Keim: More Shelton. Cool. I answered part of this above (pass-rushers considered better and they play a position that evaluators consider more important). However, there has been some -- only some -- talk linking the Redskins to Shelton, but only if they trade down a few spots. Chicago could be a team to watch for him, and the Bears pick seventh. But I have no idea how the Redskins' board stacks up at this point (no one outside the organization does) and having a potentially dominant nose tackle would certainly help their defense. Nothing is for certain as far as what side of the ball they will pick -- nothing is ever certain on February 27th when it comes to the draft. But the reason so much is focused on defense at No. 5 is because that is the strength of the draft up high, especially with pass-rushers. But there is a long way to go.
John Keim: Not every board is the same. But let's say Amari Cooper is at the top, then I'd look to trade because there are more pressing holes that can be filled with excellent prospects. But if a trade can't be made then, yeah, you'd have to consider it. Here's why: Andre Roberts was just a guy last season. DeSean Jackson's durability as he progresses has to be a concern, and Pierre Garcon's cap number goes up next year. If they can't figure out how to use him this year, then why keep him around at a higher cost? So while they appear to be set with the top three, the picture could be much different a year from now. Still, this is a strong receiver draft -- and I think there is growing debate whether Cooper is even the best receiver in this class. I'd rather look for a receiver later to build depth and develop.
Bowen's release saves the Redskins $5.5 million in cap space this season. He was scheduled to count $8.02 million against the cap, a hefty sum for a player who turns 31 later this month, has battled knee issues in recent years and had microfracture surgery late in the 2013 season.
Three more options: Pernell McPhee (26/Ravens) can line up in multiple spots and recorded 7 sacks and 40 quarterback pressures, despite not starting a game in 2014. Jason Worilds (26/Steelers) has 15.5 sacks and three forced fumbles the past two seasons and has missed just one game since 2011. Brandon Graham (26/Eagles) came on strong last season as a rotational pass rusher, notching 5.5 sacks, 39 quarterback pressures and four forced fumbles.
It's impossible to craft a depth chart now because there are too many moving parts. You could start the season tomorrow with Hatcher and Jean Francois at end, Baker at end with Golston and Kearse as backup. Robert Thomas, who was on the practice squad last year, could be the backup nose tackle.