The Redskins checked off a lot of their needs boxes during the three days of the draft but even with 10 picks they are still left with some holes. Here are the team’s remaining needs.
Nose tackle—This is a copy and paste job here from just about every season since 2010, when they first started running the 3-4 defense. Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, a 6-1, 331-pound load out of USC was available until early in the seventh round. But they bypassed the defensive line entirely after taking Jonathan Allen in the first round. Maybe Phil Taylor can revive his career after missing the last two seasons. Or perhaps they will try to sign Dan Williams, the 330-pound veteran who was let go by the Raiders last week. But it seems that they are headed towards playing with no true nose tackle, a strategy that resulted in the Redskins allowing a league-high 5.0 yards per carry on first down.
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Inside linebacker—The word is that if Allen was off the board when the Redskins first-round pick came around, inside linebacker Rueben Foster was on the short list of players they would have taken. But after taking Allen they stayed away from the inside linebacker position the rest of the way. They could have taken Zach Cunningham in the second round but they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson instead. While the Redskins could have used a young, talented addition to the group they will be OK at the position in 2017. It may be a different story in 2018 when Zach Brown, Will Compton, and Mason Foster are free agents.
Free safety—The plan to have D.J. Swearinger play free safety is dicey. He is more of a natural strong safety and although he played free some in Arizona last year, doing it in spots and doing it 1,000 snaps a year are two different things. They don’t have much choice now. It seems unlikely that Montae Nicholson can fill the role, at least not without a year or two of seasoning. Desmond King of Iowa, who may be able to play sooner, was on the board until early in the fifth round. It’s going to be up to Swearinger to hold down the last line of defense.
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Interior offensive line—The Redskins did take one interior O-lineman in Chase Roullier and he could develop into a starter or at least a reliable backup. But the situation at the position may have called for more. Both backup centers are gone as Kory Lichtensteiger retired and John Sullivan left as a free agent. Starters LG Shawn Lauvao and C Spencer Long are both set to be free agents in 2018. It’s possible that Arie Kouandjio can step into Lauvao’s job but that’s not something they can bank on. This was an extraordinarily weak draft for the offensive line so it’s understandable that they didn’t find anyone else.