Holes, holes and more holes. If you look at the Washington Redskins roster you’ll see a register in dire need of some tweaking and some talent. With the 10th pick in the NFL Draft patiently waiting on a decision from the pride of D.C., it’s a pivotal year to be a pigskin fan. There are 11 different key positions on a football team, and Washington needs a new piece at just about nine of them. Should they go quarterback? Maybe they should take a wide receiver? Or perhaps they should take a linebacker or add to the defensive line? The list of possibilities is extensive upon further review.

Years of dodging the draft in favor of signing high-profile free agents have finally caught up to a roster short on promising young players and long in age. Last offseason’s wheeling and dealing has left the club with just two selections (10 and 41) in the first five rounds of this year’s draft, leaving Washington with no choice but to score big on its first pair of picks. A trade down would be ideal; the team needs extra picks, and the options available at their selections may not match their pressing needs. Typically, when a team drafts for need instead of best player available, NFL executives call that a reach. In Washington however, we call that the Redskins’ annual draft strategy.

Personally, I’m a fan of finishing what you started. Last season the club went offensive line and drafted super athletic left tackle Trent Williams. Another bookend to compliment Williams such as tackles Gabe Carimi, (Wisconsin) Anthony Castonzo (Boston College) or Tyron Smith (USC) would give Washington a set of young line wings to finish out the next decade with. But none of the offensive tackles in this draft scream 10th pick and if a team wouldn’t draft a tackle that high then cross out guard and center as well. `

With a draft deep at defensive line, the front three of the Redskins 3-4 alignment could definitely be addressed. As many as six linemen could all fit in the first round and securing a defensive end or nose tackle (which is essential to running a 3-4) is also on the list of priorities. This season’s draft isn’t just heavy on the defensive line, it’s stocked full of first round defensive talent and for last season’s 31st-ranked unit, the Redskins could use help just about everywhere except for safety.

Don’t forget wide receiver and running back positions, unless you’re a believer in Ryan Torrain. I told you the need list was extensive and quarterback (the most critical need on the team) hasn’t even been fully discussed. So many holes, so little draft picks—times like these make Washington fans wish they had 32 picks in the first round instead of just one.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO