The Washington Redskins were mostly horrible in 2013, thanks to an awful defense and a not so successful return to the field for star quarterback, Robert Griffin III.
RG3 got shut down over the final three weeks, though, and should be as healthy as he’s been since before he ever got hurt in his rookie season. With new offensive minded head coach Jay Gruden helping him along, RG3 should see improved play in 2014, while the additions of guys like DeSean Jackson and Ryan Clark on offense and defense should help.
While how RG3 plays this coming season will surely tell us what type of team the ‘Skins will be, they still can fill some holes to make the rest of their team better. Let’s see exactly where those holes are as we continue to march toward May 8th’s draft:
Offensive needs: OL, QB, TE
The dismal 2013 makes the lack of a 1st round pick that much more haunting. But on the bright side, the Redskins will be picking so early in the second round that they might be able to convince their fans that they were good enough to earn a late first round pick.
If the Redkins want to move the chains and/or keep RG3 on the field, they’re going to need to find an anchor or two for the offensive line. There is a lot of high-end talent at offensive tackle, as well as a few guards that could make it to the 34th pick. The Redskins would be wise to take advantage of the talent pool here.
Beyond that, the ‘Skins will probably want to add a receiver to give Griffin somebody to throw at when DeSean Jackson is being triple-covered, but much of the draft will be to replenish the defensive side of the ball. Jordan Reed has also dealt with some concussion issues, so perhaps they can grab a value tight end later in the draft in case he struggles to stay healthy.
Obviously RG3’s health has been an issue thus far in his career, so the Redskins might want to draft a passer. This hinges on them shipping off Kirk Cousins, who has been the subject of trade rumors.
Defensive needs: S, CB, ILB
Washington could really use a safety, but unless they really like Jimmie Ward, a Safety is likely a reach at this point in the second round. There are plenty of second round corners, though. Each of Jason Verrett, Bradley Roby, Lamarcus Joyner, and Phillip Gaines are probably upgrades over Tracy Porter, and could settle in to take over for DeAngelo Hall or David Amerson down the road.
Going back to safety, the ‘Skins could find a pretty solid one if they wait until round three or four. Guys like Dion Bailey, Craig Loston and Ty Zimmerman are all mid-round options.
Philly needs a defensive end to pair with Jason Hatcher. Kony Ealy might fill that void, but if they choose to tackle the need in later rounds, Taylor Hart, James Gayle, or Ed Stinson could be interesting prospects.
As if that’s not enough, Washington has an unimpressive duo at inside linebacker. An upgrade would be nice, but unless they want to trade up for C.J. Mosley, or can land Chris Borland, they’re likely not going to find a 2014 player in this draft class. Perhaps we see an epic slide from Carl Bradford and the Redskins can snatch him up in round three or four. One way or another they should still put a focus on this position, as this is a need that’s not going away anytime soon.
Isn’t that the story of the Redskins, though? Just like the off-the-field battle over their nickname, on the field, there are a lot of issues that aren’t going away anytime soon.
*Photo Credit – Mr. Schultz