Redskins coaches, scouts and executives on Wednesday will begin a busy week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where evaluating college prospects is the greatest item on the agenda.
Washington would significantly benefit from upgrading its secondary, specifically at free safety and cornerback. NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock on a teleconference Monday discussed some options the Redskins’ should have when they pick 51st overall.
He highlighted Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien among a class of safeties he believes is extremely deep.
“I’m a big believer [Texas’ Kenny] Vaccaro is going to be gone in the top 20,” Mayock said. “I think Matt Elam [of Florida] is kind of a late-1 to mid-2, and I think Johnathan Cyprien from Florida International is a guy you ought to be looking really closely at.
“He had a great Senior Bowl week. I’ve got him as my number three safety. I think he’s a guy that’s going to be around somewhere in that middle to end of the second round. I think he could start immediately for the Washington Redskins, and he makes a ton of sense.
“After those three, there is a little bit of a drop off, and it depends on what kind of player you like. Eric Reid [of LSU], Zeke Motta [of Notre Dame], Phillip Thomas [of Fresno State], J.J. Wilcox [of Georgia Southern] – they’re all kind of third round picks. So I think the guy you ought to be looking at is Cyprien as a guy that could be available and there is a dropoff after him. He can play both [free and strong safety], but I like him at free.”
Mayock believes the class of cornerbacks isn’t top-heavy, but the options he expects the Redskins to have with the 51st pick don’t include anyone he currently ranks among his top five at the position.
He suggested California’s Marc Anthony, UConn’s Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Southeast Louisiana’s Robert Alford, William & Mary’s B.W. Webb and Rutgers’ Logan Ryan for Washington at No. 51.
“There are five guys there that are going to go in the second or third round that some of them are longer, outside corners; some of them are quicker, shorter, inside slot-type guys. But they’re going to fall in that range from 50 through the end of the third round.”