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2018 NFL mock draft: Washington selects safety Derwin James

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Washington adds a beast in the secondary in our mock draft.

Alabama v Florida State Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Washington begins a new era in 2018. Kirk Cousins has moved on to Minnesota and it’s time to see what the franchise can do with Alex Smith at the helm. It’s a bold move, but one owner Dan Snyder felt necessary.

To help Snyder out, we’ve asked ncbur10 to act as general manager for the upcoming draft. With the 13th overall pick ncbur10 has selected safety Derwin James out of Florida State. Here is the reasoning:

The Washington Redskins are in a transition phase. From the outside they appear to have some talented players but not quite a complete team. When I researched their draft needs it was apparent there were some areas in need of significant upgrade. Let’s start with the defensive line, where the Redskins led the league in rushing yards allowed. No question they need to upgrade the nose tackle position and they could use some help at inside linebacker, but to a lesser extent. Other areas of need include offensive guard, offensive tackle and the most glaring need on offense, an every down running back.

So I contemplated all of these needs and when the board fell to the Redskins pick I started checking off need versus availability. Vita Vea was the hope but he was gone, as were the top two linebackers. That left me with the decision to over-reach for a running back or defensive line help, or simply look at the best players available that can play day one and is a significant improvement over the current roster.

That pick is Derwin James, strong safety out of Florida State. The Redskins recently traded Su’a Cravens to the Broncos and left a talent void in the secondary. In my opinion, James is not only a steal at 13, he is the best overall defensive back in this draft. His size and speed combination along with his measurables are off the charts, but what really separates him is his leadership abilities. Most scouts have commented on how he takes over the locker room in a positive way.

Although James doesn’t fill a glaring need I think he will become an all pro in a few years and will help the transitioning Redskins be able to compete within the division sooner rather than later.

Follow along with all of our picks with our Community Mock Draft tracker.

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