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Washington Redskins Offseason Team Needs -TSJ Sports

Washington Redskins Offseason Team Needs -TSJ Sports NFL RRSkins via flickr


Washington Redskins Offseason Team Needs:


After mixed results in his first two drafts the pressure is on Scot McCloughan to deliver in year three

Washington Redskins General manager Scot McCloughan has built a reputation on constructing strong defenses in the NFC West during his days as the GM for the San Francisco 49ers (08-09) and VP of Football Operations from 2005-07. He was also a Senior personnel executive with the Seattle Seahawks (10-13). McCloughan was responsible for the drafting of key players as such as Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, Micheal Crabtree, Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker in San Francisco. Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner, and Golden Tate were the key selections in Seattle. 

Gore is worthy of enshrinement in Canton someday. Had it not been for an early retirement, Willis would have been a “first ballot” selection. Michael Crabtree had a solid season in Oakland this year and Alex Smith could lead Kansas City to their first home playoff win in 22 years. Ironically, the Chiefs last playoff home win came against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Fellow tight-ends Davis and Walker are still playing at a high level. Vernon Davis has experienced a renaissance in his 11th season and Delanie Walker is probably the best tight-end you’ve never heard of.

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In Seattle, McCloughan was architect of the Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII winning team. The “Legion of Boom” was one of the more dominant defenses in NFL history. McCloughan also sought out Russell Wilson who’s developing quite nicely as a franchise quarterback. Golden Tate has emerged as Matthew Stafford’s primary target in Detroit, as he’s recorded at least 90 catches in every season since his arrival in 2013.

In his first two seasons in Washington, Scot McCloughan’s draft picks have been sub-par. Right guard Brandon Scherff earned his first Pro Bowl nod this season, while 2016-first round pick Josh Doctson played in only 31 snaps due to an Achilles injury. Scherff is a fine player, but interior offensive linemen aren’t considered top-5 picks. Doctson had a wasted season in 2016, but he has a promising future in Washington.

Preston Smith and Matt Jones boast big play potential, but are wildly inconsistent. Smith headed toward the dreaded sophomore slump and Jones was inactive for the last nine weeks of the season. Jamison Crowder however, is emerging as one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. Kendall Fuller struggled defending out of the slot, but he’s better suited to play on the outside and will get better with experience. The Redskins hope to have a future starter at safety in Su’a Cravens, who has the makings of a true impact player.

Within his first three picks, Scot McCloughan should invest heavily within the front-seven. Safety is another position that needs to be filled and you can make the case for wide receiver as well. Here are several prospects McCloughan could have his eye on.

Rueben Foster would be an instant upgrade for Washington at inside linebacker. The 6-1, 228 pound Senior posted 12 tackles and a sack in Monday night and is the most complete linebacker in the nation. Gus Bradley is reportedly the favorite to land the defensive coordinator position in D.C. and he ran a 4-3 front during his days as a coordinator in Seattle. Foster could potentially be the “man in the middle” in Washington.

Defensive lineman Chris Wormley out of Michigan is a load at 6-5 303 pounds. Wormley has the ability to play defensive end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 front and has a good mix of size, strength and quickness. The first-team Big Ten selection recently accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl.

Notre Dame defensive lineman Jarron Jones was a force for the Fighting Irish. He didn’t post dominant numbers as he finished 2016 with 45 tackles, 11 TFL, two sacks and a forced fumble, but he was extremely disruptive. He also recorded an interception. Jones has the size and versatility to play in multiple fronts at 6-6 315 pounds. With a solid showing in the combine Jarron Jones stock could potentially rise.

Depending on what happens in free agency, wide receiver could become a need. Scot McCloughan has two pending free agents in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson and while both could be re-signed, my guess is Garcon stays and Jackson walks. Dede Westbrook would be a nice replacement for Jackson. Westbrook posted 74 receptions, 1,465 yards, and 16 touchdowns for the Oklahoma Sooners. At 6’0 175 lbs, Westbrook has more size than Jackson and has 4.4 speed.

Obi Melifonwu is an intriguing prospect for Washington at safety. As a Senior, Melifonwu registered 118 tackles and four interceptions. He’s a raw prospect but has the size scouts crave at 6’3 217 pounds. McCloughan discovered a gem in Kam Chancellor in Seattle, could he do it again with a selection of Obi Melifonwu?

Scot McCloughan has shown within his first two seasons in Washington that he’ll stay true to his board and select the best player available. In the early rounds, McCloughan would be wise opt to invest heavily into Washington’s maligned defensive unit. McCloughan has a proven track record of drafting studs on the defensive side of the ball and that is what the Redskins need.

There’s a saying in football that, “It’s not about the X’s and O’s, it’s about the Jimmy’s and Joe’s.” No matter who the hire is at defensive coordinator, It’s time for Scot McCloughan to equip the Redskins with some serious homegrown talent on the defensive side of the ball.