The Redskins continue their search for players to upgrade their defense, specifically their secondary that struggled last season. The team has retained most of their safeties from last year, with the notable exception of Reed Doughty, and we all know how that story will end. They also added Ryan Clark and re-signed Brandon Meriweather and E.J.Biggers.
They also have second year players Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas, the latter is returning from a Lisfranc foot injury that cost him his entire rookie season. With a total of 7 safeties on the roster, and 9 players who have experience at safety, is there still a need to draft a safety this year or can it wait? Wisconsin S Dezmen Southward is ranked #185 overall prospect by CBS Sports, and is projected to be drafted in the 5th-6th round.
Southward, a 52-game starter for the Badgers, was invited to the Combine but was notified just before his workout that he'd been red-flagged due to a medical issue. The issue, reportedly a fracture to the C-5 vertebrae in his back, was later challenged by Dr. Bob Watkins, the same man who worked with Peyton Manning.
Southward ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and had a 42-inch vertical leap and a 10-4 broad jump at the Badgers' campus Pro Day workout.
This part of his scouting report had to perk Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett's ears a little.
Southward is regarded as an interchangeable safety capable of lining up at either free safety or strong safety and lining up at cornerback in a pinch. Last season, he had 40 tackles, 3.5 for losses and one interception.
But this sounds like the anti-Redskins DB.
He was known more for his reliable tackling rather than his ball-hawking skills for the Badgers, collecting 152 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss over his career but only intercepted two passes.
One DB I like for #Giants later on in the draft, Dez Southward (4.33 40), recently worked out for Colts +Redskins. Could see him in NY soon— Conor Orr (@ConorTOrr) April 11, 2014
Source: Wisconsin safety Dez Southward visited Redskins this week, has worked out for Patriots http://t.co/LK3tN8bXzr via @footballpost— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) April 16, 2014