Inside the Redskins Draft: Need or best player available?
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.
Current depth chart:
Trent Williams, Tyler Polumbus, Jeremy Trueblood, Tom Compton, Tony Pashos
Trent Williams redeemed himself in a big way in 2012, anchoring an offensive line that paved the way for the NFL’s top rushing offense while also earning his first Pro Bowl invitation. The 24-year-old left tackle started all 17 games despite nagging foot, knee and thigh injuries.
Tyler Polumbus, meantime, became a full-time starter for the first time and, after some free agent flirtation with Jacksonville, was rewarded by Mike Shanahan with a two-year, $2 million contract extension. Polumbus, 28, struggled in pass protection at times but showed steady improvement throughout the season.
With Polumbus back in the fold, the Redskins will feature the same five starters along the offensive line next season.
The team did not re-sign swing veteran Jordan Black, who was suspended four games in December for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.
Shanahan did, however, add depth – and likely some competition for Polumbus – when he added veterans Jeremy Trueblood and Tony Pashos. Both Trueblood, 29, and Pashos, 32, have been full-time starters at right tackle for other teams. (Maurice Hurt replaced an injured Polumbus in Philadelphia but he’s currently listed as a guard on the team’s official roster.)
Tom Compton, meantime, figures to be in the mix for a backup role. The highly regarded 2012 sixth round draft choice spent the first 13 weeks of the season on the practice squad but was promoted to the 53-man roster in early December.
Although the position seems to be set for next season, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Shanahan targets a tackle after the third round.
Three prospect possibilities:
- Brennan Williams, North Carolina
At 6-6, 318 pounds, Williams posses the rare combination of size and athleticism required to thrive in Shanahan’s system. His father, Brent, was defensive lineman from 1986-96, suiting up for the Patriots, Seahawks and Jets.
- Xavier Nixon, Florida
Another smooth athlete who could fit with the Redskins, but Nixon (6-6, 321 pounds) has battled inconsistency and minor injuries. His raw ability, though, makes him hard to overlook.
- Jordan Mills, Louisiana Tech
Started at right tackle in his junior and senior seasons en route to earning All-WAC first team honors. Talent evaluators praise the 6-5, 316-pounder’s power, agility and hustle.