Friday, April 27, 2012
Redskins wisely turn attention to O-line
By Dan Graziano
The Washington Redskins had to wait a long time between their first and second picks of this year's draft. They had the No. 6 pick of the third round and traded it to Buffalo for the No. 8 pick of the third round (71 overall) and a seventh-round pick (No. 217 overall), and than with that No. 71 pick they drafted SMU guard Josh LeRibeus.
Not among the highest-ranked guards on the Scouts Inc. draft list, LeRibeus appears to be a pick the Redskins took for scheme-specific reasons rather than because of particularly good measurables. He's had some issues with his weight and has had to lose dozens of pounds to get down to his current 312. And he didn't great out especially well as a blocker. But the Redskins look for specific characteristics in their offensive linemen because their running game relies on a zone-blocking scheme. And LeRibeus' strengths, according to the scouting reports, are his initial quickness, his awareness of what's going on around him and his ability to pick up and direct scheme changes. He was a team captain at SMU and, given the right amount of time to develop in and learn the scheme, could be the kind of guy who's a leader on the offensive line.
Would Redskins fans have rather seen a tackle such as Bobby Massie here? Probably. But the Redskins need to add depth on the offensive line. Their free-agency efforts this year have been focused on wide receiver and the defensive secondary, which means the first few picks after they took Robert Griffin III in the first round needed to be focused on building some protection in front of their rookie quarterback. They obviously like the guy and believe they can coach and use him, and he plays the position to which the Redskins need to be paying attention at this point.