn't bench McNabb for Grossman? I think I would leave out the "No doubt" and "excellent" parts of that sentence.

Posted by: DCull | March 1, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Carter - You and the rest of the world of sports reporting need to be alerted that is not A) Not a reputable sports news outlet, necessarily B) Anyone can have an account and write, so it's incorrect to make the generalization " has them taking," because it's really just one random writer on that site whose opinion you're referencing.

Posted by: Unloadvegas | March 1, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

take Quinn if we can't trade back, look at OL or DL with 2nd pick.

I'd like to get Ponder later in the draft but i'm guessing he'll be snatched in the 2nd or 3rd. Too bad we waste our 3rd & 4th rounds picks already Shanny!

Posted by: vtsquirm1 | March 2, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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