DRAFT PREVIEW – WASHINGTON REDSKINS

A look at the Redskins heading into the 2011 NFL Draft; Washington has the 10th pick in the first round.

REVIEW OF 2010

Record – 6-10, as they got off to a decent enough start going 4-3, and eventually 5-5. But over the last six games they went 1-5 as they had trouble scoring points in that stretch.

Finish – tied for third in the NFC East with Dallas, four games behind Philadelphia and the New York Giants for first place.

Playoffs – the Redskins have made the post-season just twice in the last 11 seasons. The last time was in 2007, when they finished 9-7 and lost in the wildcard round. Their last post-season victory was 2005 when they had a 10-6 record.

OVERVIEW

Since Daniel Snyder took over ownership of the team in 1999, Washington has had three winning seasons out of the 12 that have been played and a 2-3 record in the post-season. That makes the teams overall record under Snyder 88-109, a .447 winning percentage.

Snyder has twice tried to take a step away from the running of the team. The first time came when Joe Gibbs returned as head coach, and the second is currently with GM Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan running the ship.

The Redskins have always been a big player in the free agency, but after the debacle on signing Albert Haynesworth, it seems that Snyder is not opening the wallet as quickly as possible.

PARTICULARS

Offense – averaged 336 yards per game to rank No. 18 in the league. They had real trouble running the ball, averaging just 91.3 yards per game, the No. 30 rush offense in the league. Washington scored 30 offensive touchdowns, with 21 of those coming on touchdown passes by Donovan McNabb or Rex Grossman. McNabb had 14 TDs and 15 INTs, and was throwing for a 77.1 passer rating when he was replaced by Grossman, who was 7-4 in the TD-INT ratio. He had a 81.2 passer rating. WR Santana Moss was the leading receiver in ’10 with 1,115 yards on 93 catches, but just six TD catches. TE Chris Cooley (77-849-3) and WR Anthony Armstrong (44-871-3) were big factors as well. Leading a poor run game was Ryan Torain with 742 yards on 164 carries. Pass protection gave up 46 sacks.

Defense – allowed an average of 389.3 yards per game, to rank No. 31 and next to last in the league. The biggest problem was stopping opposing passing game that gave up an average of 261.7 yards per game. The Skins allowed 38 touchdowns, with 23 of those coming through the air. They had only 14 interceptions and six of those came from one man, CB DeAngelo Hall. He returned one of those picks for a 92-yard TD. The sack totals were nothing special either, as OLB Brian Orakpo led the team with 8.5 sacks of the 29 that were grabbed. Overall, the Cowboys defense produced 27 takeaways.

Special teams – K Graham Gano was nothing sensational, hitting 24 of 35 FG attempts. He was an unusually bad 13 of 18 inside the 40-yard line and he was 0 for 3 from 50 yards or more. Shanahan had to use three punters on the season and none of the three were very special. In the return game former K-Stater Brandon Banks made a place for his himself in the league by averaging 11.3 yards on punt returns and 25.1 yards on kickoff returns, including a 96-yard score. Coverage units allowed an 87-yard punt return TD.

DECISION MAKER

The duo of Executive VP/GM Bruce Allen and Executive VP/Head Coach Mike Shanahan were obviously given similarly structured titles by Snyder to indicate they are sharing the steering wheel. But if I know Shanny, there are not going to be a lot of players on the Washington roster that he hasn’t approved or signed off on. Allen has worked with some talented and mercurial head coach – Jon Gruden for one – so he has a clue on what’s coming. And never count out Snyder for putting in his two centers worth and backing it up with millions of dollars.

Who has the draft room juice? Shanahan is going to have the veto power, no question.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Quarterback. The Donovan McNabb experiment has not worked out and certainly Rex Grossman is not going to be the type of QB that Shanahan is going to put his confidence in. So a QB is very badly needed. It’s unlikely they’ll get any chance at Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert unless they find some way to trade up. That will have them checking out the second group, guys like TCU’s Andy Dalton, Washington’s Jake Locker and maybe even Arkansas’ talented but tainted Ryan Mallett.

2. Nose tackle. Ma’ake Kemoeatu, Anthony Bryant and Darrion Scott played the nose last year and the position struggled with inconsistent play and production. They need a big infusion of talent at the position.

3. Defensive end. Kedric Golston, Adam Carriker, Vonnie Holliday and Phillip Daniels are on the roster and that group is not going to scare anyone. That group produced six sacks and allowed opposing running games to average 4.6 yards per carry. Help is needed and fast.

FIVE-YEAR DRAFT HISTORY

Poor drafting has crippled the Redskins for the better part of the last decade. So many draft choices have gone out the door in trades, especially those slots at the top of the draft where the best talent is available. In the last nine drafts only once did Washington have all of their early round picks – 2002.

In the last five drafts, they selected 33 players, while 17 drafts slots were traded away in various deals. Just in the last two drafts, they dealt away 2 seconds, a fourth and 2 fifth-round selections in return for the following players – Jason Taylor, Pete Kendall, Erasmus James, McNabb and Adam Carriker.

2006Only two players left from this class, as both LB Rocky McIntosh and SS Reed Doughty are in the starting lineup.

2007 – First-rounder LaRon Landry is still around and contributing.

2008 – TE Fred Davis (2nd) and S Kareem Moore (6th) are only ones left from just three seasons ago.

2009 – OLB Orakpo (1st) has been good in his two seasons and CB Kevin Barnes (3rd) were on the roster at the end of last season.

2010 – First-rounder OT Trent Williams had some injury moments but got good playing time. None of the other choices got significant playing time.

PREDICTION

The Redskins have a lot of needs and they really need to be pondering the best available player that will still be there when they select the 10th player. It’s not time to reach for a quarterback. It’s time to go for the better players, and those for the most part remain on defense. Also still sitting there is WR Julio Jones, with DE/OLB types Aldon Smith from Missouri and North Carolina’s Robert Quinn topping out the defensive players. THE PICK – Aldon Smith.

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