WASHINGTON REDSKINS / 2013 TEAM NEEDS
Be prepared to hear offseason updates on the health of QB Robert Griffin III, whose rehabbed knee (ACL and LCL ligaments) will be the most scrutinized body part in the NFL this offseason. He’s the key, but Kirk Cousins has proven a capable short-term replacement. Reinforcing the OL and WR corps will be top priorities this offseason — along with healing the franchise superstar.
TOP 3 OFFENSIVE NEEDS
OT — Even if the Redskins re-sign ORT Tyler Polumbus, who filled in well for an injured Jammal Brown, the team probably needs to draft a future starter — and immediate backup at minimum. Brown’s time with the team likely is over, and Maurice Hurt, Tom Compton and Jordan Black don’t fit the look of the future here.
RB — Fear not: No one is pushing Alfred Morris to the side at all. But a speedy third-down option really could add a new dimension to this offense. That role possibly could be played by Roy Helu, who has displayed some big-play ability, but his health questions have lingered since college. The Redskins can’t count on him and need more here.
WR — Pierre Garcon is a difference maker, Josh Morgan is fine as a starter now, and there likely remains a place for Leonard Hankerson. But a speedster really could brighten things up and develop more of a deep element to this offense.
It wasn’t always pretty, and the early-season injuries to OLB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker really cranked up the heat on coordinator Jim Haslett. But the schemes started working well by season’s end, and the defense was able to overcome personnel shortcomings — really at all three levels of the “D” — to make this a playoff-caliber unit. In order to take it to the next level, the talent must improve.
TOP 3 DEFENSIVE NEEDS
S — The Redskins have to improve the speed of this position, especially at free safety. Brandon Meriweather projects to the starting SS role once he’s back from knee surgery, and he’s backed ably by DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty. But Madieu Williams was a liability at times and must be replaced if possible. This scheme needs a rangy free safety.
CB — DeAngelo Hall can still make plays, and Josh Wilson competes. Richard Crawford might even prove to be a quality nickel soon. But the team must draft here for depth, a talent influx and with an eye on landing future starters. Hall is owed $7.5 million, and the team wanted to go after Cortland Finnegan a year ago but was cap-strapped.
ILB — One day, London Fletcher will stop playing, miraculous as he is. It’s debatable whether his replacement is on the roster among Lorenzo Alexander or Keenan Robinson. Landing a young coverage linebacker might be the way to go.
2012 DRAFT REWIND
1st round (2): QB Robert Griffin III / Baylor (GP/GS: 15/15)
3rd round (71): OG-C Josh LeRibeus / SMU (GP/GS: 5/0)
4th round (102): QB Kirk Cousins / Michigan State (GP/GS: 3/1)
4th round (119) ILB Keenan Robinson / Texas (GP/GS: 11/0
5th round (141) OG Adam Gettis / Iowa (GP/GS: 0/0)
6th round (173) RB Alfred Morris / Florida Atlantic (GP/GS: 16/16)
6th round (193) OT Tom Compton / South Dakota (GP/GS: 0/0)
7th round (213) CB Richard Crawford / SMU (GP/GS: 10/0)
7th round (217) SS Jordan Bernstine / Iowa (GP/GS: 0/0)
SUMMARY: Some possible whiffs, but also two grand slams with Griffin and Morris. Everything else is gravy, really.