The Redskins need a lot of help in the 2019 NFL Draft, and with less than two weeks remaining until the first round opens up, the front office is probably getting close to finalizing their draft board.
What that looks like will remain a mystery, but the biggest areas of need in Washington are not.
Looking over the Redskins roster and considering their financial situation, some of the holes are more obvious than others.
Below are the ‘Skins' needs, ranked. Disagree? Speak your piece in the comments.
1) Quarterback: Since Alex Smith broke his leg last November, the Redskins QB situation spiraled out of control. Washington will pay Smith more than $40 million for the next two seasons, but he probably won’t play. Colt McCoy and Case Keenum are only under contract for 2019. The Redskins need a long-term answer at QB, and they need him cheap. That means a passer on a rookie deal. No position in sports is more important than a quarterback.
2) Edge rusher: Losing Preston Smith in free agency hurts the ‘Skins, but never consistently getting the best out of Smith did, too. Ryan Kerrigan is a durable Pro Bowl caliber player, but he could be an All-Pro caliber player if the ‘Skins put somebody with real speed opposite Kerrigan. 2017 second round pick Ryan Anderson needs to have a big year, but still, Washington has to add an edge rusher this year, and the 15th pick presents a strong opportunity. In the NFL, QBs make the most money, but sack specialists come next on the pay scale. Get a great one, and your football team can change right away. Just ask the Bears after the Khalil Mack trade.
3) Tight end: This need became much more apparent when Jay Gruden talked about how his current tight end groupings leave him in tough spots. Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis don’t do well in run blocking schemes, so when Jeremy Sprinkle enters the game it’s obvious the team will run the football. Gruden wants that changed, as he explained last month at the League Meeting, “Your tendencies are probably through the roof when you throw, that's what we're trying to guard against. We got to figure out ways to be balanced in all personnel group settings and make sure that's really what were studying in the offseason and moving forward how we can adapt our running game to make sure we have the equal amount of runs in each personnel group with each person in that group.” Keep this in mind too: the Redskins spend more money at the tight end position than the rest of the league, and don’t have the production to match.
4) Wide receiver: Some might put the receiver group higher on the Redskins need list, especially after losing Jameson Crowder in free agency. The problem is, from a draft standpoint, the team has a first rounder on the roster in Josh Doctson. And there is a big money free agent in Paul Richardson. Unfortunately for Washington, neither player produced at their expected level. Doctson has been inconsistent through three years while dealing with foot injuries, and Richardson hardly played last season and landed on the injured reserve list. The Redskins must add help at wideout if the pass game is going to progress from the ugly level of 2018. Tight end ranks higher, however, because of the importance of that position in the run game as well.
5) Safety: The Redskins lost DJ Swearinger and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from last year’s team, but added Landon Collins. The former Giants Pro Bowler will help a lot, but there is a serious question who he will line up next to in the defensive backfield. Montae Nicholson has a legal issue and was suspended to finish 2018, and last year’s fourth round pick Troy Apke is not ready to be an NFL starter. Veteran special teamer Deshazor Everett has made plays when given chances, but he rarely gets those chances.
Just missed the list - Guard: The Redskins very obviously need somebody to play left guard. They have for years. The Ereck Flowers experiment seems unlikely to answer that issue.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Looking Back: Thoughts on the Redskins' 2018 draft class
- QB Countdown: Evaluating Will Grier as a pro
- Murray's on his Way: Redskins to host possible No. 1 pick
- Draft Bracket: Picking between Williams and Burns