Redskins 2013 offensive draft needs
Well Washington Redskins fans; the way the 2012 season ended was a very hard pill to swallow. The savior of the franchise blowing out his knee on National television with an uncertain future as a result makes Redskins fans cautiously optimistic, but you still have Kirk Cousins and the 2013 NFL draft.
That’s why we’re going to take a look at what the Redskins 2013 offensive draft needs are going into this season, and look at the prospects in the draft that can make the Redskins offense better. The Redskins gave up a lot to get Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft, but they still have picks from the second to seventh round.
The offensive needs for the Redskins include: TE, WR, OL depth and RB depth.
Fred Davis becomes an unrestricted free agent for the Redskins, and he may be re-signed if he checks out medically, but there is too much uncertainty at tight end to not take a solid prospect. The top tight end in the draft in Tyler Eifert will be scooped up before the Redskins pick, but Zach Ertz, Jordan Reed and Dion Sims will be available in the second to third round.
Ertz and Sims are the best run blockers out of the three, but Ertz will probably be taken before the Redskins pick. However Sims is likely to be taken over Reed due to Sims being a better run blocker.
Reed is strictly a receiving tight end that will need to work on his blocking, but he is a better playmaker out of the three. Gavin Escobar, Travis Kelce, Ryan Otten and Nick Kasa rate favorably for the Redskins in the third to fourth round.
All four of them can become starters with Kasa as the only developmental prospect. From the fourth to the sixth round: Vance McDonald, Mychal Rivera, Joseph Fauria, Philip Lutzenkirchen, Jake Stoneburner, Chris Gragg and Brandon Ford.
My favorites are Rivera, Lutzenkirchen and Stoneburner, because they all played in offenses that didn’t utilize their passing catching prowess as much as they should have. Their lack of production in the air will have them go under the radar, and that means the Redskins can find some steals in the lower rounds.
Tight end is the top need on offense, but finding a better compliment to Pierre Garcon is a need as well. Josh Morgan simply doesn’t have enough talent to be a solid number two receiver, but at least the 2013 NFL draft has a multitude of receiving prospects that will be available after the first round.
Justin Hunter, Da’Rick Rogers, Terrance Williams, Robert Woods, Stedman Bailey, Quinton Patton and Markus Wheaton are solid second round selections. Hunter, Williams and Patton will be scooped up before the Redskins pick.
It would be nice to reunite Williams with Robert Griffin III, because they both played at Baylor, but it’s better to stick with the board in this case. Woods, Wheaton and Bailey offer solid number two wide receivers that use their quickness and superb route running to get open.
While Rogers is more about his physical prowess to overpower defensive backs. However the Redskins will likely go defense in the second round, but if Justin Hunter falls to the Redskins, because of his injury history; there is no way he doesn’t get drafted by the Skins in the second round.
The most intriguing wide receiver prospects in the third round are Kenny Stills, Marquise Goodwin and Ryan Swope. Stills had a solid college career, but never stood out.
However that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid number two wide receiver, and he has the speed to scare defenses if Garcon goes down to injury again. Goodwin is a very raw prospect with blazing speed.
Goodwin grades more as a slot receiver, and special teamer, but his speed makes him dangerous anywhere on the field. Ryan Swope is an underrated guy whose production was low due to having a running quarterback at Texas A&M with Johnny Manziel, but Swope showed at the Combine that he has top end speed.
Everyone compares Swope to Wes Welker and Jordan Shipley, but Welker and Shipley never ran a 4.34 forty yard dash. Swope was a productive player in college and can be a better Pro.
After the third round the wide receiver prospects blend in with the crowd except for Chris Harper of Kansas State. Harper looks reminiscent of an Anquan Boldin, but with less speed.
He could be a nice complement as a physical receiver to Pierre Garcon, and will likely be available in the fifth to sixth round. After the skill positions that need an upgrade on the Redskins; there is the offensive line depth that can be addressed in this draft.
The two players that have high potential on the Redskins that will be available in the third to fifth round are Terron Armstead and Omoregie Uzzi. Armstead as everyone should know is the workout warrior from the Scouting Combine, but what makes him such an awesome prospect for the Redskins is his athleticism and quickness.
Armstead was moving forward in the 10-20 yard range of his forty yard dash faster than the average wide receivers at the draft, and he weighs over 300 pounds. He would be a killer in the zone blocking scheme as a guard or tackle as his maximum potential.
Then you have Uzzi who is also an excellent mobile guard that can develop into a starter in a zone blocking scheme with a little work. Both of these players are developmental prospects, but there upside is huge.
The last area for the Redskins to improve in the draft is running back depth. You may not like it, but Mike Shanahan has never been loyal to his starting running backs.
Alfred Morris had a great season for a rookie in 2012, but Shanahan will always look for more running backs in the latter rounds of the draft. The only running back I could see Shanahan taking that fits the Shanahan mold is Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina.
Lattimore is a one cut runner that will fall to the fourth and even the fifth round due to injury issues. Shanahan has never shied away from running backs with injuries, and he won’t pass up on a running back with a lot of upside.
Yes the Redskins have Morris, but Shanahan doesn’t care. He has always been indecisive at times with his running backs, and don’t be surprised if Lattimore or a small school prospect is taken in the lower rounds.
The ultimate conclusion is that the Redskins will be focusing on adding depth to most of the positions on the draft. Defense will definitely be emphasized during the draft, but that is a discussion for another day.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.