2010 NFL Draft Preview - Washington Redskins

2009 record: 4-12
Key additions: QB Rex Grossman, RB Larry Johnson, TE Sean Ryan, OG Artis Hicks, DT Maake Kemoeatu
Key departures: OT Chris Samuels, RB Quinton Ganther, WR Antwaan Randle El, RB Marcus Mason
Unrestricted free agents: QB Todd Collins, RB Ladell Betts, RB Rock Cartwright, OT Levi Jones, DL Renaldo Wynn, LB Matt Sinclair

Try, try again Daniel Snyder. Steve Spurrier did not work. Jim Zorn didn't work. So he will go with Mike Shanahan this time. It makes sense. The Redskins need a veteran presence, a winner, a leader. Shanny was a long time winner in Denver, and was unfairly shown the door. There is a lot to remedy in DC. Shanny has a reputation for producing great offenses, especially on the ground. He will have his work cut out for him in fixing an offense that scored only 16 points per game.

As far as the 2009 draft, they struck it rich with Brian Orakpo. He was a beast with 50 tackles and 11 sacks, and should be a monster with the Redskins moving to the 3-4 full time. He helped the Redskins finish in the top half of the NFL in total defense.

Top five positional needs.

1. Offensive tackle. Long time great Chris Samuels finally retired, leaving only Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams at the position. No, not that Mike Williams, the former receiver who is probably big enough to be a tackle now. Yes, that Mike Williams, the former first round Buffalo Bills bust. Shanahan always had a good line during his Denver years, and will undoubtedly want to fix the position as soon as possible. And it starts with the bookends.

2. Offensive guard. The interior of the line is also in need of huge upgrades. If you remember Shanahan's blocking scheme in Denver, it starts with those dirty goons at guard. Artis Hicks helps, but more is needed.

3. Quarterback. It's not like Jason Campbell has been horrible. He finished last year with over 3600 yards, 20 TD's and 15 interceptions, completing 64% of his passes. Respectable numbers. But he often wilted under pressure, and has just faced so much scrutiny in DC. He is the one that is usually blamed for the teams failures, and he may need a fresh start on another team. I think his time in Washington has run out. Shanahan loves to draft quarterbacks in the first round, and the Redskins will have their pick of one with the fourth overall pick.

4. Safety. Ever since the death of Sean Taylor, this position has been a mess. LaRon Landry is a good run stuffing and tackling safety, but he is a major liability in coverage. Other starter Reed Doughty is simply backup material.

5. Cornerback. This is not a position that they should invest a high pick on, but the starters, Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall, are average and there is not much depth behind them. Drafting a guy in the middle rounds to develop would be a good move.

First round possibilities.

QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame. Shanahan is probably going to want to bring his own guy in to play quarterback. I personally think Clausen will end up being a better pro then Sam Bradford. He is unfairly compared to Brady Quinn. Clausen was a top prospect that could have went anywhere. If he went to USC he would be the top pick in this draft and face a lot less question marks. He is a professional passer that lacks the poise and accuracy of Bradford. Sounds like Jay Cutler, a guy that Shanny turned into a pro bowler.

OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma St. If the Redskins decide they want to take a chance on a Colt McCoy in the second round, Okung would be the only other option. He is the best tackle in a very deep tackle group, and would fill the Redskins biggest need. If they are at all confident in Jason Campbell, Okung would be the no brainer pick. But I still think they go with Clausen. They can trade up late into the first round to get another good tackle, like Trent Williams or Charles Brown.

S Eric Berry, Tennessee. If for some miraculous reason those two guys are gone, they could always go with Berry. He would fill a huge need and be that coverage, intercepting ball hawking safety that the Redskins need.

Second round possibilities.

OT Charles Brown, USC. Presuming the Redskins go with Jimmy Clausen in the first round, they should be able to land a starter with their second pick. Brown doesn't have the size and strength of the first round guys so he could slip a bit. He will be an adequate left tackle, but a better right tackle.

C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida. Pouncey is an elite run blocker that is good enough to move to a guard position if necessary. Would be an immediate starter for the Redskins.

DT Terrence Cody, Alabama. The Redskins should not go any other direction other then offensive line with their second round pick, but if they somehow do, a true nose tackle would be a good idea. They signed Maake Kemoeatu, but he has shown he is just an average option.

The Redskins are not as bad as their 4-12 record indicated. They have a lot of talent on defense, and should be good to go in the 3-4. Unlike most teams, they do not have to completely restock their defense to make the switch. Sure, they are wasting $100 million dollars on Albert Haynesworth now being an overpaid gap stopper, but with Orakpo and Andre Carter, they will get to the quarterback right away. On offense, the return of Clinton Portis and the addition of Larry Johnson will help, as will a healthy Chris Cooley. If all goes right, they can and will get back to around 8-8 or so. Which makes the pick of Clausen all the more essential. They do not plan on picking this high a year from now.

With the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select...


QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame

Jonathan Carrano

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