It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: Washington Redskins.
Washington has tried and failed (miserably) to build a team through free agency, which has left them with very few high- or mid-round picks to revamp their roster. It’s unfortunate that a team with so many needs has six day-three picks with only two day-one or two picks.
Among the needs in Washington is the most important position on the field, quarterback. The Donavan McNabb experiment hasn’t gone the way the Redskins expected and he isn’t the future at the position anyway. Finding a wide receiver is also a priority, as is upgrading the offensive line. Santana Moss is a free agent, but even if he returns, there isn’t much to write home about in the passing game. The Redskins used their first round pick last year to take Oklahoma’s Trent Williams, but finding somebody to play opposite him and bolster the rest of the line will likely be a focus at some point in this draft. With Clinton Portis’ release, the Redskins could take a look at this year’s crop of running backs in the later rounds.
On the defensive side of the ball, Washington’s needs are numerous and span all levels of the defense. We could see the Redskins take a rush linebacker or a defensive end with the 10th overall pick, while they could look for a nose tackle at some point as well given that Albert Haynesworth is not pleased with the position/alignment switch. Cornerback is also going to be a position of need with Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon free agents. If either Rogers or Buchanon is gone, a replacement will be a big need.
Washington Redskins Mock Draft
Round 1 (#10): Tyron Smith, OT, USC Trojans: The Redskins are probably going to have a big decision to make with the 10th overall selection. If J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan are available in addition to the top offensive tackles, it’s going to be interesting to see which way they decide to go. I like them taking Smith here to bolster the offensive line for whoever ends up playing quarterback and running the football in 2011.
Round 2 (#41): Jake Locker, QB, Washington Huskies: If Locker is available when Washington picks for the second time, they’ll waste little time counting their lucky stars before sending their pick to the podium. If he’s not on the board and Washington doesn’t get a quarterback in the first round, this will have to be another of this year’s quarterback prospects.
Round 5 (#144): Thomas Keiser, OLB, Stanford Cardinal: The Redskins must wait more than 100 picks after they make their second round selection before they’re on the board again. They need to find help in the pass rush and Keiser could be a good pick up in the fifth round. He recorded six sacks in ’08, nine in ’09 and five in ’10.
Round 5 (#155) from New Orleans Saints: Shareece Wright, CB, USC Trojans: If Buchanon and/or Rogers leave via free agency, cornerback is a position the Redskins must address in the draft.
Round 6 (#177): Chris Neild, NT, West Virginia Mountaineers: What to do with Albert Haynesworth? Finding a trading partner should be difficult with his enormous, bloated salary. If he’s released, Neild could give Washington reason to believe in the future of the position.
Round 7 (#214): Darvin Adams, WR, Auburn Tigers: The Redskins could jump at Julio Jones in the first or, if they’re lucky, Leonard Hankerson or Torrey Smith in the second. If they don’t they’ll have to find some help at the position on the third day.
Round 7 (#225) from Indianapolis Colts: Caleb Schlauderaff, G, Utah Utes: Schlauderaff has been struggling with a calf injury, but he’s quite talented and was named a third-team AP All-American last season. Washington needs to add some players to help the offensive line.
Round 7 (#255) compensatory: Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Allen is a talented back, but playing out of the Georgia Tech offense and the uncertainty as to how it translates in the NFL could hold him back in the eyes of some teams. Allen could be selected in an earlier round, but if he’s available near the end of the draft, somebody should snatch him up to avoid missing out on his talents in free agency.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the Washington Redskins “War Room”.