I just wanted to chip in with which moves I'd try and make if I was the GM of the Washington Redskins. I have included a Mock Draft, a review of our free agency signings, potential free agent targets and a final depth chart.
Round 1 - Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor: This one sells its self.
Round 3 - Brandon Washington, OG Miami: After the trade for the #2 pick and our free agent additions of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan the offensive line is now the biggest weakness on our offensive roster. Brandon Washington is an athletic specimen (for a man of his size) who played LT in his final year at the U. He is projected to be a better fit inside and would fill a hole at Guard. Because of his athleticism, I think he could swing over and play RT in an emergency though.
Round 4a -Jamell Fleming, DB Oklahoma: He is a good athlete with plus cover skills and is a solid tackler, with the right development he could become a solid starter.
Round 4b - Eddie Whitley, FS Virginia Tech: A true centerfielder, he has the range, size (6’1, 190), speed (4.40) and savvy to become a starting caliber Free Safety. He isn’t very physical and is unlikely to lay a highlight hit on anyone, but he takes smart angles and wraps up well. Consistently around the ball.
Round 5 - Levy Adcock, RT Oklahoma State: At the start of ‘draft season’ he was projected to go as high as the second round, now I have seen him projected as late as the 7th, he moves well in pass protection and didn’t allow a sack in his first year as a starter. I think he could be a steal.
Round 6 - Mike Harris, DB Florida State: The only reason this kids stock is this low is because he was stuck behind Xavier Rhodes and Greg Reid, I think he is a major sleeper.
Round 7 - Miles Burris, LB San Diego State: Miles Burris would add some youth to our Linebacking corp. The guy has an unbelievable motor and will surprise you with his athleticism. I doubt he would make much impact on defense in his first few seasons, but he has Special Teams demon written all over him.
Summary - I think Right Tackle is a bigger need then Guard, but I don't think there is a RT in the 3rd round range who can step in and play on Day 1, I believe that Brandon Washington can however. I think some may be surprised that I mocked three defensive backs, however if you look at our projected starters and depth do you get the same chilling feeling I do? Eddie Whitley could be viewed as a reach, but this dude can be a legitimate center fielder at the next level, he tore up his pro day and was clocked with a sub 4.40, 40 yard dash. With the last three picks I tried to squeeze in as much value as possible. Levy Adcock has been a forgotten man by many draft authorities, but he could be a key back-up for us, if drafted. Mike Harris and Miles Burris would be welcome depth additions to our defense, while providing a good boost to our special teams.
Free Agent Signings
- Pros: Giving RG3 a young, talented receiver to grow with is a great move.
- Cons: He isn’t a legit #1 and we are paying too much
Summary: Garcon possesses breakaway speed and could be the playmaker we need in our offense, the homer in me wants to say a poor man’s Mike Wallace… If he can build chemistry with RG3 and lives up to his potential (and contract) it would go down as a great move. That is a lot of ifs though…
- Pros: Comes with a boat load of upside, he has improved every year.
- Cons: Cost, where will he fit with Hankerson, Moss and Gaffney all currently on the roster?
Summary: I don’t know what to make of this move. Again, I think we’re paying too much for him although he does have a high upside and has shown flashes of being a legitimate starter during his time with the 49ers. "Insert the last sentence of the Garcon summary here"
- Pros: Athletic, Big Hitter, Playmaker, Cheap
- Cons: Questionable football (and general) IQ, Coverage, Is his heart still in football?
Summary: I think Meriweather has similar aspects in his game to LaRon Landry, he’s athletic, and a big hitter, but can’t be trusted in coverage. If you use him as a true centerfielder I think he would be exposed (hence why I have slotted him in at SS on the depth chart), if however you scheme around his short-comings and use him to his strengths I think we could see him return to the form he displayed in New England.
- Pros: Run Support, potential Free Safety
- Cons: Injury History, Struggled last year
Summary: I don’t know a great deal about this kid, but it sounds like he was rounding into a pretty good player until back to back torn ACL’s (in alternate legs) de-railed his last two seasons. It usually takes a year+ to FULLY recover from a torn ACL so the fact that he was able to shake two off and still start 14 games in 2011 is a testament to his toughness and work ethic to recuperate. He is a plus run defender but has struggled in coverage after his injuries and is a possible candidate to make the switch to Safety but could also serve as our Nickel CB
Proposed Free Agent Signings
- Pros: Durability, Consistency, Best Available Interior Lineman
- Cons: Age
Summary: Is now the best Guard available in free agency, he is an above average starter and should be a good value signing. With Lichtensteigers health in question and poor play from Chris Chester he provides an upgrade at a position of need.
When I started writing this, I highlighted Anthony Collins, Mike Pollak and Corey Graham as potential signings which would improve our depth and competition at areas of need, unfortunately they have been signed by other teams.
At this stage there are no proven or starting level options at RT, unfortunately we’re going to have to make do with what we’ve got or sign a stop gap veteran. Our best option is signing Demetrius Bell which could leave us with two starting quality Tackles, the problem is that his track records suggest that he is unlikely to make it through a 16 game season without being injured. He would be a good fit, providing that we can sign him to a reasonable deal. I'm not sure if this is going to happen, which is why I haven't factored him into the Depth Chart. Our options next year are Start Willie Smith, Jamaal Brown, or a mid-late round draft pick... In other words, don't expect much improvement from last year.
The silver lining behind this conundrum for me, is that you don't need dominant lineman for the zone blocking scheme. If you need proof, look at what backs who can play the scheme (Helu and Royster) accomplished behind line that was heavily effected by injuries. Also with Griffins mobility, we can utilize more bootlegs and move the pocket to negate pressure. While these factors aren't going to make our line elite, it will have a positive effect on our offense.
Another major concern for me is our secondary. I remember last off-season when a lot of us were stoked at the prospect of LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe uniting to give us one of the best safety pairings in the league. Unfortunately the Kool-Aid didn't spill that way and both players were plagued with injuries in the 2011 season, leaving Reed Doughty and Dejon Gomes as starters turning an apparent strength to a glaring weakness. We currently only have 3 safeties and 4 corner backs (who saw meaningful playing time) Hopefully we will capitalize on Raheem Morris' ability to identify and develop defensive backs
QB: Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman
FB: Darrel Young
LT: Trent Williams
LG: Brandon Washington, Kory Lichtensteiger
C: Will Montgomery, Chester
RG: Jake Scott, Chester
RT: Willie Smith, Levy Adcock
NT: Barry Cofield, Chris Nield
LDE: Adam Carricker, Jarvis Jenkins, Doug Worthington
RILB: London Fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander, Miles Burris
LOLB: Brian Orakpo, Robert Jackson
FS: Cedric Griffin, Eddie Whitley
SS: Brandon Meriweather, Dejon Gomes
K: Graham Gano
P: Sav Rocca
KR: Niles Paul
PR: Niles Paul
Thanks for reading guys, if you've got any questions or feedback don't be shy.