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Redskins draft projections, too soon?

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Hell yes it is too soon but I've got nothing else. The only news today is that Ethan Albright officially signed with the team today and that's no news at all. Or, better yet, Redskins legends on segways.

Here are some pertinent first round projections for the Redskins per the Hail Redskins Mock Draft Database which is, as far as I can tell, one of the bigger, badder, better mock draft databases on the internet.

DE Phillip Merling (CLEM)

DT Kentwan Balmer (UNC)

DE Lawrence Jackson (USC)

WR Mario Manningham (MICH)

DE Calais Campbell (MIA)

DE Calais Campbell [MIA]

DE Phillip Merling (CLEM)

DE Calais Campbell [MIA]

S Kenny Phillips (MIA)

DE Derrick Harvey (FLA)

LB Keith Rivers

DE Phillip Merling (CLEM)

OT Gosder Cherilus (BC)

DE Derrick Harvey (FLA)

Etc. The trend is for defensive linemen, specifically defensive ends. I'd vote a big no on linebackers, I think we have plenty of money, talent, and youth tied up to that position and it just feels like an unnecessary expenditure of a valuable first round draft pick. That's assuming that Rocky McIntosh isn't damaged for life by a degenerative knee injury.

I could be talked into an OT as injuries are beginning to plague the line annually and there really isn't much doubt that they will continue, to one degree or another, into the future. We've got kids all along the offensive line: Rabach is 30, Jansen is 31, Thomas is 32, Kendall is 34, Samuels is 30. That is 157 of life experience betwixt them. If we don't start moving towards youth immediately (and maybe we can do that with other picks, I'm just saying it wouldn't bother me to go O-Line in the first round depending on who is available) it could be too late. Stephon Heyer, please be the future. Ditto on Lorenzo Alexander.

Kentwan Butler is mentioned a couple of times on the entire list and, although he's a fine football player, I just don't know if DT is where we need to go. Anthony Mt. Gomery is playing like a starter should and Kedric The Barbarian appears ready to do so as well. Additionally we still have, though perhaps not for too much longer, Cornelius Griffin (not young) on the interior to shore up a pretty solid, young (not Cornelius Griffin), unit.

WR is not a position I endorse in the first round. I think you stretch whenever you take a guy in the first who just catches passes unless he's an additional threat on, say, the return team. History has shown plenty of later round receivers who have excelled. What we need at this position is specific to a possession receiver, which can be had pretty cheap in free agency. We're not talking about a guy to line up in front of Santana on every play, rather a good slot receiver on 3rd and 5ish who can move chains or, better yet, a tall guy we can line up in the red zone to muscle us touchdowns. Would a 1st round pick provide that? It could, but we can get that player elsewhere as well.

I saw a couple of Kenny Phillips in there which tells me observers don't think Doughty has what it takes to be the future for this team. Can't say I blame them, as even partisan I was extremely skeptical that he could fill such enormous shoes. If the coaching staff is willing to give him a chance, then I'm willing to support that move. It will be interesting to see how the change in coaching staff affects Doughty. Although Greg Blache has been with the team, I wonder whether Doughty wasn't a hard worker playing over his head under a sympathetic Gregg Williams, and that that good will runs out under a new staff.

So the non-consensus consensus right now is for a new defensive end. I doubt anyone is suggesting that we need to replace Andre Carter, who had a very productive '07. So what is being said is that the combination of Phillip Daniels (age) and Chris Wilson (youth) won't cut it on the other side. Maybe they're right. But maybe they're overlooking the fact that in zero starts, Chris Wilson still managed third on the team in sacks, with four. Or that Phillip Daniels had four fumbles (recoveries or forced, I don't know) and managed 9 passes defensed, which I interpret as swatted footballs and treat nearly equivalent to sacks.

Could I get behind a defensive end in the 1st round? Sure, but Wilson looks a whole lot better now than he did a year ago and the same is true of Andre Carter. Daniels is a day older but we also have Demetric Evans who, though by no means a starter quality end, is a very steady and reliable backup.

Well that's no kind of answer for who should we draft. I'm morally convinced that Super Bowls are won in the 21st century on the defensive line and that it remains the great equalizer in the National Football League, with the offensive line coming in at a close second. I believe we are younger on the defensive line but better on the offensive line, if older. I also think there's something to be said for going after a safety if the team is ready to give up on Doughty, which would be unfortunate. As of this moment, ridiculously early to make such a call, I'd go offensive line first and then I'm at a loss for where I'd go second. Perhaps this will end up being one of those (dreadful) drafts where we pick best player available. I am not saying this team is without needs -- it isn't -- rather I don't think any of them are filled if and only if by whomever we select in the first round of this year's draft.