Washington Redskins: In Defense of a Very Offensive Draft

John MckinnonCorrespondent IJune 9, 2008

One month after the NFL Draft, some Redskins fans may be left with mixed feelings.

The Skins front office didn't bite on any proposed trades—in the eyes of some, they maximized their draft picks.

On the other hand, the Skins seemingly ignored what is arguably their most palpable weakness—their defensive line.  The Redskins have added marginal talent to their line in recent years (save Andre Carter).

However, their 2008 draft choices may help to quell some of the confusion for Skins fans.

The Redskins added Devin Thomas (possibly the strongest receiver in the draft), Malcolm Kelly (one of the most talented receivers available), and Fred Davis (arguably the best tight end taken).

Durant Brooks, the winner of the Ray Guy Award (awarded to college football's top punter), was also taken in the later rounds.

These picks addressed the team's need for tall, young receivers and a punter that can help improve field position.

The Skins also added youth and talent to their offensive line and secondary
with the acquisitions of OG Chad Rinehart and CB Justin Tyron, respectively.

In short, the Skins could have fared a lot worse in this draft.

"Yeah John, but what about the defensive line?"  Okay, I'm getting to that.

With former defensive line coach Greg Blache taking over for the supplanted Gregg Williams, the defensive philosophy shouldn't change that much.  For the last decade, the Skins' greatest weakness has been pass rushing.

Staying true to form, the Skins didn't address this need in the draft.  However, they may have other solutions.

Georgetown University's Alex Buzbee may be a pleasant surprise as a backup defensive end.  The Redskins drafted Buzbee last year but kept him on the practice squad to increase his strength and refine his technique.

But perhaps the most intriguing addition to the D-line could be Erasmus James.

James was chosen by the Vikings as the 18th overall pick in the 2005 draft.  He has shown flashes and has tremendous upside, but his career has been marred by serious injuries.

James was traded to Washington for a conditional seventh-round pick
in 2009.  If James doesn't make the 53-man roster, the Redskins won't owe the Vikings anything.

If he can stay healthy and play up to his potential, he may prove to be a tremendous steal.

This move by the front office may indicate the Skins front office is finally moving in the right direction.

Drafting potentially explosive offensive players may allow fans to forgive the Redskins for not pursuing a talented lineman once again.  If the Redskins can maximize their talent potential on defense this season, they may be a force to be reckoned with.

If not, their best defense may be their offense.


Hail To The Redskins!