Redskins Fill Needs, but Still Have Holes
The team also signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois off waivers, he could be a nice bonus come fall.
Just like that the Redskins defensive line has been upgraded over last years unit, although the team could still explore the position further in the draft.
So where do the Redskins still have holes? Here’s a look:
Safety – It could be said that safety has been a position of need since the Redskins lost Sean Taylor. Truth is the team has tried to attach band-aids to the safety position for years, and 2014 was no different. The Redskins don’t currently have a safety on the team that has started on an opening day roster. Last years starting free safety Ryan Clark retired and Brandon Meriweather, who started at strong safety, is still a free agent. The team has stayed in contact with Meriweather during free agency which leaves that door open for a return.
The Redskins are scheduled to meet with former Seattle Seahawks safety Jeron Johnson this weekend. Johnson has served as Earl Thomas’ backup for the last four years, a job that means he hasn’t seen much field time but doesn’t mean he can’t play. The Redskins could also explore their options in the draft.
Right Tackle – The Redskins used several different players at right tackle in 2014. Tyler Polumbus (current free agent), Tom Compton and Morgan Moses all spent at least some time at the position. The free agency market hasn’t exactly been full of options this offseason with all available starting options signing deals in which they were over-paid. The Redskins will either let Moses and Compton fight it out for the starting role or draft someone new come April.
Outside Linebacker – With outside linebacker Brian Orakpo signing in Tennessee on Friday, the Redskins top current need is now clearly known. The options the Redskins have in free agency are thin and over-priced to the point where signing someone is not a real option. The team will have to draft a pass rusher in this year’s draft. Some of the options include Nebraska’s Randy Gregory, Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr and Missouri’s Shane Ray.
Center – The Redskins haven’t had a true NFL center in years. The team has continuously plugged guards and tackles into the position in years past avoiding the task of addressing perhaps the most important spot on the offensive line. Their current starter, Kory Lichtensteiger, is actually better at the guard position, addressing the center position would give the Redskins the option of shifting Lichtensteiger back to his natural spot. If the Redskins can shift Lichtensteiger over it will likely lead to the release of right guard Chris Chester, which would free up another $4 million in cap space. The draft has some attractive options, and the Redskins should look to address this need somewhere between the 3rd-5th round.
Running back – The Redskins currently have Alfred Morris, Silas Redd, and Chris Thompson on their depth chart at running back. The loss of Roy Helu, who signed with the Oakland Raiders, will be felt in passing situations for the Redskins in 2015. Fact is, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was already seeking a pass-catching back before Helu signed elsewhere. The draft is stockpiled with running backs this year, and it shouldn’t be an issue finding one that fits the wants the Redskins have.