As every day passes, it’s looking more and more like Jay Gruden will remain as head coach of the Redskins for 2019. What changes are made to his staff are still up in the air, however.
One thing is for certain; the Redskins need help on both side of the football this off-season. With salary cap room projected to be pretty low, the team will likely have to count on their draft picks to play major roles in 2019...and beyond.
Gruden, in a recent article by ESPN’s John Keim, was quoted in saying the following:
So let’s break this down...
As Gruden eluded to, and many feel the same way, one of the strengths of this team is the offensive and defensive lines. When healthy, these units can compete with anyone. We do need to find a starting left guard, but we can do so with a mid-round pick or a free agent signing.
Before the injuries started piling up, this team was 6-3, and heading towards double-digit wins. The loss of Alex Smith deflated the team, and Jay mentioned that quarterback, going forward, is a bit scary. No one knows what Smith’s future holds - apparently not even the head coach, and I assume by Gruden’s comments that the team is not comfortable going into the season with Colt McCoy as the starter for any significant length of time.
The other comment that also stood out is the need for “playmakers” on offense.
I think every Redskins fan can agree that this team lacked a dynamic, go-to playmaker. Jay has said before that his offense runs through tight end Jordan Reed, but his availability is, and has always been, a major concern. The lack of offensive playmakers on this team was alarming, and needs to be addressed this off-season.
Getting back a healthy Darrius Guice will be a big boost to an anemic offense. He has the ability to grind out yards between the tackles, but he can also turn the corner and take it to the house. He’s an under-rated receiver out of the backfield as well, and should excel in the Redskins screen game, and provide mismatches against opposing linebackers in the open field.
Where the team really needs help is at wide receiver.
Paul Richardson was brought in to give the unit a much-needed deep threat, but injuries once again stole part of his season. Jamison Crowder is a free agent, and it’s looking more and more like he’ll be able to test the market, and land himself a big contact somewhere other than Washington. Josh Doctson is a bust. Argue all you want, but it’s true. 2019 should be his last season in Burgundy and Gold, and that’s only because he’s still under an affordable rookie contract. He should be no better than a 3rd or 4th option next season. The rest of the unit is comprised of all un-proven players.
The draft offers some very interesting receiver prospects, especially in round two. The Redskins would be wise to sign a veteran free agent, and look to the second round to find a true playmaker they can develop on the outside.
The “playmakers on offense” comment can also be aimed at quarterback. With the uncertainty surrounding a return by Alex Smith, the team may be in need of a new signal caller. The draft is not very strong at the position this year, but Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Duke’s Daniel Jones and Missouri’s Drew Lock are all expected to go in the first round. The Jaguars and Giants are two teams who may be looking to draft a quarterback this season, so it’s possible one of these signal callers could fall to pick number 15. Should that happen, and even if Alex Smith does end up returning, the Redskins could be tempted to jump at their next potential franchise quarterback.
Finally, 2019 is shaping up to be a very solid tight end class. The Redskins always have uncertainty surrounding Jordan Reed, and it’s very unlikely Vernon Davis returns next season. The roster is void of young, healthy playmakers at the position, and this could be the year to improve that talent with a higher draft pick - maybe one in the second or third round.
If Gruden’s comments hold true this off-season, I expect to see a lot of focus on improving an anemic offense by adding a few playmakers to his favorite side of the football.
2019 NFL Draft Scenario #1:
Rd 1: Drew Lock QB Missouri
Rd 2: Paris Campbell WR Ohio St.
Rd 3: T.J. Hockenson TE Iowa
Rd 3: Ryan Bates OG PSU
2019 NFL Draft Scenario #2:
Rd 1: Jachai Polite EDGE Florida
Rd 2: Irv Smith Jr. TE Alabama
Rd 3: Lil’ Jordan Humphrey WR Texas
Rd 3: Chris Lindstrom OG B.C.
*Rd 5: Brett Rypien QB Biose St.
Which 2019 draft scenario do you like better for the Redskins?
This poll is closed