Why I Am Unhappy With The Redskins Draft:

NFL Draft

First off I want to say, this was the best possible option if we stayed at the 4th pick. Williams is an exceptional tackle who has a ton of upside. I do worry that he isn’t a finished product yet, meaning he might not be the dominate tackle you’d expect with the 4th overall pick. The real reason I’m unhappy with this draft is basically the Redskins are done, and all I see are needs that have yet to be filled. This was a 4-12 team last season, and they still have major needs at RT, Guard, back-up center, fullback, running back (x2), blocking tight end, a developmental quarterback, and depth at receiver. And those are just the needs on offense, on defense this team needs a NT, an ILB, CB depth and a starting free saftey. Now it may have been impossible fill all these needs in this draft, but Washington needed to address as many as possible. Anyway you look at it, this was a bad team last year, and so far they don’t look much better this season. If the season started today this is where they would rank at each position:

Quarterback: The Skins may have a slight upgrade with McNabb, but he still isn’t a top tier or even top ten quarterback in this league. Don’t believe me? Well good luck making an argument that he is better than (in no particular order):  Peyton Manning, Brees, Rivers, Schaub, Rodgers, Favre (should be back for one more year), Romo, Eli Manning, Roethlisberger or Brady. McNabb is good, but isn’t going to solve the Skins problems. And guess what? The guy he was replacing is what no worse than 13th or 14th best in the league?

Running backs:  The Redskins desperately need some fresh legs and could use both a power running back and speed guy, and guess what, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker aren’t the answer. Even if Portis comes back strong, their running back situation is about in the late teens-early 20’s in the league. There is no doubt about the fact that the Redskins running game doesn’t stack up well against other teams around the league, and that doesn’t even take into consideration about how poor their blocking is.

Fullback:  Not every team uses a fullback so you can’t put a real number on where the Skins rank, but I really believe they are in trouble here. Mike Sellers looked like a shadow of his former self. He wasn’t nearly as effective running or receiving. Also, didn’t open up holes as a lead blocker or do a good job protecting the quarterback. While it is not a crucial position, a quality fullback could help the running game vastly.

Tight End: Overall this is a position of strength for the Skins, because they have two quality tight ends. On paper they would rank 4 0r 5 in the league (Clark, Gates and Witten are so good that they outrank Cooley/Davis). The problem with that is, really how often are both tight ends going to be able to be effective weapons in the offense. Given the lack of offensive line talent, one of them will have to stay in to block, meaning your greatest strength is more or less wasted. The Skins should look to trade Davis for a top talent (ahem, Gaither anyone) or a 2nd round pick +. They still could use a top notch blocking tight end to help keep McNabb upright (Sean Ryan ain’t gonna cut it).

Wide Receiver: Even if Kelly and Thomas have solid ‘breakout’ years, I don’t see this unit any better than early 20’s in terms of a league ranking. Moss is still a solid starter, but he isn’t the the home run hitter he once was. And the jury is still very much out on Thomas and Kelly.

Offensive Line: Even if you assume that Trent Williams can be an elite offensive tackle from day one (which I believe is a big assumption), the Redskins still have to fill the other 4 positions along the line. Dockery is still slightly above average, but should really be your 4th or 5th best offensive lineman, not your 2nd (by far it isn’t even close). And any offensive line that still has Heyer starting, means McNabb will be on his back and Portis will be stopped cold. Right now, this is still one of the worst offensive line units in the league, and shouldn’t be ranked higher than the mid-20’s. Even if they sign a Levi Jones or Flozell Adams, they wouldn’t make that much of an impact.

Defensive Line: Right now with Haynesworth (playing primarily 3-4 end), this could be a top 10 unit. Without him it will probably be one of the worst defensive lines in the league. The Skins still need to find some help at NT, so they can feel confident in letting Haynesworth have the freedom he needs to make plays.

Linebackers: Hard to really peg this unit, guys like Carter, Jarmon, Alexander, and McIntosh are making significant transitions that could hurt their value.  Fletcher and Orakpo should thrive in the 3-4, but without knowing how the rest of the unit will do it is hard to say where they are valued. If their other players exceed expectations than they could be a top 10 unit, if not the Skins linebacking corps could be a weakness. McIntosh should and probably will be traded leaving a big hole next to Fletcher in the middle.

Cornerback:  This unit should be solid, they don’t have any shutdown corners, but three solid veterans and two decent young guys. Personally, I would move Rogers and love to draft one of the talented corners from this deep class. Overall I’d say they are about middle of the pack.

Safety: The talent has always been there with Landry, but he has yet to show it on the field. I like the idea of moving him to SS, but it leaves the Skins without a true free safety. Guys like Horton and Doughty would be out of position there. The Redskins could desperately use a 2nd or 3rd round pick to draft one of the many quality starting caliber free safeties in this class. Right now, without any real potential at FS and not really knowing how Landry will transition to strong safety, the Redskins look pretty weak at the position. And would probably fall at best in the mid-20’s.

For me I look at this team and I don’t see a winning record, and that is if all 22 of their guys stay healthy, because with the exception of cornerback, the Redskins have just about zero depth. While they can maybe add some depth and possibly even a starter at fullback with their remaining picks, they won’t be able to address their core needs with this draft and that is the central problem.

Now I wasn’t in the Redskins War Room (I wish), but I know we will hear that they didn’t receive any offers for their 4th overall pick that were worth trading down. But they must have had some offers, and it would have made sense to take a little less value to trade down (probably a couple of times) into that 11-13 range that really had teams wanting to move up, because teams like the Eagles, and Chargers did give up decent value to trade up. So while their initial value might not have been worth the trade, by continuing to trade back the Redskins could have made up that value. I say this especially because offensive linemen were not the high priority that people thought they would be. Three starting quality tackles remain on the board as the 2nd round begins tonight (not to mention Bulaga falling to 23). And while those guys might not be the full package of Trent Williams, their value combined with the multiple 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks they got for moving down would have been worth it.

I just really can’t believe there wasn’t any possible trade back options for the Skins, and feel that Washington missed a golden opportunity to rebuild this team, be a more competitive team in 2010, and set themselves up for sustained success. Not only does Williams need to show that he is an elite left tackle prospect, but he needs to prove that he was worth the multitude of picks the Redskins potentially passed up in one of the deepest drafts we have seen in the past 10 years.

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