If you're like me, the last page of your high school, college, or work notebooks have been dedicated to a hand-written, off-the-dome, pre-draft depth chart. Positions of need were circled, while filled positions had a strike-through. Well, it's that time of the year. The NFL Draft is only 2 days away and the Redskins have room to improve.
The Redskins are entering the 2014 Draft during a busy off-season. The current haul is: 14 unrestricted free agents, 5 re-signed free agents, and 1 franchised player. As a result, the team has set themselves up with just a few holes to fill. This allows Bruce Allen and the front office to dig into the 'Best Player Available' and 'Value' boards. You'd be hard-pressed to find a 3-13 team from the year before with as few needs as this Redskins team. Even with a boatload of needs last year, the Redskins still found it worthwhile to take a tight end and two running backs in the 2013 Draft.
With that said, the needs still exist and should, undoubtedly, be addressed in the next few days. Let's take a look at the Top 5 roster needs heading into the 2014 Draft.
Jay Gruden wants to beef-up the O-Line. Right now the right guard spot is a camp battle between Chris Chester, Mike McGlynn, and Adam Gettis, which is not bad but far from ideal.
With DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson on the outside, and Tracy Porter projected at Nickel, the Redskins don't have an immediate need here. However, the age of Hall and Porter, and question marks surrounding backups EJ Biggers (ability) and Richard Crawford (health) make cornerback a definite area of focus.
3. Defensive End-
Barry Cofield and, newly acquired, Jason Hatcher are slated in as starters but the other starting end job is up for grabs. Clifton Geathers was likely signed to compete as a backup, Jarvis Jenkins hasn't lived up to the expectations, and Stephen Bowen looked aged last year. Chris Baker provides a spark in the rotation but the Redskins will likely look to add another young body to the mix.
The Redskins took their own sweet time to sign Ryan Clark and the 1-year, $1 million deal to Meriweather doesn't scream "job security" either. There's no doubt those two are not long-term options, and behind them are the 2013 rookie pair of Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. They'll have to prove their worth but last year was not kind to either of them. Both safety positions require depth in 2014 but, more importantly, there's a starting job to be had at those spots as early as next year and beyond.
1. Right Tackle-
The main needs going into the 2013 Draft were cornerback, safety, and right tackle. The Redskins took a corner with their top selection and drafted 2 safeties, and yet here we are again with the same positions in need of an upgrade. Tyler Polumbus has been fool's gold for too long. Keeping Robert Griffin III upright is a priority and getting him a right tackle is a big step in that direction.
***Bonus Need***- Punter- Sav Rocca had the worst punt average among punters playing in all 16 games last year. A drafted punter equals a starting punter, so keep a look out for a 6th or 7th round pick to be spent on a quality leg.
Scatback, tight end, and, most notably, inside linebacker all didn't make my Top 5 list. You agree?