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Thursday, April 10, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Redskins

By John Keim

The Washington Redskins filled two big holes in free agency -- they hope -- when they landed defensive lineman and pass-rusher Jason Hatcher as well as big-time playmaking receiver DeSean Jackson. Next stop, the draft, where the Redskins don't pick until the second round (34th overall). Several positions would make sense in the second round: right tackle, safety or even inside linebacker.

Todd McShay's fourth mock Insider is now available on ESPN Insider's page and he projects a player to Washington who should make quarterback Robert Griffin III happy.

McShay puts Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to the Redskins at No. 34 in his two-round mock.

Kouandjio played left tackle for the Crimson Tide. He would play on the right side in Washington with Trent Williams on the left as the Redskins seek an upgrade over incumbent Tyler Polumbus. Washington tried to sign tackle Donald Penn in the offseason and there's clearly a desire by those in power to replace Polumbus. So taking Kouandjio makes sense.

The defense still needs a boost and the draft could provide one with safety Deone Bucannon (more of a strong safety) or an inside linebacker such as Chris Borland. Both were still available in McShay's mock. McShay had another safety, Jimmie Ward, going late in the second round. And the Redskins' defense needs more good young players, even if they don't start immediately but are groomed for that role. But if you go by best player available, then Kouandjio probably tops this group and should be a good fit for Washington.

There were reports from the scouting combine that Kouandjio flunked six physicals because of an arthritic knee, which his agent later said was false. If indeed there is an issue, that's not good. But Kouandjio is coming off a strong Pro Day earlier this week. He would give the Redskins an athletic bookend to Williams. The Redskins will still run their outside zones and having two athletic tackles will give them a big advantage. At Alabama, Kouandjio was athletic enough to pull on occasion.

So Washington potentially would have two tackles who can block in space. Of course, the Redskins will need him to provide better pass protection considering they'll want to throw down the field more this season. And that would make Griffin really smile.