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The Redskins Need Help for the Future; Where Will it Come From?

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The future is now in D.C. Unfortunately, the Washington Redskins need help both immediately and for the foreseeable future.

What are some pressing needs for this team to remain competitive and where can help come from for the future?

Quarterback - Yet again, Alex Smith finds himself as a placeholder for a younger, franchise quarterback. The only question is, how long will the team have to wait to get that player? Alex is most likely here for a minimum of two more seasons after the conclusion of 2018, so that could mean the 2020 NFL draft will be the time the team looks to draft their future signal caller. This would allow Alex to mentor that new quarterback for a season before he is relieved of his duties. Any way you slice it, Alex is not the future of this team.

Running Back - The injury to second round pick Derrius Guice handicapped the Skins before the season even started. Thankfully, Adrian Peterson has come in and picked up the slack. Unfortunately, AP is not the long-term answer at the position. Although Guice has never taken a regular season snap, the team believes he’s the long-term answer to the running back issues that have plagued the franchise for years. How effectively he recovers from knee surgery will be worth watching this spring.

Wide Receiver - This is arguably the Redskins biggest concern on offense, and it’s been this way for quite some time. The inability to draft and develop a true number one target has plagued this team for decades. The Redskins have had some luck in the free agency market, but that approach can prove to be very costly and carries a ton of risk. Josh Doctson has the makings of a first round bust, and newly signed speedster Paul Richardson is injured yet again. Jamison Crowder is a pending free agent, and with his recent injuries, the coaches may look to move on. If the team doesn’t address this deficiency in the offseason, they will find it hard to compete in the NFC.

Guard - Left guard has been a concern for the last five years. Unfortunately, the front office has continued to turn to veteran Shawn Lauvao, despite a rash of injuries that have hampered his play. The time has come for the Redskins to invest a higher draft pick at the position to compliment young studs Brandon Scherff and Chase Roullier. The band-aid on the open wound has got to stop!

EDGE - An impact edge rusher is a must in the NFL. The Redskins have been fortunate to have iron-man Ryan Kerrigan manning one side for years, but the situation opposite him has been a mixed bag. Preston Smith is set to become a free agent in the spring, and the team may be better off going to the draft, yet again, in search of his replacement. We do have Ryan Anderson, but he is best used in a reserve role moving forward due to his limited impact as a pass rusher.

Linebacker - I have said linebacker is a concern on this team since London Fletcher retired. I like and respect the play of Mason Foster, but he’s a limited athlete, and struggles in coverage. Zach Brown is a tremendous athlete, who can play sideline-to-sideline, but the 29 year old is often replaced in sub-packages for better coverage options. It would be great if the team could draft a young, three-down linebacker who can become the leader of the defense. It would be even better if the defense would switch to a 4-3 base. If this move was made, it’s possible Shaun Dion-Hamilton could slide into the MIKE, with Josh Harvey-Clemons as the WILL and Brown as our SAM.

Cornerback - Josh Norman is one of the highest paid corners in the NFL, but his recent play on the field has not come close to matching his exorbitant salary. It’s time for the Redskins to draft his eventual replacement, and the 2019 NFL Draft should hold a few interesting prospects. Quinton Dunbar has preformed nicely opposite Norman, but questions still remain about nickle corner.

This team has more holes than fans may have thought heading into the season. The recent rash of injuries has magnified these deficiencies more than most want to admit. This begs the question - where should the Redskins turn for help?

The most logical answer for immediate help is the 2019 NFL Draft. The Redskins will most likely hold four picks in the top 100, and with any luck, all four could be relied on heavily in 2019...and beyond.

I’m going to assume for a moment that we win the NFC East this year with a 9-7 record, but are bounced in the first round of the playoffs. This should put us picking somewhere around 22nd.

2019 NFL Draft:

Round 1: Montez Sweat EDGE Miss St. 6’6” 250

Round 2: Paris Campbell WR Ohio St. 6’1” 208

Round 3: Iman Marshall CB USC 6’0” 200

Round 3: Chris Lindstrom OG BC 6’3” 310

Where has help already come from?

Make no mistake, the 2018 NFL Draft was very solid for the Redskins. We have seen first round pick Daron Payne be a major force along the defensive line. Combine his emergence with the presence of second year stud Jonathan Allen and third year pro Matt Ioannidis (who is having the most productive year of the trio), and you have a great young core to build around. Don’t forget about rookie Time Settle too!

I’ve already mentioned Guice, and although his injury was devastating for the team, we can almost look at 2019 as his rookie year. If his impact in our offense is anything like the brief glimpse we got of him in the preseason, we should be set at the position for years to come.

Geron Christian has looked poor in limited action this season, but we should expect massive growth from him this offseason. Will he become a competent swing tackle - only time will tell. The other question is the recent addition of guard Jonathan Cooper. The former first round pick played well for the Cowboys last season, but was not re-signed after he was injured in the teams last game of 2017. Cooper has talent, and he’s only 28, so if he can put together a nice showing over the next eight games, he could factor into the team’s plans next season and beyond.

Arguably the biggest acquisition happened during the season at the trade deadline when the Redskins acquired Pro Bowl free safety HaHa Clinton-Dix from the Packers in exchange for a fourth round pick. A true free safety has long been a need for this team, and with Clinton-Dix manning the back end, that need could finally come to an end. The Skins should lock him up to a contract extension before free agency hits.


What is the Redskins biggest need heading into the 2019 offseason?

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