Both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden have said that the Redskins’ draft selections will be determined by the player with the best grade, not by needs. However, no matter what position the Redskins draft with any of their 10 picks a case can be made that the player will fill a need.
Let’s go through position by position and see where the needs are.
Quarterback—Kirk Cousins’ future is very much in doubt with the team seemingly reluctant to come up with the money that would be needed to re-sign him. Colt McCoy is a backup and staking the team’s future on Nate Sudfeld would be a huge gamble.
Running back—Rob Kelley can get them 1,000 yards on the ground but that’s not the mark of a great back. And his pass-catching ability is questionable. Behind him, Matt Jones doesn’t seem to have what it takes.
Wide receiver—Terrelle Pryor is on a one-year contract. Josh Doctson has a ton of potential and great size but he is very much an unknown quantity. The Redskins could very well be looking for someone to line up next to Jamison Crowder in 2018.
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Tight end—It’s a given that Jordan Reed won’t play in 16 games and there has to be concern that a concussion could put him out for an extended period of time. Vernon Davis is a capable backup but he is 33 and we all know the thing about Father Time being undefeated.
Offensive tackle—Right tackle Morgan Moses is in the final year of his contract and although the Redskins likely want to sign him to an extension there is no way of ensuring that will happen until pen is put to paper. Ty Nsekhe, who will be a restricted free agent in 2018, is a good backup but can he start 16 games? And if he can, who is the backup?
Interior offensive line—Shawn Lauvao is in the last year of his contract and there are plenty of doubts that Arie Kouandjio will be able to step in for him either this year or next. Center Spencer Long is also in the last year of his deal. While he was adequate last year there could be an upgrade in the draft.
Defensive line—I don’t think any further explanation is needed here.
Inside linebacker—The Redskins go three deep here but Will Compton, Zach Brown, and Mason Foster are all slated to be free agents in 2018. They also could use a burst of athleticism if a good ILB is on the board.
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Outside linebacker—Yes, the Redskins have four players with double-digit sack potential. But Junior Galette was a question mark even before his arrest last weekend, Preston Smith is maddeningly inconsistent, and Trent Murphy is a 2018 free agent who likely will be suspended the first four games of the season. Oh, and you can’t have too many good pass rushers.
Cornerback—Josh Norman is set on one side but the draft could have an upgrade to Bashaud Breeland, who is in the last year of his contract. Behind them, Kendall Fuller struggled mightily at times last year and converted WR Quinton Dunbar is a nice story but his ceiling is as a fourth or fifth corner. Oh, and you can’t have too many good cornerbacks.
Safety—There is hope that D.J. Swearinger and Su’a Cravens can be an effective safety tandem but it’s still a roll of the dice. The depth behind those two is aging (DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon) or very green (Deshazor Everett).