As Jim Haslett reviewed the film of Sundays 31-28 loss in St. Louis, two deficiencies on defense jumped off the screen: tackling (or lack thereof) and the inability to prevent big plays.Obviously we didnt play very well, Haslett said Thursday. We gave up too many big plays. In the running game, we gave up a couple big runs, which we havent done this whole season.After keeping the Saints ground attack in check in Week 1, the Redskins surrendered a 53-yard run by Rams rookie Daryl Richardson in the third quarter and a 20-yarder by Stephen Jacksons in the second.The Redskins defensive back got similarly scorched by Bradford and Danny Amendola, who grabbed 15 passes. What bothered Haslett most, however, was a touchdown pass from Bradford to Brandon Gibson in the third quarter.Bradford froze cornerback Cedric Griffin with a pump fake, then Gibson used a double move to blow right past Griffin and safety DeJon Gomes. The result was a 34-yard go-ahead touchdown.More than anything, we have to work on our technique on the back end, Haslett said. The double moves stuff like that shouldnt happen. It happened the week before against New Orleans too.Earlier in the game, Bradford hooked up with Amendola for a 56-yard gain.We gave up the big 50-yard pass and then got beat on the double-move 30-yard pass, Haslett said. The big plays are what did us in.Sunday's opponent, Cincinnati, also boasts big play ability. Last week, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed five passes of 20 yards or more in a victory over Cleveland. Big plays, though, isn't all thatrankled Haslett. In the loss to the Rams, he was also concerned by his team inability to make tackles.A prime example came on Richardsons 53-yard run. At least three Redskins had a chance to thwart the rookie before he got into the secondary. Once he did, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan also missed an opportunity.We had no missed tackles against the Saints, Haslett said. We were outstanding, did a great job. But we just had too many last week for whatever reason.
For months, draft conversation suggested that there wasn't an offensive tackle to pick in the Top 10. And after Bradley Chubb, there wasn't an edge defender worth a Top 10 pick either.
All of a sudden, that conversation is changing.
Late charges from Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and University of Texas San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport are starting to influence mock drafts.
On Wednesday, NFL Network's Peter Schrager predicted the 49ers to take McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick. Charley Casserly, in a mock draft with NBC Sports Washington on Monday, predicted the Chicago Bears take Davenport with the eighth overall pick. Reports on Landry are all over the place, but some guess he could break the Top 10 as well.
The thing to remember about the NFL: It's a passing league. Positions tied to the quarterback are the most important, and that means protecting the QB and getting after the QB is in high demand. No position will ever get over-drafted like quarterback, but it's not a surprise that teams might reach for players at tackle or edge rusher.
What does this mean for the Redskins holding the No. 13 pick?
It means great news.
Washington will already benefit from four QBs going in the Top 10. That will likely push down an elite talent to their draft spot.
If McGlinchey, Davenport or Landry also crack the Top 10? Even better.
The Redskins need help at just about every position group on the defensive side of the ball. It's well documented how the team struggled against the run in 2017, but the defense also lost Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this offseason.
There will be a number of weapons available for Washington at 13, and that could include players like Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James in addition to Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne. It might mean Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith lasts to 13 too.
For the Redskins, Fitzpatrick or James at 13 seems like a steal. Both players present elite potential at the evolving position of nickel cornerback. They can play some corner, some safety, and James might even be able to play some linebacker.
Regardless of the eventual destination for James or Fitzpatrick, if more surprise players sneak into the Top 10 on Thursday night, the better Washington's options become. And that includes the possibility of trading down, Vea or Payne, Smith or Edmunds.
More elite options at 13 only helps the Redskins.
Redskins fans should be rooting for Mike McGlinchey, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport early Thursday night. The folks in Ashburn will be.
MORE 2018 NFL DRAFT:
- Mock Draft 9.0: Almost draft day
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick
Want more Redskins talk? Of course you do. Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!
NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the third episode above and more here.
A position change. A school change. A season-ending injury.
Those are the kinds of things that prevent an NFL career from ever starting. But none of those things stopped Trey Edmunds from reaching the league and contributing for the Saints as a rookie in 2017.
Trey, the oldest brother in a family that features 2018 prospects Tremaine and Terrell, came out of high school as a linebacker, but became a running back after enrolling at Virginia Tech. After three productive seasons with the Hokies, he transferred to finish up his career with Maryland, yet his senior season was cut short after fracturing his foot five games in to the schedule.
That injury was a big reason why the 2017 NFL Draft came and went without a phone call for Edmunds, so he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in May. There, he played spot duty on special teams for much of his rookie campaign before his breakout moment in November:
Now, heading into his second pro year, Edmunds will reportedly have to fight for a roster spot in New Orleans again. But hey, adversity is something the 23-year-old is very familiar with, so don't bet against him.