Trent Murphy's development, extra talent could boost Redskins' rush

PHOENIX -- Trent Murphy could become the sort of pass-rusher the Washington Redskins need. It also wouldn't be enough. That's why Redskins coach Jay Gruden would love to add another pass-rusher, adding versatility and more of an ability to pressure the passer.

It's an area they had hoped to fix last offseason. It's one they hope to fix this offseason, too. Part of it would be Murphy's development, but the other part would be adding another talent. They could add one with the fifth overall pick, but considering the depth at this position they could select one later instead. The Redskins were interested in free agent Pernell McPhee and wanted to re-sign Brian Orakpo, but they capped their spending for both players who ended up going elsewhere. They signed interior rush help in Stephen Paea.

"To add another pass-rusher would be outstanding, whether it's first, second, third, fourth, whatever round we get. There are some good pass-rushers in this draft -- not just early, but late," Gruden said.

The list of guys who could go early is long enough to let them know they could get a good player if they so desired. It's interesting to hear Gruden's take on the players who would be around at No. 5.

"You know, they are different. They're different pass-rushers. It's interesting," Gruden said. "You know, you've got Shane Ray, who's a good pass-rusher. He's got good speed. You've got Vic Beasley. He's excellent. Randy Gregory, very athletic, man. He can bend and do everything you want as a pass-rusher. Obviously, Dante Fowler, very explosive, strong, big. There are some great options out there as far as pass rushers are concerned. That's exciting."

They're different, too. Some are better in third-and-long; some on first-and-10.

"You want a guy that can do a little bit of both," Gruden said. "You want a guy that can hold up in the running game on first down and obviously transition from playing the run to getting a pass rush and some of the play actions but then have the ability on third down-and-8 to be a game-type changer. I feel like there's four or five guys in this draft that can be that."

Murphy's presence allows them to draft a player they feel could help immediately as a rusher but might take time to help vs. the run. Murphy showed as a rookie last season he could set the edge in the run game. But he can improve as a rusher. Even if he does, and they add someone, it would only make them more dangerous.

Murphy adds versatility, with the ability to stand up in their base package but play end in their nickel. And Gruden says he has the skills to improve as a rusher.

"Trent has great hands. He needs to develop more strength," Gruden said. "He's very young up top and he'll get a lot stronger. He has the hands, he has the hips, he has the flexibility to get a good pass rush. We have to continue to work on his get off and some of his strength, which I think we can develop that. From a talent standpoint and toughness standpoint I like Trent. I think he has a bright future."