Browsing all articles tagged with 2008 Draft

2008 Draft Analysis:'Skins New Regime Up to Same Old Tricks

The past few years being a Washington Redskin fan usually meant an unexciting draft day. Owner Dan Synder and Redskins executive Vinny Cerrato modus operandi was to trade away draft picks for established players. Players who often turned out to be busts. Recently cut wide receiver Brandon Lloyd would be the latest example.

This year, things were going to be different. Former Head Coach Joe Gibbs, Synder, and Cerrato made the drafting decisions the past few years. There has been some speculation that having three different inputs caused confusion and chaos for personnel moves. Gibbs retired at the end of last season and Synder anointed Cerrato de facto GM in the offseason. According to reports, Cerrato’s new title gave him the bulk of the power when it comes to personnel choices. Like many others, I had assigned most of the blame for the Skin’s recent poor choices to him. Nevertheless, I thought that with less interference he might actually come up with a draft that made sense.

He certainly would have plenty of opportunity; Washington had the most draft picks they had had since the 2000 season. They had plenty of holes to fill, but nearly enough draft picks to address them all. Looking back on their draft it does match what I thought their needs were, but in almost completely backwards order.

Biggest Needs

Primary priorities going into the draft should have been right guard, cornerback, safety, and a left guard/left tackle or center. I thought secondary priorities should have been punter, defensive tackle, wide receiver, and a weak side linebacker.

The offensive line is getting old; all five starters are over thirty. Starting RG Randy Thomas and starting RT Jon Jansen combined for only four starts last year. Stephon Heyer, an undrafted pickup last year, did his best at RT, but still has leaps and bounds to go in improvement. Randy Thomas’ backup is Jason Fabini; he is a not a youngster at 34. He did not particularly dazzle in relief last year either, defenders too often got at the quarterback from his side. The left side of the line missed no starts last year, and center Casey Rabach only missed one. However, given the age of the line I would say it is about time the ‘Skins starting bringing in some new blood.

In last year’s playoff loss the Seattle, opposing quarterback Matt Hasselback just had too much time in the pocket. Without anyone pressuring him, he easily found open receivers and kept drives going longer than they should have. Clearly, the ‘Skins needed to add a fearsome pass-rushing defensive end during the draft. Philip Daniels is a decent DE, but not a feared one. The line needs to be able to add pressure from both sides. Right now, opposing offensive lines can concentrate on stopping the elite DE Andre Carter.

Second corner Carlos Rogers will likely miss the first few games of the season due to injury. Number one corner Shawn Springs is often nicked up. Fred Smoot is the third corner right now, but will have to play as the second until Rogers heals, and if Springs gets hurt again might even have to move up to number one. There has also been some talk about Springs’ contract; he may not be around in 2009. All of this should have made adding another corner a high priority.

Most of the national pundits were predicting the Redskins to pick a safety in the first round. Why? Reed Doughty and LaRon Landry played well last year and deserve to keep their first string positions. Still, the ‘Skins only had three safeties on the roster going into the draft; surely drafting another would be their fourth or fifth priority. read more