Quick Links

Need to Know: The five best offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins

mark-schlereth.png

Need to Know: The five best offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 1, seven days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

Yesterday we looked at the five best offensive linemen who have been drafted in Round 2 since the start of the common draft in 1968. Let’s bring it a little closer to home with the top five O-linemen drafted by the Redskins (per the career Approximate Value metric used by Pro Football Reference).

Russ Grimm, Round 3/overall pick 69, 1981 (Career AV 76)—He’s the only one on this list who is in the Hall of Fame. An original Hog and a first-team All-Pro selection three times.

Mark Schlereth, 10/263, 1989 (CAV 69)—His story is pretty well known due to his post-playing career at ESPN. Although he is usually identified as a Bronco he did split his 12-year career evenly, spending six years each in Denver and Washington.

Raleigh McKenzie, 11/290, 1985 (CAV 64)—His longevity got him onto this list. McKenzie, who started at all three interior line positions, never made a Pro Bowl but he managed to stay in the league for 16 years, the first 10 of which were with the Redskins. As a member is the second iteration of the Hogs, he started for two Super Bowl winners in Washington.

Mark May, 1/20, 1981 (CAV 62)—This just goes to show you that where you’re drafted doesn’t always matter; May was the second-best lineman the Redskins took in this draft (see Grimm above). He was drafted as a tackle but moved inside to guard after his rookie year.

George Starke, 11/272, 1971 (CAV 69)—It says something here that of the five players on this list, three were drafted in rounds that no longer exist in the draft today. It says that the organization has been able to find late gems but perhaps they don’t put much value in the position. You also have to be alarmed by the fact that none of the players on this list were drafted in almost 25 years.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Timeline

—Former Redskins receiver Gary Clark was born on this date in 1962.

—It’s been 123 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 129 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: NFL Draft 7; Training camp starts 83; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 99

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

The Redskins interviewed current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for their defensive coordinator opening, the team announced yesterday.  

Manusky has a long history with the Redskins organization. He served as outside linebackers coach this past season, and was also linebackers coach back in the 2001 season. In his playing days, Manusky was a Redskins linebacker from 1988 to 1990. 

He has held three separate defensive coordinator positions in his coaching career, including with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010), San Diego Chargers (2011) and Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).

For more on his defensive philosophy and background, check out Rich Tandler's profile of Manusky

The Redskins have confirmed four interviews for the defensive coordinator position: Manusky, Rob Ryan, Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine

MORE REDSKINS: Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Quick Links

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

The Redskins are looking at potential free agents and continuing with the draft process as they try to move team from residing in the middle of the pack in the NFL to becoming annual contenders to go deep into the playoffs. The process is all about trying to build a solid 53-man depth chart. Let’s get out the crystal ball and see what that depth chart might look like.

Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today the defense is up. Although there could be a change to a 4-3 base defense in the making depending on who the coordinator is, we’ll line them up in a 3-4 until there is word to the contrary.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

Defensive line

Starters: Chris Baker*, draft pick/free agent X 2
Backups: Matt Ioannidis, Ricky Jean Francois, Anthony Lanier

It seems that Baker wants to stay and give that the Redskins would be starting their D-line virtually from scratch without him the chances of coming up with a deal seem strong. I will spend the entire 99 days between now and the draft saying that it’s not a given that they will take a defensive lineman, or any defensive player, with their top draft pick. But someone like Malik McDowell of Michigan State sure would fit in well here along with a free agent like Bennie Logan of the Eagles. The organization will be looking for leaps forward from Ioannidis and Lanier.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Outside linebacker

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Lynden Trail

Although nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, the chances of Galette giving it another go after two torn Achilles in two years are strong. Trail and Houston Bates will battle for a fifth spot, if there is one. Given Smith’s inconsistency and the uncertainty of Galette’s health it wouldn’t be surprising to see them draft an edge rusher.

Inside linebacker

Starters: Will Compton, free agent
Backups: Martrell Spaight, Mason Foster, draft pick

I’m putting Compton there in dry erase marker, not in Sharpie. They love his leadership and work ethic but he must make more plays. I have a free agent starting beside him because it’s a tough position for a rookie to learn. But if they spend a high draft pick that player could jump into a starting job quickly.  Foster moves into the nickel role that he performed well after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury. Steven Daniels, a 2016 seventh-round pick who spent the year on injured reserve, could push Spaight for a job.

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar
Backups: Kendall Fuller (nickel), Tharold Simon, free agent/draft pick

This could go in a lot of different directions. The only spot set in stone is Norman’s. I have Bashaud Breeland moving to safety, which is something of a speculative hot take. If they make that move, they could spend a high draft pick or substantial free agent money on a corner or they could stay in-house with Dunbar or Fuller. Simon could make the team and contribute or he could be cut.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Safety

Starters: Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, draft pick

Safeties are hard to find. In college, potentially good safeties gravitate towards cornerback, where the NFL money is better. If a good one hits the free agent market, the laws of supply and demand push the price up beyond the value of the position. For those reasons, the Redskins might try Breeland at safety. Some in the organization have believed for a couple of years that safety is his best position. Cravens announced that he would be moving to safety so that change is firm. Duke Ihenacho, who is a free agent, could be back but I think he moves along. Blackmon is a good veteran reserve who can play nickel also. Even though he made a key interception when forced into duty against the Eagles, it still seems that they don’t trust Everett at safety and perhaps a mid-round pick will replace him.

Specialists: LS Nick Sundberg*, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

I predict that Sundberg will be the first of the team’s pending free agents to agree to a contract. Hopkins may get some camp competition but it is unlikely to be of more than the token variety.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.