And so, I will now tell them who they should take, in order, at that #4 pick. Right now, it seems like any of three players could go first, and any of six or seven players could be a reasonable selection at #4. A lot of it depends on how things go in those first three picks, and from what I hear, those picks are a little bit wide open.
Initially, it seemed like the Rams would take Ndamukong Suh as a no-brainer first pick, but after Sam Bradford had a productive workout and proved his health, he's gotten himself back into the top pick discussion, and it's thrown the whole top ten of the draft into question. So, for the Redskins' benefit, I will come up with a top 4 list, a list of the only four guys that Washington should consider with their #1 pick. And here it is.
The Washington Redskins Top Four
- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The reality, I believe, is that Suh is the one surefire transcendent talent in this year's draft. While defensive tackle might not be a glaring need for the Redskins, they did part ways with Cornelius Griffin, creating a potential opening. I know that the defense is expected to run as a 3-4, but I feel like you work with elite talent if you can get it, and Suh would be elite talent. He's also the one guy that you know, without a doubt, will not be available at the fourth pick.
- Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
I truly believe that Suh and McCoy are the kind of players who trump the Redskins' potential needs and demand being taken if at all available. I don't expect either to be on the board when Washington picks at #4, so it's probably not worth arguing about, but you've got to come up with a top four going into this draft day. Suh and McCoy belong at the top.
- Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
I had Sam Bradford at #3, but when Washington went and traded for Donovan McNabb, everything changed. Suddenly, the 'Skins needed to fill holes, because they've got a veteran QB and an opportunity to be successful in the short term. "Best available" became less reasonable, and "best fit" replaced it. Okung is the consensus best offensive lineman in the draft, and seems to also be the closest to a sure thing as a plug-and-play left tackle. With limited draft picks and a dearth of options in free agency, you almost have to take a tackle here.
- Anthony Davis, Rutgers
I would have liked to have found a way to recommend Eric Berry, who I think will be a superstar, but after the McNabb trade, this first round pick became a pick that you absolutely have to use to make your team better right now. Berry will be great, but a game-changer he may not be. Davis could be the most talented offensive lineman in the draft, though he's got some character questions. Still, with him, the risk/reward is star OL versus problem child OL, where taking Berry will leave offensive line as a glaringly empty position. If Okung and the two elite DTs are off the board, you might as well take a potential big time player.
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
I've always liked Bradford. As you might remember, he was looked at as a potential #1 overall pick last year, before he decided that he was coming back for another year of college ball. The talent seems there, but perhaps more importantly, every interview I've heard and every report on him has given him really exceptional marks on character and leadership. As we've learned from guys like Jeff George and Ryan Leaf, a big arm isn't all you need to succeed in the NFL. All indications are that Bradford has the head for the job.
Perhaps the most important piece of this sequence is that the acquisition of McNabb should completely remove Jimmy Clausen from consideration for the #4 pick. He's not the best quarterback prospect in the draft, and something about him just doesn't strike me as a potential franchise quarterback. I'm hoping the Redskins were unsatisfied with him as well, and that's why they made this trade.
I still do like Bradford, and if Shanahan likes Bradford too, and he's available at the #4 pick, I won't be mad at the Skins for taking him. But I would wonder where exactly they'd expect to get the kind of players you need to fill out a professional offensive line that won't leave McNabb running for the hills.