Here's a look at several players who would make sense as Redskins draft picks at key positions:
1. Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
2. Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
3. Cameron Fleming, Stanford
4. Seantrel Henderson, Miami
The Redskins simply have to focus on getting the best possible protectors for Robert Griffin III, and these four mid-round right tackle candidates are massive pass-protection specialists. At least one should be available when they pick early in Round 5, but it's possible they'll want to jump on one of them earlier. If they decide to go down the right tackle road earlier, Kouandjio, Morgan Moses and JaWuan James become possible picks. All would challenge Tyler Polumbus.
1. Cyril Richardson, Baylor
2. Brandon Thomas, Clemson
3. Zach Fulton, Tennessee
4. Spencer Long, Nebraska
Again we're thinking about big pass protectors here. Obviously guards have different responsibilities but the 'Skins gave up far too much pressure up the middle last season. That has to change with some big bodies and Richardson, Thomas, Fulton and Mississippi State mountain Gabe Jackson would also be intriguing, but he might not be available in Round 3, which, considering all of their other needs, is the earliest the Redskins should consider taking a guard.
1. Travis Swanson, Arkansas
2. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
3. Bryan Stork, Florida State
Swanson has the size edge and is clearly the most NFL-ready prospect of this group, but I still wouldn't waste a third-round pick on him. Ikard is a similar player who could be a fourth-rounder, but Stork is a good backup plan for the sixth or seventh round.
1. Adrian Hubbard, Alabama
2. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
3. Cassius Marsh, UCLA
4. Ron Powell, Florida
The Redskins have given up the third-most passing yards in football since the start of 2012, and they missed more tackles than anyone else in football last season, per Football Outsiders. As a result, our focus on defense will be on strong tacklers, versatile linebackers who can rush the passer and, most importantly, defensive backs who can hold their ground in coverage.
At OLB, Hubbard could offer tremendous value after flopping last season. The 'Skins can groom him anyway. Jeffcoat was more productive in college but isn't as versatile and might not be as natural a fit in Washington's defense. Marsh is coming off a hot second half and a good combine, and Powell reminds you of Brian Orakpo. At least a couple of these guys should be available in Round 5 or even Round 6.
1. Telvin Smith, Florida State
2. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
3. Shayne Skov, Stanford
4. Yawin Smallwood, UConn
5. Preston Brown, Louisville
Perry Riley is coming off a rough season and London Fletcher is gone. The Redskins need to draft at least one inside linebacker who can start ASAP next to Riley and might even have the ability to lead this defense down the line. I don't condone drafting inside linebackers 34th overall, which is why this list is compromised of guys who will probably be available early in Round 3 and Round 4. They're all exceptionally good tacklers, so that Washington can rely on them right from the get-go.
1. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
2. Jason Verrett, TCU
3. Bradley Roby, Ohio State
4. Dontae Johnson, NC State
5. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska
6. Keith McGill, Utah
7. Marcus Roberson, Florida
8. Walt Aikens, Liberty
9. Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
10. Andre Hal, Vanderbillt
DeAngelo Hall is a good player and David Amerson has potential, but you'll need a lot more than that to survive on the back end in this division, in this day and age. The corners listed above and the safeties listed next are strong in coverage, usually proven tacklers and are expected to be available between Round 2 and Round 4, where true starting-caliber prospects can still be found. We've also included some sixth- or seventh-round fliers in Colvin and Hal.
In this case, Fuller would be an absolute gift from the football gods before there's a big drop off to Verrett, whom we rank ahead of Roby because we don't fully trust the Ohio State product. Johnson, Jean-Baptiste and McGill are versatile, both in terms of their coverage ability and in terms of where they play (all three have lined up at safety). That's big considering how badly Washington needs players at both corner and safety. Roberson and Aikens are solid cover corners who could be had as consolation in Round 4.
1. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
2. Dion Bailey, USC
3. Deone Bucannon, Washington State
4. Ed Reynolds, Stanford
5. Marqueston Huff, Wyoming
6. Alden Darby, Arizona State
7. Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State
The 'Skins are a complete mess at the safety position. Veterans like Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark shouldn't be counted on to save the day, and the jury's still very much out on the two safeties they drafted last year, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo.
Ward stands alone atop this list. He's the only guy I'd take in Round 2. Beyond that, Bailey, Bucannon, Reynolds and Huff would be quality mid-round picks. Those four are solid in coverage and decent tacklers, so they could compete for starting spots. Darby and Lewis are seventh-round fliers who could immediately help that weak special teams unit.