Free agency has just begun, but over the last five days, the Redskins addressed many needs. They started out by re-signing four key players who will play big roles going forward. The key to this group was Brian Orakpo. The Pro-Bowl outside linebacker was given the franchise tag, and the front office is hoping on a long-term agreement in the near future. Other key re-signings were linebacker Perry Riley, defensive tackle Chris Baker, and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who agreed to terms to return to the team a few weeks ago. Each player was among the teams best at their respective positions last season, and are poised to make big impacts in 2014 and beyond.
Moving into free agency, the Redskins had many holes remaining. Many of those holes have since been filled with quality players, who represent an upgrade to the team. Defense was the focus, as it should be, with significant upgrades being made along the defensive front. Besides re-signing Orakpo, the Redskins added Jason Hatcher, who should be an immediate upgrade to the unit, and reserve Clifton Geathers who can play either nose tackle or defensive end.
At linebacker, the Redskins added Darryl Sharpton to be a potential counterpart to starter Perry Riley. Adam Heyward was added as depth, and special teams help.
In the secondary, the Redskins needed to find a nickle corner, and they met that need with the young, athletic Tracy Porter. If Porter can stay healthy, he could be a nice fit in the secondary.
On offense, we needed significant help along the offense line and at wide receiver. Our guard play was the worst on the team last season, and we added a young starter in Shawn Lauvao. Right tackle is still a main concern, but rumors of Interest in former Bucs left tackle Donald Penn could quell those concerns for the season. If Penn is not signed, Tom Compton, Maurice Hurt and incumbent Tyler Polumbus could battle for the starting spot this summer.
The wide receiving corps added a key piece on Tuesday when the Redskins signed Andre Roberts. Roberts will serve as the primary slot option, but has the versatility to line up anywhere in our offense. His signing was key to a starved receiving corps, and could lessen the load and pressure that a rookie receiver could face in his first year in the league.
Based upon what we have accomplished over the last two weeks, I have re-adjusted my Big Board for pick 34 to reflect our recent acquisitions and re-signings.
Redskins Big Board for pick 34:
Hasean Clinton-Dix(Free Safety) - 6'1" 208
Kelvin Benjamin(Wide Receiver) - 6'5" 240
Calvin Pryor(Free Safety) - 5'11" 207
Jordan Matthews(Wide Receiver) - 6'3" 212
Bradley Roby(Corner Back) - 5'11" 194
Kyle Fuller(Corner Back) - 6'0" 190
Allen Robinson(Wide Receiver) - 6'2" 220
Rashede Hageman(Defensive Tackle) - 6'6" 310
Cyrus Kouandjio(Offensive Tackle) - 6'7" 322