The Washington Redskins' recent moves don't change a whole lot when it comes to what they want to keep adding: more talent. They lost a linebacker, traded a safety and re-signed a nose tackle. But those moves won't alter too much of what the Redskins look for in the draft or the rest of the offseason.
Here are the recent moves and their impact:
Linebacker Will Compton signs with Tennessee: The Redskins tried to keep Compton, but he left for a better chance to start in Tennessee. The Redskins do have other young options behind starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown with Martrell Spaight, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Zach Vigil. That they wanted to try to keep Compton around suggests they're not done looking for help at this position. Compton's exit doesn't make this a top priority -- he wasn't going to start.
But there are intriguing options in the first round. They're still checking out linebackers -- inside and outside -- as well they should. I don't think it's the first position they'd look at, but that depends on who's available at 13. You must be prepared, and if the best player is a linebacker? Last year should teach everyone one thing: Quality depth matters and they simply need more good players on defense. Also, it's not as if they have long-term plans in place all over. Keep in mind if the Redskins drafted an inside linebacker at 13, they could move on from Foster after one year (with no dead money) or Brown (with $3 million in dead money). But if they draft someone here in the first, they'd better start or play quite a bit.
Nose tackle Phil Taylor re-signs: The Redskins loved what they saw from him before he tore his quad last summer. The hard part is relying on someone who has missed the past three seasons because of various knee and leg injuries. He doesn't need to play more than 10-12 snaps a game at nose tackle, but his presence allows Ziggy Hood to play end, where he's a far better fit. But re-signing Taylor doesn't change the Redskins' plans as far as adding more line help.
The most prominent names still available on the free-agent market remain Johnathan Hankins and Bennie Logan. Hankins visited and Logan remains just a name to mention. At this point, until Logan visits there's no serious interest. But the draft could yield the Redskins' best option, whether in the first round (Vita Vea, who could be gone by 13) or in the area around the second and third rounds (Tim Settle). The Redskins don't view contributions from Taylor as a bonus; they feel he can make a strong return and play as he did last summer. However, they (wisely) will keep searching for more help.
Safety Su'a Cravens traded to Denver: This doesn't really change anything because he didn't factor into their plans. When coach Jay Gruden would discuss their safeties, he wouldn't mention Cravens. Don't be surprised if the Redskins target this position at 13 if either Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick are available (the latter can be used as a corner). Both offer the sort of versatility prized by defensive coordinators and even if they didn't start immediately they'd be key contributors and play quite a bit. Fitzpatrick could cover in the slot or play safety, or both. James could be a terrific in-the-box safety and also a nickel/dime linebacker. Starting strong safety D.J. Swearinger would cost only $1.3 million in dead money if released next offseason (with $4.5 million in cap savings). The Redskins remain high on second-year Montae Nicholson, but they have little depth at the position beyond Deshazor Everett.