CSN's draft board: Inside linebacker

CSN's draft board: Inside linebacker
April 19, 2013, 9:30 am
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Since Monday, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir has examined the Redskins’ depth chart and evaluated potential needs in the upcoming draft, ranking them in order from least to most important. He's also taking a look at the prospects who could be a fit. 

No. 6:

Inside linebacker

Current depth chart:

London Fletcher, Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Bryan Kehl, Roddrick Muckelroy

Comment: 

Last season, London Fletcher recorded a team-high 139 tackles, a career-best five interceptions and three sacks, his highest total in eight seasons. But he’ll be 38 years old next month and had surgery this offseason on his ankle and elbow. 

He’s expected to be a starter in 2013, extending an iron man consecutive games streak that currently stands at 240. After that, though, is anyone’s guess.

The versatile Lorenzo Alexander was listed by the Redskins as Fletcher’s backup, but he signed with the Cardinals last month.

The Redskins have been grooming Keenan Robinson as Fletcher’s heir apparent. But the 23-year-old fourth rounder finished his rookie season on IR after tearing a pectoral muscle in Dallas on Thanksgiving, missing critical reps as the Redskins pushed toward the postseason. The injury is similar to one that derailed Brian Orakpo’s 2012 campaign.

Roddrick Muckelroy was signed Nov. 26 to replace Robinson on the roster. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Bengals in 2010 and appeared in 14 games as a rookie. But he missed the entire 2011 season with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. He did not play a snap on defense for the Redskins last season.

Meantime, the inside position opposite Fletcher also could be in need of some additional depth. Perry Riley is the entrenched starter and, at 24, he’s on the upswing. His backup is listed as Bryan Kehl, a special teams standout who did not take a snap on defense last season after re-joining the team midseason.

So, as you can see, both short and long-term questions abound at critical position in Jim Haslett’s scheme. Which makes it seem likely that Mike Shanahan and Co. will consider addressing that uncertainty need next week.

Three mid-round prospect possibilities:

  • Jonathan Bostic, Florida

The physical, 6-1, 245 pounder recorded 68 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions for the Gators as a senior. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper said recently that the Redskins might take Bostic in the third round.

  • Kevin Reddick, North Carolina

A four-year starter for the Tar Heels, Reddick (6-3, 240 pounds) recorded 85 tackles, including a whopping 18.5 for loss last season. Described as an “intelligent, hard working defender” by NFL.com.

  • Nico Johnson, Alabama

A big hitter who excels against the run, the 6-2, 249 Johnson notched 55 tackles, including two for loss, for the Crimson Tide last season. Did not miss a game due to injury.

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