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Monday, April 15, 2013
Next-level draft needs: Washington Redskins

By Dan Graziano

The ESPN Stats & Information group has compiled some "next-level" numbers to help illustrate the most significant draft needs for NFL teams. We're taking a team-by-team look at their information on the NFC East's teams, and this post deals with the defending division champion Washington Redskins, whose top needs have been identified as cornerback/safety and offensive line.

Now, the notes we got from Stats & Info were based on the fact that two of the Redskins' starting offensive linemen, Kory Lichtensteiger and Tyler Polumbus, were free agents. Both have re-signed, which reduces the importance of offensive line as a need for a Redskins team that has no first-round draft pick. I expect them to focus on the secondary when they finally get to picking in the second round 11 days from now.

Stats & Info points out that the Redskins have allowed the most touchdown passes in the league (29) over the past two seasons on throws of 15 or more yards downfield. They also rank 23rd in the league in completion percentage allowed on such throws (46.6 percent) and 30th in yards per attempt on such throws (13.8). They hope to have starting strong safety Brandon Meriweather back from his season-ending injury, but they will need to replace disappointing free safety Madieu Williams, and that's likely to be a focus of theirs in the early rounds of the draft.

The Redskins also could be looking for a cornerback in the second or third round. They were able to re-sign DeAngelo Hall, but they lost out to Seattle in their pursuit of free-agent cornerback Antoine Winfield and are clearly looking to add depth at that position.