As the end of the season nears, the scouting department for the Washington Redskins will begin to ramp up as the offseason begins. With the numerous all-star games, pro days, it’ll be a long and hectic process. So with all of that in mind, what positions do the Redskins begin to look at?
FS- This is truly the weakest link on the Redskins D. With Tanard Jackson suspended and no other starting option, the Redskins need to find a starter. Fortunately for Washington this is a strong safety class and there will be many safeties that can be starters. In round 2 you have players like Matt Elam who can play both deep as well as up close in run support. Moving into the mid rounds you have players like Bacarri Rambo from Georgia and Rashard Hall from Clemson. Both can be starters in the 3-4 scheme we employ.
CB- Not far behind FS is the need at CB, but honestly it’s really a need for a slot CB as well as a starting CB on the outside. Slot CB’s usually can be found in the mid rounds and a guy to keep an eye on is Terry Hawthorne from Illinois. Hawthorne was a top 75 pick before a mediocre year and some injury issues. If he can play to his tape from last year Hawthorne can be one of the biggest steals in the draft. Washington needs to add a CB on the outside who can man up and take on the top WR’s and be fearless. A guy who could really make an impact is Blidi-Wreh Wilson from UConn. Only playing football for 6 years now, Wilson now has proven to be a starting CB with his athleticism, speed and ball skills. Another name to watch is Leon McFadden from SDSU. McFadden is a guy who excels in man coverage, but also plays well in zone. While not being a very tall guy, McFadden plays with great instincts and can be a starting CB in the NFL
RT- Of all the positions on O, RT is the biggest need for this team. While Tyler Polumbus has been starting every game, it doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s been a poor starter this year. The one thing to learn with Washington and also the Zone Blocking scheme is that you don’t always need to draft a top 2 round OT in order for the scheme to work. Traditionally Mike Shanahan has drafted the RT in the mid rounds, with the exceptions to that of course. Fortunately, there are a good amount of ZBS style RT’s available in this draft. One guy I have my eye on is Brian Winters from Kent State. The Scouts for Washington have made it out to Kent State this year per my man @Manny_PPI, and if true then they had to have been impressed with what Winters has shown. While only 295 pounds or so, Winters has proven to be a stalwart on that OL for the them. With good athleticism, the experience Shanahan looks for in players and his work ethic, he seems to be a very solid fit for what we run. There are also players like Oday Aboushi from UVA, but again the more I watch of him and the more I’ve scouted, I see Aboushi ending up into the 1st round via a team in the early 2nd trading up for him.
NT- This is one of those positions if we upgrade, can make our front 7 that much more effective. Right now Barry Cofield has done a remarkable job and has proven to be one of the top pass rushing NT’s. What could do wonders for this D is adding a player like Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern State University. At around 320 pounds, Williams not only can pass rush, but he has done a great job against the run. Adding Williams will allow Cofield to move out to the DE position and allow him more ability to rush the passer. There are also other players like Kwame Geathers from Georgia who are more traditional 2 down NT’s who don’t provide as much from the pass rush department. Overall though if it can be upgraded, I have to think the Redskins look to do so.
Overall as you can see, the Redskins needs really come down to the D. With the ability to add some players through FA, along with a decent amount of draft picks, the focus needs to be adding quality players to push that D back into the top 15 capability that it has. It shouldn’t be the total focus though, as then you start to find reaches and need based picks that burn a team in the long run. Washington needs to keep the BPA philosophy that they’ve maintained since Mike Shanahan has become the HC, but also look to upgrade the positions that really do need the help
By: Justin Partlow
Comments? Questions? Hit me up at @JTPartlow21