2010 NFL Draft: Washington Redskins Team Needs

Kevin RobertsSenior Writer IFebruary 17, 2010

ASHBURN,VA - JANUARY 06:  Mike Shanahan speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new Executive Vice President and Head Coach of the Washington Redskins to the media on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

It took major injuries to Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis, as well as a 4-12 season, for the Redskins to see just how far they are from winning the NFC East .

After finally cutting ties with head coach Jim Zorn, owner Daniel Snyder brought in a guy with a real plan, and some actual experience, in two-time Super Bowl champion Mike Shanahan.

Beyond his success through wins, Shanahan has a reputation for producing great offenses, and can make magic happen with quarterbacks. One of the many big questions : is Jason Campbell the exception?



Biggest Needs: QB, OT, RB, WR

Any franchise that just got done with a 4-12 season and isn't completely confident at quarterback needs to think about drafting a franchise passer. And since Mike Shanahan is blessed with the fourth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft this year, there's a good chance he uses it on Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen .

The question is, which guy does he prefer, and if he doesn't see the one he wants fall to him, will he pass for a different need?

My honest belief is that he prefers Clausen's readiness and fluidity in the pocket, but also likes Bradford's poise and accuracy. It'd be a close call, but the Redskins will likely go with whichever one is on the board, and probably would go with Clausen if both are available.

If, for some reason, Shanahan feels he can wait until the second round for Colt McCoy or Tony Pike (he could), then drafting an elite left tackle or protect his new (or current) quarterback's blindside would be a great move.

At the fourth pick, Russell Okung is the consensus pick, and as the best overall tackle in the draft, there just isn't much debate in it.

While Washington could also use talent upgrades at running back and receiver, their main focus in the first round will be quarterback or tackle.  After that, shoring up their entire offensive line will continue to be a focus, if the right players present themselves on the draft board.

Running back will definitely be a need for Shanahan's system, but knowing his history and ability to form elite offensive lines, he can find a franchise back in the middle rounds, if needed.

However, in that same breath, Shanahan has worked with and has found great success with Clinton Portis in the past, so if he thinks Portis still has some life in his legs, this may not be as pressing of a need as it appears.



Biggest Needs: OLB, S, DT

While the Redskins are fairly set at defensive tackle after signing Albert Haynesworth to a $100 million-dollar deal, they still have to worry about their depth.

With Cornelius Griffin turning 33 and entering a contract year, getting a young guy to battle and learn with the vets would be a smart move. However, they may have to settle for the best available DT in the third or fourth round, as they have way too many pressing needs on the offensive line and other positions.

The big positions on defense appear to be OLB and safety, where both safety positions could stand to be upgraded.  Even recently drafted LaRon Landry has had some major issues in coverage.

If Tennessee's Eric Berry is somehow available at the fourth spot, Mike Shanahan would at least have to consider getting Washington it's new version of Sean Taylor. And if they don't like who is available at quarterback, it's a decent possibility.

Regardless of what the Redskins do with their first selection, they will certainly have to think about their defense. While it was solid and helped keep them competitive in several games, they still have room to grow as far as getting to the passer and consistently defending against the pass.

Overall, this draft is all about landing a new quarterback that Shanahan can call "his guy," shoring up the offensive line (which is in shambles), and adding depth on defense.

Running back and receiver are two positions that definitely could use some youth and talent, but considering Shanahan's commitment to growing stout offensive lines and making sure he has a franchise passer, those needs may prove to be a low priority.


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