Over the last few weeks we’ve gone in depth here looking at the Redskins’ current roster and using that to get an indication of who they might draft. One day away from the draft we’re going to summarize those needs on the defensive side of the ball; Yesterday, we looked at the offense.
Current roster: Barry Cofield (signed trough 2016), Stephen Bowen (2015), Jarvis Jenkins (2014), Adam Carriker (2015), Chris Baker (2013), Kedric Golston (2014), Ron Brace (2013), Phillip Merling (2013), Chigbo Anunoby (2015), Dominique Hamilton (2015), Doug Worthington (2013)
Outlook: There at 11 names listed here and they are unlikely to carry many more than that on the offseason roster. The top players are all signed through at least 2014 and in the back line there is a good blend of youth and experience. It seems unlikely that they will spend a draft pick here unless a player is on the board who is too good to pass up.
Draft potential: Rounds 6-7
Current roster: Brian Orakpo (2013), London Fletcher (2013), Perry Riley (2013), Ryan Kerrigan (2014), Bryan Kehl (2013), Rob Jackson (2013), Keenan Robinson (2015), Ricky Elmore (2014), Vic So’oto (2014), Roddrick Muckelroy (2013)
Outlook: It’s a solid unit for this year but questions will abound after the season ends. Will Fletcher be back and if not can Robinson take his place? Can the team re-sign Riley and Orakpo? And Kerrigan will have just a year to go on his rookie deal. There are enough questions to think that the team might look for answers in the draft. If there is a player with potential as a pass rusher staring them in the face in the second or third rounds they could pull the trigger but it seems more likely that if they go linebacker it would be on Saturday.
Draft potential: Rounds 4-7
Current roster: DeAngelo Hall (2013), Josh Wilson (2013), E. J. Biggers (2013), Richard Crawford (2015), Chase Minnifield (2014), Jerome Murphy (2013)
Outlook: This looks a lot like the linebacker group in terms of expiring contracts but there is some room for improvement here and a rookie could come in and contribute right away. They may be inclined to let Hall, who has been a starter since coming to the team in 2008, and Wilson, the starter since he was signed in 2011, walk at the end of the season. The Redskins play in a passing division in a passing league and strength and depth at corner is critical.
Draft potential: Rounds 2-7
Current roster: Brandon Meriweather (2013), Reed Doughty (2013), DeJon Gomes (2014), Jordan Pugh (2013), Jordan Bernstine (2015)
Outlook: If cornerback isn’t the top need, safety is. The team has 21 of it’s 22 starters from last year under contract and the one unsigned is free safety Madieu Williams. It doesn’t look like he’s coming back after a subpar performance. They may not be able to land an immediate starter in the draft but if they can get someone to rotate in with Doughty and Gomes and become the starter in November, that would be fine. Meriweather is coming off of a torn ACL and he’s on the last year of his deal so the strong safety spot could use some bolstering as well.
Draft potential: Rounds 2-7