The draft dominates Part 1 of the weekend mailbag -- from positions they might address to players they might take with the fifth overall pick. But there's more than just the draft, including one question about switching allegiances and another, unconnected, on tight end Jordan Reed. Part 2 Sunday morning will be heavy on Robert Griffin III. Enjoy.
John Keim: Yes, perhaps and yes. There aren’t many quarterbacks who will be draft worthy so they might miss out on that, but my sense is they’d like to add another young quarterback -- perhaps to keep on the practice squad and develop. They will definitely try to add a running back and there will be some intriguing options in Rounds 2-4 (Ameer Abdullah, Duke Johnson, David Johnson, T.J. Yeldon among others) who can become a third-down back. They also could use another tight end, especially one who has size and can catch in case Jordan Reed once again gets hurt. A really good draft is one in which you find two to three starters and another two to three players who contribute to winning. Starting players is one thing; having them contribute to winning is another.
Keim: I don’t have anyone I want them to grab. When I analyze players, I do it to see how they would fit and what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they would be used in Washington. I see value in all these players -- and I like Shane Ray too; thought he was terrific cutting the corner. I think Fowler is probably the best all around, but I worry about his lack of big plays. I love his tenacity. I love Beasley’s speed and athleticism, but he needs to get stronger in his lower body. Gregory is a freakish athlete. You’re right, you can string together great highlights from all of them. I’m fine if they choose Fowler or Beasley at No. 5.
Keim: I don’t know what Scot McCloughan thinks of Murphy, but I do know they’re looking for more help from edge rushers. That should answer the question. If they liked Murphy a lot, they would add someone at this spot after the first round. I think they like him enough. As far as who would start opposite Kerrigan, it depends on which edge rusher they grab (assuming they stay at five). If they take Dante Fowler, I’d expect him to start. There’s an obvious transition, but he showed he could play the run in college. If it’s Clemson’s Vic Beasley, he’s best suited for a role as a nickel rusher. He did not set the edge well vs. the run in college; he has upper-body strength, but needs more in the lower body to help in this area.
Keim: The one guy I know they visited with is Washington State’s Connor Halliday. I don’t know how the Redskins rate him, but analysts project him as a seventh-round pick or priority free agent. After watching him play a little, I like his throwing base and how he’s not affected by the rush in the pocket. He does not have the strongest arm. If you take a quarterback here, you’re hoping he develops into a quality backup.
Keim: From what I had been told -- not by the team -- the Redskins like Dante Fowler better. We’ll see if that plays out. So based on that, I don’t see them taking Dupree. But I learned long ago not to trust a whole lot of what I hear right now. Still, the Fowler one makes sense. The key isn’t how some scouts, or analysts, rate Dupree, it’s how the Redskins do in comparison to other edge rushers. And there seems to be little consensus about the edge rushers in this draft. It’s a deeper class, but it’s also one with flaws. Some will love Beasley and not Fowler; others love Ray and not Beasley. On and on. It’ll be interesting to see how this class of rushers develops.
Keim: Underused? Not sure that’s the term I would use. The problem with Jordan Reed is that the coaches never know when he’ll get hurt. Yes, it’s frustrating for them. He was a big part of their game plan against Houston and he went down early. Despite playing just 11 games, he still caught 50 passes. But if you mean you wanted to see him used differently? I’m with you. Too often I felt they wanted to rely on him running after the catch off a short pass. That’s not his strength. I thought he’d be more of a downfield threat last year and would like to see him get back to that; I know that’s where the coaches his rookie year felt he would excel. He averaged 9.3 yards per catch last year and 11.1 as a rookie. The problem is that Washington never really sustained drives, so many players weren’t used like they wanted (Pierre Garcon among them).