Redskins

Redskins

Unless you're playing Madden and you mess with the settings so that all trades get accepted and you can acquire any player you want, it's hard to build a team that's stout at every single starting spot.

So, while the Redskins signed Landon Collins in free agency and then pieced together a very impressive draft, they still have holes at key places.

Here are the three biggest ones, as well as what Washington can do to try to fill them.

Tight end

National NFL fans may look at this depth chart featuring Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Jeremy Sprinkle and identify it as a position of strength, or at least a position that's well-stocked.

However, Reed is coming off a very quiet (albeit healthy, for once) season, Davis had his issues with drops and penalties and is 35 years old and Sprinkle has shown mild promise but is entering his third year with just seven total grabs.

Jay Gruden's offense needs production from tight ends to be at its best, and unless Davis becomes a cap casualty later this offseason, this is the group he'll likely be rolling with.

How does it get better?: The first step is to get more out of Reed. He'll be 29 by Week 1 but should hopefully have a lot more to give than the 54 catches and two TDs he offered in 2018.

One reason for optimism is that this looks like it'll be his first full, uninterrupted offseason in quite a while. That should help him develop more chemistry with this collection of passers, as he and Alex Smith never clicked.

 

Beyond Reed, maybe Sprinkle becomes more well-rounded, allowing Gruden to use him equally as a blocker and receiver. Keep an eye on Matt Flanagan and JP Holtz, too, as they were both added to the active roster late last season.

Safety opposite of Collins

In Collins, the Redskins took a massive step in finding a real, long-term solution to their long-standing safety problem. Now the question becomes: Who starts next to him?

There are options on the roster, but none are obvious or particularly promising. Montae Nicholson is the best of the group, but he needs to figure out his off-field life and the organization isn't giving much of an update on his status. Troy Apke, meanwhile, barely played as a rookie while Deshazor Everett is relied on more as a special-teamer.

How does it get better?: Luckily, there are a handful of useful free agent safeties available if the Burgundy and Gold are willing to go in that direction.

Tre Boston will be 27 when 2019 kicks off and he has 10 INTs the past three years. Eric Berry is aging and has dealt with major injuries throughout his career but could represent a flier-type signing. Kurt Coleman is a nine-year veteran who has never played fewer than 12 contests in a campaign.

The team's finances remain dicey, but none of these names would cost too, too much. They all also have more of a track record of performance than the Redskins' current choices.

Left guard

When healthy, Washington's offensive line has reputable starters everywhere... except at left guard.

Moving on from Shawn Lauvao was a step in the right direction, but the 'Skins didn't sign a top-flight free agent or draft a solution on either Day 1 or 2. Shoring up the line will benefit the offense as a whole and especially the running game, but as of now, it's not fully clear how they can accomplish that.

How does it get better?: This one currently boils down to how well Bill Callahan can develop one of Wes Martin, Ereck Flowers or Ross Pierschbacher into a first-stringer. 

Martin may be the favorite, considering he started at left guard for three years at Indiana. Flowers is a lifelong tackle who will attempt to revive his career at the position, while Pierschbacher alternated between all three interior slots at Alabama.

Perhaps the Redskins can wait until June or even after training camp to see if a more established player gets released. But right now, they're going to need to develop one of their own to prevent left guard from becoming a liability yet again.   

 

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