The Washington Redskins are a team on the rise. They moved up in the draft last season to get Robert Griffin III, and what a good deal that was. He stepped in and immediately proved that he was worth every penny of what they had to sacrifice to get him, if he can stay healthy that is. However, even in his absence 4th round pick Kirk cousins from Michigan St. proved to be a very capable replacement. When you also include the play of 6th round picks Alfred Morris, 2012 marked the best draft of the Dan Snyder era. Where the team stands right now is on the brink of the future. A young, talented team with a proven head coach; the sky is the limit for this bunch. Coming off of a 10-6 season, in which they won the NFC East, the Redskins know that they can't rest on their laurels. They come into the 2013 draft still needing help at some positions.
Opposing defenses didn't have much trouble last year when it came to throwing the ball on the Redskins. Brian Orakpo was hurt early in the season and the front seven of the defense couldn't get enough pressure on the opposing quarterback. They gave up 58 pass plays of 20 yards or more which had them ranked at 26th in the NFL. Other than Orakpo, the next best safety on the roster is Brandon Meriweather, but his performance can be summed up as follows; he's on his third NFL team in three years, that doesn't happen to top flight talent.
Safety isn't the only issue in the secondary. The Redskins gave up over 280 yards passing last season, cornerback is definitely a need. DeAngelo Hall was expected to be a stud for them, but he hasn't lived up to his salary yet. However, he is still a very good player and valuable to the team. They may not be able to get a starting caliber corner through the draft, but they can add depth at this position.
Right Offensive Tackle
It may surprise people that this spot would be listed as a need for the Redskins considering what their offense did last season. The line stepped up and did a great job of protecting RG3 when he was in the pocket. Most feel that his injury was due to the way he plays the game, fighting for every single yard on every play, instead of the performance of the line. They also found a way to not only come together as a unit, but get on the same page with the rookie running back Alfred Morris. All in all, the offensive line was a bright spot for the team last season, but the RT spot is the lone position that could use an upgrade.
London Fletcher, one of the ageless wonders of our time, will start the season as the starting inside linebacker in the teams 3-4 scheme. However at age 38 he can't be expected to perform, or even play, for too much longer. The team would be wise to begin the process of having a solid back-up plan in place for when the transition needs to be made.
If Washington wants to take the step up to the next level in the NFL they are going to need another starting caliber receiver. In the six games that they didn't have Pierre Garcon last season the team averaged almost five fewer points per game. Even in the games he was playing, he is only supported by a handful of depth quality players. This put far too much pressure on RG3 to make plays with his legs, not the long term plan the coach has in mind. If they expect RG3 to develop in to more of a traditional passing threat they are going to have to give him some more weapons. Fred Davis is a quality tight end, with a huge upside, but the team will have to figure out the best way to get the most out of his abilities.
The Redskins don't make their first pick until number 19 of the second round. Not the ideal spot, but there will still be plenty of talent on the board. DJ Swearinger would be a great pick for them if he is still available. A quality cornerback from South Carolina he is rated as one of the top for his position in this years draft. He has great natural instincts, long arms, and plays the game with a good base and solid balance. He will be an upgrade over Reed Doughty from the moment he steps on the field.