(photo by Donald Miralle)
For the 31 teams who did not win the Super Bowl the previous year, NFL draft weekend represents hope – hope that through hard work and a little bit of luck they’ll walk away with the missing pieces to help propel their respective franchise to championship level.
Like anyone else, fans of the Washington Redskins are cautiously optimistic that this weekend will be the next step in seeing their favorite team return to glory. To help prepare folks for this weekend’s festivities we asked some local experts to share their take on how things might possibly shake out when the Redskins are on the clock. Up first, Redskins official blogger Matt Terl.
Before we get started, let’s take a rational look at the Washington Redskins roster as currently constructed. Which areas are most in need of an upgrade heading into the draft?
I don’t think there’s a lot of debate here: youth at left defensive end, an every-down right tackle, and strong-side linebacker (unless the coaches know something about Robert Thomas and/or moving Chris Wilson that we don’t).
Assuming the Redskins can’t trade out of the 13th pick, who would be the smartest pick at that spot? Safest pick? Riskiest pick?
I don’t see a lot of risky picks falling to 13. At one point, I would’ve projected Andre Smith in that role here, but it certainly looks like he’ll be a risky pick in the top 10 instead. So let’s see …
Smart pick: tough to say, not knowing who’s gone. If any of the four big-name tackles lands here, I think that’s the smart pick. I’d be thrilled to come away with a Michael Oher.
Safe pick: Brian Cushing, I think. He fills a need, seems unlikely to be a bust, and will almost certainly be available.
Risky pick: After the endless rumor cycle of the last week, do you have to ask? Mark Sanchez. Even if he falls to here – which seems exceedingly unlikely – he doesn’t fill a need, will enrage a portion of the fanbase … but might pay huge dividends down the line. Seems like the definition of risky to me.
If everything fell into place for the Redskins front office, which player do they end up with and what draft spot do they take him from?
Eben Britton at pick 20 after trading back with the Lions to get an extra pick or two.
Can you give us two or three players who don’t play quarterback who the ‘Skins could possibly be interested in?
Well, the four top tackles plus the next few guys down the line – Britton, Phil Loadholt, maybe Beatty – if they can move back.
Aaron Maybin, if they believe he can play off the left side. Brian Cushing. Ray Maualuga.
We’ve covered their dream situation. We’ve identified potential targets. When it’s all said and done, who do you think the Redskins end up with after the first round is complete?
Brian Cushing at 13.