Draft Prospects: Redskins

In the eyes of many Redskin fans, this offseason has been a major disappointment. 

The franchise quarterback remains franchised, yet unsigned to a longterm deal for the second straight season. The teams two leading receivers are gone. There are two new no-name coordinators, both promoted from within. The general manager was very ugly and publicly phased out of the organization and fired. Despite having a plethora of cap-room, the team made no marquee signings early in free agency.

The first free agents they landed were two D-linemen so anonymous that Stacy McGee’s Wikipedia page can fit into one tweet. All offseason its seems as if the Skins have been striking out like Adam Jones on a down-and-away slider; swinging for the fences and ending up with nothing. While the additions of Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger has boosted morale a smidge, this offseason of unfortunate events has to reverse course.

If there is any glimmer of hope, it lays a little less than a month from now in the “lovely” city of Philadelphia. Bring on the 2017 NFL, please. Redskins fans have become accustomed to winning the offseason. Who cares if we’ve only had four or five relevent seasons since the internet was invented by Al Gore. We had Danny and his Snyde-plane scooping up free agents at 12:01AM. Now, I’d be impressed if we could get Johnathon Hankins into a Uber. Bruce Allen has ten picks to play with the weekend of April 27th. Let’s dream a little bit about the possibilities.

Positions Of Need:

For the basis of this discussion lets just focus on the Redskins first and second round picks. Later round picks just require way too much projection this far out. So with that in mind, where do the Skins need the biggest infusion of talent?

Tailback:

Rob Kelly did an admirable job when pressed into service last season and the coaching staff seems to love him. While he is greatly superior to Matt Jones, that’s more of an indictment of just how bad Jones is. He has horrible vision, routinely misses open holes and his ball security may be worse. This season also just so happens to be the deepest tailback class in recent memory.

With Leonarde Fournette likely off the board by the time the 17th pick comes around, the two best remaining options in the first round would be Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey. Both of these players are vast talent upgrades over what is currently on the roster. You could question the value of taking a back in the first round in the modern NFL, but I believe that both players are game changing weapons. If the need at running back is pushed back to the second or third round, keep an eye on Joe Mixon and D’Onta Foreman.

While Mixon is a definite risk due to his off the field issues, his on the field talent is vast. Would the Skins take the PR backlash risk for Mixon’s upside, he may even be off the teams draft board altogether. Much like the case of Kansas City’s Tyreke Hill last year, drafting Mixon could be a hard pill to swallow for some fans. Foreman is a physical specimen at the position, and unlike Matt Jones, he actually runs like a player his size should. In later rounds, keep an eye out for Kareem Hunt from Toledo. He runs like a bowling ball and is built like one too. He is also good in the receiving game, making him a true three down back.

Inside Linebacker:

Middle Linebacker may not be the Redskins weakest position, but it is far from a strength. In a perfect world one of the two elite inside backers, Reuben Foster or Hasson Reddick, will be an option at pick number 17. If one is, this could be a no brainer pick. Foster is quite possibly one of the five best players in the entire draft regardless of position. His mini-meltdown with a hospital staffer at the combine may scare some teams off. If so the Redskins should sprint that pick up to the podium.

Safety:

Want to go on a sad, soul-crushing ride down memory lane? Just try naming all the safeties the Redskins have employed since the passing of the late, great Sean Taylor. I won’t spoil it for you, but lets just say it hasnt been pretty. Now I love the move to bring in DJ Swearinger. While Su’a Cravens is über talented and better suited to play safety instead of linebacker, it could still be a rocky transition. With that said, if one of the marquee prospects is available, you jump on them. With the state of the current NFL, you can never have too many DB’s. If for some reason Buda Baker from Washington or Jabril Peppers of Michigan are available with either of the Skins first two picks, they should be in play as well.

D-Line:

Malik McDowell is arguably much better than any lineman Washington currently has. He should definitely be in play if available at 17. He offers something that no currently rostered player does: inside Pressure. The loss of Chris Baker in free agency has still not been addressed.

Edge Rusher:

Ryan Kerrigan is a pro bowl caliber player. Trent Murphy is suspended for a few games. Part of me wishes he was taking Preston Smith with him. All jokes aside, the Skins could use an upgrade in the pass-rushing department. If either Taco Charlton from Michigan is available in the first round or Houston’s’ Tyus Bowser in the second, then hopefully the team should have them in consideration.

Receiver:

Yes the Redskins drafted a receiver in the first round last season. Yes they signed Terrelle Pryor and for some reason also Brian Quick. Yes the team still also has Jamison Crowder, Vernon Davis, and twelve-ish games of Jordan Reed. The Skins could still, and maybe should still, draft a receiver early in this draft. If Corey Davis, Mike Williams, or John Ross is still on the board at pick 17, it could be tough to say no. In the modern NFL you can never have too many receivers.

Quarterback:

At the time of this writing, Kirk Cousins is still unsigned after this season. Also at the time of this writing, I’m kind of okay with that. If the team doesn’t believe Kirk is the long-term answer at the position, they need to find one. The lack of a long term deal makes it look that’s way it’s heading. If Deshaun Watson falls in the first round or you can get a passer with Pat Mahomes’ arm talent in the second or third round, pull the trigger. The team drafted Cousins the same year as RG3, that’s worked out much better than expected. Bringing in a young talented passer early in the draft might be best for the organization.

With ten picks at their disposal, hopefully the Redskins can win a little off the field so that they keep winning on it.

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