Redskins Draft For Talent, Then Need

Nathan SoulesContributor IApril 27, 2008

After sleeping on it, the sick feeling in my stomach after day 1 of the draft went away.  No, the Redskins did not address any positions of need, other then receiver.  But they did come away with 3 second round picks with 1st round value. 

With Devin Thomas & Malcolm Kelly, the skins add much need height to their receiving corps.  Dating back to their '05 playoff run, wide receiver has been a big need for the skins.  Not only did they need a tall, possession receiver, but they needed depth at this position.  Drafting 2 receivers may seem a bit odd, but in recent years the skins have been hit by the injury bug at the receiver position hard, so, having a couple good, young, guys here would help.  Also, drafted players are never a sure thing, drafting two gives them a better chance that at least one will pan out.  With Thomas & Kelly, the 'skins get two of the highest rated Wide Receivers in the draft.  

Fred Davis was a surprise to me.  Don't get me wrong, I did think they'd pick a TE at some point in this draft, but as a back up for Cooley.  Cooley has been the most consistent offensive threat for the skins, and he's been healthy.  Because of this, the skins lack of a quality back up hasn't been exposed.  Davis is obviously a talent pick.  Most rated him as the top tight end in the draft, so getting him with the 48th pick in the draft is steal.  He's definitely got the potential to start alongside Cooley in the West Coast offense that may use 2 tight end packages.   

It wasn't until the second day that the 'skins addressed positions of real need.  They drafted: 1 Guard, 1 Corner, 2 Safeties, 1 Defensive End, 1 QB, 1 punter.  The O-line needs to get younger, and Chad Rinehart is a good start, but they'll need more here.  The defensive backs were more "depth" picks, as they're thin at safety (Rest in peace, Sean Taylor), and with Carlos Rodgers's injury, and Shawn Springs's age, they definitely need some help here.  Really just a pick-up-a-bunch of guys and see what works out there.  I could see Justin Tryon getting some playing time as a Nickelback early on, especially since Rodgers may miss a few games at the beginning of the season.  

Rob Jackson may not end up being the answer to the 'skins pass rush needs, but as a 7th round pick, it's worth a try.  

Colt Brennen is an intriguing pick.  He put up some amazing stats at Hawaii, but that may say more about his school's system & competition.  He's definitely got some talent though.  Could be a starter in this league.  The 'skins, however, are just looking for a backup here.  If he really starts to develop well, and Jason Campbell ends up being everything we expect him to be, we could get some teams asking about Brennen.  That's all way down the road, however.  He's got a hip injury now, but that's of no concern to the skins, since he's a long-term project anyway.  Kind of a win-win for them.  

Of the players the 'skins selected on the second day, the one mostly likely to start in the NFL is actually Durant Brooks, punter from Georgia Tech.   He was rated as probably the best punter in the Draft.  This was a good pick in terms of talent & need, as Derrick Frost has been inconsistent.  They've needed to bring some competition here for some time.  If Brooks doesn't end up winning the position over Frost, he'll likely start elsewhere.  

So, the skins drafted more on talent, who the best player was on their draft board at the time, rather than team need.  This may be a good method, since not every player in the draft has the potential to be in the NFL.  Many just won't end up panning out.  It's more important to get the players that will pan out, so getting the player you rate highest may just be a smart approach.   In the end, they end up with a core group of receiving options for Jason Campbell, but still have some needs in the O-line & D-line to address.