Thursday, March 10, 2011

Redskins Draft Options: A Round By Round Analysis (1st round)

(With The 10th pick, The Washington Redskins select.....)
......I honestly don't know. Unlike the Vinny Cerrato years, it's hard to determine exactly where the Skins are going with their draft strategy. Mike Shanahan plays his cards close to his vest and when he does suggest something, you can't assume that is the Skins real target of interest. For example Shanahan has said that his top priority is a pass rushing OLB opposite of Brian Orakpo. He also mentioned that the 3-4 needs a top notch NT and a safety. The Redskins already addressed the safety issue by signing O.J. Atogwe to go along with LaRon Landry. Meanwhile the Skins have said little about addressing the needs of the offense, which they have many (QB, WR, OL are just a few). Its good news for the organization and the fans that we can't figure out what the Skins are doing. But as a draftnik and blogger, it makes it difficult to figure who the Skins are currently targeting.

What's not difficult to determine is what positions the Redskins could upgrade to improve the team. The biggest question really is where in the draft should the Redskins look for these players and whether the player that they need is or will be available. At this point, I think it's fair to say that the Redskins have serious needs at the following positions: QB, WR, OL, NT, DE, OLB and possibly CB (depending on whether the Skins re-sign Phillip Buchanon and/or Carlos Rogers). They also have depth questions at RB and ILB. It is unknown if a new CBA will be in place so we will be unable to determine whether the Skins will be able to address any of these needs prior to the draft (via free agency). What this series will do is take a look at where the Skins will be drafting in the 1st thru 5th rounds (because frankly rounds 6 and 7 are generally crap shoots in who the Skins will look at to draft) and see what players could fit a need and have the value to be drafted at that position. I'm going to leave a few players out of the mix in the 1st round like Von Miller because I just don't think he'll be there at #10. Same goes with Cam Newton (who I really don't want the Skins to draft anyway).

1st Round

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri- The #1 QB on many draft boards may not be the 1st QB taken in the 2011 draft. Despite his status, many aren't considering him the lock like Sam Bradford or Matt Stafford from previous years. Maybe it's the system or his team, but Gabbert has the ability to make the NFL throws and the speed and agility to fit what Shanahan is looking in a QB. Some think he'll fall to 10, I kind of doubt it. 

Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina- Many would consider that if Quinn wasn't suspended, he might be the undisputed #1 overall pick. Many think he could excel as a 3-4 OLB, which would make a nice bookend with Brian Orakpo. Quinn has amazing explosion and looks fluid enough to make the switch to OLB. Was a Cowboys fan growing up, but I can overlook that. If the off field issues (health and suspension) check out he could be drafted as high as #2 overall.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama- Right now Jones is falling to the Redskins in many mock drafts. It could be a major score for the Skins (depending on who becomes the Redskins QB in 2011). Jones dominated at The Combine all while on a broken foot. He also played a portion of the 2010 with a broken hand. Admire the toughness, concerned about the multiple injuries. Jones looks like a serious playmaker. My biggest problem with him has nothing to do with him. The Redskins have a poor record with drafting WRs high in the draft and at #10 I want to make sure the Skins find a guy who can start for the next 10 years.

Cameron Jordan, DE, California- A dominating force that will probably excel either as a 4-3 DE or even as a 3-4 DE. This guy just wowed me at the Senior Bowl as he destroyed most of the top tier talent in drill during the week. A second generation NFL player, Jordan looks like a great option at DE along with Adam Carriker.

Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri- Very athletic with a great deal of explosion, Smith is a raw talent who could be an excellent fit on the other side of Orakpo.

J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin- Mike Mayock says he's the best 5 technique player available in awhile. May be even better than Tyson Jackson. Could he be an ideal fit in the Skins 3-4?

....Next we look at some possible late 1st (assume the Skins trade back) and second round prospects for the Skins.

* None of the You Tube were videos made by me.

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