Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 7, 35 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL Combine (3/1) 22
—NFL Draft (4/26) 78
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 214
Answering your questions from social media
If I had to guess right now, I’d say that the Redskins will do nothing at running back. I know that will make a lot of fans mad, but be prepared for it. I think they want to see Perine develop and there still is faith in Rob Kelley. Perhaps they will utilize Chris Thompson a little more on first and second down. But this team just doesn’t invest much at the running back position. They would rather develop a good tandem than have one bell cow runner. If they do add a RB I’d say they’ll go with either a lower-tier free agent or a later-round draft pick.
Brian Mitchell told me that the team’s issues with the running game stem more around attitude than personnel. Perhaps if they can change the mindset a different running back would help. But the attitude has to come first.
#NTK How many draft picks do we have this year? By the time the draft rolls around....what are the biggest area of need in order?— Redskins Lover (@RedskinsPower69) February 6, 2018
The Redskins have seven picks. They traded away their third in the Alex Smith deal and they have an extra seventh. The key to your other question is “by the time the draft rolls around”. We don’t know what they will do in free agency. If they bring back Zach Brown, they are in pretty good shape with him and Mason Foster, but they would need depth. Do they sign a wide receiver in free agency? Do they get a free agent left guard or do they try to find one in the middle rounds of the draft? A lot will have to play out. Ideally, they will have most of their immediate needs take care of and they can draft for positions they will need in 2019 (possibly edge rusher if they can’t re-sign Preston Smith) and 2020 (maybe a Trent Williams replacement to groom).
NT & ILB are huge needs over DB/WR, do you draft for need or depth? #NTK— Reginald T. Skinner (@regskinner) February 6, 2018
I have to disagree with the premise in the first part of your question. They have lost one of their top three corners in the Smith trade and they may need to replace free agent Bashaud Breeland. And if they lined up today, their No. 3 wide receiver would be either Maurice Harris or Robert Davis. So those clearly are areas of need the Redskins will try to address in free agency or the draft.
To the second part, drafting strictly for need is a bad idea. You end up reaching and you have a terrible draft. But Charley Casserly told me that in the early rounds, the best available player is guided by what you need. For example, if the top player on the Redskins’ board when their second-round pick comes up is an offensive tackle, they would skip down the board a spot or two to get a player at a position of greater need or perhaps try to trade back. In the fifth, they take the tackle if he has the best grade.
Has Colt McCoy been discussed? Why is Alex Smith worthy of a stop gap for 2-3 years and not colt? Why not utilize colt and draft a qb this year? Why do the skins need alex smith?— gmoney (@gp1749) February 6, 2018
I hate to keep disagreeing with premises here but calling a quarterback who is around for three years a “stopgap” in today’s NFL is just inaccurate. Three years is an eternity in the free agency era. Sure, a young QB who is signed to a six-year deal is preferable but there aren’t any options for that given Cousins’ lack of desire to stay.
That being said, I would think that the Redskins believed that Colt plus a rookie would equal a 5-11 season at best. Maybe you think that’s acceptable for rebuilding, but the organization disagrees. You think there are a lot of visiting fans in FedEx Field now? Imagine if they were 2-9 going into a November game against the Eagles. They might as well just paint the stadium green. Again, you can agree or disagree with a desire to remain competitive but that’s why they did it.
I’ll also add that I think they figured that any quarterback they would want will be gone by pick No. 13. They would have to give up more than they traded away in the Smith deal to move up to get one of them.
Tandler on Twitter
Poll: Now that you have had a week to marinate on the trade of Alex Smith to the #Redkins, what do you think of it? Let us know if your approval rating has changed in the past week in the comments.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) February 6, 2018
In case you missed it
- With Fuller gone, what does the cornerback depth chart look like?
- John Feinstein, who's writing about Alex Smith, joins Redskins Talk
- Inside the Super Bowl: Going to commercial
- Setting the Early 2018 Odds