There is tons of talk regarding who the Washington Redskins should take with the 6th overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft. Most mock draft boards have the skins taking QB Robert Griffin III (RG3), while still most admit he won’t be available at that spot anyway.
Personally, I’m not completely sold that RG3 is the answer for the skins. Every offseason the desperation for a game-changing QB adds to the hyped-up and inflated expectations. I don’t foresee Mike Shanahan reaching for any expensive top 4 pick, even to land RG3. The top tier quarterbacks will be taken, most likely Blackmon will be gone too. Some are now predicting the skins to select a DB with the top pick. However, Shanahan has already mentioned that this offseason the offense was the primary concern. They will of course still address some defensive areas (ILB more demanding with Flechers age) but none that calls for a top pick. With this in mind, here are my thoughts on a winning 2012 draft strategy for the Washington Redskins.
1) Redskins select OG David DeCastro in 1st round, the top offensive guard in the NFL draft. It’s even possible the skins could trade down to stay within the top 12 to still land DeCastro and add more picks. Sound familiar? Last year Shanahan gained much praise for doing exactly this and still landed a pro-bowl LB in Ryan Kerrigan. Here’s some insight into DeCastro from SB Nation;
"Stanford David DeCastro could be the first interior lineman taken. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound guard is considered the seventh best overall prospect by Mocking the Draft and he was the No. 9 pick in the latest SB Nation Mock Draft…It's not hard to find things to like about DeCastro. For starters, he was one of the anchors on an offensive line that allowed quarterback Andrew Luck to be sacked just 11 times in 13 games this year. He's considered a top prospect with few, if any, glaring flaws in his game." From http://www.sbnation.com/2011-nfl-draft/2012/1/3/2679995/david-decastro-2012-nfl-draft
2) With one guard spot solid for years to come, the skins should look at addressing the QB position by selecting Ryan Tannehill with the next pick (2nd round). Considered the 3rd top QB in this draft class, and one the skins should not have to reach for. Also, while RG3 may have great upside – he also has BUST written all over him. Tannehill has the athleticism to make plays with his feet and can get the ball down field, perfect for a west coast style offense. Just read what one article says about Tannehill;
"Tannehill has displayed much better pocket sense. Combined with his foot quickness and athleticism, he moves efficiently to avoid pressure and can re-set, either in the pocket or outside, with accurate throws. He does an excellent job of reading defenses. When he finds open receivers, Tannehill gets rid of the ball quickly and is usually on target. He is more poised than before, and doesn't panic as plays breakdown. Also, he doesn't throw the ball up for grabs to avoid sacks.
Tannehill has good arm strength and does a good job of throwing the ball where only the receiver can make a play. For a player who was viewed as a likely fourth-round pick entering the 2011 season, we have heard scouts talk about him being a high second-round pick now." From: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/feed/2011-10/nfl-mock-draft/story/aggies-ryan-tannehill-making-most-of-senior-season
3) If they picked up another 2nd by trading down from #6, they should draft OC Peter Konz. If they trade down early and get DeCastro, They may have to reach up into the late 1st round or top 2nd round to nab Konz, but he’s worth it. Here are some comments on how dominate of a center this guy would be for the Redskins:
"Konz has great size for a center and uses all of his 315 pounds to his advantage. Whether he is in pass protection, making calls along the line, or bum-rushing defensive linemen as a run blocker, there aren't many holes in his game."
"As far as his technique, he does an excellent job of finding any blitzing linebackers, releasing from a double-team and sliding into position to make a block. His run blocking is great and if need be, he could fill-in at guard for most NFL teams. Konz does well to find the middle linebacker on every play and very rarely is Wisconsin's line caught off guard. He is able to quickly create running lanes up the middle by exploding into defenders and knocking them off their pursuit angles."
4) Another player the skins should target in the 3rd round (if available) is Tight End Coby Fleener from Stanford. A guy that can stretch the field and score TD’s should be high on the skins list. Just consider Chris Cooley’s season-ending injury in 2011 and Fred Davis’ drug charge and pending free-agency. Here’s one brief article on Fleener;
"Fleener caught 34 passes for Stanford, actually averaging 19.6 yards per catch to go along with the 10 TDs. Mocking the Draft calls Fleener "the latest in the growing number of big, lanky receiving tight ends. He's an extremely proficient vertical passing threat."" From: http://newyork.sbnation.com/new-york-giants/2012/1/17/2713159/2012-nfl-mock-draft-new-york-giants-prospect-profiles-coby-fleener
5) Beyond this the Redskins should target an ILB, CB and WR the remainder of the draft. I would also suspect the skins to sign at least 1 WR in free-agency, such as Saints’ Marques Colston. Combined with a healthy Leonard Hankerson, this could be a dangerous duo. I would suspect the skins to select one WR from rounds 4 – 7. Some possible noteworthy names would be Ryan Broyles for OU, Chris Givens from Wake Forest, or Marvin McNutt from Iowa. All three of these can make plays on the ball and after the catch, which is what the Redskins need most at the WR position.
With this draft strategy, they may not be the sexy picks. Just remember what made the Redskins dominate in the 1980’s? Were the Hogs sexy picks? No, but tough offensive and defensive linemen are exactly what it takes to win in the NFL. With two top-tier offensive interior linemen, the Redskins offensive line would now be solidified for 10 years (along with T. Williams at LT).
Seems like every year that a few injuries occur on the skins O-line, the season quickly flushes down the toilet. With added depth on the line, this immediately buys the QB time in the pocket and for WR’s time to get open. It also helps establish a consistent running game. It’s time this team gets back to solid and smart offensive football, and that always starts up front. As a Redskins fan, I would be proud to add these pair of future Hogs in DeCastro and Konz to the team. Landing a solid QB and other possible rookies like Fleener would be icing on the cake. Hail to the Redskins!