So this week our Insider crew rolled out its "Future Power Rankings," which evaluate each NFL team's core in an effort to guess where they will rank against each other three years from now. The NFC East ... didn't do very well. The New York Giants ranked seventh, the Washington Redskins 16th, the Philadelphia Eagles 17th and the Dallas Cowboys 24th. Not exactly the kind of stuff that's going to make you run out and invest in the jerseys of your team's rookies, right?
The formula for this factors in five categories: Roster, quarterback, draft, front office and coaching, and you can see why each team ranks the way it does if you click on that link up there and you pay for the Insider access. I'm not going to give you the whole thing here, because that would defeat the entire purpose of trying to differentiate paid content from free content. I'm going to focus on the Redskins, who have two second-year quarterbacks they like and a second-year running back who finished second in the league in rushing as a rookie. Why didn't they rank higher?
The Redskins scored well at quarterback (8 of a possible 10 points) and coaching (7.5) but fell down in the draft category (5.3) because they didn't have a first-round pick this year and don't have one next year as a result of the trade that brought them Robert Griffin III in last year's draft. This is what Mel Kiper Jr. had to say about it:
The Redskins have paid a major draft price to secure RG III, but unless health becomes a lingering issue, I have a hard time believing they'll regret it. And yet draft returns from both this year and next year are simply going to lag behind other teams -- there's no way around it. It certainly affects their ability to find significant impact at a low cost over the next few seasons. The Skins are again without a first-round pick in 2014, but return to normal in 2015.
The Redskins also got a 5.5 in the "roster" category, where Matt Williamson points out that "much of Washington's roster is composed of players either past their prime or who have yet to reach the apex of their careers."
I think it's fair to say that the Redskins' front office needs to keep working on the non-quarterback portion of the roster over the coming years to maintain the success they had in 2012. The secondary as currently constructed is not a long-term success story, I don't think, and the offensive line likely needs to evolve and improve in front of Griffin. In some respects, this was a lost offseason for the front office, which was stripped of $18 million in cap room for the second year in a row and did well just to retain the core of the 2012 division title team. There is more work to be done next offseason on long-term roster upgrades, and I'm sure they would have liked to be able to do some of it this year instead.