Redskins draft radar: Five game-changing options

Redskins draft radar: Five game-changing options
April 23, 2012, 6:20 pm
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After analyzing the Redskinsplans headinginto the2012 NFL Draftfor weeks and months (and at times its felt like years), I would say we have a pretty good grasp on whatneeds they hope to address in the third round. Argue the order of preference if you want, but offensive line, inside linebacker, cornerback, and safety top the list. However, teams cannot draft on need alone. Ultimately, talent wins out - or it should, anyway. Therefore, here are the draft prospects that if available in round three, could alter the Redskins plans. Alameda Ta'amu, NT,Washington... Any architect of a 3-4 defense knows the nose tackle is the scheme's lynchpin. Therefore having multiple options at that position for depth and rotational purposes is vital. The powerful Ta'amu is a stellar run defender with sneaky pass rush abilities who tips the scales at 348 pounds - or more than 40 pounds heavier than Redskins starter Barry Cofield. On a recent conference call with reporters, NFL.com's Mike Mayock said Ta'amu is "massive and may only be a two-down defender but those downs are going to be really good." In his latest mock draft, Charley Casserly slotted Ta'amu to the 49ers with the 61st pick, just eight away from the Redskins third rounder. Orson Charles, TE, Georgia...With Fred Davis onestrikeaway from a yearlong ban and Chris Cooley a potential salary cap casualty, the Redskins strength at tight end could be zapped away rather quickly.For a time during the draft process, some evaluators put the chiseled Charles in that tier as potential first-rounders Coby Fleener (Stanford) and Dwayne Allen (Clemson). That was before an eventful stretch where Charles skipped the combine, run a blah 40 time atGeorgia's pro-day and then tacked on acharge for driving underthe influence.On the field, Pro Football Weeklydescribes the All-SEC pick "a strong, explosive, physical, all-around tight end with good intangibles. Can contribute readily on all downs and factor as a mismatch piece with a creative coordinator." Still expected tobeselectedsome time on day two of the draft. Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest... The 6-0 underclassman with burst is a precise route running who shredded secondaries last season for 83 receptions, 1330 yards and nine touchdowns. However, this deep class of wide receiverscould pushGivens down in the draft, something NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell does not comprehend."Im struggling to understand why I dont hear more about the Wake Forest wide receiver. Hes a little bigger, and just as explosive vertically as Kendall Wright," Cosell said. "He was both deceptively and explosively fast. He went from zero to 60 in a heartbeat." Leonard Hankerson is the current upside play on the roster, but he's hardly proven. If the plans are to remove both Jabar Gaffney and Santana Moss from the roster, Givens or another talented receiver could be tempting. Derek Wolfe, DL, Cincinnati...Another diamond in the rough favorite of Cosell's.The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder "an active, disruptive, high-energy player," according to the game tape maven. Wolfe played defensive tackle at Cincinnati and would transition to end in a 3-4 scheme. Obviously, the Redskins will get Jarvis Jenkins this season and overall there is solid defensive end depth on the roster, but you can never have enough linemen. Though Mel Kiper recently proclaimed the versatile lineman is worthy of first-round love, consensus puts Wolfe into the back half of the second round. Todd McShay ranked Wolfe the No. 69 overall prospect. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon...You can also never have enough offensive playmakers and anyone who saw the shifty James tear up Pac 12 defenses knows this kid makes plays. Though his 40 time at the combine (4.40) proved slower than expected,Pro Football Weekly describes James as "field-fast, consistently rips off big runs and shows he can hit the home run. His5-foot-8 height is a knock for some, but James runs with surprising strength. If the Redskinskeep Helu in onfirst and second downs, James could offer a dynamic threat on third.