Pre-Draft Needs: QB, G, ILB, CB, RB
Round 1- Robert Griffin III/QB
Round 3-Josh LeRibeus/G
Round 4-Kirk Cousins/QB
Round 4-Keenan Robinson/LB
Round 5-Adam Gettis/C
Round 6-Alfred Morris/RB
Round 6-Tom Compton/OT
Round 7-Richard Crawford/CB
Round 7-Jordan Bernstine/S
G (veteran), ILB (developmental), CB (developmental), RB (veteran)
With executive vice president/head coach Mike Shanahan heading into his third season at the helm, this year’s NFL Draft could become quite pivotal when evaluating the job he’s done since taking over. The first two years have been an underachievement, but there are signs that he has things going in the right direction of late.
The Redskins were very aggressive in free agency, so they didn’t come in with a lot of needs. But the team still needed upgrading and depth in a few areas.
The biggest issue facing this team all off-season was at quarterback, but they got solved once they made a big trade in March with the St. Louis Rams, which enabled them to get up to the second selection in the first round. And they did that in order to select Robert Griffin. For the first time, perhaps since Mark Rypien was behind center, the Redskins legitimately have someone who they truly believe is capable of holding down the position for many years to come—no more stopgaps.
Even without a second-round pick, the Redskins still were able to address their need on the interior of the offensive line with G Josh LeRibeus. With G Kory Lichtensteiger coming off an ACL injury and on a one-year deal, depth and competition were needed at the position.
The fourth-round provided some interesting theatrics for the Redskins. They certainly weren’t in need of another quarterback considering Griffin will start and veteran Rex Grossman is expected to back him up. However, they clearly were going to select the highest player left on their board, so Kirk Cousins was the guy, who had a third-round grade from at least a few teams. While fans have criticized the pick, the backup quarterback is always just one injury away from playing. And It’s not out of the question that Cousins wins the No. 2 job in training camp over the journeyman Grossman. Fellow fourth-round pick Keenan Robinson will give the team a badly needed developmental prospect at ILB.
Fifth-round pick Adam Gettis is capable of playing guard or center—two positions which could use a developmental prospect. But he's not expected to seriously challenge for a starting job this season.
Sixth-round pick RB Alfred Morris is coming off of an impressive showing during Senior Bowl week practices. Because the running back position lacks depth, it’s not out of the question that Morris, who has good size, earns a roster spot this season. Their final sixth-rounder, OT Tom Compton, is capable of playing either tackle spot. While he’s considered to be more of a long-term developmental prospect, the Redskins have not gotten ideal play from either side, so it wouldn't be too surprising if Compton wins a roster spot coming out of the pre-season.
Seventh-round picks CB Richard Crawford and SS Jordan Bernstine are considered long-shots to make the roster. But in Crawford’s case, the Redskins are in dire need of a developmental prospect at the cornerback, so it’s not of the question that he winds up on the roster this season..
Overall, the Redskins did a nice job of addressing various needs and depth, but the only impact player of the group looks to be Griffin.