Houston DT Ed Oliver is an under the radar NFL Draft prospect for Redskins.

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Draft prospects Redskins aren't linked with but should be

April 11, 2019 - 9:20 am

By Craig Hoffman

With less than three weeks to go until the NFL Draft, it might be easier to name the players not linked with the Redskins amongst the top 20 prospects than those that haven’t been. However, there are some names that haven’t been mentioned as much that should be. Some are based on position while some are simply unlikely to fall to the Skins at No. 15.

Here are a few names that haven’t been tied to Washington that wouldn’t surprise me if they became Redskins on draft day.

Ed Oliver - DT, Houston: Oliver is a physical freak who would be best used as a 3-technique (defensive tackle who lines up between the guard and tackle) at the NFL level, but could have some versatility thanks to his athleticism. The reason nobody would ever mock him to Washington is that the Redskins have taken defensive tackles with their draft picks in the last two years. They’ve also hit on late rounders Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle. In fact, you could argue it’s easily their best position group. However, Oliver is a different kind of player than Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. The Houston prospect is extremely quick twitch, drawing comparisons from some scouts to Aaron Donald-like traits. 

Ultimately I expect Oliver to be gone by 15, but should he fall don’t be surprised if the Redskins are unable to pass on his talent. On the depth chart, they don’t need him but he would bring a skillset they don’t have to a defense that still needs playmakers at all three levels.

Jonah Williams - OL, Alabama: Of course there’s an Alabama player on this list! We’ll have more on the Redskins relationship with Alabama next week, but Williams needs to be mentioned here. He’s a top-flight talent that would help the Redskins from day 1. Most teams would draft him as a tackle, where he is ready to play, but Washington could start his career at left guard with a plan to move him outside when they’re ready to move on from Trent Williams or Morgan Moses.

Williams is an A+ character prospect. He’s everything the Redskins love about Alabama players, including that he’s really good at football. It would seem almost crazy to invest even more top end resources on the o-line, but at the rate Moses and Trent Williams are breaking down, it seems unlikely Jonah Williams would reach the end of his rookie contract before he replaces one of the two. He’s less likely than Oliver to drop all the way to 15, but I saw two different mock drafts today that had him falling to Minnesota at No. 18. If he’s there at 15, the Redskins will think about drafting him.

Marquise Brown - WR, Oklahoma: Nobody would be surprised if the Redskins took a playmaker, but I think some may be surprised at how early Washington could take Brown. Every team looks at medical issues differently, and the Redskins have shown a willingness to take some risk in this department. Obviously, some of that hasn’t paid off with the litany of injuries that have derailed the last two seasons, but in some ways, it’s also proof to just take the best player. You can’t predict injuries. Anybody can get hurt, so why not just take the player who can most help your football team?

Enter Brown, who might have had a shot at John Ross’s 4.22 40-yard dash record if he ran at the combine. He couldn’t because of a Lisfranc injury that will keep him out until training camp, but if he’s on pace to be ready for the start of the season why wouldn’t a team take him basically as high as he would go without the injury? The Redskins need playmakers like the Wizards needed to fire Ernie Grunfeld. Brown would add a desperately needed vertical threat with a player who is as close to Desean Jackson as there is in this draft. N’Keal Harry is another possibility at wide receiver, but he’s been linked to the Redskins plenty. Keep an eye out for Brown, more likely in a trade back scenario, but if the board falls just right maybe the Skins pull the trigger at 15.

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