With the busy portion of the free agency period completed, it’s time to start looking ahead to the NFL draft and, specifically, needs the Redskins still have. In the coming days, we’ll rank them in order from least to most important.
We’ll also take a look at prospects who could be a fit.
Current depth chart: Trent Williams, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton and Maurice Hurt (who also plays guard).
Comment: The Redskins are set at left tackle for years to come with Trent Williams, a 25-year-old two-time Pro Bowler who’s become a leader off the field while working hard to improve on it.
Right tackle, well, that’s a different story.
Jay Gruden said in March that incumbent Tyler Polumbus was “pretty good” in 2013 and, in his opinion, was not an issue. What Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen have done recently, though, suggests that, at the very least, they’re open to an upgrade.
The first—and strongest—indication came in free agency when former Bucs left tackle Donald Penn visited Redskins Park. Penn eventually signed with the Raiders because the Oakland wanted (and paid) him as a left tackle. The Redskins were interested in switching him to right tackle.
Washington has also reportedly hosted at least four tackle prospects ahead of this week’s draft. And those prospects—Ohio State’s Jack Mewhort, Stanford’s Cameron Fleming, Virginia’s Morgan Moses and Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson—have something important in common: they’re all projected to be drafted in the late first - third round. That suggests the Redskins are serious about drafting a tackle they expect to start on the right side sooner rather than later.
How soon? Tough to say. But if one of the above players is picked at No. 34, he would be expected to push Polumbus for playing time at some point during the 2014 season.
Five potential fits:
- Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
The 6-6, 309-pounder projects as a right tackle but has enough versatility to play guard, as well. From NFLdraftscout.com: “Mewhort utilizes every inch of his tall, stout frame [and] based off tape and his performance in Mobile, Mewhort looks every bit the part of a future starting right tackle in the NFL.” Pegged as a second or third rounder.
- Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
The 6-7, 322-pounder played his high school ball at DeMatha Catholic. Per NFL.com: “Has enough length and anchor strength to survive on the left side, though he will never be a dancing bear, and he projects more ideally as a bulldozing right tackle in a power scheme.” Projected as a top 50 pick.
- Cameron Fleming, Stanford
At 6 foot 5, 323-pounds, he possesses the size Gruden covets. According to NFL.com, Flemming is “Big, thickly built, experienced right tackle who …. needs to make strides with his functional strength, technique and aggressiveness.” NFLdraftscout.com pegs him as a second rounder; NFL.com says he’s a third or fourth rounder.
- Morgan Moses, Virginia
A 6-6, 314-pound native of Richmond, Va. From NFLdraftscout.com: “Moses is the definition of a "dancing bear" with his mammoth size and nimble feet. He likes to use his limbs to get his hands on defenders and take them wherever he wants, but needs to continue and refine his technique.” Projected as a late first round-third rounder.
- Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
Massive measurables at 6-6, 335 and 35-inch arms. From NFL.com: “A big, strong, athletic college left tackle who might be more naturally suited for the right side in the pros, Richardson is agile enough to protect the blind side if he learns to become a better hand technician.” Projected as a second or third rounder.