With both the draft and free agency pretty much set I wanted to have a discussion on where the Redskins rank compared to their NFC East opponents. We will start with comparing the various offensive positions. I will do some quick breakdowns of each, but use the comments to give your rankings and further the discussion:
Quarterback: 3rd - Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins, Giants
-With Carson Wentz the Eagles have the clear lead in the division, and if he can remain healthy he should be a top 10 and potentially top 5 QB in the league. Dak Prescott had a strong bounce-back season last year, and could be in line for an even better season as his weapons are better and if the OL can get healthy.
I see a pretty big gap from the top two teams, as while Haskins has huge long term upside, rookie QBs rarely put up top 10-15 production. The Redskins are also likely to play more of a run control/defensive game plan, so Haskins opportunities won’t be as good as other QBs. The Giants also drafted a rookie QB, but this is likely Eli Manning’s swan song for the team. He should have a better OL in front of him, but he also lost his best weapon.
Running backs: 3rd - Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Eagles
-This is a clear strength area for the Redskins, but they can’t finish any better than 3rd in the division given the elite talent the Cowboys and Giants have at the top of their depth charts. Both teams now have some decent depth as well to remain productive even when their star back is taking a breather.
The Redskins could be the deepest team depending on how Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson come back from their injuries. Add in the consistency of Adrian Peterson, and the Redskins have three backs who can make a quality impact. The Eagles are in a bit of a similar situation with a combination of Jordan Howard, rookie Miles Sanders and their variety of depth 3rd down backs.
Wide Receivers: 4th - Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Redskins
-Redskins are clearly in 4th place here and are among the bottom of the league, even after drafting a pair of receivers in the draft. With the Eagles adding DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the draft they have depth to go along with their top level talent. They can match-up with any team and can rotate their top 4 receivers to keep them fresh.
The Cowboys receiver production improved last year when they traded for Amari Cooper and it should be even better this year with a full year of incorporating him into the offense. Add in Michael Gallup’s development and Randall Cobb replacing Beasley this should be a solid group.
The Giants traded away Beckham, but still have a decent top pair of receivers with Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. Depth is an issue for them, but that top pairing is better than anything the Redskins can put out there.
Tight End: 2nd - Eagles, Redskins, Giants, Cowboys
-The Eagles are the clear winners here as Zach Ertz is probably the 2nd best TE in the NFL, and Dallas Goedert showed plenty of potential as a rookie. Goedert would start for most teams in the NFL and the expectation is the Eagles try to involve him more.
I think the Redskins come in 2nd here, with Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis giving them two viable TE options. The big concern here is whether or not Reed can stay healthy or if Davis’ age finally catches up to him. Ideally though the pair of TEs will give Haskins a nice safety blanket this season.
Evan Engram is definitely an ascending TE in the league and could be the 2nd best TE in the division. I think they are close to the Redskins, but Rhett Ellison is limited as a receiver and puts the Giants just behind Washington. The Cowboys are 4th in the division, but they should be drastically improved from a year ago with Jason Witten coming back from retirement. I wouldn’t expect him to be near his prime, but he should give this unit a solid floor it lacked a year ago.
Offensive Line: 2nd* (assuming Trent Williams is with the team) - Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Giants
-This is the biggest question mark area. Not only the surrounding issues with Trent Williams, but the Cowboys have some concern about the health of one of their stars as well. For this I will assume that everyone is available at the start of the season.
In that case the Cowboys are the top unit, with 3 elite talents and a pair of young guys with potential (La’el Collins and Connor Williams) with potential. Dallas also drafted Connor McGovern in the 3rd round this year giving them further depth and upside. Speaking of depth Dallas probably has the best in the division as well, with some solid vets behind their starters.
It’s a bit of a toss up between the Redskins and Eagles for 2nd place, the Eagles have better depth and don’t have a major question mark across their starters. The Redskins though have two top 5 talents in Williams and Scherff at their respective positions. With Roullier and Moses as above-average to good starters as well. I give the slight edge to the Redskins, but if injuries hit both teams at even a moderate level, Philadelphia is better prepared to handle it.
Redskins: The Redskins have really good talent along the offensive line and at RB, with a decent TE group. Their QB production will be average-to-above average, with a fair chance of being worse given the growing pains we typically see with rookie QBs. It’s a situation that isn’t helped with having a really poor WR group.
Eagles: Clear lead in the division on offense. There is no real discernible weakness on offense for this team. Wentz when healthy has played at a really high level these past two years and now he has the best weapons by far he’s seen at WR and TE. The Eagles have a really strong OL and decent RB group as well.
Cowboys: Though not as strong as the Eagles, Dallas is pretty good across the board as well. Tight end is their biggest weakness, but it should be at least solid with Jason Witten back on the team. This is still a run first team with a dominant OL and RB, but now they could have a solid passing game as well.
Giants: Despite losing Odell Beckham, I think there is a strong case the Giants offense will be improved this year. Adding Zeitler and Remmers will improve their offensive line and Golden Tate helps mitigate the loss of Beckham. Also young players like Barkley, Shepard, Engram and Hernandez could all improve. Though the overall offense will improve, this should be the weakest offense in the division. They are Elite at RB and strong at TE, but WR, QB and OL are all likely below average or worse.