As many of you know, I do not subscribe to the BPA(best player available) approach in the NFL Draft; not that it matters anyway, because I do not make any draft decisions. I am a value vs needs guy - meaning if we have a glaring weakness on the team that needs upgrading, and that player holds value at the position we are drafting, that's my choice. In my scenario, need can trump best pure player available IF they are rated very similar, and if the value is there(I don't believe in reaching too much just to fill a need).
So, seeing as the Redskins new approach is not to go wild in free agency, it puts even more emphasis on my value vs needs approach. When your team comes out and says it wishes to build through the draft, and supplement with free agency, you absolutely NEED to draft for need.
With that said, I will give you the "Big Three" positions of desperate need for the Washington Redskins in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Defensive Tackle: Defensive tackle has been a team need for a decade. The staff continues to try and fill this need with free agent acquisitions, but that approach just doesn't seem to be working. Since 2010, the Redskins have drafted just three defensive linemen, and two of those three were in the fifth round or later! That is absolutely embarrassing! No wonder we struggle to stop the run.
That trend needs to stop this season, and while the draft is weak at defensive tackle in the first round, there is decent depth in the mid-rounds. An impact 3-4 defensive end and a true nose tackle are positions the Redskins should look to fill.
Inside Linebacker: The Redskins neglect at inside linebacker may be worse that the teams recent neglect at defensive tackle. Since 2010, there have been four inside linebackers selected, and none before round four! I understand ILB is not considered a premium position in the NFL, but that is the guy who is the general of the defense on the field, and in a 3-4 base, someone who needs to be able to play sideline-to-sideline while staying on the field all three downs.
The linebacker class is loaded in the 2017 draft. Quality impact starters should be able to be found into round three. My hope is to see the Redskins select a difference maker at the position in the first two rounds.
Free Safety: Since 2010, the Redskins have selected just two true free safety prospects - Phillip Thomas and Kyshoen Jarrett. Neither are on the team, and the position as a whole has been attempted to be filled with veteran stop-gaps. The recent free agent signing of D.J. Swearinger has given Redskins fans some hope, but he is best suited as a boundary safety in a two-deep, and a robber in underneath coverage. That true single high center fielder continues to elude us.
It should benefit the Redskins that the 2017 draft class is loaded at safety. This is probably the best and deepest safety class I have seen in the past 10 years. Pick 17 may be too late to get one of the premier first round free safety prospects, but rounds two and three boast some impressive skill of their own.