Washington Redskins Post-Draft Wish List
Linemen headline the Washington Redskins' undrafted free agent wish list.
It doesn't undermine an excellent draft haul, but the Redskins didn't add a lineman in any of their seven picks.
There could also be room for an inside linebacker to improve depth behind veteran London Fletcher while another cornerback would be welcome as well.
Here are five priorities for the Redskins' undrafted free agent wish list and some rookie free agents who could help.
1. Adding a Defensive Lineman
Abry Jones is a good scheme fit for the 3-4.
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The Redskins should seriously consider adding another hulking lineman to their 3-4 scheme. Abry Jones combines a mammoth frame with surprising movement skills.
He's got the size to man the five-technique role in the Redskins' base front and Jones would be an intriguing member of the defensive end rotation.
His NFL.com draft profile shows how Jones could suit Washington's scheme:
Sometimes used in zone blitzes due to his footwork. Swims over leaning guards to penetrate, can also spin off a block and win the gap against a double-team. Plays with the strength to hold the line due to his thickness through the middle of his frame. Uses strong hands to move his blocker to either side in a two-gap system, looks to shed and owns the flexibility and length to dive at ballcarriers coming through the hole.
The Redskins need strength up front and linemen who are flexible enough to feature in fire-zone pressure schemes. With Kedric Golston and Phillip Merling in reserve and Adam Carriker returning from injury, Jones would be a useful signing.
2. Strengthen Offensive Line Depth
Xavier Nixon has the athletic capability for zone-blocking.
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The Redskins could certainly use additional depth along their offensive front as they added three rookies last year, but only Josh LeRibeus contributed.
Journeymen retreads Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood have been signed this offseason. Hardly any of these reserves could be dubbed as quality depth.
Adding a scheme-suited zone-blocker to compete would be a good move and Xavier Nixon would fit that requirement.
He's mobile enough to shift to the second level of a defense and block downfield. Nixon seems more like a natural tackle rather than an interior lineman.
An option at guard could be Sam Brenner. The former Utah starter sustained a serious neck injury in college, but rebounded to win a starting spot inside.
He doesn't possess raw power, but that doesn't matter in the Redskins' scheme. Brenner is quick-footed and fits a zone system well.
3. Finding Another Cornerback
Signing Terrence Brown would add another quality corner to the roster.
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The Redskins should be pleased that they came away from the draft with cornerback David Amerson. However, that shouldn't stop them from finding another corner to add to the mix.
One option is ex-Stanford starter Terrence Brown, whose game is thoughtful and technically sound. He's well-coached and that would give him a chance to impress in camp.
Another choice worth considering is Travis Howard. He has excellent size at 6'1" and 200 pounds. The Redskins have made a strong effort to get bigger at the edges of their secondary.
Howard would fit that move. He'd also increase the competition and depth at a vital position.
4. Improve Options at Inside Linebacker
Bruce Taylor could compete for time at inside linebacker.
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Perry Riley and London Fletcher are both free agents after this season, not to mention the fact Fletcher is soon to be 38 and can't go forever.
The Redskins only have 2012 rookie Keenan Robinson and special teams veteran Bryan Kehl in reserve. Snaring a rookie free agent like Virgina Tech's Bruce Taylor would boost depth.
Taylor has been brittle at the collegiate level, but possesses excellent blitzing skills. That attacking talent could help Taylor make a good impression in the Redskins' zone-blitz 3-4 alignment.
Alternatively, the Redskins could look at a bigger thumper like Kevin Reddick or Kenny Demens. The Redskins certainly need more insurance at the heart of their defense.
5. Acquire a Wide Receiver
A slot receiver like Darius Johnson could help.
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Mike Shanahan wasn't adverse to adding to a loaded position in the draft. He selected two running backs to join an already-crowded rotation.
He could be tempted to snare an additional wide receiver for his existing stable. Pierre Garcon battled injuries during his first season in Washington, but still seems like the obvious No.1.
Josh Morgan also had an inconsistent season in 2012, but will still contribute. Speaking of inconsistent, that's the perfect way to describe youngster Leonard Hankerson.
Shanahan likes big, physical receivers and there are plenty to choose from in the rookie free-agent market. The likes of Keenan Davis, Marcus Davis and Mark Harrison are all in the 6'3", 215-235-pound range.
Conversely Shanahan could opt for a smaller, speedy option to create mismatches from the slot. If so, then Darius Johnson would be an excellent find.
He's a great target for a spread-style attack. Johnson needs to refine his route-running, but is tailor-made to outrun coverage underneath.
Johnson and any of the players on this list could help in areas the Redskins can still strengthen in the wake of their 2013 NFL draft.