The Washington Redskins are one team I would not want to be in the 2013 off-season. Don't get me wrong though, this team is coming off of an incredible 2012 campaign that may have gone even further had RG III not damaged his ACL and LCL.
But the aforementioned injury is a small indicator of what needs to be repaired—no pun intended—in Washington.
Identifying this team's biggest need is more complex than many think. The Washington Redskins DO NOT have a first round selection (their first pick is in the second round at 51). This means the team has to closely follow the draft and keep a sharp eye on the draft selection trend in order to make their first pick count.
The Washington Redskins need an OT, a corner for sure, and help at the safety position.
The debate is slapped together like this:
The Secondary Debate: It's no surprise that the Washington Redskins need a safety and a corner, but are these needs paramount? While their 30th ranked passing defense would suggest yes, the actual expected flow of the draft will say no.
Washington needs help in both the secondary and on the O-Line, but the balance of leftover offensive tackles will be small by the time Washington picks, while corners and safeties will still be quite available.
The Washington Redskins—unless they do some fancy moving—will have to wait on picking a new member for their secondary until the third round.
Fans don't have much to worry about though. As stated above, it's projected that many of the available corners will fall based on the projected draft trend.
There are two options that could be available for Washington at the 85th pick and they are North Carolina State's David Amerson, and Oregon State's Jordan Poyer.
I like Amerson's stock better than Poyer despite both being quality prospects. David Amerson is a talented corner who can play multiple schemes, and has experience as a Safety which is a nice plus.
Jordan Poyer is also a very talented corner who is very much known as a ball hawk (just ask Matt Barkley about him) but has a trouble spot on his resume stemming from a bar fight, and has already been victim to a broken shoulder.
In summation, i'd look for Washington to target their needed corner in the third, thanks largely to the projected depth.
The O-Line Debate: It's almost a no-brainer that the O-Line be addressed first considering this franchise rests on RG III who is currently licking a terrible knee wound—no thanks to the inconsistent play of the O-Line.
But the other supporting reason here is simply where Washington is drafting.
There's going to be a significant run at O-Linemen in the first round with SD, CHI, STL, CAR, NO all having first round needs. A few other teams may wind up scavenging the leftovers in the early second round as well, before Washington even has a chance to select.
In addition to what they'll face in the draft, Washington will also have some internal issues to deal with.
OT Jordan Black is a free agent this year, and is already suspended for violating the leagues SAP. The likelihood of his return is very low. Both Korey Lichtensteiger (OG) and Tyler Polumbus (OT) are also free agents. I like Lichtensteiger better in Shanny's zone-blocking scheme, and I think Polumbus will really have to turn things around in 2013 if he is to return.
And oh yeah, Jammal Brown just flat out stinks, is also a free agent who will be looking for guaranteed money and isn't expected to return.
Washington will probably find a way to retain both Lichtensteiger and Polumbus though.
What I would like to see here is the possibility of Alabama's D.J. Fluker falling to the 51st pick. Not because he is devoid of talent, but simply because of the possible draft trend that could unfold.
Fluker is a 6' 6" 335 pound rock who is just as good as a run blocker, as he is a pass protector. One of the enticing aspects of Fluker, though, is his experience as a blocker in the power-run scheme that Alabama deployed. This system is very similar to what Shanny runs which could make his transition seamless, should the Redskins find him and pluck him off the board.
I like D.J. Fluker as the Redskins first selection.
This particular team is probably one of the most difficult to get a read on, so if you're a Washington Redskin fan, let us know what YOU think this team needs and be sure to check out the other teams I have for you all below. Next up, The Dallas Cowboys.
NFC North 2013 Team Needs: