It was reported yesterday in a Periscope video by Albert Breer, that it was believed the Redskins were following the offseason board that former General Manager Scot McCloughan and his scouting department set up. Safety D.J. Swearinger was an early free agent signing, and Breer was quick to point out that the multi-dimensional safety was at the top of McCloughan's free agent wish list. In the video, Breer also made mention of the team's desire to "shore up the middle of the defense". We saw that come to fruition as well with early signings of Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, and the recent pursuit of Bennie Logan. The only defensive position that hasn't been addressed so far is inside linebacker - a position the team desperately needs upgrading.
Departing wide receivers DeSean Jackson(Tampa Bay) and Pierre Garcon(San Francisco) left a big void for Jay Gruden's offense, but the Redskins were quick to move on Terrelle Pryor, a 6'4" 223 pound former quarterback-turned-wide receiver, who had a career best 77 receptions, for 1007 yards and four touchdowns in his first full season at the position. Pryor, paired with Doctson(6'2") on the outside, give the Redskins the size, speed and athleticism they have been lacking for years at the position. Throw in the 6'2" Jordan Reed, the 6'3" Vernon Davis, and the 6'3" Maurice Harris, and you have one of the league's biggest and most athletic pass catching groups.
So, where do the Redskins go from here both in free agency and the draft?
Now that quarterback Kirk Cousins has signed his franchise tender, and a trade is looking less likely, we can assume the quarterback position will be locked down for at least this season. The offensive line could use a replacement at left guard, where incumbent Sean Lauvao has struggled with both injuries and inconsistency. Cutting him could free up four million in cap space. His replacement could come from within, where third year player Arie Kouandjio and journeyman Vinston Painter wait in the wings.
Running back is another offensive position where the Redskins could look to improve. The Matt Jones experiment has failed thus far, and Rob Kelly doesn't have the makings of an NFL feature back. Chris Thompson, who was recently tendered by the team at a second round level, is a great complimentary back and third down specialist, but he's a 10-12 touch per game type of back, whos size limits his production and durability. The running back market in free agency has yet to really shake out, but there are some options for the Redskins that could come at a relative bargain. The draft also boasts a very deep and talented class should the front office decide to dip their toe in that water.
On defense, as reported by Breer, the Redskins feel comfortable with their edge players and cornerbacks. Safety, Linebacker and defensive tackle remain the major areas of need, despite the early free agent signings.
Below, I will give you my look at a plan for the remainder of free agency and the NFL draft coming up at the end of April.
Sean Lauvao: Cap savings - 4 million
DeAngelo Hall: Cap savings - 4.25 million
Niles Paul: Cap savings - 2.2 million
Remaining Free Agency Signings:
Bennie Logan(Phi) DT 6'2" 309(age 27) OR Johnathan Hankins(NYG) DT 6'2" 320(age 24)
Gerald Hodges(SF) LB 6'2" 236(age 26) OR Kevin Minter(Ari) LB 6'0" 246(age 26)
NFL Draft Needs: FS, ILB, DL, RB, G, WR
1(pick 17): Haason Reddick(LB) Temple 6'1" 237
2(pick 49): Marcus Williams(FS) Utah 6'1" 202
3(pick 81): Dalvin Tomlinson(DT) Alabama 6'3" 310
4(pick 114): Isaac Asiata(G) Utah 6'3" 323
4(pick 124): Marlon Mack(RB) S. Florida 5'11" 213
5(pick 154): Damore'ea Stringfellow(WR) Ole Miss 6'2" 215
6(pick 201): Jonnu Smith(TE) FIU 6'3" 248
6(pick 209): Jalen Myrick(CB) Minn 5'10" 200
7(pick 220): Ken Ekanem(OLB) V-Tech 6'3" 257
7(pick 235): Justin Senior(OT) Miss St 6'5" 331