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NFL Draft: Redskins have eyes for Mariota?


No one is buying Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins as the future of the Washington Redskins at quarterback, so if Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is available with the fifth pick, Washington could be ready to pounce.

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan recently called the possibility of drafting a quarterback in the first round a “definite consideration.” And while that should be taken with a grain of salt, the current outlook of Washington’s quarterback situation is what makes those comments believable.

Washington’s quarterback depth chart (RG3, Cousins and Colt McCoy) isn’t exactly a recipe for success, but Mariota would give the situation some hope. Although he might not even be available for them, the Redskins are certainly doing their due diligence if the Ducks’ passer is still on the board.


1. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-14): Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: Nothing has changed at the top. The Buccaneers have a need at quarterback and Winston is believed to be their target with the No. 1 overall pick.

2. TENNESSEE TITANS (2-14): Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California: It won’t take long to find the wildcard of the first round as the Titans could go in a number of directions here, including trading back with a team needing a quarterback. Mariota is also in the conversation for Tennessee, but Williams is the current favorite to be the pick at No. 2.

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-13): Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida: Jacksonville has drafted offense in the top five (OT Luke Joeckel, QB Blake Bortles) in the first two years of the David Caldwell era, so the Jaguars’ focus turns to defense this year. Fowler is a pesky pass rusher that loves to stress offenses and should make an impact on day one.

4. OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-13): Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: The Raiders failed to land a marquee free agent and it looks more and more likely that this pick will be a pass-catcher to help second-year starting quarterback Derek Carr. Bigger question might be, which receiver does Reggie McKenzie like the most?

5. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (4-12): Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: With Robert Griffin III struggling to regain the promise he showed as a rookie, the Redskins are doing thorough homework on Mariota, bringing him in for a private visit prior to the NFL Draft. Whether or not it’s simply due diligence or genuine interest, the former Duck is a possibility at No. 5 if he’s still on the board.

6. NY JETS (4-12): Shane Ray, DE, Missouri: All 32 NFL teams could use more pass rush help and the Jets are no exception. Ray might be the best fit for coach Todd Bowles’ scheme with his first-step quickness to threaten the pocket and improvement as a run defender.

7. CHICAGO BEARS (5-11): Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: This pick has to be defense, right? After the Brandon Marshall trade, wide receiver is now a possibility and with White still on the board, it’s a match that makes sense.

8. ATLANTA FALCONS (6-10): Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: The Falcons have been active adding front-seven defenders via free agency, but that won’t stop Atlanta from targeting a “Leo” pass rusher at this pick. A former tight end, Beasley has the athleticism to run circles around offensive tackles.

9. NY GIANTS (6-10): Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa: With the release of J.D. Walton, last year’s second rounder Weston Richburg is expected to move inside to center, leaving a hole at guard. Scherff is best at guard, but also offers the versatility to play tackle if needed.

10. ST. LOUIS RAMS (6-10): La’el Collins, OT, LSU: The Rams went offensive line in the top-10 last season (Greg Robinson No. 2 overall) and could target another SEC blocker at this pick. Collins has the versatility to play right tackle or guard.

11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-9): Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Wide receiver and offensive line are strong possibilities with this pick, but the Vikings also have a need at cornerback. Waynes has the speed/size combination that will land him in the top 15 picks and Minnesota has shown interest.

12. CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-9): Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: Cleveland needs to revamp the front-seven in order to stop the run and a good place to start is at nose tackle. Shelton won’t have the same type of production in the NFL like he did at Washington, but he should be a long-term anchor for a three-man front.

13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-9): Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon: The Saints have Cam Jordan under contract for the 2015 season, but might not be able to retain him long-term. Although raw, Armstead is one of the most impressive talents in this class with Calais Campbell potential.

14. MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-8): DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville: The Dolphins are in the midst of revamping their wide receiver depth chart, shedding Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline and adding Kenny Stills. But Miami still needs a potential No. 1 target on the outside and Parker fits that mold.

15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-8): Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska: With his issues going well beyond one failed drug test, Gregory could easily fall on draft day. The 49ers have shown in the past that they aren’t shy about taking chances on talented players who might have a few issues.

16. HOUSTON TEXANS (9-7): Malcom Brown, DT, Texas: With no quarterback worth this pick the Texans go best available, which might be Brown, who can offer depth anywhere on the defensive line.

17. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (9-7): Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: There is a great chance this year’s draft has a first round running back, but how high? The Chargers moved on from former first rounder Ryan Mathews and could upgrade with Gurley, the best running back to enter the NFL in several years.

18. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-7): Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest: With Sean Smith and Jamell Fleming both entering contract years, the cornerback position is one direction the Chiefs could go with this pick and Johnson fits the mold of what Kansas City looks for in the position.

19. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM BUFFALO) (7-9): Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF: The Browns addressed the front seven at pick No. 12 (Danny Shelton) and switch gears to offense with their second first round pick. Although still raw in areas, Perriman has all the physical traits NFL teams covet at the wide receiver position.

20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-6): Eric Rowe, CB, Utah: Few saw the Eagles drafting Marcus Smith in the first round last year and coach Chip Kelly could surprise again this year with Rowe. Philadelphia needs help in the secondary and Rowe offers versatility at both corner and safety.

21. CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-5-1): Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Entering the final year of his contract, Andrew Whitworth turns 34 years old this season and even if he does fit into the Bengals’ long-term plans, it might be at left guard. Peat needs to refine areas of his technique, but the natural traits are there to play in the NFL for a long time.

22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-5): Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky: With Jason Worilds retiring and Jarvis Jones not living up to his first round draft slot, pass rusher is a strong possibility here. Dupree isn’t yet the sum of his parts, but the natural traits are more promising than what Jarvis Jones has to offer.

23. DETROIT LIONS (11-5): Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (Fla.): The Lions have a few stop-gap options at right tackle, but Flowers would give Detroit long-term stability at the position.

24. ARIZONA CARDINALS (11-5): Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: The Cardinals need more depth and firepower in the backfield and Gordon is one option if he’s on the board at this pick.

25. CAROLINA PANTHERS (7-8-1): D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida: The Panthers need help on the offensive line, specifically at left tackle, making Humphries a possibility here. A Charlotte native, he is still very unpolished, but his feet and lower body are first-round quality.

26. BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-6): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma: It’s a fair bet that the Ravens will pick a receiver at some point and while Green-Beckham has his baggage, the reward out-weighs the risk at this point in the draft.

27. DALLAS COWBOYS (12-4): Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: Brandon Carr has disappointed and Morris Claiborne has been the one blemish on an otherwise flawless first-round resume for the Cowboys the past five years, making cornerback a need in this year’s draft. Peters has his baggage, but the reward outweighs the risk at this point.

28. DENVER BRONCOS (12-4): T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh: The Broncos’ offensive line is going through changes this off-season and with right tackle Chris Clark better suited as a back-up, Clemmings would be a logical addition in Denver to help keep Peyton Manning healthy.

29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-5): Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut: The Colts are in good shape at cornerback, but Greg Toler is entering a contract year and Jones would be an ideal replacement for Indianapolis’ press coverage.

30. GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-4): Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State: With Bryan Bulaga re-signing in Green Bay, this pick is almost certainly defense and Goldman has the front versatility to give the Packers options at nose tackle.

31. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (FROM SEATTLE) (7-9): Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA: The Saints are expected to draft defense heavy and Odighizuwa would be a good fit as a versatile rusher in coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme.

32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4): Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State: After losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this offseason, the Super Bowl champs are expected to address the cornerback position in the 2015 NFL Draft. Darby lacks ideal size and ballskills, but he can cover like a blanket with impressive athleticism.

–Dane Brugler is an analyst for, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with

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