Last month, we examined how the Redskins’ 2014 opponents fared in free agency. This month, we’re looking at how those teams performed in the draft, beginning with the NFC East.
Up today …
Opponent: New York Giants
What they needed: Wide receiver, running back, tight end as well as offensive and defensive line.
What they got: LSU WR Odell Beckham (No. 12 overall); Colorado State C Weston Richburg (second round); Syracuse DT Jay Bromley (third round); Boston College RB Andre Williams (fourth round); San Diego State S Nat Berhe (fifth round); USC OLB Devon Kennard (fifth round); and Notre Dame CB Bennett Jackson (sixth round).
What it means for their 2014 outlook (read our post-free agency outlook on the Giants here): After losing Hakeem Nicks in free agency, one of Giants GM Jerry Reese top priorities was to draft a wide receiver capable of helping Eli Manning immediately while also taking some of the heat off of slot receiver Victor Cruz.
Snagging speedy wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with the 12th overall pick should fill that need. At LSU last season, Beckham caught 57 passes for 1,117 yards (19.6 average) and eight touchdowns. He was also a top-three player at his position on many boards entering the draft behind Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.
Other immediate contributors figure to be Colorado State center Weston Richburg, Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley and Boston College running back Andre Williams. In fact, Richburg figures to push former Redskins center J.D. Walton for the starting job this summer, while Bromley, a run stuffer some considered a reach in the third round, could find himself in the defensive line rotation. Williams, meantime, led the NCAA in rushing in 2012 with 2,177 yards and should get a chance to play right away for a team that ranked 29th in rushing yards last season.
Reese, however, did not draft a tight end and he did not address offensive tackle, which could become a problem sooner rather than later.
A week after the draft is far too soon to measure the long-term impact of the prospects taken. But you can be sure of this: DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson and the rest of the Redskins’ secondary will be get to know Beckham and his sub 4.4 speed very well.