We've been talking all day about the Redskins need for a quarterback, the top prospects and if they may be available, and the teams that might be interested in taking the best prospects at the position ahead of them. But there are plenty of other good players in this draft, and the Redskins have plenty of other holes to fill. Taking a quarterback might be the flashiest move the Redskins can make, but it might not make the most sense based on how the rest of the draft shakes out.
So let's go through the Redskins roster position by position, see if the Redskins need help at that spot, and more importantly if there are players that could fill that need that the Redskins can justify taking so highly in the first round.
I'm going to leave this horse alone right now, my arm is really tired from beating it all day and it doesn't seem to be moving.
How healthy is Clinton Portis going to be? Is Ryan Torain a running back who can be counted on with the bulk of the carries over the course of a full season? These are questions that need to be answered, but I don't think the Skins will look to take a running back this early. They have some stability there already, and there aren't really any prospects worth taking this high.
Santana Moss' future is certainly not set in stone. Anthony Armstrong had a good year, but he isn't the type of player that can be considered a building block for the future. He could be part of a good receiver corp, but he can't be the focus. There are plenty of receivers near where the Redskins will be picking that would be great picks for them, mostly because all of the prospects being mentioned have great size; something the Redskins have severely lacked in recent years. A.J. Green will be gone, but here are some other options that may be available.
- Julio Jones, Alabama.
- Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.
- Michael Floyd, Notre Dame.
Jones would be the best pick of the bunch, but he might be gone when the Skins pick. Blackmon broke out in a big way this year but he is a one hit wonder. His measurables will play a big part in where he is picked. I think I have Michael Floyd rated higher than others might, but every time I've watched him play for the Irish he has made big play after big play. He might not blow you away with his speed, but he has great hands and can really catch the ball. Maybe he is a reach at ten, but he might prove at the combine that he has the physical tools to warrant being drafted that high.
The Redskins have two perfectly above average tight ends. There isn't a prospect good enough to warrant a discussion about replacing one of these two. Moving on ...
You can never have enough talent on the offensive line, and the Redskins can certainly use the help up front. This would be somewhat of a boring pick after they took a left tackle in the draft last year, but if they can find another guy to help anchor their line that they really like, they may pull the trigger. I'm just not sure there are any guys who would be good value picks where they are picking. It's just not a very good draft for the OL. If they keep their pick, I hope they don't take one. But they may trade back, so here are some of the top prospects.
- Derek Sherrod, Miss. St.
- Mike Pouncey, Florida
- Anthony Castanzo, Boston College
- Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
These are all guys that figure to go in the late teens or twenties in the first round. If the Skins really want one of them, they should be able to trade back and still land some one. But I imagine they'll choose to go in a different direction.
Now here is a spot that the Redskins need help and where there are plenty of talented players who may be available when they pick. I'm including the outside linebacker in the Redskins' 3-4 in this category because a lot of the guys who might fill that position for them would have played DE in college. I'll break it down into two categories. Here are some guys who could be available that could help the Skins along the three true defensive line positions (Da'Quan Bowers will be gone):
- Nick Fairley, Auburn
- Marcell Dareus, Alabama
- J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
- Cameron Heyward, Ohio St.
- Stephen Paea, Oregon St.
The first four guys would probably be defensive ends in the Skins' 3-4 scheme. Fairley and Dareus might not be around when the Skins pick, but they would be able to make a huge difference along the defensive line. Paea could be the big nose tackle the Redskins really need to run a 3-4, but he might be a little bit of a reach at ten.
As for the rush linebackers:
- Robert Quinn, North Carolina
- Von Miller, Miss. St.
- Akeen Ayers, UCLA
Putting either Robert Quinn or Von Miller across from Brian Orakpo would be an absolutely terrifying idea for opposing quarterbacks. I'm just not sure that one of them will be available when the Skins pick. Maybe the Skins can't justify taking a guy who plays the same position as their best player, but any of those two across from Orakpo would be among the best OLB tandems in the NFL and would provide a lot of pressure. Ayers would probably be a little bit of a reach where the Skins are picking.
London Fletcher can play forever, right? That's what I'm banking on, but the Skins could probably use an heir apparent at MLB. Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of guys who will be available to them who fit that mold. One guy to consider if they trade back is Greg Jones of Michigan St. He played OLB in college but he may not have the size to play there in the pros, particularly in a 3-4 scheme. He does have the speed and instincts to play in the middle at the next level. He'd be a severe reach at ten, but a possibility if they trade back.
This is the most abundant position in all of the draft for the Redskins. DeAngelo Hall is going to be here next year. But if the Skins really like one of the guys at this spot and feel like they could be a serious upgrade over Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon, they may pull the trigger. Here are some of the prospects who may be available:
- Brandon Harris, Miami-FL
- Janoris Jenkins, Florida
That's only two names, but there is always the chance that one of the really big names (Patrick Peterson of LSU and Prince Amukamara of Nebraska) could fall if the teams picking ahead of the Skins choose to go elsewhere. They would have to seriously consider one of those two high level prospects if they fell, but even the other two guys wouldn't be horrible choices if that is the direction they choose to go in.
I'm sure the Skins would like to add a difference making free safety to put across from LaRon Landry, but I don't think there are any safety prospects that are worth taking in the top ten. In fact I'm sure of it.
So there you have it. There certainly won't be a shortage of players available to the Skins who could make a positive difference whenever they pick. It all depends on the direction they choose to go.