5 Players the Washington Redskins Should Target on Day 2
With the first round officially complete, Mike Shanahan and his front office now have a better idea as to who is available.
If there are any surprises, it was Eric Reid, who went to the San Francisco 49ers but seemed destined for the second round. Other than that, the first round was clearly dominated by offensive linemen.
So with all of that considered, who do the Redskins have their eye on now? What are their expectations for their future selections? Can these players become more than just role players and develop into a premier Redskins?
Below are some of those prospects.
Safety: Phillip Thomas
Ever since the Senior Bowl, the former Fresno State product has been on the Redskins' radar. He led the nation in interceptions last year and appears to fit the mold as the prototypical NFL free safety.
Although he may not be the most physical safety to be drafted, he’s promising in his instincts and ability cover the field.
In today’s NFL, hard-hitting safeties are no longer legally allowed to play to their strengths—unless they want a penalty, fine and potential suspension.
Drafting cerebral defensive backs like Phillip Thomas is a safe route to go. Redskins officials have had months studying him, and he should pay dividends immediately.
Safety: D.J. Swearinger
Swearinger has the greater upside in comparison to Phillip Thomas. He’s physical, athletic and will be transitioning from the most competitive conference in the country.
If physical traits were the primary reason of selecting a prospect, than Swearinger would have already been selected. However, he still needs some time to develop. He's the ball-hawking defender who you see flashing into your television screen.
It seems that if Swearinger is put into a position where he can have that freelancing role, he could be a huge steal. Therefore, the Redskins have the potential to get a first-round talent in the second round.
Cornerback: Jordan Poyer
Even though the Redskins have a greater need at safety, cornerback could very well be addressed if the front office feels that this guy is the best available.
That’s where Jordan Poyer fits in. He’s a physical corner and has shown flashes of playmaking ability, which is a key component to Jim Haslett’s defense.
Cornerback: Johnthan Banks
This year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner's draft stock has fallen over the past few months after some poor workouts.
However, he’s a 6’2 cornerback who has the versatility to play cornerback, safety and special teams. He was a workhorse at Mississippi State, playing in all 51 games throughout his four-year career.
Tall and physical cornerbacks are becoming more prevalent in defensive backfields.
While safety remains the biggest need for the Redskins franchise, that doesn’t mean that Banks can’t play that position either.
Safeties are now reliant on covering wide receivers in the slot, and Banks has the ability to produce both in coverage and playing centerfield.
Tight End: Zach Ertz
If Mike Shanahan’s draft plan is go after the best player available and the former Stanford tight end is still available, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Zach Ertz in a Redskins uniform.
Do the Redskins need a tight end? Absolutely not, but do they have a long-term answer at that position? The answer is no. Fred Davis is under contract for one more season, but his value has been diminishing.
Let me clarify that this is an absolutely a long shot; however, it’s worth consideration if this is the principle Shanahan will abide by (that’s how Kirk Cousins became a Redskin), especially for someone as productive as Ertz.