INDIANAPOLIS—Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 20, 18 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.
Question of the day
While I’m here at the NFL Combine this week, I’m going to change it up a bit. I’m going to pose the question each morning centered around the draft and the position group that will be talking to the media on that day. You can find the daily schedule here. Up today, the defensive line.
Will the Redskins start to rebuild the defensive line in the draft?
The Redskins’ defensive line is in need of a rebuild and they could start the process in this year’s draft.
The team is notorious for preferring to spend free agent dollars on the defensive line rather than premium draft picks. In the past 10 drafts they have spent just one pick in the first five rounds on a defensive lineman (other than Ryan Kerrigan, a college defensive end who was immediately converted to 3-4 outside linebacker). That was Jarvis Jenkins, was a second-round pick.
Rather than drafting and developing the Redskins have gone the free agent route. While they got some good seasons out of Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield, both of whom signed free agent contracts in 2011, both are at a predictable point—aging (both will be 31 soon), injured (both missed substantial portions of last year with injuries) and expensive (cap charges of a combined $15.7 million and combined $9.6 million in dead cap space to cut them).
If they do go through the draft, there are a couple of considerations with their first selection, No. 5 overall. If USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams is there they probably won’t wait long to turn in a card with his name on it. Some consider him to be the top prospect in the draft but if circumstances come together he could fall to them.
The other possibility is Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton. At 6-2, 343 he checks off the “large” box that McCloughan looks for with room to spare. He also showed plenty of durability, playing over 900 snaps for the Huskies in 2014.
If they bypass those players, Malcolm Brown of Texas, Eddie Goldman of Florida State and Jordan Phillips of Oklahoma could be available later on.
At some point the Redskins have to restock the defensive line. Looking at some of the players who might be available this year would be a smart strategy.
—It’s been 54 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 205 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL free agency starts 18; Redskins offseason workouts start 59; 2015 NFL Draft 69
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it
- Is wide receiver a need?
- Gruden on board with drafting best available player
- Mike Shanahan says one Redskins QB will be 'damn' good
- Jay Gruden explains why he hired a QBs coach
- Stanford OT Peat a big fan of Redskins' Trent Murphy
- It's not who starts the season for the Redskins at QB, it's who finishes
- Will the Redskins draft a quarterback?