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Is Alex Buzbee the answer on the defensive line?

The answer, succinctly, is nope. As Pro Football Talk flippantly asks while referencing this Washington Times character piece on Buzbee: "Why should the 'Skins have burned a first-round pick on a defensive lineman when they got Alex Buzbee for free?"

For those who think the Redskins have a problem on the d-line that the coaching staff has failed to address, it's unlikely that Buzbee, signed May 15th, is the answer to your prayers. And that isn't a knock on him, as Alex was an oustanding football player at Georgetown. He was 2nd in (Patriot League) conference in sacks, led in tackles for a loss, and All-Conference honors three years running.

But he isn't first round talent or in the same conversation as Jamaal Anderson or Gaines Adams, who we passed on for LaRon Landry. Full disclosure: I'm fine with our draft pick.

Georgetown isn't a football school, nor were they in virtue of Buzbee's presence. Their 2-9 finish last year was impressively bad. Even his conditioning coach Augie Maurelli, hardly what one would consider an objective source, places Alex as a 5th round pick, though that's conditional on him building a time machine and going somewhere besides Georgetown. Back in reality Buzbee is an undrafted free agent who hopefully represents a diamond in the rough. Depending on him as the answer to what many viewed as questionable line play is probably naive.

Here is what I like about him: He had a 3.0 at Georgetown, which tells me he's a smart kid -- probably a lot smarter than me. His attitude is exactly where you'd expect and want it to be; humble but hopeful, confident without any irritating entitlement. He's willing to take a risk to do something he loves as there's little doubt that a former CFB star with a Georgetown degree could be gainfully employed as of this moment without all the pressure and disappointment of an NFL training camp, which might end with him on the practice squad if he's lucky, says the Times Harlan Goode.

At his small size, listed at 246 lbs, he's not an every down DE, but his speed has been praised by Coach Gibbs ("He's very, very quick..."). The team needs speed rushers as evidenced by our poor pass rush last year, though the coaching staff has spoken through action and deed this offseason that they credit much of that failure to the linebackers and defensive backs, as those have been the main two areas of improvement.

Recent history tells us that we're keeping 8 or else 9 defensive linemen on the roster. We'll grant 9 for the sake of argument, and here are my locks:

DT Cornelius Griffin
DT Joe Salave'a
DT Anthony Montgomery
DT Kedric Golston
DE Phillip Daniels
DE Demetric Evans
DE Andre Carter
DE Renaldo Wynn

I'd personally go to battle comfortable with those defensive ends but not the defensive tackles, given that both Griffin and Salave'a have recently struggled with injuries and Montgomery and Golston are still young. Perhaps that's one reason the team has considered moving Daniels to defensive tackle. With or without Daniels, I have to think that Ryan Boschetti is the favorite for the ninth line spot if only because he's been with the team longer than any of the other competitors, has started one game for the Washington Redskins, is thus familiar with the defense, and can rotate in at defensive end or defensive tackle. That kind of flexibility is precisely what a team with some aging, perhaps injury-risk players on the roster needs. With Buzbee's size, he's a pass rush specialist and not much else.

Still, best of luck to Alex in making the final roster and we'll be rooting for you, as Hogs Haven is a firm supporter of underdogs, even if Clinton Portis is not. Yuck yuck yuck...