Redskins general manager Bruce Allen stressed this point a couple times Tuesday: When making decisions in the draft, they're looking as much at the roster in 2015 and '16 as they are this season.
Chances are, that's when most of the players they pick this weekend will be ready for bigger roles. With that in mind, here's how the roster shapes up in '15 and '16:
2016 roster: Griffin (if the team picks up his option. Note: Initially said it was for 2017, it's for '16).
Conclusion: They don’t need a starter, but, perhaps next year, they’ll have to start finding another player to groom as a backup assuming Griffin re-emerges.
2016 roster: Thompson.
Conclusion: It’s not a pressing need because they could always re-sign Morris or find another back next year in the draft. However, they have checked out some backs such as West Virginia’s Charles Sims and Notre Dame’s George Atkinson III. There is a need to find someone else; Thompson is not a full-time option.
2016 roster: Roberts, Garcon, Jackson.
Conclusion: Still a need for depth, but finding another quality starter – right now – is not a must. However, it would be wise to find someone in a receiver-heavy draft who can be developed. They’ll have to make a decision after this year on Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson. Also, Garcon and Jackson’s contracts are up after the ’16 season.
2016 roster: Lauvao, Lichtensteiger, Stevens.
Conclusion: I think we all know a right tackle is a strong possibility. Polumbus is not under contract after this season and neither is Tom Compton. Do the math; the Redskins have to find someone here at some point. And look at the ’16 roster; you don’t want to be in a position where you have to re-sign or sign that many players in one spot.
2016 roster: Reed.
Conclusion: Paulsen could always be re-signed, but regardless the Redskins could use a little more help here in the future. It’s a definite possibility as the Redskins look to bolster their weapons – and guard against Reed’s durability issues.
2016 roster: Hatcher, Cofield, Miller, Baker.
Conclusion: Only Hatcher is signed beyond 2016. There’s depth here for the next two seasons, but in 2016 if Hatcher and Cofield are still viable both will be past their prime.
2016: Riley, Hayward, Jenkins.
Conclusion: This is one reason the Redskins have looked at a number of outside linebackers during the draft process. Also, thinking long-term, they might not want to pay both Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo big money. But there's also a need to find and develop an inside 'backer, unless they're confident Keenan Robinson could be that guy. Too early to say that's the case given his injury history.
2016 roster: Hall, Amerson, Thompson.
Conclusion: There’s not an immediate need, but there’s little doubt this position could still be fortified. Also, though Hall is under contract through 2016, where will his game be after the ’15 season? Still, if need be, they could get by with adding a late-round corner this year and seeing if he develops.
2016 roster: Thomas, Rambo.
Conclusion: They need more bodies here. This is not a deep draft for safeties but it would be wise to grab one, especially when you see how it breaks down after this season. There’s a strong need – even if Thomas or Rambo develops into a starter.