With the first round of the NFL Draft slated to begin Thursday night, we’ll look this week at the prospects the Redskins could be targeting with the 10th overall pick and gauge the likelihood of each landing in Washington. Check back for updates.
Player: Wide receiver Julio Jones, Alabama
Basics: Georgia’s A.J. Green is regarded as the top receiver in the draft, but some analysts argue that Jones will wind up the better player. With great size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) and athleticism, Jones wowed scouts at the NFL combine, where he clocked a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, an 11-foot, 3-inch broad jump and 38-1/2-inch vertical leap – all with a broken bone in his foot. Jones had an impressive junior season at Alabama, recording 78 catches for 1,138 yards and seven touchdowns.
Why he might fit: Wide receiver is another question area for the Redskins/ Santana Moss had a productive first season under Kyle Shanahan, but he is a free agent. Even if Washington re-signed him, Moss and Anthony Armstrong (the only other consistent receiver from last year) are both under six feet tall. Jones’ size and leaping ability could certainly help the Redskins, who struggled to score in the red zone.
Why he might not: A receiver could be viewed as a luxury pick, and the Redskins might want to trade down if the quarterback or pass rusher they covet isn’t still on the board.
Likelihood Redskins draft him (scale of 1 to 10): 8. Although QB and OLB/DE are more pressing needs, there’s no denying Jones’ talent. Given the lack of free agency so far, the Redskins could grab Jones at No. 10 to ensure they add at least one playmaker this offseason.