The mocks continue to follow a similar path, with defensive linemen the Washington Redskins' target. I don’t always agree with how the mocks reflect the Redskins’ desires, but in this case it’s accurate.
And for ESPN analyst Todd McShay’s latest mock, he once again gives the Redskins an Alabama defensive lineman: Jarran Reed. Once more I’ll say it: Reed would be a good addition for the defensive front. Actually, there are a few defensive linemen about whom that can be said.
The Redskins have a strong desire to not only upgrade their defensive line, but to also get younger. As I’ve said numerous times, Terrance Knighton is not returning (barring the unforeseen), Jason Hatcher might retire (though Jay Gruden expressed optimism about his return last week at the scouting combine) and Kedric Golston might not be re-signed. So there’s a chance three of their top six won’t return.
They also have no linemen under 27 years old. Enter the need for a player such as Reed. He would fill the Knighton role as nose tackle.
Anyway, here’s what McShay said about Reed in a conference call Wednesday: "Jarran Reed is probably the best pure run-stopper in terms of plugging gaps and taking up space. He’s not a great pass-rusher, but he can chase and run and get off blocks and make plays. So he’s not just a guy sitting there and eating up space. He can do that, but he gets off blocks and makes plays. For Washington, they’re looking for a guy that fits that centerpiece role and takes up space and can be great against the run. He can push the pocket a little and collapse it. But he’ll never be a great pass-rusher."
It would be nice, of course, to find a lineman who can do it all. But the Redskins absolutely need to improve their run defense and have someone who can do so whether in a nickel front or the base package. If Reed can move that well laterally, it would be a welcomed addition. In addition to youth, the Redskins could use a little more quickness as they begin the task of building a strong defense.