At the moment the city of Washington is in a bit of a frenzy in regards to their team. Much like a young child opening a Christmas present for the first time, the Redskins are happy with their newly found coach Mike Shanahan.
That is until the fashion wears off, and reality sets back in that players are needed, scouting is needed, and more importantly wins are needed.
Reviewing the Redskins' starting roster, things aren't too shabby. With restricted free agent quarterback Jason Campbell a possibility for next season, the Redskins may have to consider drafting or signing a new man to take the snaps from under center. As much as a quarterback is needed in Washington, a running back wouldn't be to bad either.
Clinton Portis has always been the man in Redskin land. The power back that feeds off of the tiniest of holes in which he can manage to fit through and make a small play turn into a decent size gain. Drafted in 2002, Portis isn't getting any younger. At times he seems slow, tired, and almost sluggish.
Those are characteristics that the Washington Redskins simply don't want, and the argument could be made that the Redskins could do with a young running back that the Redskins can mold while seeing out the remainder of Portis' time in Washington.
With a long list of possible choices at the running back position, here is what Mike has to choose from.
C.J Spiller (Clemson)
Since the Redskins have the luxury of taking the forth pick in the NFL Draft come April, a high profile running back is something the Redskins could definitely snag.
For those that don't follow Clemson football too closely, C.J is one of a kind. Speed, power, knowledge and burst, are only a few of the attacks that C.J comes equipped with. More than likely the top running back in the draft in front of Toby Gerhart, C.J's quick style running may be something for Shanahan to consider.
Watch any tape of Spiller's highlights, and you will automatically notice that he is not only a good runner, but a great blocker as well. Hand him the ball, or go for a throw, C.J nine times out of 10 will deliver, which is perfect for a young rebuilding team.
Toby Gerhart (Stanford)
As much as I like Toby, I just don't see the fit in Washington. Toby is the sort of guy that feeds off a good run game, and that is something that the Redskins are still trying to establish at this point. More than likely to be taken by St. Louis or Detroit, the Redskins may not even have a shot at the senior out of Stanford anyway.
As much as he is a prospect for all teams, the passing game is where he lacks. With little experience on screen routes, deep routes, or even the spread offense, Toby would suffer in a pass happy team like the Redskins. I just don't see the fit here.
Jahvid Best (California)
As talented as Best is, he didn't give his best in the 2009 season. Some of this may have to do with the Bears lackluster performance, or it could be that his season was cut fairly short. Either way, he still has talent and is a prospect for Mike to look at.
He had 867 yards in 2009 along with twelve touchdowns, and is a great ground runner that is perfect for pounding the ball. The goal line is where he excels, and if you want a quick, easy touchdown in a matter of seconds, well Jahvid Best is you best bet.
Like C.J Spiller, blocking is something that comes with this young man. Probably not the most reliable hands in college football, Best is quite capable of taking a catch and running it up the field for six.
The Redskins seem to fit his mold. He is young, fast but not overly productive. With a name like Jahvid, he'll certainly fit in. And with the talent that he packs, I think he could be the piece that Washington is missing.
Johnathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech)
Like Best, Dwyer lost a lot of recognition due to Georgia Tech's choke performance in the Orange Bowl game. As underrated as he is heading into the draft, many analysts believe he was the best in the nation during the 2009 season. Named one of the players to watch for in the NFL, Dwyer has made himself famous in the span of three years with the Yellow Jackets.
What does this mean for Washington though?
Well it's simple. He may not be a fit, but he isn't someone to write off either. It is questionable whether or not Detroit, St. Louis, or Tampa Bay will be interested in him. For the type of runner that Dwyer is, he may be just a bit to prolific for a Redskins team that is still rebuilding. Shanahan would be wise to consider him though.
- Toney Baker (NC State)
- Stafon Johnson (USC)
- Joe McKnight (USC)
- Darius Marshall (Marshall)
- Ryan Matthews (Fresno State)