Two years ago the Washington Redskins set a franchise record for yards per play. They weren't as successful this season, but they still ranked third in yards per rush. That tends to get lost when talking about the Redskins' offensive line, except by the coaches. That only means the Redskins might not see their line as a major issue. That also doesn't mean they won't try to upgrade.
Why it’s a need: The Redskins had some issues inside last season, yielding too much push and getting beaten by some blitzes. They have tried for a couple offseasons to upgrade right tackle to no avail. Coach Jay Gruden has said they'll keep the same run-game principles, which suits the line. But he's also said they can't get pushed back as much. And he's right.
In house options: This is how the NFL should work. You draft players, you develop them and after a few years some of them should be ready. If that’s the case, the Redskins have four young backups in Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus, Tom Compton and Maurice Hurt. If you’re doing it the right way, at least one should be ready by now, right? By doing it this way it enables teams to spend and fix primary needs, like on defense. So if the Redskins make a move inside, they should -- should -- have options.
Free agent options: The one name that makes sense to pursue is Cincinnati offensive tackle Anthony Collins because of his familiarity with Gruden. And that’s how free agency should work best, when you have a history with the player or when he has a history with your system. Collins has both. He’s spent most of his career as a backup, but fared well at left tackle. He was not in the same run system, but I did see him move laterally enough. Also, the Bengals on occasion split him wide to block a defensive back on a bubble screen. The issue here is cost. Tampa Bay reportedly is interested as well. If the Redskins don’t sign him, they should not be too active in trying to replace right tackle Tyler Polumbus if it’s only a minor upgrade. Forget Cleveland’s Alex Mack as a possible target at center; too expensive. Center has some intriguing options with Atlanta’s Joe Hawley, who is young but undersized, and New Orleans' Brian De La Puente. But, again, they have in-house options they should explore if they’re going to make a move here.
Draft options: This could be the way the Redskins ultimately go, short of a big splash with Collins. This has perhaps been a bigger focal point than free agency, but Tuesday will show just how much. If they don’t get Collins they could draft a young tackle. One who could be intriguing is Virginia’s Morgan Moses, who is 6-foot-6, 314 pounds and is said to have good feet. He should be there in the second round. North Dakota State tackle Billy Turner, who could be around in the third, is intriguing because he has ability but his future could be inside. There are three or four centers who likely will go between rounds 3-5, including Arkansas’ Travis Swanson. But, again, the Redskins have some options on the roster here as well.