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Redskins on hold with Johnathan Hankins, but draft could yield better DL options

The Washington Redskins found their fast receiver (Paul Richardson) and added depth and insurance at cornerback (Orlando Scandrick) and linebacker (Pernell McPhee). But they're still seeking to bolster an area that remains a priority: The defensive line.

Here's a look at their top remaining options:

Free agency

Johnathan Hankins: He visited Washington on March 19, at the same time as McPhee, and the Redskins have remained in contact. But there doesn't seem to be anything close to happening and the sense is that whatever price Hankins is asking is not in line with his production. He would be viewed as another piece to their defensive puzzle and not a final piece; in other words, their run defense issues wouldn't be solved with one signing. When the Redskins have spent bigger on contracts in recent years, they've done so to land impact players: receiver DeSean Jackson in 2014; Josh Norman in 2016. If Hankins isn't viewed as an impact player -- he's a good player who would help -- he will not be pursued aggressively (and clearly hasn't been considering he remains unsigned). Nor will he receive a huge contract from Washington. At the owners' meetings, coach Jay Gruden told reporters "there's still a chance" they'd get Hankins. This isn't dead, but it's certainly on hold.

Bennie Logan: His name remains part of their discussions and he's done a good job in the past of helping against the run. Until there's a visit, however, it's not serious. He does not collapse the pocket from the interior the way teams would like, which is one reason he settled for a one-year deal last offseason and remains unsigned. Logan was fine in Kansas City last season, but the Chiefs opted to let him leave via free agency. At a lower price, he could help against the run -- an area Washington must improve. But signing Logan should not stop the Redskins from looking at all possible options with their first pick, including defensive line.

First round of the draft

Vita Vea: He might be gone by the time Washington picks at No. 13 in the first round. But if he is available, Vea has to be under strong consideration. When choosing a draft pick, of course, you're banking on what you hope he can do compared to a free agent who has proven himself. But the former also is a lot less expensive, at least in terms of who the Redskins are considering. Vea has size at 6-foot-4, 347 pounds and quickness. But there were inconsistencies in his game and times when he did not make an impact the way you'd like. The question for him will surround his ability to rush the passer; if teams think he can be good doing so, then he could become a top-10 pick.

Da'Ron Payne: The Redskins could pair him next to former college teammate Jonathan Allen. But the pass-rush question about Vea applies to Payne as well. Those who like Payne will say he's 20 and still developing, so he's worth the pick. He did show a good first step at times, but would get too upright, hindering his pass-rush ability. Can it be corrected? If so, then he's worth a higher pick (it's hard to select someone considered a two-down player at No. 13). The Redskins have an excellent defensive line coach (Jim Tomsula). Payne isn't as big as Vea (weighing about 315 pounds), but he is strong and technically sound with the ability to handle double teams.

There will be possibilities after the first round -- Virginia Tech's Tim Settle is coming off a strong year and tested well at the combine. And keep in mind that one of last year's best linemen, Matt Ioannidis, was a fifth-round pick in 2016. But it's not as if the Redskins have built a good defensive line in recent years by grooming low-round picks. They have told others in free agency that strengthening the defensive line is a priority, so it would make sense that if they don’t find one in free agency, they'd look hard at this spot in the draft.