When Mike Shanahan took over the Washington Redskins last year, this couldn’t have been what he had in mind.
With a top ten defense and the presence of an elite quarterback in Donavan McNabb, the Redskins were sure to improve their 27th ranked rushing attack. Shanahan alone, whose teams have historically run the ball well, was sure to produce better numbers.
Now, a year later, they are 30th in the NFL in rushing, 31st in total defense, and most likely absent of that elite quarterback presence.
From my perspective they will need to address the quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive line positions sometime this offseason. Picking tenth in April’s draft will give Washington plenty of options.
Defensively, they have added O.J. Atogwe via free agency and if they can keep Carlos Rogers, their first round pick in 2005, that should improve the secondary and the 31st ranked pass defense in the league.
2009 first round choice, Brian Orakpo is already of Pro-Bowl caliber, but they could use another rush presence at outside linebacker to fit in Jim Haslett’s version of the 34 defense.
If Maake Kemoeatu returns fully healthy that will help to firm up the nose tackle position, but getting depth in the draft wouldn’t hurt. I not even going to attempt to predict or pretend to know what will happen with Albert Haynesworth.
Coach Shanahan has said the tight end is the only position on the team he has total confidence. So that appears to be the only position that is not an option in the draft.
Washington does get a break after facing the tough AFC East in their out of conference schedule, then they pick up the NFC West, Minnesota and Carolina in their out of division games.