The Washington Redskins landed a defensive lineman who can rush the passer in the first round. That enables them to go in a few directions when the draft resumes Friday night. They would like to address certain positions -- pass-rusher and running back among them.
But after drafting Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, they don't need to force a pick on a pass-rusher in the second round. But taking one is a definite consideration at some point. Also, with nine picks remaining -- and with a roster that might not need to add 10 draft picks -- they can always trade to get an extra pick Friday. It would enable them to draft another potential higher-end talent. It also could help them add more picks in 2018.
Running backs: The No. 1 target will be Florida State's Dalvin Cook. They met with him at the combine and then hosted him at their facility earlier this month. He’s a first-round talent who fell because of multiple concerns: off-the-field issues, durability and fumbles. But he’s a dynamic back, which is what the Redskins want. However, it's hard to imagine him falling to 49 -- therefore, don't be surprised if they try to move up to get him. It might require them to move to the top of the second round.
Pass-rushers: If they don't land Cook, then they'll continue the quest for an edge rusher. The Redskins met with Kansas State's Jordan Willis, Villanova's Tanoh Kpassagnon, Alabama's Ryan Anderson and Florida State's DeMarcus Walker. Willis anticipated going in the first round and could come off the board long before the Redskins’ second-round pick. Kpassagnon likely will go somewhere between the middle of the second and middle of the third rounds (and he's also more of a 3-4 end, same as Allen. So he's a longshot here). Anderson likely will go in the second round; his Alabama teammate, Tim Williams, might have gone already if not for off-field concerns. Walker could be gone before they pick as well. Youngstown State’s Derek Rivers is an intriguing smaller-school prospect in the third round.
Inside linebacker: They’ll look to upgrade if possible, but do have Zach Brown, Mason Foster and Will Compton -- but all are on one-year deals. Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham is still available and projects as a three-down linebacker. They don’t need to play him every down initially; his best help early would come in nickel or dime packages or just on third down. But he can develop inside and, with their top three inside linebackers possible free agents next offseason, that’s important.
They also met with Ohio State's Raekwon McMillan, but he’s more a two-down linebacker at this point and could develop, but that will push him perhaps into the third round.
Defensive backs: The Redskins hosted UConn safety Obi Melifonwu, but they also have Su’a Cravens and D.J. Swearinger – two young players. Melifonwu is a terrific athlete and more teams are using three safeties in various packages. They also met with University of Washington safety Budda Baker. Again: If they can find someone who helps get them off the field on third down, they’ll consider him.
Of the corners that they are known to have met with, most project to the later rounds. They do have an interest in adding another player here, but could always re-sign Greg Toler after the draft. That would give them their top five corners intact (they could still draft one late as a developmental guy). Washington's Kevin King is the best corner available.
Guard: They met with at least seven guards this offseason. Starting left guard Shawn Lauvao has one year remaining on his contract and if they’re uncertain about Arie Kouandjio being his eventual replacement, they need to find another option. It’s a thin draft for linemen, but Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp and Indiana's Dan Feeney are the best guards available. Lamp likely would be gone before the Redskins are on the clock.