The Redskins Draft Strategy

Over the offseason, I’ve been attempting to figure out my best guess for what Mike Shanahan and company will do in their first real offseason. Shanahan and Allen have had their staff for a full year now, and are now familiar with all the players. Shanahan knew the players only by film last offseason, but now knows what he truly has. It will take a couple seasons before Shanahan is fully comfortable, but he is on his way. In all of the mock drafts, most people have the Redskins selecting from a pool of players consisting of Julio Jones, AJ Green, or Jake Locker- often stating WR and QB as the biggest needs. But, this is my take on the Redskins approach, come April 28th.

The Things We Know:

  1. Competition will be intense; constant position-battles.
  2. The plan for free agency is to bring in a large group of veterans who fit/understand the systems. They will help transition the young players until they are ready to take over. No outrageous/high $ signings.
  3. Shanahan has final say in everything.

The Things We Don’t Know:

  1. Donovan McNabb situation.
  2. Albert Haynesworth situation.
  3. Draft targets.

Draft Strategy:

There have been thousands of different mock drafts posted online, and the Redskins seem to be a team most “mockers” have figured out, but they’re going to shock the world. Shanahan has always been very secretive about his draft approach during the offseason and most of the time is very successful. Shanahan has been known to evaluate offensive lineman very well, and he

Be on the lookout for some surprises in DC

looks to have continued the tradition with Trent Williams- who becomes included with Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris as recent draft successes. Williams has tremendous athleticism and has the potential to become an ALL Pro. Going back to the 2010 NFL Draft, most experts knew the Redskins desperately needed an offensive lineman after former star Chris Samuels retired. Nearly every “expert” had Russell Okung as the Redskins selection and he was the consensus top tackle available. Trent Williams was widely regarded as the 3rd or 4th best tackle prospect behind Okung, Bryan Bulaga, and, to some, Anthony Davis. But the Redskins and Mike Shanahan selected their top guy-which now looks to be the right choice.

The selection of Trent Williams should teach everyone to expect the unexpected for the Redskins this offseason. Sitting at number 10, the Redskins will select the best player available on Mike Shanahan’s board. This typically will be the top player available at a position of need.  I think Shanahan may be in love with Jake Locker and may believe he has all the qualities of becoming a superstar. Or, Shanahan could see a talented kid with some accuracy issues and may want to take their chances he slips into the late first/early second. If Shanahan passes on Locker, then the pick could be so many different possibilities.

I have some scenarios that many might not expect, but could definitely come true:

Best Possible Trade Scenario: -

-Washington trades #10, Albert Haynesworth, and Donovan McNabb to

-Cincinnati for #4.

–Washington selects CB Patrick Peterson at #4.

—It may seem as this trade came straight out of a Madden Franchise league, but this is a move I could see happening. Palmer seems to be content on never playing for the Bengals again, and GM Mike Brown may feel he needs to make a move to replace him. Most likely there would be more components/players/draft picks to this trade, but this is easier.  The offense wouldn’t miss a beat under McNabb, and they are known for taking guys with character concerns and have a need at DT. Peterson gives the Redskins the top secondary in the league. Think of the impact- Peterson, Atogwe, Landry, Hall, Barnes, Doughty would have. Rogers would be shown the door. Peterson is my top player in the draft, and I believe wont get out of the top 5. He has the ability to take a WR completely out of the game, which would do wonders for the defense. Shanahan would use the later rounds and free agency to fill holes in D-Line, WR, OL and at OLB (Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson, Lorenzo Alexander may be able to hold it down)

Two Never-before-Seen-Picks at 10

Washington Selects OG/C Mike Pouncey at #10

—I’m 100% on the Pouncey bandwagon and believe he has all the makings to be as good as his brother. Pauncey could start at any three of the interior line positions and would give Washington two young star offensive lineman. Pouncey is the perfect fit for the ZBS and would upgrade the entire OL. Wait and see, Pouncey will be picked higher than people expect.

Washington Selects OLB Justin Houston at #10

—Many have Houston falling to the late first round or even to the 2nd. I believe Houston has all the necessary tools of becoming a devastating OLB. He has excellent size at 6’3’’ 265 lbs. and had a stellar performance at the combine running a 4.68 40, 36.5 vertical, and 30 bench reps. Some think he compares to ultra bust Vernon Gholston, but Houston plays with a lot more physicality and shows a relentless motor. Houston needs to be coached, but can become a great OLB opposite Orakpo.

Other Possibilities: Adrian Clayborn, Prince Amukamara, Jimmy Smith, Phil Taylor.

Top 10 Most Likely for the Skins:

  1. Jake Locker
  2. Cam Jordan
  3. Robert Quinn
  4. Julio Jones
  5. AJ Green
  6. Justin Houston
  7. Prince Amukamara
  8. Adrian Clayborn
  9. Mike Pouncey
  10. Phil Taylor

As of now, I still believe Jake Locker will be the pick at 10. He has all the makeup of being a Shanahan QB, and not to mention is a superb leader. Locker will be well coached under the Shanahan’s and can become a top QB.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in 2011 NFL Draft, Redskins 1 Comment