With no first-round pick (again) the Redskins won't be big players in the draft. But they do need a lot of help, as anyone who watched them this season can attest. Now that they've hired a coach, the attention will be turned toward procuring players in the offseason, whether through free agency or the draft.
And with the start of the all-star game season, the draft already warrants attention. One note: With coach Jay Gruden focused on putting together his staff, the Redskins coaches are not expected to attend next week's Senior Bowl.
Steve Muench, who has been scouting college players for Scouts Inc. since 2002, listed the Redskins top three needs as defensive back, linebacker and defensive line. Tough to argue with those, though the offensive line also will demand attention as they look for a different type of lineman than Mike Shanahan wanted. Receiver could be a priority, though it can take rookie receivers a while to get adjusted so free agency might be the better route.
Still, they need more talent on defense, especially young talent. Three of their top five defensive linemen from last season all will turn at least 30 before training camp. They're still young at linebacker, assuming Brian Orakpo and Perry Riley return. But the only two key players under contract in the secondary are Brandon Meriweather and David Amerson. Meriweather will be 30 in 2014 while Amerson hasn't proven he could be a No. 1 corner.
Anyway, those are my thoughts, here is Muench's; to read more of this Insider article, click here.
"Washington has needs at receiver and along the offensive line, but strengthening the defense should be the priority. It needs to address all three levels, starting with the secondary.
"At safety, Brandon Meriweather turns 30 this year, has had problems staying healthy and has a reputation for getting flagged for personal fouls. Reed Doughty is 31 years old and is not under contract for next year. Corners DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and E.J. Biggers aren't under contract either.
"The way the Redskins address the front seven depends on whom they hire to run the defense and whether they stay with a base 3-4 or transition to a base 4-3. Regardless of the front, there should be plenty of change at linebacker, as no fewer than seven players are scheduled to hit the free-agent market, including inside linebacker London Fletcher, who is expected to retire and whose experience and leadership will be tough to replace.
"The other notable free-agent linebacker is Brian Orakpo, who will get plenty of interest on the market. Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan are capable of lining up at defensive end in a four-man front, so he could stay even if Washington transitions to a new scheme. The team also needs to strengthen the run defense and get stronger up front."
Here are some players Muench says could fit what Washington needs:
DBs: Baylor's Ahmad Dixon (DS), Ohio State's Bradley Roby* (DC), Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller
LBs: Michigan State's Max Bullough (ILB), Wisconsin's Chris Borland (ILB), Arizona State's Chris Young (OLB)
DL: Penn State's Daquan Jones (DT), Connecticut's Shamar Stephen (DT), Virginia's Brent Urban (DT/DE)