In the first quarter of yesterday’s wildcard matchup between the Redkins and the Packers it looked like Washington was going to pull the upset and advance to the divisional round for the first time in years. However, Aaron Rodgers turned into Aaron Rodgers and Skins fans had to watch the Packers QB systematically pick apart their team in our Nation’s Capital.
The Redskins took advantage of a weak NFL East and an easy schedule in December to win their division. Had they been in the NFL North they wouldn’t have made the postseason. Washington was gashed by opposing teams running games and it showed against the Packers when Eddie Lacy and James Starks ran for five yards a carry. Throughout the year opposing quarterbacks had good games against Washington. Both Eli Manning and Sam Bradford threw for over 600 yards in two games against the Skins secondary. Cam Newton blistered Washington for five TDs in November. Jay Cutler threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns in December. Going into the draft defense needs to be upgraded if Washington hopes to make it back to the playoffs in 2017.
Picking 21st the Skins should be able to get a starter on the defensive line or corner. In a perfect world Robert Nkemdiche would fall to them. Given his recent troubles at an Atlanta hotel last month it’s thought that the Ole Miss defensive lineman will slip in the draft. We just don’t know how far. Before his meltdown it was thought that Nkemdiche could go first overall but now mock drafts have him going in the top ten all the way to the end of the first round. Nkemdiche was dominant last year and spent most of the season terrorizing offensive linemen and handed out tackles for losses like they were candy on Halloween. If the Skins can snag the big man from Ole Miss they would instantly upgrade their defense and have the dominant defender they thought they had when they signed Albert Haynesworth a few years ago.
A’Shawn Robinson from Alabama would also be an upgrade at defensive tackle. Robinson was a finalist for the Outland Trophy and has been a leader of the Crimson Tide defense all year. Robinson is projected to be drafted anywhere from the mid-first round to the top of the second. If Washington could add him Robinson would add depth up front and would be a force for year to come on the defensive line.
If the Redskins want to go corner Tre’Davious White from LSU could be a guy they go after. White is thought to be a late first round pick and will likely be there when the team picks at 21. The LSU defender did a good job of shutting down Amari Cooper two years ago when he played for Alabama. White is fast, and can hang with quick receivers which could be a plus since Washington has to play against Odell Beckham Jr twice each year.
Will Redmond from Mississippi State is another SEC corner who the Redskins could look at. Before tearing his ACL in October Redmond was having a career year and did a good job of shutting down speedy receivers in the SEC West. Before the injury it was thought the Bulldog corner would be a first round pick. However, an ACL injury will send your draft stock tumbling. If Redmond drops to the second or third round he would be worth the risk.
The draft is still several month away but the Redskins will most likely be going for defenders when it’s their turn to pick.