There's a lot of talk about who the Redskins should be targeting this offseason, in both free-agency and the draft. I thought I'd chime in with what I hope happens, making what I think is a superbowl contending team (with the Shanahan's playcalling).
The main free-agency acquisition is Carlos Dansby, to play OLB opposite of Brian Orakpo. OLB is a position of need and Dansby has expressed interest in (Snyder's money) coming here, so I see this as feasible.
The other acquisition for our starting line is through trade with Buffalo. As you may have heard around the grapevine, the Bills are interested in Jason Campbell. The trade I envision sends Jason Campbell and Chris Horton to Buffalo for Donte Whitner and the Bills' first round pick at #9 overall. Whitner was the 8th overall pick in the 2006, and has played consistent, but not spectacular in the secondary. He played 10 games in 2009, with 57 tackles, 5 passes defended, two picks, one returned for a TD. He is more suited for the Free Safety, but the Bills have a new young stud in Jairus Byrd playing there. They would love nothing more than pairing Byrd with another young stud like Horton. I'm a big Chris Horton fan, but with LaRon at SS, and Reed Doughty and Kareem Moore capable backups, Horton is a luxury that we can afford to part with. Obviously we would like nothing more than to move Landry to his more suited position at SS, with a quick FS behind him, and another first round draft pick.
Note: This trade would take place as the Buffalo Bills go on the clock at #9 in the draft.
The main question in the draft comes for us is around the quarterback. Who does Shanahan like more and (who) will the St.Louis Rams draft one? Here's a quick little synopsis on the two:
Clausen - Has been studying under Charlie Weiss for three years at Notre Dame. Weiss was the genius offensive coordinator of the Patriots during their reign of terror (2004), so he's one of the best to study under. The style of offensive they ran was called the Erhardt - Perkins offensive system, which you might recognize from the Broncos this year, the Patriots, or unsuccessfully with the Chiefs. It's difficult to run, but Clausen ran it near-perfect with 3,722 yards, 28 TDs, 4 INTs. He has identical measurables and 3/4 throwing technique that Kurt Warner does. There's a strong case for him here: http://www.walterfootball.com/mattblog091229.php . The biggest complaint on Clausen is his attitude and leadership capabilities, but as Jay Cutler proved, that won't matter with Mike Shanahan's alpha-dominance in the locker room.
Bradford - It's debated that Bradford could have been the top QB prospect had he entered the draft last year. He chose to go back, hurt his shoulder, and didn't really play. He's regarded as the best prospect if his shoulder is completely healed. This could be similar to the draft two years ago when knee concerns dropped Adrian Peterson's draft value and gave the Vikings the steal of the draft. Luckily, Bradford's doctor is on our payroll so you'd expect that we would have the most accurate information to decide with. Charlie Casserly points out how Bradford and Shanahan seem to be the perfect marriage. One other cool perk with Bradford is that he is actually part native-american. If you're (Mike Florio) in to speculating, you could easily interpret Bruce Allen's quote to be a tilt of the hand towards Bradford, because he is actually a redskin:
We’re going to go for the best Redskins player
A lot the the decision rests with what other teams do and how draft stocks fluctuate. For now, I'm going with Bradford drafted by the Rams. We take Okung at #4. Cleveland and Oakland don't need a QB (too much salary being paid to QBs already), and Pete Carroll in Seattle would love Bradford. Does he take Clausen instead? I don't think so, but they could. If they do, we stick with Jason Campbell. If they don't, we trade with Buffalo and select Clausen at #9. Here's how I'd like to see the rest of the draft go for us:
Round 2 - Terrence Cody. Aka Mount Cody has questions about his weight, but has already dropped about 12 pounds for the combine, coming it at 354 lbs. He's a prototypical nose-tackle, great space-filler, but not a threat in pass-rush. That doesn't matter for us, we have a ridiculous pass-rush around him.
Round 4 - Montario Hardesty. Very underrated as the SEC's #1 Runner. He would be a perfect fit in the one-cut running scheme that Shanahan runs. He's got the strength and balance to break tackles, the speed to outrun linebacks, but his biggest attribute is his vision. Here's a highlight reel of his 2009 year, notice what he does within the first second of getting the hand-off: He recognizes where the hole is opening, makes a strong cut towards it, and accelerates through. The other consideration here (if Hardesty is taken) is LeGarrette Blount. Infamous for punching out a player at the beginning of the year, but sounds genuinely remorseful. Mike Mayock describes him as a mini Brandon Jacobs, but faster. Highlights here.
Round 5 - Zane Beadles. As highlighted in Kevin's article earlier this week, Beadles would be a strong fit into our offense. Shanahan has a proven record of finding offensive-line talent in later rounds of the draft, so Beadles or an equivalent would add depth and a potential starter to our line options at RG.
Round 6 and 7 - Things are too unpredictable to guess on by these later rounds. Drafting Best-player-available for depth on the roster is always the best move.
That leaves our offense looking like this. I'm disregarding rumors of Samuels retirement until I hear it officially from him. He would be a great mentor for Okung's development and could be replaced by Okung and Levi Jones pending another injury. Right-guard would be the training camp competition to watch.
Switch to a 3-4/4-6 defense would bring masked pressure to the quarterback and allow aggressive and opportunistic players like LaRon Landry and DeAngelo Hall to jump routes for more interceptions. Phillip Daniels would be a capable backup to any of the front 3. Chris Wilson would be a capable backup to either of the OLBs. HB Blades would be a capable backup to either ILB. I'm confident in JT Tryon and Kevin Barnes as backups and in nickel/dime formations (the 3rd CB would be a good competition for camp too). Kareem Moore and Reed Doughty backup the safeties. This defense looks incredible and gets me giddy with it's potential.