As the 2013 NFL draft approaches, Redskins fans are clamoring for Tavon Austin. NFL personnel departments anticipate Austin being selected well ahead of Washington’s second round pick, But let’s take a look at how a ” X-factor utility” player could fit into Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

The Redskins tried to incorporate WR/KR Brandon Banks into the offense while Pierre Garcon missed time with an injured foot. That plan did not work out; Banks did not provide a consistent offensive threat. After being ineffective on special teams and unable to produce on offense, Mike Shanahan benched Brandon Banks prior to the week 14 game vs the Baltimore Ravens.

Even though the Banks experiment failed Kyle did show a glimpse of a spread offense that will be dangerous with the right pieces around Robert Griffin III. The ideal x-factor would be Tavon Austin, but the Redskins can still find players like Ryan Swope and Theo Riddick later in the draft.

Let’s take a look at an interesting sequence of plays the Washington Redskins used vs the Minnesota Vikings.

Redskins come out with 12 personnel- 1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR- and line up in a 4 wide set with Niles Paul and Fred Davis as the outside Wide Receivers. The formation, and use of personnel has the Vikings top two corners defending Tight Ends. Josh Morgan and Brandon Banks are defended by the nickel corner and a Safety.

This play will be a simple inside zone run but it serves as the base play for Kyle Shanahan’s package plays.

Washingtons formation spreads Minnesota out, creating a 6 on 6 -7 on 7 if you want to count the Free Safety and the Quarterback -match-up.

Alfred Morris is stopped for a 4 yard gain by a diving Linebacker. Had Will Montgomery held his block longer than Morris is in space 1 on 1 with a Safety.

2nd & 6: Redskins come out in 12 personnel showing the same formation as 1st down only now Robert Griffin III has options. The pre-snap read shows Minnesota still honoring Brandon Banks in the slot. Robert will turn his focus to reading the Safety while riding the mesh point with Alfred Morris.

The Safety attacks the hole anticipating the hand off to Alfred Morris. Fred Davis will break his route off into the are the safety has vacated.

Fred Davis hauls in the reception for a 16 yard gain.

1st & 10: Redskins come out in 12 personnel showing the same 4 wide formation, this time, Fred Davis moves to the slot while Leonard Hankerson moves outside. Brandon Banks will motion into the Backfield and Niles Paul will motion behind the Right Tackle and Right Guard. Get ready for option football.

Robert Griffin III hands off the ball to Alfred Morris on the dive for a three yard gain.

2nd & 7: Redskins come out in 12 personnel with Logan Paulsen taking over for Niles Paul. Like the play before, Banks will motion into the backfield while Paulsen motions behind the Right Tackle and Right Guard. Robert Griffin will read the Linebackers and hand off if they drop in coverage or pull and pass if they take false steps towards the line of scrimmage.

The Linebackers take false steps towards the line of scrimmage leaving a open passing lane for RGIII to connect with Fred Davis.

1st & 10: The Redskins come out in 12 personnel with 4 wide receivers. Brandon Banks will motion to Running Back while Logan Paulsen motions off the outside hip of the Right Tackle. Washington will begin to get Banks involved in the offense running the stretch zone for a loss of 1 yard. xa

Early on the play looks like it has potential to get Banks 1 on 1 with the Cornerback. One of Banks biggest assets is his speed, but he is not a decisive runner.

Banks runs out of real estate and into the Cornerback. This play could have gained 4 or 5 yards with more patience and a decisive cut up field.

2nd & 11: Redskins come out in 12 personnel running one their package plays for this game. Minnesota has defenders in the box which gives the Redskins a number advantage in the running game. Robert Griffin will feed the ball to Alfred Morris, but he also had Banks and Davis open.

The All-22 endzone angle gives you a better look at the blocking scheme.

Chris Chester shows you how one missed assignment can effect the outcome of a play. The Vikings Defensive Tackle throws Chester aside to make a play on Alfred Morris, stopping him for a gain of 3 yards.

Here is the broadcast view so you can see Banks and Davis routes develop. Minnesota has stopped respecting Banks on the swing route the last few plays.

2nd & 11: Redskins come out with 4 Wide Receivers and 1 Tight End with Santana Moss subbing in for Alfred Morris. Brandon Banks will motion into the backfield alongside Robert Griffin III. Washington will run the option for a 5 yard gain. xaaa

Griffin decides to use the shovel pass to Moss on the inside zone. Banks had some room on the edge to make a play.

1st & 15: Redskins come out in 12 personnel and line up in 4 wide. Minnesota is not respecting Banks as a Wide Receiver and leaves him uncovered in the slot. Robert Griffin identifies the weakness in coverage and points out Banks for the swing route.

Banks makes the catch with some room to work. Niles Paul gets put on his butt after trying to block Vikings Cornerback Antoine Winfield. This play had the potential for big yardage if Niles maintained his block on the Corner.

Kyle Shanahan shelved this portion of his offense after Fred Davis was lost for the season vs the New York Giants. Logan Paulsen stepped up in the absence of Davis, but he is not as versatile to flex out in formations as a reliable Wide Receiver. Fred Davis is set to become a Unrestricted Free Agent but he is expected to return to the Redskins.

Brandon Banks has played his last season in Washington, but the role he leaves behind still needs to be filled, but by who?

Who will be the Redskins ” x-factor” for 2013? and where do they find him ?

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