Monday, April 11, 2011

Questions The Skins Need to Answer Heading Into the Draft (DE)

(Can Jeremy Jarmon be a significant contributor in 2011?)
 The Redskins have some tough decisions to make as they head into the upcoming draft. Many would argue that the Skins need to fill starting spots in multiple areas with either rookies or free agents. They also have depth needs. But what we forget is that the Skins have some young talent on the team. Some of these players may be the ones that can fill these gaping holes. So here are five questions I'm going to throw out about the current talent on the roster and where the Skins may or may not need to head in FA/draft based on what they think of the current talent.

Before we even start let's eliminate the obvious question that no one can really answer until a new CBA is in place: "What will the Redskins do with Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth?". It's a non-factor heading into this draft. Neither, in my opinion, are coming back. Neither Shanahan or the players on the team want to deal with the drama caused by Haynesworth. As for McNabb, I just don't think that either the coaches or the player really want to work with other anymore. So let's look at some interesting questions about the 2011 Skins. This will be part on of (hopefully) five questions as we head towards the draft.

1. Can Jeremy Jarmon be developed into a starting 3-4 DE?
Jeremy Jarmon was a supplemental draft pick designed to fill a hole at the DE spot for the Skins 4-3. Looked good in 2009 until an ACL injury ended his season early. Had one major play in 2010 where a pressure on Aaron Rogers led to an interception and eventually a Skins win in overtime against the Packers. When the Skins made the transition to the 3-4, they tried to develop Jarmon into a faster, leaner version of himself as an OLB. It didn't appear to work too well. Currently the Skins want to develop Jarmon into a 3-4 DE by getting him back to his old playing weight and possibly bulking him up a bit more to handle the physical rigors of the position (ie. lots of run stuffing and physical battles with guards and tackles). So can this work?

Maybe. Jarmon reminds me a great deal of Phillip Daniels. A physical, more power rusher. A player who excels at stopping the run and containing the edge. Might not be a Julius Peppers "elite" pass rusher but has the strength and explosion to cause disruption in the pocket and get the occasional sack. Sounds like more of a 3-4 DE to me. The major hurdle is whether the Skins feel like they have time to develop Jarmon while playing or find a player that may have more experience or upside at playing that position.

There isn't a great deal of free agents in the draft that I would bring in to fill that starting void, so the Redskins need to determine if Jarmon can be that guy. If he is, then the Skins can focus on OLB, NT and offense in the draft. If he isn't, then a DE in a very strong 3-4 DE class might be the way to go. Cameron Jordan or JJ Watt might be good fits at #10. Either way the Skins have a significant hole at the RDE position. Kedric Golston is a free agent (depending on the CBA) and both Phillip Daniels and Vonnie Holiday are at the twilight of their careers. They need to address the position either from within or in the draft.

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