The 2017 NFL Draft is just days away, and all eyes in the sporting world will cast their eyes towards Philadelphia to watch the Draft unfold. The Washington Redskins currently hold the 17th pick in the NFL Draft, and have certain position which need attention for improvement. Here are some potential prospects the Redskins could target with the 17th pick in the First Round.
Who should the Washington Redskins Draft in the First Round?
As far as running backs go in this years draft, McCaffrey ranks right up there alongside the very best. Labelled as an incredibly intelligent running back, with great route running abilities and scintillating foot speed, McCaffrey has been tipped to make a real impact in his rookie season. The Redskins have also been without an effective running game notably since 2012, when Alfred Morris tallied 1,613 rushing yards. Morris ranked second in the league for total rushing yards that season. But since then, the Redskins have been heavily reliant on Kirk Cousins ability to find receivers to gain yardage. McCaffrey could certainly add another dimension to the Redskins offence by adding an effective running game.
The question does beckon however, do the Redskins need another running back? With Robert Kelley, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson already in their ranks, should they look towards potentially strengthening a different position? Despite the depth to their arsenal, neither Kelley, Jones nor Thompson were able to establish a consistent running game throughout the 2016 season. Could Christian McCaffrey be a potential solution to the Redskins ineffective running game?
Like Christian McCaffrey, Cook is regarded as one of the top running backs in this years draft class. In his final season at Florida, Cook recorded 1,765 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns. He ranked fifth in the NCAA for rushing yards and sixth in rushing touchdowns. Whilst his on-field talents are unquestionable, many questions have been asked however about his off-field behaviour. This may have a serious impact upon Cook’s draft position, which could potentially play into the hands of the Redskins. But if Dalvin Cook was to be available with the 17th pick, surely his talents would be too good to turn down.
Reddick is reportedly becoming the Redskins top target heading into the 2017 NFL Draft. He has been labelled as a highly athletic linebacker who will make plays for his team at crucial moments. In his time at Temple, Reddick ranked third in the American Athletic Conference for sacks, with 18 recorded. In the 2016 season alone, Reddick made 22 tackles for a loss, the highest in the AAC all season. With the Linebacker options the Redskins currently have, it is likely that Reddick would play as a middle linebacker. But one thing is for sure, Reddick would certainly add strength to the Redskins defence which has needed a lot of attention this off season.
Cunningham could be another potential target for the Redskins at Linebacker if Haason Reddick were not to be available. The Vanderbilt star ranked 10th in the NCAA for total tackles in the 2016 season. Cunningham initially met with the Redskins during the NFL Combine and impressed with his overall numbers. Despite his impressive performances, Cunningham’s missed tackles and lack of desired play strength could prove to work against him in the draft. But recognised for his rangy long strides and ability to handle man coverage responsibilities, Cunningham is definitely an option for the Redskins to consider with the 17th pick.
Jabrill Peppers is regarded as one of the most versatile players in this years draft. After playing in a number of different positions through college, Safety is where Peppers experienced most of his success. Scouts have highlighted his ability to aggressively re-route receivers as well as matching them for speed. Peppers can also contribute to the team in other aspects. He ranked third in the NCAA for punt return yards with 310 yards in the 2016 college season. In his time at Michigan, Peppers received a number of high class accolades. Including the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, as well as the Ronnie Lott Trophy, previously won by J.J. Watt. Could Peppers potentially create a dominant deep coverage partnership alongside John Norman in the nations capital?