Friday, May 9, 2014
Sizing up the Redskins' needs: Defense
By John Keim
Taking a look at the different areas the Redskins might address defensively:
The case for: The Redskins’ pass rush the past two years has been spotty at best. Does anyone really think it’s solved just by the addition of Jason Hatcher? If something happens to him, will the Redskins have the interior push they hope, and need, to have? Also, if they’re not sold on Brian Orakpo long term then they could draft an outside linebacker, use him as a situational rusher and then groom him to take over. And finding a pass-rusher could mean a guy who plays inside, not necessarily as a linebacker.
The case against: At 34, there might be better value at right tackle than at pass-rusher. They could always trade down to accumulate more picks and take one at each spot. They do have a desire, if possible, to add one. They do have two starting outside linebackers already and two backups in Rob Jackson and Brandon Jenkins.
Names to watch:Jeremiah Attaochu; I do know they like him and feel he’s a good all-around outside linebacker. Kyle Van Noy, though I get the feeling that he might end up playing more inside in the 3-4, but he’s versatile and instinctive. Trent Murphy is another, but I can’t imagine they’d pick him this high – and he can probably be had in the third round. I don’t have a good sense on Ra’Shede Hageman or Stephon Tuitt. Hageman looks the part and occasionally dominated only to end up with only two sacks. Tuitt recorded sacks, but is projected as more of an inside rush guy – nothing wrong with that. But inconsistent effort left some scratching their heads. Kony Ealy is still available, too, and highly thought of by analysts.
The case for: While they have options to replace London Fletcher, it’s still uncertain not only who will win the job but who will hold it beyond this season.
The case against: This isn’t a good spot to find what they need. While Chris Borland was a tackling machine at Wisconsin, certain styles (wide open) gave him problems. In the right system he’ll be a strong player, a tone setter who is physical. The Redskins could use a guy like him, but I’m not sold that he’s a fit.
Names to watch: Borland in Round 2. But at No. 34 would be a stretch. This could be a position the Redskins address Saturday.
The case for: While the Redskins have their top three corners, it’s not like this is one of the best groups in the NFL. So there’s room for improvement if possible. And they only have two safeties under contract for next season (Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo).
The case against: This is a good draft for corners, so there’s no need to get one at 34 unless a player such as Bradley Roby had fallen to them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they drafted one later. The two best safeties projected as second rounders both went in the first.
Names to watch: It’s hard to imagine the Redskins using a second on a safety – and maybe not even a third. Terrence Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner, both from Florida State, might go in the second but the Redskins need to look elsewhere in this round.