2013 Redskins draft needs: RG3's health still the most pressing concern in Washington

John Harris
Special to Yahoo! Sports

LAST SEASON Rush Offense - 169.3 ypg (1st)
Pass Offense - 213.9 ypg (20th)
Total Offense - 383.2 ypg (5th)
Scoring Offense - 27.3 ppg (4th)
Rush Defense - 95.8 ypg (5th)
Pass Defense - 281.9 ypg (30th)
Total Defense - 377.1 ypg (28th)
Scoring Defense - 24.3 ppg (22nd)
MOST PRESSING NEEDS Offense: Robert Griffin III's knee and right tackle
Defense: Secondary and inside linebacker depth


The only issue at quarterback is THE question for this entire franchise. When can Robert Griffin III return and will he ever be the same? After initially injuring his knee against the Baltimore Ravens during the regular season and then going down for good in the playoffs against Seattle, there is legitimate concern that Griffin won't be ready to open the season and that he may not be the player that earned the Rookie of the Year award in 2012. Kirk Cousins will start under center until Griffin returns. But the team must add a seasoned veteran behind Cousins or re-sign Rex Grossman, who is an unrestricted free agent.  The draft won't be the answer it was last year, nor does it need to be in 2013.

RUNNING BACK The Draft Board

5th round Denard Robinson, Michigan (5-11, 193) 6th round Theo Riddick, Notre Dame (5-10, 201) 7th round Onterio McCalebb, Auburn (5-10, 168)

Anyone that claims that they envisioned Alfred Morris having a 1,600+ yard season after being a sixth-round draft pick is a con artist. Mike Shanahan did it before with Terrell Davis many years ago, but no one had any expectation whatsoever that Morris would be the bell cow of this offense as a rookie. Consequently, with Morris back and a boatload of depth behind him, the Redskins probably won't add an every down back early in the draft.

Either at running back or wide receiver, Denard Robinson could have a diverse role in this offense. He's getting more comfortable catching the football, which was evident in Indianapolis at the combine. However, over the last two or three games of his career, he not only lined up at running back but he excelled. Theo Riddick is quicker than he is fast, but he also plays both slot receiver and running back.


5th round Ace Sanders, S. Carolina (5-7, 173) 6th round T.J. Moe, Missouri (6-0, 204)

Four Redskins receivers caught 38 passes or more last season and all four are set to come back in 2013. The only question is whether Santana Moss will be brought back at a reduced cap number. His projected cap number is $6.1M for 2013, which is a salty number for a guy who'll be 34 by training camp and played a majority of his snaps out of the slot. If he doesn't restructure and is a cap casualty, the Redskins may look at some slot receiver options, in addition to the pair listed above at running back.

Ace Sanders is a lot like Moss, although the former South Carolina star doesn't have elite speed.  But Sanders could also be used on punt and kick returns, which is more vital given the fact that Brandon Banks is a restricted free agent.  T.J. Moe is a physical slot type, much bigger than most slot receivers, but he has glue for hands and can catch anything thrown his way.

TIGHT END The Draft Board

5th round Matt Furstenburg, Maryland (6-3, 242) 6th round Jake Stoneburner, Ohio St. (6-3, 252), Michael Williams, Alabama (6-6, 269) 7th round Levine Toilolo, Stanford (6-8, 260)
Chris Pantale, Boston College (6-5, 254)

Longtime Redskin Chris Cooley is an unrestricted free agent. Logan Paulsen is a restricted free agent. Fred Davis is an unrestricted free agent and is coming off of an Achilles tear. Three tight ends, three very different issues.  Now, Cooley is more than likely out of gas and will walk. But, Paulsen should return as there shouldn't be a mad rush to sign him out on the market. The decision on Davis won't be an easy one, but the Redskins have decided not to use the franchise tag on him. As such, they'll wait to see how he progresses before making a final decision. It's a risk, but if Davis is fully healthy, the team can wait until later in Day 3 to draft a tight end. If Davis isn't 100 percent or walks away, the team will have to adjust its priority. At this point, we'll let the best-case scenario play out for the Redskins.

Matt Furstenburg could be one of the best value selections on the board if selected in the fifth round. He never had a competent quarterback to get him the football, but when he did catch it, he was a speedy weapon out in space. Jake Stoneburner never really got in a groove with either of his quarterbacks at Ohio State, but he was also his worst enemy by getting in trouble off the field.


2nd round RT Kyle Long, Oregon (6-6, 313)
RT Terron Armstead, Ark. Pine-Bluff (6-5, 306) 3rd round G/T Justin Pugh, Syracuse (6-4, 307)
C/G Brian Schwenke, Cal (6-3, 314) 4th round T David Quessenberry, SJSU (6-5, 302)
T Jordan Mills, La. Tech (6-5, 316)
G Garrett Gilkey, Chadron St. (6-6, 318) 5th round G Alvin Bailey, Arkansas (6-3, 312) 7th round G/T Jordan Devey, Memphis (6-7, 317)

The Redskins need to determine what to do with their right tackle position. Jammal Brown was slated to start there last year, but he suffered a season-ending injury, leaving the starting spot in the capable hands of Tyler Polumbus. The Redskins won't be able to spend much, if any money in free agency, so if they let both walk they'll more than likely have to turn that spot over to a first-year starter. Given RGIII's potential return, can the team afford to put a rookie on the right side?

Kyle Long's off-the-field issues may be a problem for some teams, but he's matured. He's got every attribute necessary to be a right tackle - feet, a nasty streak and lateral quickness. Terron Armstead is a physical specimen who could eventually develop into a left tackle. Although center isn't a top priority, Brian Schwenke could be the future with his quickness and zone blocking abilities and in the third round, he'd be a tremendous value selection.


The Redskins' defensive line was stout last year and that was without Adam Carriker, who missed most of the season with an injury.  Although this group doesn't have a bonafide Pro Bowler, it has good talent and depth that should allow the Redskins to focus their draft efforts elsewhere.

LINEBACKER The Draft Board

4th round ILB Jon Bostic, Florida (6-1, 245) 5th round ILB Nico Johnson, Alabama (6-2, 248)
ILB A.J. Klein, Iowa St. (6-2, 243) 7th round ILB Jonathan Stewart, Texas A&M (6-4, 242)

Brian Orakpo's return is a huge boost to the linebacking corps. OLB Rob Jackson, a restricted free agent, was adequate, but he's not Orakpo. On the opposite side, Ryan Kerrigan continues to adapt to playing from a two-point stance, but he led the team in sacks by a wide margin in 2012. The only real question at linebacker is how long London Fletcher can play. He racked up 139 tackles last year, but also missed his share of snaps along the way.

If a player got selected based purely on his combine performance, Jon Bostic would be a top-five pick. But throughout his career at Florida, he didn't always utilize his immense physical skills. He's a little slow to read and decipher blocking schemes and play designs, but he's the perfect sit-and-learn young linebacker. Nico Johnson can thump, but he'll end up only being a two-down linebacker in the future. A.J. Klein has the football instincts that teams crave in their young players and would be great value in the fifth round.

SECONDARY The Draft Board

2nd round S Eric Reid, LSU (6-0, 213) 3rd round S D.J. Swearinger, S. Carolina (5-11, 208)
CB Robert Alford, SELA (5-10, 188)
S T.J McDonald, USC (6-3, 219)
CB Jamar Taylor, Boise St. (5-11, 192)
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, UConn (6-1, 195) 4th round S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia (6-1, 211) 6th round S Bradley McDougald, Kansas (6-0, 215)

Since the tragic passing of Sean Taylor and the departure of LaRon Landry, the Redskins' safety play has been average at best. This is an area of definite need as they must find a starter at free safety while Brandon Meriweather transitions over to strong safety. At cornerback, DeAngelo Hall has more left in the tank and is still making plays, and Josh Wilson is decent on the other side.  But, there isn't much in the way of depth behind them.

Eric Reid has been productive for three years in the best conference in the country, but lacks top-end speed to play a lot of man coverage. That said, he can play the middle of the field with the best of them and would form a great duo with Meriweather. D.J. Swearinger is the X-factor in this group because of his hitting ability and physical presence.

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