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Redskins 2019 Team Needs Ranked by Importance

Mark Tyler looks at the Redskins team needs heading into the 2019 offseason.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As you already know, the Redskins draft based on Value vs. Need. If this wasn’t evident to you in the past, it certainty is now under Bruce Allen, Doug Williams and Jay Gruden.

When the draft rolls around this spring, the Redskins need to take a calculated approach to filling some of the holes on this team, as our spending ability in free agency will likely be very limited. It will be very important to fill our pressing needs with extreme value this coming offseason.

Below are my top ranked needs of this team ranked in order of importance, while also taking value into consideration.


EDGE:

This is a top need regardless of how this draft class stacks up. It just so happens that the 2019 EDGE class is absolutely loaded with talent. You also need to take into account the players currently at the position.

Ryan Kerrigan is the only guaranteed returning starter. He’s a stud - make no mistake about it, but he’ll also be 31 when the season starts next year, and the Redskins need to start preparing for his decline. Preston Smith is a pending free agent, and his play in no way warrants a big contract extension. He has just four sacks on the season, and has never topped eight in his four years here. He’s also incredibly inconsistent, and tends to disappear for games at a time. The Skins have Ryan Anderson who will return in 2019. Anderson is about as pedestrian an EDGE player as you’ll find in the league, and he probably best suited to be a fullback when needed, and play some special teams with the occasional rep or two at OLB. McPhee is a free agent who will VERY likely not be back with the team next year.

Because of these factors, EDGE sits at the very top.

QB:

This one is a bit tough. Because of the uncertainty surrounding Alex Smith’s status, this has to be shot up the list. If not for Smith’s gruesome injury this year, QB would not be a pressing need until at least 2020. If Alex can’t play another down in the NFL, this may catapult QB to the very top of the list. Even if Alex does return, his eventual replacement will need to be groomed. Alex’s contract pretty much guarantees he’ll be here through the 2020 NFL season, so this year or next will be the one to draft a QB.

The issue with the 2019 draft, is that it’s shaping up to be a weak quarterback class. The top three projected signal callers (Haskins, Herbert and Jones) are all underclassmen, and it’s very likely two of them return to school. If one of the three comes out, that leaves Drew Lock and Will Grier as the next best two. The Redskins may have played themselves out of contention for a top QB prospect, so that either means trading up (an absolute No-No) or sitting back and taking a developmental prospect a bit later on. If all three of the top underclassmen were to surprisingly enter, the Redskins may have a shot at a guy like Lock in the middle part of the first round.

WR:

Make no mistake about it - the Redskins have one of the worst receiving corps in the entire NFL. Yes, injuries have played a part in that this season, as Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn and Cam Sims have all missed time (Sims missed the entire season after showing up big-time in the preseason). Still, the Redskins lack a true number one threat who can consistently win one-on-one matchups, and gain yards after the catch.

Josh Doctson has been a first round bust, and may be better suited in a reserve role moving into the last year of his contract. Jamison Crowder is a free agent, and his future with the team is in doubt. Maurice Harris is no more than a reserve. Veterans like Michael Floyd and Jehu Chesson (unless it’s for special teams) should not return.

The 2019 draft class has some very interesting prospects with big up-side. The Redskins would be wise to try and take advantage of some of that talent in the second round, or in a trade-back scenario later in the first.

CB:

A lot of this hinges on the Redskins plans for Josh Norman in 2019. The veteran is due to make $14.5 million next year, but his dead money drops off significantly in 2020. If the team were to part ways with Norman, they could save $8.5 million. It may be best for them to wait until 2020, when his dead money is just $3 million, which would save them $12 million against the cap.

The team does have some young guys on the roster with potential. Quinton Dunbar was the teams’ best CB before suffering nerve damage to his lower leg. The hope is for him to fully recover, but these injuries can be tricky. Fabian Moreau has had a tough season, but there is still a lot of hope for his future with the team. Rookie Greg Stroman showed some glimpses, but his wiry stature may be a hindrance against bigger receivers. Adonis Alexander was basically gifted to the Redskins in the 2018 Supplementary Draft. His progress will be one worth monitoring this offseason.

The uncertainty around Norman, some promising youngsters, and a weak top half of the draft class, is why CB is fourth on this list. If the Skins part ways with Norman, this need may move higher.

OG:

As you all know, I’m not a fan of taking a left guard with a high draft pick - the value simply doesn’t match the need, and the prospects at the position this year do not warrant mid-first round consideration.

We do have some returning players who could be options if the staff feels they are worthy. Both Arie Kouandjio and Jonathn Cooper are pending free agents, but the team may want to bring back one, if not both, to compete for a starting spot at left guard. One player I do not want to see return is Shawn Lauvao - he has officially worn out his welcome.

My ideal scenario would be for the Redskins to use one of their third round picks in the draft on a guard if the right one was there.

ILB:

This need was much higher before we claimed Reuben Foster off waivers and the emergence of Shaun Dion Hamilton.

One thing is abundantly clear - the Redskins need to cut Mason Foster and Zach Brown. Not only has their play been poor, but combined, they could save the team almost $8 million in cap space in 2019.

The big wildcard here is Reuben Foster. If he’s cleared of any wrong-doing, he may still get a suspension by the league - but he’d likely be available for over half the season (if not more), and if he can keep his nose clean, he could be a fixture on this defense for years to come. If he’s found guilty, his career may be over.

The Foster ordeal could cause this need to move up.

TE:

Jordan Reed was just named an alternate to the Pro Bowl, but most Redskins fans will tell you that was a very un-deserving honor. The veteran tight end has played in an astonishing 13 games, and leads the team with 54 receptions for 558 yards and two touchdowns. His availability however is a constant concern.

Vernon Davis has certainly lost a step, and he can’t seem to secure contented catches in the open field. His time as a Redskins is nearing an end. Jeremy Sprinkle has shown some flashes here and there, but he’s best in a reserve roll.

The Redskins do not have a lot of salary cap space in 2019, but they may be best served using some of that on a younger, solid veteran, while also adding a developmental prospect with a later round draft pick.


Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    EDGE
    (249 votes)
  • 34%
    QB
    (387 votes)
  • 21%
    WR
    (234 votes)
  • 3%
    CB
    (36 votes)
  • 12%
    OG
    (134 votes)
  • 5%
    ILB
    (62 votes)
  • 0%
    TE
    (4 votes)
1106 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Given the Value vs. Need approach, and knowing what we do about the 2019 draft, where should the Redskins look to spend their first round pick?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    EDGE
    (436 votes)
  • 16%
    QB
    (136 votes)
  • 15%
    WR
    (127 votes)
  • 4%
    CB
    (40 votes)
  • 5%
    OG
    (47 votes)
  • 5%
    ILB
    (50 votes)
  • 0%
    TE
    (5 votes)
841 votes total Vote Now