Draft day 2014 will begin with the Redskins on standby as they currently sit without a first round pick. The action starts with the Houston Texans in possession of the first overall selection, and the Redskins writers for Cover32 have something to say before it all unfolds. See who the Redskins plan to go after when the action begins, and who falls to them as the draft goes on. There’s even room for your predictions in the comments section.
Early picks; Striking while the iron is hot:
Marc Rutledge – DT
I really like what I’ve seen of Ra’Shede Hageman, and I really believe that given his skill set, he would make an immediate impact. A defensive line with Hageman, Cofield, and Hatcher would give opposing QBs many sleepless nights. This line tandem would also open up pass-rushing lanes for Kerrigan and Orakpo.
Aaron Maddox – OL
After preaching that the offensive line is priority number one, I still have my doubts about that coming to fruition. That said, I like Stanford’s David Yankey, or NDSU’s Billy Turner at guard. We could use a guy who can get to the outside and block for Alfred Morris on stretch plays.
Wayne Thomas – OL
Two local standouts, Morgan Moses of UVA and Cyrus Kouandjio ,who was a five-star recruit out of DeMatha, will likely be snatched up by the Skins if either offensive tackle slips to the 2nd round. UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo could fill in at guard if available as well.
Roberto Padilla – OL/DL
With the acquisitions of DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Tracy Porter and Ryan Clark, in addition to resigning many of their own key free-agents, the focus should be on using the early rounds to strengthen the offensive and defensive lines. Protecting Griffin and improving an already strong running game should be the first priority. Plan B should be to pressure opposing backfields, thereby alleviating a secondary that has youth in key positions.
Tom Garrett – DB/OL
If you had asked me in January, I would have said for sure that Washington would either get defensive back help or draft a wideout. Now, in the wake of the DeSean Jackson windfall, along with the signing Ryan Clark and re-signing DeAngelo Hall, I think it comes down to who the best DB or offensive lineman is when the Redskins’ number comes up.
They may be able to get someone like cornerback Jason Verrett, and also would love a chance at Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix in the unlikely event of a trade to move up. On the tackle front, I’m sure there will be great temptation to take local kid Morgan Moses if he’s available, or they may take a look at another tackle in Ja’Wuan James out of Tennessee.
Tom Sherman – LB/OL
Out of the 22 prospects the Redskins worked out this offseason, 11 were either OL or LB (5 and 6 respectively). 7 of those prospects showcased their talents during private visits with Washington. Clearly Jay Gruden knows, or at least thinks, the biggest holes in the franchise remain from the void that London Fletcher has left, and from a porous offensive line. The highest ranked prospects out of the group were offensive lineman Morgan Moses and linebacker DeMarcus Lawrence of Boise State. Both of these guys are potential first round picks, but if they slip into the second round, then the Redskins will have no problems pulling the trigger.