While Mike Mayock believes the Redskins biggest need is along the defensive line, there's enough talent there for later rounds that Washington could go cornerback with their first pick.
If Scot McCloughan's first draft class with the Washington Redskins was any indicator of potential future roster building, then NFL Network's Mike Mayock believes some of the biggest and strongest players in the 2016 NFL Draft could soon call Washington home.
"**Their draft last year revealed who they are," Mayock said on a conference call Tuesday. "I mean Brandon Scherff with the first pick; big, tough guy. Preston Smith with the second pick, another big, strong, tough outside linebacker-type guy. Matt Jones, a big, thick tailback. So Scotty McCloughan likes the bigger, tougher guys, that's who he wants to be, a big, physical team."
While the Redskins ultimately picked Scherff with the fifth-overall pick last year, Washington is selecting considerably later this year at No. 21 overall after they finished the 2015 season with the NFC East title.
Mayock said the Redskins certainly have considerable options at No. 21 overall, but pointed to a few examples on the defensive side of the ball.
"At 21, I think one of the biggest needs is in that defensive line and it's a defensive line draft, we've already talked about that," Mayock said. "(McCloughan) could get defensive linemen in the second, third, even fourth round, so would he look beyond that knowing your security in defensive linemen deep in the draft. Would he look at, say a corner at 21? To me that is a possibility."
If McCloughan does ultimately decide that the defensive line is the area most needed to fill in the first round, several different players have been linked to the Redskins at No. 21 in various mock drafts.
Among them are Louisville's Sheldon Rankins, Alabama's Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson, Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah, Ole Miss' Robert Nkemdiche and Mississippi State's Chris Jones.
Rankins and Reed participated in last month's Senior Bowl, each believing the talent they faced showcased their ability against strong competition.
"It was real important for me," Rankins said of participating in the Senior Bowl. "You know, I'm a guy that loves to compete, so when the invitation was sent, I didn't hesitate in accepting and I knew it was a great platform for myself, for my school as well, to be able to come down here and represent my school and myself in such a great fashion."
Reed, meanwhile, believes he can play both defensive end and defensive tackle and an elite level.
"Versatility along the defensive line," Reed said of his biggest strength. "You know, and I'm improving in my pass rush game to be able to move anywhere along the defensive line."
Robinson, Ogbah, Nkemdiche and Jones are all underclassmen who declared for the draft.
But if McCloughan and the Redskins believe they can get one of these players or another gifted player later in the draft, some cornerbacks could come into play.
"[McCloughan] could sit there and say, 'Hmm, is this kid from Clemson worth it, Mackenzie Alexander at 21?" Mayock said. "What about Eli Apple? What about Artie Burns? I think there's some interesting corners that would come into that conversation also."