Buried Treasures Part 3: Redskins Late Rounds Safety Options

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Buried Treasures Part 3: Redskins Late Rounds Safety Options

With the addition of Willie Parker, the Redskins backfield got just a little more crowded. Three former Pro Bowlers vying for carries should negate Shanahan's interest in drafting a running back towards the middle-to-end of the NFL draft. Rumors of a Portis trade should be quelched. Shanahan's running scheme will be by committee,...at least for this season.

The Redskins secondary played solid last season. Solid, not great. Turnovers never came to fruition and Haslett's biggest task will be to create more than the measly 11 interceptions the Redskins tallied last season.

One of the marks of a great defense is its ability to force turnovers and give their offense more opportunities to score. The Redskins have lacked that ability the last couple of seasons.

The Redskins are set at the cornerback position. DeAngelo Hall is one of the best in the NFC and one of exiled (rightfully so!) Cerrato's best moves, ever. Carlos Rogers needs to improve after a mediocre season but completes a formidable tandem along with Hall. With Fred Smoot being dust in the wind, Justin Tyron's production needs to increase with his playing time. Overall, this group can play just as well as any in the NFC.

Safety issues plagued the Redskins last season. No matter how aptly the cornerbacks play, a strong secondary presence is much needed. Think of the secondary as an AA sponsor. Without support, the cornerbacks are bound to fall off the wagon.

The trioka of LaRon Landry, Chris Horton, and Reed Doughty did not dovetail into a competent unit. The inconsistent play left so much to be desired that LaRon Landry is rumored to be on the trading block.

Landry, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, has not lived up to his lottery pick billing but it's too early to give up on him. Landry was drafted to play the strong safety position across from Sean Taylor. He needs to return to his natural position to reach his full promise and potential.

The tragic loss of Taylor left Landry with much too responsibility too soon. He can be a game changer in the right system and with the right player or players around him. The free safety position needs to be shored up.

Horton's 2008 gem of season lost its luster in 2009. He lost his starting spot to Doughty who answered the call of duty with 91 tackles and two sacks. Doughty is physical, a sure tackler but lacks the pass defense ability the Redskins need in order to create more turnovers.

Luckily for the 'Skins, in recent years, the late rounds of the NFL Draft have been flush with safety talent. Notable safeties taken in later rounds include the Colts Antoine Bethea (sixth, '06), Giants Michael Johnson (seventh, '07), Dolphins Yeremiah Bell (sixth, '03), Cardinals Kerry Rhodes (fourth, '05), Ravens Dawan Landry (fifth, '06) and Raiders Tyvon Branch (fourth, '08).

The Redskins late round picks (fourth, fifth and sixth) all provide an opportunity to draft a competent addition to the secondary, notably at the free safety position.

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