The Washington Redskins have taken on a new look this offseason. Donovan McNabb was brought in to lead Mike Shanahan’s new offense. A stable of veteran running backs will be competing for carries. Ageless wonders like Joey Galloway were brought in to add competition to the Wide Receiving corps. A revamped, and hopefully improved offensive line will take the field led by first round draft pick Trent Williams, and newly acquired right tackle Jammal Brown.
On defense, a switch to the 3-4 has brought about significant change, not so much in personal, but in scheme, and how certain players fit into that scheme. Adam Carriker was brought over form the Rams to provide an inside presence in the three man front. Albert Haynesworth is being asked to play nose tackle (which he is none too pleased). Our linebackers will take on a whole new look, with Brian Orakpo, and Andre Carter being asked to play more in space, while London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh will assume the rigors that come with being middle linebackers in the 3-4.
Not every piece of the puzzle is in place for such drastic changes, but the staff has done a nice job assembling talent in the form of draft picks, trades and free agents, to make this team competitive in 2010.
Still, there remain many holes yet to be filled for the future of the Washington Redskins.
No one knows what the 2010 season will hold. We may have young players who will step up, and fill needs on the roster, or we may identify other areas of weakness that will need to be addressed in 2011. As of now, I want to take a look at several areas on the Washington Redskins that could use an upgrade in 2011, and some college prospects that could help to fill those holes in the early rounds of the 2011 draft.
Quarterback – The future is now in DC with the addition of Donovan McNabb. He is arguably the best quarterback we have had in a Redskins uniform in the last twenty years. His playing days, however, are numbered, and the Redskins are eventually going to have to find his successor.
Ryan Mallett - Jr. Arkansas Jake Locker - Sr. Washington
Andrew Luck - So. Stanford
Pat Devlin - Sr. Delaware
Colin Kaepernick - Sr. Nevada
Christian Ponder - Sr. Florida St.
Running Back – Portis, Johnson and Parker make up the over-the-hill gang in the Redskins backfield. Ryan Torain and undrafted Keiland Williams are the only running backs under the age of 29 expected to have a shot at making the team. The Redskins need to add a young, dynamic running back in 2011, to make defenses respect and fear the once prominent rushing attack we were known for.
Mark Ingram - Jr. Alabama
Demarco Murray - Sr. Oklahoma
Jacquizz Rodgers - Jr. Oregon St.
Evan Royster - Sr. Penn State
Noel Devine - Sr. West Virginia
Craig Cooper - Sr. Miami
Wide Receiver – Santana Moss is getting older, and has lost a step. He is not the deep threat he once was. Both Thomas and Kelly will have to step up big time this season, or their tenures in DC could come to an end. If the production from the receiving corps is not there in 2010, look for the staff to bring in some new blood.
A.J. Green - Jr. Georgia
Julio Jones - Jr. Alabama
Michael Floyd - Jr. Notre Dame
Terrence Toliver - Sr. LSU
James Rodgers - Jr. Oregon St.
Jonathan Baldwin - Jr. Pitt
Offensive Line – The Redskins spent three picks in the 2010 NFL Draft on offensive linemen (Trent Williams, Erik Cook and Selvish Capers), and traded away a draft pick for Jammal Brown of the Saints. Still, the line could use some quality depth to groom into eventual starters, especially on the interior. Rabach, Dockery and Hicks are not getting any younger.
Stefen Wisniewski(C/G) - Sr. Penn State
Christopher O’Dowd(C/G) - Sr. USC
Mike Pouncy(C/G) - Sr. Florida
Gabe Carimi(T) - Sr. Wisc.
Joseph Barkesdale(T) - Jr. LSU
Trinton Sturdivant(T) - Jr. Georgia
Defensive Line – Depending on how the situation plays out with Albert Haynesworth at nose tackle, the Redskins may need to look here in the 2011 draft. Even if Haynesworth turns in an All-Pro performance, we could still use an infusion of youth on the D-line. Haynesworth, Kemo, Daniels, Holliday, and Carter (wherever he’s playing) are not getting any younger. We need some linemen who can play well in the 3-4.
Marvin Austin - Sr. UNC
Jerrell Powe - Sr. Ole Miss
Allen Bailey - Sr. Miami
Adrian Clayborn - Jr. Iowa
Cameron Heyward - Sr. Ohio St.
Jake Coffman - Sr. N. Illinois
Linebacker – Fletcher, even at age 35, shows no signs of slowing down, but we all know this can not last forever. McIntosh, who is operating under his one year restricted free agent contract, has his future up in the air. We have a star in Brian Orakpo, but question marks surrounding him. A compliment to Orakpo, and a future replacement for Fletcher (and possibly McIntosh), should be looked at.
Greg Jones(MLB) - Sr. Michigan St.
Quan Sturdivant(MLB) - Jr. UNC
Bruce Carter(OLB) - Sr. UNC
Lawrence Wilson(OLB) - Sr. Conn.
Von Miller(OLB/DE) - Sr. Texas A/M
Greg Romeus(OLB/DE) - Sr. Pitt
No one can predict where we will be drafting in 2011, or which direction the staff may choose to go with those first two picks, but this should help give fans an idea of some players who may fit into our needs come April of next year. It will also help fans to put some name recognition to these positions, and give you someone to follow this college football season.