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QB Washington Jake Locker
What I've been waiting for.
It was a promising year for the Redskins with a new regime in Shanahan and Allen. Fans believed that, despite a new head coach and new systems to be installed, the 'Skins would still be competitive. Washington had their moments, but it was obvious that they are more than a few positions away from a win-now attitude.
This mindset was actually a disguise.
Even with the addition of QB Donovan McNabb, it's difficult to have a dangerous offense while installing a new system, especially with an average receiving corps, inconsistent line play and injuries at the RB position.
The pass offense ranked eighth but still had trouble finding the end zone. Despite that, an emerging WR in Anthony Armstrong and RB Ryan Torain were put on display. WR Santana Moss proved his worth.
With McNabb most likely on the way out and the resigning of Moss, they could draft at either position with their first pick.
On offense, Shanahan could either reach for his QB or take the next best WR in Julio Jones. A guard will also be considered here, to improve on their 30th ranked run offense—but not this high.
The Haynesworth situation was just bad. Installing a 3-4 without the personnel for it showed this year. They were 26th against the rush and 31st against the pass. It's not a question of whether the 3-4 works or not (actually I saw a lot more turnovers this year), it's that you need the personnel to do it.
The nose tackle position to replace Haynesworth would be heavily desired and add to the youth movement on the defensive line, but the top ones are gone. The next most important position on defense to be desired is an OLB opposite Orakpo.
This pick will come down to deciding between reaching for a QB and an OLB.
However, the dilemma is only having two picks in the first two rounds and each one needs to have an immediate impact on the team. There is no doubt that the 'Skins will draft a QB in this year's draft—just a question of when.
The 'Skins would prefer to draft a QB that could take the starting position at some point during the season. With that, I see Shanahan reaching for Washington QB Jake Locker.
If Washington doesn't take a QB at 10, they'll have to wait until round two. If not two, then five. If the 'Skins do not take one here, other teams after them in the first round such as Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Seattle will do so. Even in round two, if teams such as Buffalo, Arizona, and Tennessee that pick ahead of Washington did not take a QB with their first pick, they could also be looking for one.
This pick will be heavily examined by all, however, with only two picks in the first two rounds, it makes sense for the 'Skins to take a QB at 10 rather than waiting to see what's left over. Some people also forget how high Locker was ranked last year until he decided to stay.
As for the rest of the draft, I see Shanahan addressing the NT/OG position in the second round. Remaining picks will heavily focus on the defense by adding some needed depth at the CB/DE positions along with an OLB. On offense, hopefully Shanahan can find a gem at the WR and RB positions.
With a combination of smart decisions in this year's draft and free agency, the Redskins can be more competitive sooner rather than later.