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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins draft targets at safety

Jan 31, 2014, 5:05 AM EDT

Ed-Reynolds-Stanford

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 31, 97 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

As you read here yesterday, the Redskins have a huge hole in the middle of their defense now that it’s been determined that Brandon Meriweather is going to be a free agent. They will need immediate help and last week we looked at some free agents they could sign. Here are some who they could look at in the NFL draft.

1. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois—Tarik did a profile of him during the Senior Bowl. He picked off seven passes for the Huskies and defended another 14. Ward has solid coverage skills but like most safeties coming out of college he’ll have to prove that his tackling is good enough for the NFL. (Projected round 2-3)

2. Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama—You always have to wonder about damaged goods and Sunseri qualifies as such after he suffered a torn ACL in October. Most thought he would come back to the Crimson Tide to boost his draft stock. If the Redskins are in a gambling frame of mind they could go for the 6-0, 210 prospect. He could well be available when the Redskins pick in the fourth or maybe even fifth round. (Projected round 5)

3. Ed Reynolds, Stanford—According to Rob Rang’s scouting report he “understand his role as the last line of defense”, “takes excellent angles” and is a “reliable open-field tackler”. In other words, he could be better than any safety the Redskins employed in 2013 right off the bat. (Projected round 2)

4. Terrence Brooks, Florida State—He’s a touch short at 5-11 but he has 30-inch arms to compensate. A former cornerback who is tough and aggressive and is another one who needs to sharpen his tackling technique. Brooks was often overshadowed on FSU’s undefeated team but he can make plays both near the line of scrimmage and back deep in coverage. (Projected round 4)

5. Deone Bucannon, Washington—Here’s your big, “Legion of Boom” guy at safety. Bucannon carries 215 pounds very well on his 6-1 frame. Rang said that he delivers “bone-rattling hits” and has a knack for big plays and turnovers. (Projected round 2-3)

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Timeline

—It’s been 33 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 219 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 19; NFL Free agency starts 39; Offseason workouts start 66; NFL Draft 97

In case you missed it

Tandler on Redskins Nation

  1. bjorn94 - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Rich, do you think im stupid to think that Niles Paul could learn to play the safety position? He would qualify as a Legion of Boom safety, with his size, speed, hitting ability and ball skills !

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      I’m not going to call anybody stupid but I don’t think that they will make that move. Get a safety to play safety, use Paul on special teams and figure out how to utilize his speed and team him up with Reed to create havoc at the tight end spot.

      • Stephfan - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        We should get the legion of boom in the second round first.. If the man is good n coverage,zone, man than I say we being him in and put him next to Philip T.. We should give them time to grow.. Then bring bsck hall and move amerson to 2nd cb then let Crawford or free agent battle for other spots. If Rambo shows he cover make a switch there n make him cover…

    • Lex - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      He cant even play TE wth makes u think he could move to safety?

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      That would be a couple year project but not a bad Idea. He really isn’t that good at WR. or TE but is a sure tackler on special teams and with his experiance playing WR he might be decent at reading and reacting.

  2. darrynhyman - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Rich…we all know that good football teams start from the interior…o-line, d-line. On defense, we need a true 3-4 NT, which would really make a tremendous difference on the effectiveness of our unit. I am pretty familiar with a lot of the players coming out, but not sure if there are many top NT prospects. Are you aware of any? Cofield is a good player, but is out of position. His talents would best be utilized at DE and would compliment a true NT wonderfully

  3. dcsportsfan2277 - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Hey Rich…it seems so far that the Skin’s are going to address the secondary via FA and if that is the case who do you feel makes the most sense at #34? Richardson seems to be slipping down and Moses and Yankey are rising. Do we address the OL or Secondary with #34?

  4. O - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Based on the descriptions, I like Bucannon and Reynolds. I wouldn’t mind seeing both of them picked up

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