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How I would approach the draft

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Old 03-11-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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How I would approach the draft

I know there are a lot of mock drafts out there, as well as debate about who we should pick at certain points in the draft. I'd like to just offer my two cents on the draft by doing a positional analysis of the Redskins and attempting to identify their primary needs, and then follow this up by projecting what positions they should fill at different points in the draft:

Offense

Quarterback

I think it is clear that the Redskins are comfortable with what they have at this position. They have a guy who projects to be the starting quarterback for the next five-six years, and a guy who projects to be the second-string quarterback for the next three years or so. They have a number of young guys - i.e. Sam Hollenbach who can probably compete for that third spot.

Guard

The Redskins have a solid veteran line but age has to be a growing concern at every position - particularly at right guard where Pete Kendall is nearing the end of his career (although still playing at a very high level). The Redskins are fortunate because they don't need someone who can come in and start right away but they need to find an interior lineman who can spend a year growing before filling Kendall's slot at right guard.

Tackle

I believe the Redskins like what they see out of Heyer, but they should probably think about finding another tackle in the middle rounds who has potential to grow within the system over the next two years. Samuels is a lock for the next few years but I think Jansen is a bit of a question mark and although Heyer might be the guy, I don't think he is really a lock for being the long term solution there.

Receivers

Clearly, the Redskins like what they see in Moss and Randle-El. When healthy, Moss certainly has the potential to be a #1 and Randle-El is tailor-made to play the slot. It is no surprise to anyone that the Redskins have a substantial need to find another split-end with some size to play alongside their current receivers. Unfortunately, spending high draft picks on receivers is about as hit-or-miss as it gets. The Skins might be better off signing a young veteran like a DJ Hackett who can come in and fill this position.

Running Backs

Running back is one position where the Redskins are well fortified with two young runners in their primes who stay relatively healthy. Their fullback is a bulldozer who has experienced some health issues last year and is certainly starting to get up there in years. I would think about using a second-day pick on a future fullback if one is available. Fullbacks aren't really difficult to find though so an UFA might be another route to developing depth and grooming a future starter at this position.

Tight End

The Redskins have a top-flight Tight End who is a premier receiver and an improving blocker at the prime of his career. Yoder is a solid back-up so here is another position where I don't see the Redskins really focused on anytime soon.

Defense

Defensives Tackle

Defensive line is certainly an interesting unit for the Skins. Two years ago they took two second-day guys and both of them look like they have shots to be solid players in this league. Of the two, Montgomery probably has more long-term potential to offer some pass rush ability in addition to being a solid run-stopper. Griffin still has some gas left in the tank although he is clearly not the same player he was two years ago. A DT with some pass-rushing ability is a position the Redskins have been vocal about wanting to acquire and if there is a guy available in the mid-rounds who can fill this position I think the Redskins could go after him.

Defensive End

At End, the Carter acquisition seemed to pay dividends last year as he ended up with double-digit sacks and held up (for the most part) against the run. He is a solid starter on the right side. On the left side, Phillip Daniels is definitely on the tail end of his career and can't be looked at as a viable three-down starter any longer. Fortunately, the Skins have a solid third-down guy (Chris Wilson) and another solid 1st and 2nd down guy (Demetric Evans) who can carry the load at the position. If the Redskins have an opportunity with their 1st or 2nd round pick to grab a guy who can be a longterm three down player at this position however, I think they should go for it.

Linebackers

Linebacker is an intriguing unit for the Skins because they might be the most talented at this position and also the most brittle. Fletcher (33 years old) and Washington (31) are two top-flight linebackers who are definitely maturing. Fletcher played like a maniac last year but he is definitely a guy whose production could decline in the next two years. At the other outside backer spot, the Redskins have invested a lot in Rocky McIntosh, who showed that he could be a top-flight linebacker before sustaining a serious knee injury last year. He is supposed to be ready for the beginning of the season but the severity of the injury certainly is something that makes him worth monitoring. Other than those three, there isn't much aside from HB Blades, who looks as though he might have some long-term potential. Linebacker is one position the Redskins need to consider fortifying through the draft - possibly with their third or fifth round picks.

Cornerback

The Redskins have spent a lot of time and effort building this position up over the years and haven't ever seemed to get comfortable there. Springs is a true shutdown corner in the twilight of his career. Smoot is a viable second-corner who can play man or in a zone. Rogers is still a question mark in my mind - a guy they invested a high pick in who never turned into 'the guy'. If you combined Smoot's attitude with Roger's athleticism and body, you would probably have a true shutdown corner but both have their shortcomings (in addition to Roger's questionable knee). With Springs on the way out, if a true shutdown guy is available with that #1 (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie), I think the Skins should pounce on him.

Safety

One position the Redskins could have been dominant at for years to come if not for the untimely death of the late, great Sean Taylor...Reed Doughty however stepped in admirably and showed he could play in this league. In addition, Landry showed that he could not only play but be a force. I actually like the way this tandem plays together and think they could hold down the secondary for years to come. The Skins might want to build depth here but I don't think they need to go crazy at this position.

So, overall here are the needs that the Redskins have based on my analysis and my perspective on how best to address:
  • Shutdown corner - 1st or 2nd round pick.
  • Split end - FA
  • Linebacker - 3rd, 5th or 6th round pick.
  • Defensive End - 1st or 2nd round pick.
  • Pass-rushing DT - 3rd or 5th round pick.
  • Fullback - 6th or 7th round pick.
  • Guard - 3rd or 5th round pick.
  • Tackle - 5th or 6th round pick.

If the Redskins do happen to pick up a compensation 3rd round pick, then I think they should approach the draft as follows:

Round 1 - DE or CB
Round 2 - DE or CB
Round 3 - G, LB or DT
Round 3 - G, LB or DT
Round 5 - G, LB, T or DT
Round 6 - G, LB, T or FB
Round 7 - G, LB or FB
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Very good post.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Good post. I have been hearing the Skins will use one of their picks on a qb to use as their 3rd string qb now that Brunell is history. Other than that I would like to see the Skins focus on the positions you identified. I hope they get the extra 3rd pick as the more picks the better.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Thanks for the reinforcement. I'm pretty excited for this year's draft actually - it would be great to see the Redskins start an influx of young, talented players into their system over the next few years - and continue with this recent trend of signing our own guys and avoiding other people's high priced guys.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Kendall = left guard, Thomas = Right guard,


Excellent post though, I think I am in agreement in almost every point, wow
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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Re: How I would approach the draft

good post, i agree & disagree with your order of picks but still a very good post.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:40 PM   #7
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Re: How I would approach the draft

good post, the problem is saying "take a LB in the 3rd" isn't really super accurate, since whether we should take an LB there totally depends on the value and talent of the player pool when we get to use that pick. I really do believe the individual players are much more important than the position.

ie we needed a TE, but we didn't want just any tight end, we specifically targeted cooley. and you'd be hard pressed to convince me he wasn't the best guy we could have taken at that spot. meanwhile we bypassed a much safer talent pick at #5 overall, because it wasn't a good value, and a much better option (hint hint) presented itself.

the big idea is just to have your list of value/talent players that can impact your team, and then to be flexible to maximize the talent.

for specifics, zuttah at T in the 5th, mcduffie at G in the 6th, harvey/merling at DE in the first (if DRC is gone, which he will be), tracy porter or trevor laws in the 2nd... charles godfrey in the 3rd, etc.

this year's LB class stinks and there's only two decent FBs with very little behind them, so this may not be the draft to go looking for those kind of guys. there are some decent late round DE/OL/WR prospects though.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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Re: How I would approach the draft

my 2 cents:

1st pick - pass rushing d-lineman

2nd - pass rushing d-lineman (if we got an end with the 1st pick, then take a tackle here or vice versa. best pass rusher available. however, if safety, kenny phillips is still available, we MUST select him)

3rd - interior o-lineman (swingman, if possible)

4th - o-lineman (we have no 4th pick but assuming we have a supplemental 3rd round pick, we're call that equal to a 4th. here, i'd take the best available lineman. ideally a centre, assuming we got a swingman or a guard in the 3rd round)

5th - in my opinion, the 5th round is where you start taking the best player on the board, regardless of your needs. however, for the sake of discussion, i think we should target marcus washington's successor here, if possible.

6th - again, best player available. offensive tackle may be a good position to address here.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: How I would approach the draft

I agree with a lot of your points especially focusing on the d-line and our secondary while also going for young depth on the o-line and in our lb corps, but I know I'd like to see them try and find that 3rd WR somewhere in the middle to later rounds like Adarius Bowman, Josh Morgan, Adrian Arrington, Marcus Monk, or someone else that would fit that role.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:27 PM   #10
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Spanky View Post
my 2 cents:

1st pick - pass rushing d-lineman

2nd - pass rushing d-lineman (if we got an end with the 1st pick, then take a tackle here or vice versa. best pass rusher available. however, if safety, kenny phillips is still available, we MUST select him)

3rd - interior o-lineman (swingman, if possible)

4th - o-lineman (we have no 4th pick but assuming we have a supplemental 3rd round pick, we're call that equal to a 4th. here, i'd take the best available lineman. ideally a centre, assuming we got a swingman or a guard in the 3rd round)

5th - in my opinion, the 5th round is where you start taking the best player on the board, regardless of your needs. however, for the sake of discussion, i think we should target marcus washington's successor here, if possible.

6th - again, best player available. offensive tackle may be a good position to address here.
You don't think we need to worry about CB? I mean I'm pretty sure you are not thinking about relying on Torrence? Even though he's still improving but he's best as #4 CB not #3..
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:37 PM   #11
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Re: How I would approach the draft

The insight on the positions is great, you really set it up for people to compares rounds they would pick players, but the needs are pretty standard to waht we all seem to think
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:42 PM   #12
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Great post by Drift Reality, and I don't have too many qualms with the train of thought. Thoughtful, logical, and informative. Props by way of rep points on the way.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:01 PM   #13
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Fantastic post and I am in agreement with just about everything you noted. Very well thought out and clean.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:33 PM   #14
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Thanks guys for the positive feedback. This sounds a bit psychotic but I had a long car ride the other day (about an hour) and the antenna had broken off my car so I couldn't listen to the radio. I spent the entire time thinking about what I would do if I were managing the Redskins draft.

That Guy made a point that a draft rule of thumb is to look at the "value and talent of the player pool when we get to that pick" and I agree with that point whole-heartedly.

I can't remember where but I remember seeing some basic grid showing that starting NFL cornerbacks, tackles and defensive ends are normally taken in high rounds; starting linebackers and guards can be found in middle rounds, etc.

So basically what I wanted to do was to match the Redskins needs based on my analysis of their different units with what is viable given draft trends during different rounds...
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:37 PM   #15
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Re: How I would approach the draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by GridIron26 View Post
You don't think we need to worry about CB? I mean I'm pretty sure you are not thinking about relying on Torrence? Even though he's still improving but he's best as #4 CB not #3..
I would really say we need to think about finding a top-flight cornerback. Lets say Springs retires or is cut after this season. We are left with Rogers (hopefully healthy and intact by then) and Smoot at the corners. It isn't bad mind you, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable with one other guy here.

I think it was on Doc Walker's radio show that Cerrato made a good point about their cornerbacks being pivotal in so many ways - that there has been a correlation between having healthy, high-caliber cornerbacks and winning.

Unless you have a defensive line that can rush like the Giants, you need stars at the cornerback positions.
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