The strengths of the 2016 NFL Draft fit perfectly into the needs on Washington's roster. The overwhelming strength of this draft is at defensive tackle, arguably Washington's top need. Washington has players like Kedric Golston and Jerrell Powe set for the nose tackle spot, and that's not a good thing. But there is a lot of talent at corner, a position where Washington could upgrade from Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland. There's also good wide receiver talent available with this pick, like Josh Doctson of TCU and Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss.
Ken Meringolo of Hogs Haven hits on one of those needs with his pick at No. 21.
21. Washington: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
Meringolo: I was dying to take Ryan Kelly and pair him with Kirk Cousins in what I believe could be a dominant duo up the middle for years to come. Unable to do so, I audibled back to the strength at the top of this draft class, which is along the defensive line (also an area of need for Washington). They employ multiple schemes, and Billings fits in both odd- and even-man defensive fronts. The team has cycled in a number of veterans here the last few seasons, and would likely jump at the chance to install a longer-term solution.
I think Eli Apple and Reggie Ragland would have also presented solid investments in a defense in desperate need of talent (both taken ahead of our pick). As it stands, Billings appears to have both the mindset and physical attributes to make material contributions in Washington from the outset. More than just a run-stuffer and space-occupier, Billings will be a playmaker in the NFL. Besides, what could go wrong with a first-round pick out of Baylor?
Analysis: The desire to get Kelly is understanable considering he's the top player at his position in the draft this year. But there is a good class of centers in this year's draft, so Washington could fill that need with a good player later (someone like Nick Martin of Notre Dame comes to mind). Considering that, I love the pick of Billings. It's been common in a lot of my mock drafts because he's so adept at stuffing the run and disrupting the pocket, two fatal flaws in Washington's defense.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 14. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
- 15. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
- 17. Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
- 19. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
- 20. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
- 1-21: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor
- 2-53: (coming April 19)
That closes things out for the first day of this week's picks in the 10th annual SB Nation NFL writers mock draft. We'll be back tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET with the pick by Battle Red Blog for the Houston Texans.
Complete draft results:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo Bills - Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State