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SB Nation Writers Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick #13

No. 13


Pick by Hogs Haven

Brian Cushing
Outside linebacker

Southern California

Two guys, KevinE and Ken, from Hogs Haven check in to begin the fifth day of the mock draft.

We were hoping one of the stud offensive linemen or defensive ends dropped our way, but they are all off the board.

The Redskins were fourth overall in team defense last season, but there were things they simply did not do well that ultimately explained how they ended up being the only top 5 defense that did not make the playoffs. The Skins were consistently unable to put pressure on the QB and ranking 28th in the league with 24 total sacks proves that. Albert Haynesworth will have an impact on this for sure, but to extract full value from Haynesworth (short of playing him at right tackle), the Skins need for other guys around him to take advantage of the attention he will attract.

In short, the Skins need an impact linebacker that can rush the passer from anywhere, drop into coverage, and make open field plays. London Fletcher is getting old, and Rocky McIntosh has a lot of mileage on his knees. The Redskins front office needs to inject some youth and talent into the linebacking corps, which makes Brian Cushing our guy.

With the top offensive line talent off the board, and top-rated linebacker talent available, the Skins have to take Cushing. The Redskins could start McIntosh, Fletcher and Cush at linebacker this year, with H.B. Blades and Alfred Fincher as the main backups. This pick would fill a need, make the starting roster younger, and provide what should be an impact player from day one.

As Redskins fans, we also notice a few other players still the kicker out of USC, or Percy Harvin. The truth is they are all in play with Vinny Cerrato behind the wheel. That's what makes draft day so intoxicating in D.C.

MTD thoughts: The Hogs hit this explanation out of the park. Cushing is a perfect fit and would give the Redskins the ferocity on defense they've long been without.

Mocking the Draft's Top Five Remaining Prospects - RB Knowshon Moreno, MLB Rey Maualuga, WR Jeremy Maclin, CB Vontae Davis, RB Chris Wells