The Washington Redskins have addressed depth issues defensively, hoping they’ve added some key parts in that area, plus on special teams. And re-signing Junior Galette – assuming he’s close to the same player he was pre-Achilles injury – provides them help in the pass rush.
But one position they still need: nose tackle. The Redskins are in their 3-4 defense only about 25 to 30 percent of the time because of how often they use nickel packages. Still, any team that runs a 3-4 says the positions that are most important are nose tackle and outside linebacker. The Redskins have their outside linebackers; they still need the nose tackle. They do have Kedric Golston, but he’s not a lock to make the roster, and Chris Baker is more effective at end.
They know it; they also know they still have options:
Remaining free agents: There aren’t many great options left at a position that can be difficult to find. They expressed interest in Haloti Ngata, but he re-signed with Detroit. Damon Harrison would have been a good fit, but he’s a two-down player who earned $24 million in guaranteed money from the New York Giants. Among those remaining: Mike DeVito (turns 32 in June) and Nick Fairley (has played in a 4-3 his whole career and has been inconsistent, but is coming off of a good season). Not sure I’m crazy about these options.
The draft: The Redskins entered the offseason wanting to get younger along the line, so the draft makes sense. It also happens to be a strong draft for defensive linemen – and not just in the first round. But the realistic headliners at this spot include Alabama’s Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson. Both could provide the versatility Washington wants from a nose tackle – players who also can help in a nickel package because of their athleticism. In various mock drafts, both of these players have been targeted for the Redskins.
Re-sign Terrance Knighton: Yes, this remains a possibility. I don’t know how high the likelihood is; it might be rather small (there hasn't been a lot of contact recently). If they really viewed Knighton as the answer, he’d already be signed. So they’re clearly still looking for someone better. It was evident they wanted more from him this past season, and for him to be in better shape. He played his best ball late in the season. Knighton said recently on Twitter that he’s lost some weight; and it’s my understanding that he’s well aware he must get in even better shape this season. If the Redskins haven’t filled this position over the next couple weeks or in the draft (with a higher pick; tough to draft one in the low rounds and expect him to contribute immediately), then, yes, Knighton might be pursued again. I think there are a lot of ifs for this scenario to occur.