With last nights news breaking about the Redskins trading up to the second overall pick, to be in the prime position to draft Robert Griffin III come April. With this news coming in before free agency, the Redskins have the ability to sell Griffin to big named free agents, like wide receiver Vincent Jackson (who I ultimately think we will be after). But as there will undoubtedly be a lot of posts about this sort of thing over the next week or so, I thought I'd take a different angle.
Now the Redskins look set to have their franchise quarterback (man, that feels good to write), keeping him protected is priority number one. The Redskins have questions at guard and right tackle, which may or may not be addressed in free agency, but they now don't have a second round pick this year to help. So the Redskins may have to be creative with how they protect the franchise.
Chris Cooley is said to be back to full health and ready to go. His blocking ability will be just as, if not more, valuable to the Redskins this year than his receiving skills. To be able to clamp him next to whoever is at right tackle and help block with a chip or even a full double team will be huge. We can't afford Jammal Brown of this past year protecting the franchise investment on his own on the right side.
Tim Hightower is set to become a free agent after suffering a big knee injury at the beginning of last season, but we saw enough of him to know that he is a brilliant blocking back. He relishes the opportunity to take on a block and keep his quarterback upright. Hightower explained that he had to learn to block in Arizona for Kurt Warner, or he wouldn't have seen the field. If he can block well enough for Warner, he can block for Griffin III. Hightower is a local guy and is rumored to want to stay in D.C with the Redskins. To have his blocking ability is almost like having another lineman.
Anything that is going to help keep Griffin III upright and healthy will be big unsung players on this team next year. Which is why I think re-signing Hightower is a no-brainer at this point. If you have Cooley helping the right tackle, and Hightower covering the inside, that definitely helps secure the offensive line against some pretty damn good pass-rushes that we face in the NFC East. With the help of these two, Griffin might just be able to get off some of those deep throws that he was known for in college.