Haven't done this in a while, answering your questions from Twitter and Facebook. Let's jump right into it.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Will the Redskins address the secondary or WR corps with their first pick? #RedskinsTalk
— Eli Nachmany (@PFF_EliNachmany) February 12, 2014
It's too early to even make an intelligent guess. Those certainly are positions of need. But it's better the fill immediate needs in free agency. If you wait until the draft you could end up on the clock without someone who represents good value at your positions of need. Bottom line, I could see them going any position with that 34th overall pick except QB, RB, TE, and, if they do have Brian Orakpo back in the fold, outside linebacker.
I think all scenarios are in play. I wrote yesterday that they might want to jump up into the end of the first round to get an extra year of team control for the their top pick. I could also see them moving back and getting additional picks. When you have 20 unrestricted free agents you are going to have roster spots to fill and it's better to fill the bottom of the roster with draft picks than with journeyman veterans. So they could grab some extra picks as well.
@Rich_TandlerCSN #RedskinsTalk Rak healthy in '13 and the defense was horrible. He wasn't part of '12 run. Why so critical we sign him?
— Brandon Moore (@habimaki88) February 12, 2014
I'm trying to recall what was so great about that 2012 defense. Was it the No. 28 ranking in yards (18th this year)? The 32 sacks (36 last year)? Not to say that the '13 unit was clearly superior but it is a stretch to say that the '12 run had much to do with the defense. It was all about a healthy rookie QB named RG3 and a rookie running back named Alfred Morris. And even that team wasn't that good. They were the 4th seed and one and done in the playoffs. If that's the ceiling of what you want then I suppose you could stick with Rob Jackson at outside LB. I would think that most Redskins fans want better than that, something like 12 or 13 wins and a first-round bye. Players like Orakpo help you get there so that is why they need to bring him back.
I also wonder about the retention of Chris Foerster. There may have been better options out there. But he didn't pick what he had to work with. It's remarkable that the Redskins were able to lead the NFL in rushing and in yards per play last year given the talent (and I use that word loosely) he had to work with. It wasn't Foerster's call to leave Tom Compton, Adam Gettis, and Josh LeRibeus on the bench after the season was lost. That was Mike Shanahan's call all the way. One good thing about retaining Foerster is that he's been on the practice field and in meeting rooms with the three 2012 draft picks and he should have a good handle on if they have to potential to contribute this year.
#RedskinsTalk will Chase Minnifield get an opportunity for a significant role on the team next year?
— James Eye (@Jaeye18) February 12, 2014
Let's throw Bacarri Rambo into here since they are in similar situations. Remember last year when Niles Paul was talking about the team not having enough players who were enthusiastic about playing on special teams? Minnifield and Rambo didn't show much enthusiasm for special teams. They both could have been active every week if they had balled out on special teams. When you're a sixth-round pick or an undrafted free agent that's how you earn snaps on defense. To answer the question, the amount of opportunity that Minnifield gets will be in direct proportion to the ability, effort, and enthusiasm he gives to special teams.
I get that concern but it's not really an apples to apples comparison. It's not as though Bruce Allen and/or Doug Williams had final say on personnel. By the time Allen got there that power mostly belonged to Jon Gruden. Taking that into consideration, the Bucs were far from a disaster when Allen/Williams were there. They had three winning records and two playoff appearances in five years (and, yes, double-digit losses in the other two years). Allen/Gruden were fired after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. Around here that would be grounds for a contract extension, not a pink slip. And firing the coach and GM wasn't necessarily the smartest move for the Bucs. That 10-6 season they had in 2010, two years after Allen was fired, has the look of a fluke. It's their only winning record since Allen/Gruden left and it's buried in three double-digit loss seasons.