With the first round of the NFL Draft slated to begin Thursday night, we’ll take a 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 all week for updates.
Player: Cornerback Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
Basics: Amukamara, the Big 12’s defensive player of the year, might be the best pure cover corner available in this year’s draft. At 6-foot and 206 pounds, he’s a strong physical presence and has speed, too. He posted a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at this year’s combine. Amukamara had five interceptions as a junior but none last season, when quarterbacks learned not to throw his way. He’d be a strong defensive back in man coverage but could also thrive in zone.
Why he might fit: The Redskins currently have a big hole at cornerback opposite Pro Bowler DeAngelo Hall. Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon should both be free agents, and the Redskins will likely need to address this vacancy in the draft or free agency. Scouts view Amukamara as a corner who could step in and start right away and is flexible enough to play a variety of schemes.
Why he might not: The Redskins have a long list of needs, but on the defensive side of the ball, solidifying the front-seven might be more urgent than bolstering the corps of defensive backs. They’ve already upgraded one safety spot, by signing Oshiomogho Atogwe.
Likelihood Redskins draft him (scale of 1 to 10): 4. Amukamara will likely be the second corner taken on Thursday and should be available when the Redskins pick at No. 10. But the Redskins need to select a player who can make the maximum impact and there will likely be other prospects available who would represent a bigger upgrade.