April 10, 2014 in Redskins Personnel
By: Justin Partlow
Now that free agency has started to wind down, the draft boards will start to become clearer at the park. After a free agency period that started out pretty quiet, the Redskins became players and added divisional players such as Jason Hatcher, and Desean Jackson. Ever since adding those players, the picture has started to become more clear, the Redskins aren’t looking at this rebuild as a long term event, it’s going to be a more rapid rebuild that should span only 1-2 years instead of a longer 3-5 year move. With that being said, what can we expect from here? Below I’ll take a look at the draft and what the Redskins could look to do now.
After adding the FA players this offseason, the Redskins have target a good solid mix on both offense and defense and have made it known not one area is the problem. With that being said, the Redskins seem very likely to target a few specific positions due to areas that still could be upgraded. The likeliest target of all the positions is still at safety, and specifically FS. Brandon Merriweather is a solid option, but he’s reckless and you can’t ever expect him to be a full 16 game player due to injuries or possible suspensions. Ryan Clark was a good stopgap signing, but he’s also an older veteran and has seen his play decline lately rapidly. With that being said, I’d be surprised if the Redskins didn’t target getting another S to add along with Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. The Redskins will look to develop those two players, but they can’t just expect to let that happen and not have any sort of back up plan.
With safety being a need, there are the usual suspect names that have been floated around, including Jimmie Ward and even in some respects Haha Clinton-Dix. The name though that makes a ton of sense for what Washington likes to run, is Deone Bucannon the starting FS/SS out of Washington State. Jim Haslett wants players who can play both safety positions and become more interchangeable than playing just one silo position. Bucannon can play in coverage as a FS, but also isn’t afraid to play up close to the LOS and make plays in the run game, and that’ll be something Haslett would seem to value highly. The good news as well is that Bucannon is a likely day 2 pick, and would be an excellent choice with the 66th pick the Redskins own.
Not only is safety a need, but as well a position that could be upgraded very well is the TE position. Jordan Reed had a bit of a break out year, but injuries are still a concern with him and with Gruden, you can look for Reed to line up more outside and play in that Jimmy Graham role. With that being the case, adding someone who can play to the strengths of Reed and compliment him well would be a very wise choice. At the 34th pick, the Redskins could look to add someone such as Jace Amaro if he were to fall into the 2nd round. As well the Redskins if they decide to trade back a little, could add another big time TE in Austin Sefarian-Jenkins out of Washington. Adding more weapons to the offense would be a good element especially with a new offense, and a young franchise QB who is likely to rebound in a big way.
The Redskins are a team that could rebound quickly and fight for that division title again next year. In order to help reach that goal again, the draft in May will be critical in going forward and helping the overall direction of the team. If Bruce Allen and company can have a successful draft, then look for Jay Gruden and staff to make a big push and fight for the division title in the fall. The future is starting to become bright again in Washington; the draft could even make it brighter.