It's the million dollar question that most draftniks think about before working on their mock drafts and figuring out who goes where. This is a really big question for the Skins as we inch closer to the Combine (less than a month away) and eventually the draft (about 3 months away) is who the Skins should take at #10. Now you have a chance to give your opinion on our poll.
I still haven't had enough time to start looking at all players at each position but I think there are some clear areas that must be addressed via the draft or free agency.
But before I go into the positions that I think the Skins may consider, lets look at a few positions that they shouldn't or won't be considering:
- Running Back. With the performance of Ryan Torain and the emergence of Keiland Williams I doubt the Skins will address the RB position early in the draft. If anything, expect the Skins to look at day three prospects if they go after a RB in the draft at all. Remember many of Shanahan's running backs were late round guys.
- Full Back. Darrell Young did enough for me to get the nod if the Skins don't keep Mike Sellers. Plus, nobody drafts a FB in the 1st round anymore, not even a team like the Raiders.
- Tight End. Cooley, Davis and Paulsen may be the best unit on the roster in terms of skill and depth.
- Safety. Nobody really worth 1st round consideration this year, especially at #10. The Skins do need to look for a FS.
- Punter/Kicker/ Long Snapper. You don't draft these guys in the 1st round (unless you're the Raiders). Skins could use all three positions really but I expect to see this addressed either at the end of the draft or via Free Agency (whenever that happens).
So let's get to the positions that the Skins need to consider:
- Quarterback. There's an old saying by many draft experts that if you see a franchise QB on the board and don't already have one, you have to take him. That said, is there a franchise QB in this draft? This looks like another weak QB class and each of the top candidates have some questions. Gabbert is a one year wonder, who is raw and will have to learn a pro style offense. Locker has accuracy and ball position issues. Mallett looks like he's immobile and that doesn't fit well with the Shanahan scheme and also has character concerns. Cam Newton has question marks on off field issues and reminds me of a more polished Tim Tebow. Christian Ponder struggled in 2010 and has durability concerns. Trust me I was hoping it would be Locker at one point, but now I'm going back to my standard MO of build the lines.
- Wide Receiver. I don't like taking WRs this high in the draft unless you have a sure fire pick like a Calvin Johnson falling into your hands. Julio Jones will probably be there and I haven't done much homework on him yet. Critics say he has bad hands (ut oh another Rod Gardner?) but I've also read on other sites that he had a broken bone in his hand. That said, I'd like either the Skins to go later in the draft (hey, Leonard Hankerson in round two is a possibility) or free agency to find another pass catcher.
- Offensive Tackle. Skins are set at left tackle, but the right tackle position and team depth is a question mark. You don't draft at #10 for a backup and normally you don't draft at #10 for just a right tackle. That said, Gabe Carimi may be an option. He was a LT in college and may be one in the NFL. However many have him projected as a right tackle. At the Senior Bowl, the Bengals coaches had him play guard. So if you draft him you may get a 4 position lineman. Plug and play......hey it worked for the Hogs. This still isn't the biggest need in my opinion and I'd rather re-sign a healthy and improved Jammal Brown and keep developing Selvish Capers and Xavier Fulton than spend a high pick for a versatile tackle.
- Offensive Line Interior. Skins really need a starting right guard and a new center. You could argue that the Skins could be better at left guard as well, but we can have that debate another day. Will Montgomery filled in well as both a RG and a C but I like him more as a solid back up. He is top notch depth in my opinion. Casey Rabach and Artis Hicks aren't working. Rabach gets blown off the line too much and Hicks struggles in pass pro. The Skins need a new Center, that's clear. They also could use a starting Guard as well. We don't know about late rounder Erik Cook, but most likely the Skins would still need at least one player via free agency and/or the draft. The good news is that there are about 5 players I can think of that the Skins could draft to fit those needs. The bad news is that many of these guys are late 1st rounders but mostly 2nd and 3rd rounders. What's even worse is that the Skins don't have a 3rd rounder and none of these guys really should be taken at #10, you just don't draft that high for interior linemen. If the Skins can trade back however.......
- Cornerback. Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon are free agents. Kevin Barnes hasn't shown me that he's really a #2 CB, if anything he may be the Skins FS in 2011 and beyond. So unless the Skins really feel that they can rely on Byron Westbrook and Doug Dutch to be #2 and #3 corners, the Skins may need to either re-sign the free agents or find some new corners. There are two elite corners that many consider to be top ten prospects. That said, the Skins seem like they aren't really headed this way. Greg Williams/Greg Blache and Vinny Cerrato seemed to covet corners more. I don't see that with Shanahan/Allen who may go via free agency or just bring back Rogers and Buchanon. It's an option but on the defense it's not the team's biggest need.
- Inside LB. There is a need for an upgrade here. Rocky McIntosh is a free agent and London Fletcher is entering the twilight of career (although he still plays like he's in his 20's). Perry Riley may fill one of those needs but the Skins could use another ILB. Problem is that none of the ILB class is receiving 1st round grades. If the Skins go for a draftee, I think they may skip the bigger names and find a kid in the 5-7th rounds.
- Outside LB. I'm a huge fan of Lorenzo Alexander, but much like Andre Carter I don't think he's a 3-4 OLB. If anything, I'd like to see Alexander play ILB if he's to remain a LB in this scheme. The great news is that there are possibly 3-4 players that could be top ten caliber OLBs. Von Miller in particular wowed me at the Senior Bowl. This could be a serious option and it would be really nice to have an elite pass rusher on the other side of Brian Orakpo.
- Nose Tackle. To me, in order for a 3-4 to work, this scheme requires a very big and talented Nose Tackle who forces double teams, collapses the pocket and has enough speed to penetrate and move laterally. If there was a BJ Raji NT in this draft I would hope we could get him. Baylor's Phil Taylor appears to be the best natural NT in the draft but he right now looks like a late 1st round, early 2nd round prospect. The Skins did get some production from Anthony Bryant at the end of the year, but elite NTs are almost more hard to find than franchise QBs.
- Defensive End. Adam Carriker solidified one position and seemed to do well as a 3-4 DE. Vonnie Holiday played well down the stretch as well. Problem is that Holiday (and Phillip Daniels who look good as well) is pretty old in NFL terms. Kedric Golston is a better 4-3 DT also a free agent and the Skins appear that they will be sticking with the 3-4. The good news is that this draft class is very good for 3-4 DEs in particular. This is a serious possibility for the Skins, especially if they can find a top 10 talent. It won't be a splashy pick, but when has a splashy Redskins pick really panned out?
So I ask you IIWII readers, based on what you know, what is the position that the Redskins should go asfter at #10 overall. Please make a pick and feel free to leave a comment on what (or who) the Skins should take.
If you notice, I didn't leave trade back as an option. It's an easy and very possible option for the Skins since (a) the Skins need to accumulate more picks, (b) many of the positions they need to fill could be obtained in the 2nd-4th rounds and we lack picks in some of those rounds. That said, trading back is easier said than done and the Skins don't want to be suckered by another team just to move back for moving back's sake.