Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NFL Draft Preview: Do The Skins Get Defensive?

By Tyler

    Let’s start by saying is anybody surprised that the NFL lockout has stayed ugly, and now players score a huge win by showing up to work because they, “just want to play football.”   Not to mention some have quite a few alimony payments to make.  Wish that was made up, but what can you do?

     Having said that!  Let’s look at the draft, the second most anticipated day of the NFL year following only The Super Bowl, however that could change.  Somehow sitting at Number 10 are our beloved Redskins.  I know what you’re thinking, “10 seems pretty low for such a bad team.”  To which I think everyone in the area completely agrees.  The Skins literally have holes everywhere that include but are not limited to: WR, DB, OL, DL, LB, QB, RB.  There are three guys on the team that have earned a spot for the following year, Laron Landry, Brian Orakpo and Trent Williams.  They play Strong Safety, Outside Linebacker and Left Tackle…..oy.

     O.K. so let’s look at the Defense, because honestly, there’s no QB worth taking at 10 in this draft, none of the receivers that are first round talents will be there.  Sorry Mark Ingram, we don’t need a younger, healthier Ryan Torain, offensive line depth is excellent so they can address that later in the draft.  And OH MY GOD if another person mentions trading back to get Jake Locker I may just lose my mind.  I guess people are forgetting two guys in California by the name of Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley.  If you don’t think the Skins will be in a position to draft one of those guys, then I have a great piece of real estate in Ohio you’d be interested in.
     So let’s look at some of the best defensive prospects in this year’s class:
     I’ll start by saying this is a pretty diverse group, and if you’re looking at mock drafts, which you clearly are, you see that this draft is ABSOLUTELY LOADED with talent on the defensive side of the football, what better year to stockpile your picks and stack your D for the next decade.

     Natural pass-rusher with a high motor, well-liked.  If you’re a Redskins fan, do you need to read anything else?  I didn’t think so but here’s more…  33 tackles, 5 sacks, 20 of the tackles were solo.  Projects to about 7-8 sacks in The League as a rookie.  Not bad, not to mention QB hurries, pressures, hits, tackles for loss haven’t been mentioned.  Played at Alabama, so he’s kind of a winner.

     Probably the best cornerback prospect in a decade or more.  People have drawn comparisons to Deion because of his return ability and speed.  Has safety size and runs a 4.3 40.  If you’re a Redskins fan, you know two things, he won’t fall to 10 and you pray to whomever you believe in, that he doesn’t fall to number 9, if he does, the Skins have 10-12 years of no passing game against the Cowboys.  He could go 1, and won’t go past 6.  In 5 years people will write their redrafts and he’ll go #1 overall.  Everybody knows this, but Cam Newton may go to the Panthers this year….baffling.

     Absolute beast, this guy has Brian Orakpo 2.0 written all over him, meaning, if he’s on a better team, he’ll win rookie of the year, don’t forget how close that vote was, or the fact Orakpo has two pro bowls to his credit, but I digress.  Tons of athletic ability, does have natural coverage skills that Orakpo is still fine tuning, if he falls to #10, I will literally go into a happiness coma, history tells us it could happen, Orakpo was pegged as a top 5 pick and he slipped.  Shades of OOOORRRRAAAAKKKKPPPPPOOOOOO!!!

     Ahh yes, it wouldn’t be an NFL draft without a mega-talent with mega-possible character issues.  Nick Fairley is that guy.  Not going to discuss his talent because it is undeniable.  The hope is that he doesn’t fall to 10, and I don’t think he will.  Not a fit as a 3-4 DE and not big enough to be a nose in a 3-4 so he isn’t a scheme fit.  Those character issues will come out in The League, and in a locker room with Haynesworth and D. Hall, the Skins can ill-afford this guy in there as well.

     Here’s the first guy on here that will likely be on the board when the Skins pick.  People were saying top 10 pick for the draft in 2010 last year but he stayed and got caught taking illegal benefits and was suspended for the entire year, (one of a few Tar Heels to be suspended, if children were caught doing something illegal, wouldn’t we blame the parents for negligence, remind me again how Butch Davis comes out clean in all this?  Butch Davis, who most assuredly uses the line, “I want to raise good young men at our program.”)  We’ve heard big time athlete and natural pass rusher, both of which are immediate upgrades over the patchwork second level the Skins have at the moment

     Looking at everything, especially how loaded this draft is defensively.  Why not stack your picks and get 3 defensive players with your first three picks.  Here me out, take Quinn or another high character, productive, scheme flexibile guy, J.J. Watt.  Now you’ve addressed a need on your line.  Cross your fingers, HARD, that Akeem Ayers is available, and now you’ve added two guys that will take considerable pressure off of Brian Orakpo.   And you’ve added a starting DE and a starting LB, believe me they could do worse, see Exhibit A.

     You’re probably asking yourself, self, “How could they do that, they don’t have a third round pick and who could they get in round four?”  To that I say, take advantage of the Vikings desperation and front office ineptitude, (Brad Childress anyone) and do whatever it takes to send McNabb there and get their third round pick.  If that means McNabb and Haynesworth, YOU DO IT!  Haynesworth does pretty well in the 4-3, and McNabb is a big name that has one more good season left in him.  Minnesota makes this trade.  You’re getting 2 pro bowlers for a THIRD ROUND PICK!  The Redskins are not going anywhere with either of those guys, so you may as well jettison them anyway.  If it means McNabb and Cooley, YOU DO IT!  They have a contingency plan in Fred Davis, and McNabb now has Cooley, Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian and….oh yea…Adrian Peterson.  Again, the Vikings make this trade. 

     Here’s the truth, the Skins are far closer to building a competitive defense than they are a competitive offense.  Here’s what we’ve also seen, Mark Sanchez has been to two consecutive AFC Championship games (forgot that didn’t you?) because of his defense.  Trent Dilfer is a Super Bowl champion because of defense.  Eli Manning won a Super Bowl 3 or 4 years ahead of schedule because of his defense.  The Steelers won games with CHARLIE BATCH LAST YEAR, because of their defense. 

      Also, think about the damage teams did with a few weeks of preparation for Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander as outside linebackers.  Well, now they’ve had an entire year to prepare for them.  That really should keep people up at night.  Also, the defense has some playmakers already, Orakpo, Landry, Fletcher and God love him Carlos Rogers, who can’t catch but is in the right spot pretty often.

     You shouldn’t need more proof than that, especially in such a deep defensive draft, that the Redskins should bet the house and go all defense, win 5 games next year, and grab their QB of the future next year.

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