Washington Redskins: Shayne Skov

Some thoughts from ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay on the Redskins' draft:
  1. In a conference call with NFL Nation reporters last week, I asked McShay about who would represent the best value at 34 as far as pass rushers go. I should have clarified that it could also apply to an interior rusher. It would not surprise me if the Redskins went in one of four directions with this pick (pass rusher, safety, right tackle, inside linebacker). But by pass rusher, that could mean an outside linebacker or someone inside to help more in the nickel. My thought has been more about finding additional interior help. The line has four players who will be 30 or older this season: Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen and Kedric Golston.
  2. If they took an outside linebacker, and they had several visits with them, then that player would obviously sit behind Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo for a year at least. Not sure how wild they are about Kyle Van Noy, but his versatility could help (though, personally, I've liked other players more than him).
  3. McShay said about pass rushers at 34: "That might be the sweet spot in this class in terms of outside guys. I don't know if they'd spend that pick on an outside linebacker. You have [Jeremiah] Attaochu, [Demarcus] Lawrence, who played a hybrid role, and Dee Ford. I've seen him play with his hand in the dirt and from a two-point stance. All could be around when the first round is done. If you're looking for value, it's a good spot."
  4. In their mock draft Thursday night, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay had the Redskins taking Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland at 34 and tackle Jack Mewhort in the third round. Not sure about Borland; there are definite parts of his game I like, but not sold that he's best for Washington. Mewhort is fine as a right tackle prospect.
  5. Here's what McShay said of Borland: "He wouldn't be a bad choice at all. I picture him more as a middle linebacker being protected. He can do a lot of the same things inside in a 3-4 scheme. After [C.J.] Mosley and Borland, there's a real drop-off at that inside linebacker position. You get down to the fourth round probably before you'd feel good about an inside linebacker."
  6. McShay said Preston Brown and Shayne Skov would be options starting at that point, though he said Skov is more a fifth- or sixth-round pick.
There are some positions the Redskins will have more interest in this offseason, starting with the scouting combine that takes place over the next week. Wednesday we took a look at some safeties; Thursday it's inside linebacker. The Redskins already know they need to find one starter this offseason. If they somehow let Perry Riley get away, they would need two and it could be hard to fill both spots in free agency. So here are four to watch for various reasons. It's not a deep group.

Inside linebackers
Chris Borland (Wisconsin): He will be a good player in the right system. The question will be, can he do what Washington asks of its linebackers, particularly in coverage. That’s a big part of playing inside in a 3-4 and it’s one area of Borland’s game that has been questioned. His instincts give him a chance. It’ll be interesting to see what his 40 time is. It’s not the main measuring stick (nor should it be), but it is a piece of the puzzle.

Shayne Skov (Stanford): He was highly productive at Stanford, but Skov is not considered a fast player, which will impact where teams want to draft him. Scouts Inc. rated him as average in every key category aside from productivity where he was above average. They liked his ability to take on blocks, but wrote of his coverage skills: “Possesses adequate range in underneath zone coverage. However, lack of elite athleticism puts a cap on his overall play making ability in coverage. Will have limitations in man coverage. “

Christian Jones (Florida State): Not everyone lists Jones as an inside linebacker because he also played outside at Florida State, so some might view him more as an outside linebacker. He’s talented. He might go a couple rounds lower than Borland, but he’s an active player with good range and might be the most intriguing. He just hasn’t stayed at one spot long enough. He’ll need to show a strong understanding when teams quiz him about the X's and O's. An inside linebacker in a 3-4 must have a good command of this area.

Here’s what ESPN’s Scouts Inc. wrote about him: “Flashes above average upper body strength and appears to have long arms. Not violent enough at the point and can take too long to get off blocks in phone booth … Gets to depth and can cover a lot of ground on underneath zone. Picks up backs and H-backs releasing out of the backfield. Appears long and fast enough to match up with tight ends.”

Max Bullough (Michigan State): He was productive, but there are plenty of questions that need to get answered, starting this week at the combine. Bullough was suspended for the Rose Bowl and must answer questions about that as well as why he put on so much weight. He weighed in at 265 pounds at the East-West Shrine Game -- about 20 pounds more than he had previously been listed at (I think it was his playing weight in 2012). It made a difference in his performance. Bullough will need to lose around 20 pounds to play in a 3-4. As of now, it sounds as if he’s a guy you’d pick in the fifth round or later.

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