32 in 32: Who Will the Washington Redskins Draft?
If the off-season were the Superbowl, the Washington Redskins would, consistently, be contenders. The Washington Redskins have already entertained visits from free agents, Shaun Rogers (defensive tackle) and Oshiomogho Atogwe (free safety). Certainly, the Redskins defense regressed from a year ago. However, with their transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense, struggles were expected. The team is expected to have new starters at nose tackle, outside linebacker, free safety, and possibly cornerback (Will Carlos Rogers stay or go?). Their offense struggled, as well. An infusion of young talent is needed at running back (their 91 rushing yards per game was ranked 30th in the NFL) and wide receiver (Santana Moss is now a free agent).
I expect that the Redskins will attempt to throw some money at their problems.
Whether they target Atogwe, Shaun Rogers, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, or a wide receiver such as Sidney Rice or Braylon Edwards, filling needs through free agency will make sense. Why? They have too many needs, and too few draft picks to, exclusively use the draft, and make a meaningful improvement.
They do have an opportunity to improve through the draft, and the following three players are possibilities to be drafted number 10 overall:
1. MARCELL DAREUS DL ALABAMA
Marcell Dareus is a junior defensive end/defensive tackle that has experience in a 3-4 defense. He’s extremely versatile, strong, and disciplined. Excelling in the SEC will also help his NFL transition. He’s a stout run defender, but his 5.5 sacks per season attests to his ability to get after the quarterback and disrupt the backfield. From day one, Dareus could start at NT over Ma’ake Kemoeatu or at RDE over Kedric Golston.
2. JULIO JONES WR ALABAMA
Unless Sidney Rice signs with the Redskins, look for the Redskins to add to their wide receiver core. Their core currently reads as: Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin, and Roydell Williams. Santana Moss is a free agent. He’s expected to test the market, but he remains open to remaining in Washington. If the Redskins can lure Sidney Rice, I fully believe they’ll be committed to re-signing Santana Moss. However, if the Skins fail to add an established #1 WR, I believe Santana Moss will sign elsewhere. A.J. Green is expected to be a top 5 pick, but Julio Jones is a nice consolation prize. He’s a big (6’4”, 220lbs) target and has the production to match his physical prowess. There is a ‘knock’ on Jones. The ‘knock’ is that he’s a “big play receiver” and isn’t a guy that will consistently move the chains. I say “big players make big plays.” In the 1st round, WRs are a gamble, but this one seems worth gambling on!
3. J.J. WATT DE WISCONSIN
J.J. Watt is an interesting prospect. He could be targeted by virtually every team in need of a defensive end. At 6’6” and nearly 300 pounds, Watt can play end in a 4-3 or 3-4 front. He has a high motor, as evidenced by his 21 tackles for a loss in 2010, and talent is nothing without hard work and dedication. His dedication and openness to being coached are qualities that Mike Shanahan will surely appreciate. After all, he and Albert Haynesworth clashed mightily in 2010. This could be somewhat of a reach, but it would not surprise me. The Redskins need YOUTH. The Redskins need TALENT. The Redskins need PASSION. J.J. Watt possesses all three attributes. Come April, J.J. Watt could be their man.