We know that Robert Griffin III will be our top pick and new quarterback but beyond that this draft is an unknown. With the lack of a 2nd round pick the majority of picks will be used for depth or developmental players, but the Redskins still need to focus their picks to maximize their value. Here’s a look at some of our biggest need positions as they currently stand, and where we should focus our attention.
QB: Should look to keep 3 QB’s
Current Roster: Rex Grossman, Robert Griffin III, John Beck
-Even with the addition of Griffin, I would expect the Redskins to at least consider a late round QB or a priority undrafted free agent for young developmental depth.
RB: Should look to keep 4 RB’s
Current Roster: Roy Helu, Evan Royster Possible re-signing: Tim Hightower
-While Helu and Royster showed some nice promise last year the Redskins they can’t do it alone. And even if the Redskins re-sign Hightower, they could consider a mid to late round back (the Mike Shanahan special) for depth. It’s not the most pressing need, but I think it is still something that will be addressed.
WR: Should keep 6 WR’s
-While currently the Redskins seem set at WR, they are likely to add at least one more target. It’s pretty clear with the additions of Garcon and Morgan there are not enough snaps and targets to go around, which has led to Niles Paul transitioning to TE and Jabar Gaffney on the trade block. Despite this I’d expect the team to bring in some late round competition for the bottom two spots on the depth chart. Given the top of the depth chart fairly well set, there are limited snaps to go for any new receivers, which is why any draft pick should be no earlier than the 5th round.
OL: Should keep 9
Current Roster (projected starters first): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Jammal Brown, Tyler Polumbus, James Lee, Willie Smith, Maurice Hurt, Erik Cook
-The Redskins offensive line is obviously their weakest unit. They were among the league leaders is hits and sacks allowed, and finished 22nd in the league in yards per carry, despite some big time performances in the final 4 weeks. While it is a positive that the five depth players the Redskins have to choose from have started at least 2 games over the past two seasons, none of them actually performed very well during those opportunities (with Tyler Polumbus being the best). Not a single one of those five guys should be guaranteed a roster spot. While overall these guys are very young and you hope there is some improvement, the early returns haven’t been strong.
The starters aren’t much better as the “star” of the group, Trent Williams has been inconsistent thus far into his career, had nagging injuries and got suspended by the league for a substance abuse violation. When Williams is at his best we see a high level tackle, unfortunately he’s not nearly consistent enough. The sad thing is he represents the pinnacle of our offensive line talent. Will Montgomery is the next closest to being a decent starter. Even at his best though Montgomery is just an above average player. Next up would be LG Kory Lichtensteiger, who early on last season looked pretty solid (after a horrible season the year before) unfortunately he suffered a major knee injury in week 5 and is a bit of a question mark this season. The Skins RG, Chris Chester was signed last season in the hopes that he could be an above average to good starter on the right side of the line. Chester though struggled throughout the season, missing a number of key blocks particularly while run blocking. Hopefully Chester’s play improves but that is far from a lock, and Chester may end up being a better depth lineman then a starter. The Redskins current RT Jammal Brown has now had back-to-back horrid seasons, and looks to currently be one of the worst starting offensive linemen in the league. While the hope is that Brown will be finally healthy this year, the chances don’t seem particularly likely.
Given the questionable starters and the lack of competent back-ups the Redskins should look to add at least two offensive linemen, likely both coming in the 3rd-5th rounds. Even if these guys can’t become a year one starter, they should offer great future potential and improve the team’s depth.