Washington Redskins 2017 NFL Draft Profile

On day 16 of Draftmas the Washington Redskins will get analyzed.

Summary

Washington missed the playoffs last season after finishing the season 8-7-1. In a very competitive NFC East almost anything can happen in the coming years.

Kirk Cousins (Photo courtesy: Clevelandsportszone.com)

Kirk Cousins led the offense to the 12th most points in the league in 2016, averaging 24.8 points per game. He led the second best passing attack in the NFL that had 297.4 yards per game. He will be back on the Redskins under the Franchise Tag. The running game was below average and will need to be addressed in the draft.

Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon were lost to free agency, but Terrelle Pryor was signed to try to fill some of the void left at receiver. Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson will need to step up to give Cousins a lot of good targets to throw to. Cousins will have Jordan Reed, who is a great tight end when healthy. The offensive line is solid, but Shaun Lauvao will need to be upgraded at left guard.

The defense was one of the worst in the league in terms of yards per game and needs to be improved. Both the pass and rush defense were sub-par.

Some moves were already made to improve the defense. D.J. Swearinger is a good safety who was signed this offseason as a free agent and will play next to Su’a Cravens. Inside linebacker was addressed when Washington signed Zach Brown after his Pro Bowl Season in Buffalo. The Redskins need to get better in the trenches and draft some corners to be successful this season.

Picks and Needs

The Redskins have ten picks in this draft class, but the majority of them are in the later rounds. They will be hoping they can find some diamonds in the rough with those picks, but also capitalize on their early round picks.

First round: (1) No. 17

Second round: (1) No. 49

Third round: (1) No. 81

Fourth round: (2) No. 114, No. 124

Fifth round: (1) No. 154

Sixth round: (2) No. 201, No. 209

Seventh round: (2) No. 220, 235

These needs are in no particular order.

Offensive Needs:

Running Back- There is not one dynamic playmaker at running back on this roster. While this doesn’t necessarily need to be addressed with the first couple of picks, it should be addressed at some point when good value can be found.

Offensive Guard- Shawn Lauvao should not be starting. They can get good interior linemen in this draft class.
Wide Receiver- Terrelle Pryor was signed to a one year deal and Josh Doctson is unproven. Kirk Cousins will need targets if Doctson can’t step up and Pryor elects to leave after the season.

Defensive Needs:

Nose Tackle- Ziggy Hood is the starting nose tackle for the Redskins and in eight seasons in the NFL hasn’t had great success. To help stop the run, Washington needs to get a run-stopper.

Defensive End- Stacy McGee was overpaid this offseason, but more help at defensive end is needed.

Cornerback- Behind Josh Norman, the Redskins don’t have too many great corners. Bashaud Breeland isn’t a great number two and at best serviceable. Kendall Fuller is young and has time to grow, but Washington may want to take another corner to shore things up.

Targets and Thoughts

The picks here are who the Redskins could realistically get where they are drafting. There will be no trades and I will be looking at just the first three rounds.

First Round:

Pick #17: Christian McCaffrey 

Christian McCaffrey (Photo courtesy: businessinsider.com)

With such a loaded running back class, either McCaffrey or Cook will be available (maybe both). McCaffrey can be a game-changer in the running game and help make the offense more balanced, but can also help out in the receiving game. He would be a swiss army knife for the Redskins and could open up their offense even more.


Second Round: 

Pick #49: Malik McDowell, DE/DT, MSU

McDowell can play multiple positions on the defensive line, but will fit in as a 3-4 defensive end for Washington. The talent and size are there for McDowell, but his motor is not always there. The hope is that NFL coaches can get him to give maximum effort throughout games and seasons.

Third Round:

Pick #99: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA

Corner has to be addressed in this draft class at some point. Moreau was a good corner at UCLA, but really stood out with his workouts leading up to the draft. He will need to learn how to play the zone coverage that the Redskins like to use.

Conclusion

In an NFC East that is always competitive, the Redskins have some work to do, but can compete for a playoff spot. They need to improve their defense and find a spark for their offense, but should be able to do that in this draft.

You can read all of the previous days of Draftmas here!

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Xavier University graduate who majored in sports management. I am a passionate sports fan who tries to follow just about every sport there is.

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