Whether or not the Washington Redskins need to add a starting cornerback doesn't matter. They will need to add some. And if they can't find them all in free agency, then the draft will provide strong alternatives. So says ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr.
The Redskins might not need another starting corner, not if they re-sign DeAngelo Hall and bump David Amerson to the No. 2 spot. But they have multiple free agents at this position, including Josh Wilson and E.J. Biggers, so there is a need to fill more spots.
"There are lots of second- and third-round corners," Kiper said in a an hour-long conference call after the release of his second mock draft.
He was not asked a question about the Redskins on the call, but among the corners he pegged as a second-rounder is Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste. Seattle's use of its corners could fuel Baptiste's rise (Kiper had him as perhaps a mid-second-rounder).
"A press corner all the way," Kiper said. "He's going to benefit because of what happened with the Seahawks when they did so well with these big corners. Those guys weren't early picks. That's why everyone is looking at big corners now."
But, he warned, just because Seattle did it doesn't mean other teams can – or will do as well trying that formula. Takes more than selecting a player to make it work.
"A lot of that was coaching," Kiper said, crediting not only head coach Pete Carroll but former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and current one Dan Quinn. "Think about the defensive minds they have and the coaching they're receiving and a great pass rush can make it easier for the secondary. They get after you. When you have big corners and can protect them with the pass rush … Everyone can't do that. Everybody doesn't have that array of talent on defense that the Seahawks have that makes everyone look better. One group makes the other look better. Everyone's going to try and copy that and I say good luck trying to do that."