We’re six weeks into the 2013 NFL season, and the Washington Redskins sit at 1-4. Not exactly what the 2012 NFC East Champions were expecting coming into the season. Now, we can blame QB Robert Griffin, his knee, head coach Mike Shanahan and his decision making till we’re blue in the face, and we wouldn’t be wrong. I’m sure there are a lot of things that they would’ve done differently if they had the chance for a do-over.
Despite the overwhelming urge to just pin all of the blame on one or two guys, there are a lot of deficiencies on this roster. This team won the division last year due mainly to the outstanding rookie season by Griffin, not because the overall roster was that much better than the rest of the NFC East. Despite some improved draft classes in recent years, more work needs to be done, and they’ll need the 2014 NFL Draft to help address a thin depth chart. Here’s a closer look at some of the early draft needs of the ‘Skins (and remember, they don’t have a first round pick due to the Griffin trade with the St. Louis Rams).
The Redskins will more than likely be picking in the early part of the second round, and there will be a few ways they could go.
A new starter at right tackle would be a great place to start, and Florida State‘s Cameron Erving could still be available. He’s being viewed as a fringe first rounder just because of his potential, but he’s still incredibly raw. He’s got the size and athleticism though to excel in a zone-blocking scheme, which the Redskins run. La’el Collins (LSU) will be another option here, and he’s got extensive experience at both guard and tackle, offering more versatility (something Shanny loves in his o-linemen).
Expect the revolving door at tight end to finally be addressed as well. The team loves the athleticism of Fred Davis, the blocking of Logan Paulsen and the versatility of Niles Paul and Jordan Reed, but they need to finally find some consistency. If for some strange reason, either Eric Ebron (UNC) or Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington) is still available when the ‘Skins pick, it would be a no-brainer. But it’s unlikely they’ll slip that far. Oregon‘s Colt Lyerla is one of the most athletic prospects in the entire country and will more than likely still be on the board. It would be interesting to see if Shanny overlooks some of the maturity issues plaguing Lyerla, but there’s no doubting his ability. Other options later on could include Jace Amaro (Texas Tech), C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa) and Arthur Lynch (Georgia).
Defensively, middle linebacker should be prioritized. London Fletcher is still solid, but it’s clear the 38-year old has lost a step or two, and there’s little depth behind him and fellow starter Perry Riley. Stanford‘s Shayne Skov is a big thumper who could be available in rounds two or three, and he’s got a plethora of experience in a 3-4 defense, which the ‘Skins primarily run. Andrew Jackson (Western Kentucky) is somewhat of a dark horse prospect at this point, but he would also be a tremendous fit inside for Washington.
These aren’t the only needs for the Redskins. More depth along the entire offensive and defensive lines, a new starter at CB and potentially at SS will all be considered as well. But RT, TE and MLB, at this still early part of the season, are looking like the biggest areas of need for the Redskins in the 2014 NFL Draft.