The Washington Redskins dramatically improved their offense with three key draft picks in 2012. A year later, it’s their defense that needs some play-makers, and the focus has completely shifted to the other side of the ball.
The ramifications of trading up in last year’s draft will be felt, as the team no longer holds a pick in the first round. Their top pick comes at the No. 51 spot, which is obviously nothing to brag about. But, that’s the price you pay to get a franchise quarterback. Rebuilding a team like Washington is going to take time, last year the focus was on the offense, and now team will do what it can to reconstruct the defense.
So far in free agency the Redskins haven’t made any noise. Their only notable move can in the form of releasing cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Dropping the veteran CB is yet another sign the team will look to the draft to get some help, and save money at the same time. The Redskins don’t have much money to throw around in free agency, so they’re forced to go the affordable route in the draft.
It’s probably a good thing the Redskins are focusing on the the draft, because it’s ultimately the best place to build a team. They need to build a team from the ground up, and not just sign players on a whim to help in the short-term. Washington is a year or two away from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender, so developing players makes the most sense. Once the team has a good nucleus of players on both sides of the ball, then it’s okay to seek the services of a veteran who could help out on a Super Bowl run.
Washington holds seven total picks in this year’s draft, and most analysts have them using at least four of them on defensive players. It’s a new age in the NFL where players come in and contribute right away. Second and third round talents can provide immediate help for teams in need.
For the Redskins to take the next step as a team, their defense must get better. That process continues in four weeks, with the NFL draft.
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