1. As we make the slow, lumbering trot towards the NFL Draft, I thought I would pose some questions to the community to chew on. I have been asked each of these questions at some point over the last few weeks by random outlets. Some of them make a lot of sense for a Redskins fan to answer--others had me scratching my head as to why anyone would think they were applicable to us. Either way, I will provide a very brief summation of thoughts I may have provided in response to these queries, and I was hoping you would all pick one or two or more and ring in. Bonus points to the person who can guess which of these questions launched me into an unprompted discussion on the merits of the ol' "roommate switch" and what makes it such a high-risk/high reward maneuver for your average man.
2. If the Redskins traded up, who would they target? The Redskins already traded up in this draft as far as I'm concerned. We know this is a deep draft, full of players that we can use, so trading up would strike all of us as somewhat...obnoxious. Put on the spot, I was asked if there was a player that would go early that I wished we could draft, and I said Greg Robinson. I know that Greg is a left tackle and we already have a left tackle, but for the purpose of the question, I didn't care. Having two quality tackles is an investment in Robert Griffin III, Jay Gruden, Alfred Morris and all of our receiving corps. I would jump at the chance to add the best available OT in this draft (in my humble opinion).
3. Would you rather trade down or up? Clearly, the right answer here is to trade down, and this is a very real possibility for the Redskins. Unless a guy they have fallen head over heels in love with falls to them at the top of the second, the Redskins should really go into "Love the One You're With" mode. I feel like Washington can get rather comfy with any number of players that will be available in the second round. If we are able to move down in the second while adding a second, we could net two players that should compete for starting jobs next season.
4. One thing we have seen with this new draft setup is that teams sitting at the top of the second round become real targets of teams trying to move up and collect players that "fell out of" the first round. That puts Houston in the catbird seat, but the Redskins are also right there. With teams going to bed after the first round with visions of players that are still available dancing through their heads, the urge for them to pick up the phone and make the call to trade up is huge. You better believe the Redskins will have someone sitting by that phone all night long.
5. Which three positions do you think the Redskins will definitely draft? I feel like this would have been impossible to answer under Vinny Cerrato. You just never knew what he was going to decide to do. In this current regime, I feel more confident answering this question. I rattled off defensive tackle, linebacker and safety. Of those three, I feel the least confident about safety of all positions. I just don't know what direction we are going in there. We have enough warm bodies to try and piece it together for another year, and we have enough young players at this position that Bruce Allen could feel like a rookie would not get enough of an opportunity. On the other hand, it could be argued that it would be a felony to not draft a safety this year.
6. What was the best draft for the Redskins over the last ten years? I have answered this before in this column, and I am most interested in hearing from you guys on this question and the next one listed.
7. What draft is the worst from recent memory? This goes hand in hand with the question above, and has been the backdrop of many heated discussions on this site. For the purpose of this argument, let's exclude the last two drafts, since grading drafts is best done after at least two seasons, if not three. When I answered these questions on a recent radio show, I quickly digressed into a rant on Vinny Cerrato. It was not pretty.
8. What draft pick would make you angry? I liked this question, because it has been something I have been thinking about for a long time. Whether we signed DeSean Jackson or not, I would be extremely angry if we took a wide receiver with our first pick in the draft. The urge for an offensive minded coach to bring in a shiny toy to plug into his offense must be very real. There seems to be a consensus that good wide receivers will be available deeper in this draft. Given our incredible needs on the offensive line and in the secondary, taking a wide receiver in the second round would strike me as insane. Until we signed DJax, I was extremely afraid this was the direction we were pointed in.
9. How has free agency changed your draft needs? Until we signed DeSean Jackson, I felt like free agency did little to really alter our biggest needs. Even though I would rage if we took a wide receiver with our top pick, I have never denied that it would make sense for us to bring in a wide receiver at some point. Signing both Andre Roberts and DJax really takes the urgency out of needing to bring in a wide receiver that we would want on the field right away. Similarly, the Jason Hatcher signing likely affords Bruce Allen the luxury of not feeling obliged to draft a defensive lineman in the second round, although there still could be a guy there worth taking (maybe RaShede Hageman?). Instead of popping for one or two big names in free agency, the Redskins really spread their money around. I think the greatest impact on our draft needs as a result of this strategy is that we are not held hostage by any one single greatest deficiency. We are equally screwed at multiple positions--still--but free agency helped us put a few band-aids in place. Ryan Clark, Shaun Lauvao, Tracy Porter, Akeem Jordan and even Clifton Geathers are the kinds of players that will be asked to hold the fort down at positions which we were dreadfully undermanned at entering the offseason. On one hand, I am happy with the way we used free agency to improve our roster. On the other hand, there is no denying that we still require an infusion of talent at key positions.
10. If you had the No. 1 pick in the draft this year, who would you take? I did answer this, but telling you here would ruin my "The Best Player in the 2014 NFL Draft Is..." post I do every year. Since literally tens of you wait with bated breath for that annual post to come out, I simply couldn't put that kind of spoiler in this space. HINT: It is not Jadaveon Clowney (at least according to me...Clowney would respectfully disagree I am sure).