Welcome back to The B&G Report. The last few days have been a blur! With all the NFL Draft Buzz being floated out there, it’s hard to determine accurate reports of bogus. It’s important not to get too caught up in all the Draft prospect visit hoopla, teams have been known to use this type of Smoke Screen strategy to help with their Draft Pick Trade value. Many Redskin fans have been taking the multiple Derrius Guice visits too seriously, now fans are speculating his potential selection at #13. Well that’s a mistake! In my experience, when fans are funneled these type of draft updates, it’s usually false. Although I do believe the Redskins will select an early round running back, I just don’t see that happening with their 1st Round selection. In fact when all is said and done, I believe the Redskins will get back the 3rd rounder they traded for Alex Smith in a Round 1-2 trade back. This has been the weakest Draft in recent memory for Offensive Tackles, but this is the year of the Interior Offensive Line Prospect! Quenton Nelson is the top rated O-lineman in the Draft and many believe he’ll be selected in the Top 10. I’ve previously written about Guards Isaiah Wynn & Will Hernandez, but in my opinion they’ll be drafted in the latter part of Round 1. So that’s 3 Guards going in Round 1? Yes that’s exactly what I believe will happen, especially with the dramatic increase with Interior Lineman salaries. These lineman used to be on the lowest position pay grade, now we’re seeing Guards like Andrew Norwell make over $13 million a year with $30 million guaranteed! In the Redskins Pre-Draft Presser, VP Doug Williams mentioned Arie Kouandjio as a player that can start at LG in 2018. Well with all due respect to The Great Doug Williams, the Skins need to walk away with a starting C/LG from this Draft. Beware of Smoke Screens this time of year and I believe that’s what some of these reports ave entailed! The Redskins aren’t going to draft a RB at #13, defense will continue to be the focus in my humble opinion. In saying that, I expect the Redskins to solidify the LG/C position early in this draft. Three particular prospects, labeled as Fringe 1st Round-Early 3rd Round Prospects stood out during my film study.
Billy Price 6’4 305 lbs C/OG Ohio St
Billy Price is a prospect that had a ton of hype as a potential 1st round C/OG. Unfortunately an injury at the NFL Combine Bench Press session, resulted in a partially torn pectoral muscle for Price. The good news is doctors believe the injury will only requires a 4 month recovery period, due to it only being a small tear. Price’s agent and physician believe he’ll be ready for training camp. All that aside, I’m perplexed why evaluators would drop his Draft grade for such a minor injury. This isn’t a career impacting injury after all. I’ve seen many Redskins fans type cast him as the Redskins 2nd Round pick as their next LG. I’ll take it a step further and say that if they manage to land Price with their 2nd Round pick, he could be the steal of the Draft!
What’s so special about Price? Well I see a lot of former NY Jet Center Nick Mangold in Price. Furthermore, I list him as a potential Guard, due to his ability to play any position on the interior offensive line. In addition to watching Price’s game film, I also observed some of his taped film study with his fellow teammates. Price’s understanding of gap assignments, as well as observing him explain each lineman assignments was impressive. Furthermore listening to him explain gap responsibilities, gave me goose bumps! Price was able to explain the assignments of each offensive lineman, as well has explain various scenarios that may occur during a pass rush. He’s viewed as a leader on and off the filed by Coaches and teammates. He’s is an extremely intelligent prospect and his transition to the NFL should be seamless. Price is a Day 1 starter, but when all is said and done a team will grab him in the latter stages of Round one or early two. Crazy things have happened and teams get hesitant with injures, which could cause a slide all the way down to the Redskins #44th Pick for Price. That would be an ideal scenario for Washington.
The question is how does he fit in Washington if Center is his primary position? I’ll b the first to say how much I like second year Center Chase Roullier, but anointing him the Franchise Center is a bit premature. If Price is available in Round 2, the Redskins should select him and let him compete for the starting Center job. I think Price should and would beat out Roullier for the starting Center position, thus filling the need at LG with Roullier sliding over. The former Wyoming lineman actually played some Guard in college and HS as well. So this assertion wouldn’t be a big leap for the youngster. As important as selecting an early round running back may be, selecting a Franchise Center such as Price will dramatically improve the Redskins run game.
Austin Corbett 6’4 306 lbs Nevada
Austin Corbett was a walk on at Nevada, after dealing with nagging knee injuries in HS. The NFL Combine medicals checked out, with no concerns going forward per multiple GM’s. The time missed in HS cost him scholarships offers and he stayed local for college. Corbett was viewed as a talented player, but had no film to justify any scholarship offers. He seemed to use the snub as motivation and played with a chip on his shoulder. Corbett ran a decent Forty time at the NFL Combine (5.15 sec), but he only benched pressed 19 reps of 225 which is a mild concern. Corbett is another C/G combo plug and play. On the next level getting him on a Pro weightlifting program, is imperative and will elevate Corbett’s game. Of course the right fit is important, although he is scheme versatile. His bend can be tremendous at times, but Guard is his best position in the NFL. As per Price, Corbet is position versatile as well, beside playing Guard and Center he also played a little bit of LT. Per his game film, Corbett shows his strength when engaging lineman in the trenches. Once this kid gets a hand on somebody, he’s not letting them go until they hit the ground. He has some of the strongest hands I’ve ever seen and isn’t overwhelmed by bulrushes. He looks like a decent swing tackle project as well. His level of competition is a concern for sure, but he really looked like he belonged at the Senior Bowl. His athleticism is probably his best attribute, when asked to be a pulling Guard he flashed. He’s been rated as a Top 50 prospect by NDT Scouting. Although prominent scouts have him rated high, Corbett could still slip to the early stages of Round 3, simply based on other team needs. I expect the Redskins to trade back in either Round 1 or 2, which would should net them a 3rd rounder. Selecting Corbett in the 3rd Round and plugging him in as the Redskins Day 1 LG, would solidify this line and allow them to go Defensive and RB with their early selections.
Frank Ragnow 6’5 312 lbs Arkansas
Frank Ragnow is a notorious name among the scouting community, but not a household name to the average fan. The former Razorback is my favorite O-Line prospect in the Draft. Ragnow is another prospect who’s comfortable playing Center or Guard. The film study shows a versatile Center with veins of steel, who’s always looking for a fight on the field! That’s my kind of lineman! He excels in run blocking, but also plays like a savvy veteran in pass protection. I did witness him lung at times in pass pro, but for the most part he’s sound in his technique. Ragnow’s ability once he’s gets in space is scary! On multiple occasions, I witnessed him toss opposing defenders to the ground at the snap of the ball like rag dolls, only to keep his legs churning looking for somebody else to decapitate! He has a knack for knowing when to disengage from double teams and get to the next level quickly. His speed of the snap and football IQ are what separates him from the rest of this class. Ragnow is viewed as 2nd Round Prospect per Draft experts, but that has more to do with depth in the draft, opposed to talent. On talent alone, I would place Ragnow as a Top 30 prospect. If the former Razorback is available when the Redskins selection comes up in Round 2, they should not hesitate to select the Arkansas lineman. It might be earlier than some have projected Ragnow to land, but he’s a difference maker and flat out baller! Similar to Price, I envision Ragnow competing Day 1 as the starting Center with Roullier, with the loser moving to over to LG.
Thanks for checking out another B&G Report! With the 2018 NFL Draft hours away, stay tuned for the Top 5 Draft Roster Needs for Washington and the first B&G Report Mock Draft!