Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 20, 100 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from Twitter:
The Redskins certainly need improvement on both their offensive and defensive lines. While I don’t think the offensive line was as bad as popular fan perception would have you believe—many sacks were due to quarterbacks hanging on to the ball for too long—it still needs an upgrade for the Redskins to become a quality team. And part of the defensive line is aging (Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Jason Hatcher) while the younger part is just OK at best (Chris Baker, Jarvis Jenkins). Again, not championship quality. In addition, Scot McCloughan puts a high value on size for the line and both sides of the ball will have to get bigger players, most notably the offensive line.
But just because it’s a big need that doesn’t mean that you necessarily address it first or put most of your resources into it this year (that’s how I’m interpreting “mainly focus”) if you are building through the draft. You don’t have any control over who is on the board when your pick comes up. If you’re “focusing” on the line, you’re going to reach and not take the best graded player available.
And that’s what Scot McCloughan is going to do. It should be noted that need does factor into the grades so there will be something of a bias towards players in positions of need. But if there are a lot of highly graded secondary players on the board when the Redskins draft, McCloughan could well go in that direction.
The object in rebuilding through the draft is not to build up one area and then move on to other areas. The idea is to get the best players you can, no matter where they play.
In the short term you might end up with some units that are too thin and some others that have great depth. But if you stick with the process as teams like McCloughan’s past employers, the Packers, Seahawks, and 49ers have you can end up with a pretty good team. If you reach in the draft in the hope of shoring up one particular area of the team you will end up not fixing anything at all.
—It’s been 23 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 236 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 30; NFL free agency starts 49; 2015 NFL Draft 100
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.
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