- Yesterday, I dropped an Easter memory on y’all...that being the trade for Donovan McNabb, aka Don Burgundy. While I did kind of poo-poo the deal— a deal I supported at the time—I think we can ALL agree the Redskins have done worse transactions. However, that is not today’s opening question. Instead, I would ask you all to help bring the conversation back to the sunny side of the street. What is the best trade the Redskins have made over the last...let’s say 20 years? There are a couple of very good options to choose from in my opinion, and I will join below to offer my thoughts if someone doesn’t give my answer. (Hint: a franchise tag was involved, which is rather...timely.)
- This draft feels so weird for me. I spent the last few drafts BEGGING for the team to draft a center with its highest pick. Last year we got so close...center Ryan Kelly went to Indianapolis Colts just ahead of Washington’s selection. While I still believe we could upgrade our center position with the best blue-chip center in the draft, it doesn’t seem like there is a guy like that available (no offense to Pat Elflein or even Ethan Pocic). I know some of you are out there saying, “Well, sure Ken...we all know how you love Spencer Long, so it makes sense you aren’t going to chase him off the spot.” You’re all right, of course. I do love Spencer Long and I am ecstatic that he earned the starting job at center. His size and strength play well in Jay Gruden’s scheme, BUT (you didn’t expect this coming) Spencer is going to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. We just saw some of the most historic offseason paydays for second-tier and backup offensive linemen we have ever seen. Morgan Moses is also on the last year of his rookie deal, and my guess is that he will be a higher priority—though we should all be bracing ourselves for the possibility that other contracts (ahem...third franchise tag on the quarterback) could prevent much flexibility for the Redskins. And so, in a year when you might suggest that the presence of guys like Ty Nsekhe make the offensive line needs for the Redskins less serious, there is kind of a sneaky need to inject some youth and talent onto our line NOW. Because of that...it gives me GREAT pleasure to announce that I am officially BEGGING the Redskins to draft Pat Elflein! He can play both guard positions and could develop into our starting center (at 6’3” 303 lbs, his size there is what Gruden prefers). Forrest Lamp continues to be my undercover draft crush for this team, and could be an ideal pick if Bruce Allen trades a few spots down in the first round. Either way, it is important to remember that we are far, far away from being set at offensive line.
- I remember having conversation after conversation on this site about the Redskins needing to take whatever defensive player they can find in the first round. In fact, there will be comments below that say they will not accept anything but a defensive player in the first round. Yet, in the weeks and months since draft season got underway, many of us have warmed to the idea that the best player available for the Redskins at #17 overall might just be an offensive weapon. The top-end defensive talent is likely to be off the board by the time Washington is on the clock. I know that will result in the defensive hard-liners among you demanding a trade down, which I can live with as long as it isn’t a gutless trade down—you know, the kind that leaves us scratching our heads wondering why we did the deal and whether or not we got value in return. As we get closer to draft day, it seems more and more likely that the Redskins will be forced to consider that their best chance to get better at #17 will be by drafting an offensive player. Let’s try to hold it together if and when that goes down (SkinsNJ...I’m looking your way...just play “Release” on repeat).
- The drum I have been beating this draft season has been on the other side of the line. My refrain has gone thusly (one of my 2017 words): “There will be a power conference upperclassmen defensive lineman available in the second and/or third round that will be capable of coming in and playing right away for the Redskins.” With so many flashy underclassmen skill position players in this draft, qualified big men will get pushed ever so slightly into our laps (that sounded...wrong). In the recent SB Nation mock draft, Caleb Brantley, the Florida product, fell to us in the second round. I have a VERY hard time believing that will happen in real life, but we could still find ourselves in position to take a Chris Wormley, Dalvin Tomlinson or even Larry Ogunjobi. Larry is out of Conference USA, so not a power conference, but he is still a player that could crack our lineup. This is not to suggest that we are one defensive lineman away from being all set there, but I think it is worth noting that the Redskins can afford to look in a different spot in the first round because of this.
- Since I am somewhat expected to drop at least one meaningless thought on you each Monday this time of year, I thought I would suggest that the calm before the draft storm actually feels...calm. Just a few weeks ago, I thought we were caught in a maelstrom that had no end in sight. Nobody is here saying that all is forgiven, or that all is forgotten. The douchebaggery that has been present at times at Redskins Park has been in full effect this offseason, which makes the calm I feel right now seems so surreal. (I hope we are not just in the eye of the storm.)
- I realize that not everyone that comes to Hogs Haven is also a Nationals, Wizards and Caps fan. I am a DC homer, and I try not to paste that all over this weekly column, but today is an exception. The Wizards just took game one of a playoff series that they are HOSTING (first time since 1979). The Caps are the #1 seed in the NHL playoffs and the odds-on favorite to win (I look forward to your comments on this below...HAHA). The Nationals are world-series contenders with a lineup that is beyond fun to watch on a daily basis. For the first time in quite some time, the Washington fanbase is not dependent on the Redskins for its happiness. I think it would be fair to suggest that the Redskins still dominate this town, and our hearts, but for all of you out there like me who live and die on the DC sports scene, please tune into The Audible’s DC Messaround each week. Last week we had former American University head coach and radio personality Chris Knoche join us for an awesome discussion on the city’s sports situation. On this week’s Offseason On the Brink, NFL Network’s Dan Hellie joins us to discuss the Redskins and the draft. Dan is a local guy that still keeps his eye on the scene here. I look forward to hearing his thoughts and if you have ay questions for him, throw them down below and we will try and get to them all.
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
With Easter in the rear view, the draft is now in full focus and no longer playing second fiddle to free agency.