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Assessing the Redskins’ needs on offense

Jan 30, 2016, 8:55 AM EDT


Everyone knows the Redskins have plenty of personnel needs on both sides of the ball and the temptation is to say that they just need everything. And while there isn’t a position on the field where they can’t use some help, some areas are in more dire need than others.

In an attempt to quantify that, let’s put each position group on a needs meter. The scale is 1-10 and here’s the scale:

1—The depth chart at the position is completely set with players entering prime ages with market value contracts.
5—The team has enough NFL-caliber players under contract at the position but it could use quality depth and some replacement planning for aging players.
10—There are no players under contract who could reasonably be expected to start 16 games.

We’ll look at the offensive side of the ball today, the defense next week.

Offensive line—They have four of the players who started most of the year under contract plus Shaun Lauvao and Kory Lichtensteiger, who missed most of the season with injuries. The unit did well on pass blocking but run blocking left a lot to be desired. They are locked in at two positions, with Trent Williams at left tackle and Brandon Scherff at right guard, and Morgan Moses is probably set at right tackle, although if an upgrade was available in the draft Scot McCloughan might pull the trigger. They have some young depth in Arie Kouandjio and they got some good play from Ty Nsekhe, who is a low-mileage 30 years old.

Need Meter: 5 They need to upgrade a center sooner or later and add some depth as Lauvao is a question mark due to health issues.

Running back—Alfred Morris is a free agent and he is likely (although not certain) to be playing elsewhere. Matt Jones may have a chance to grab the starting job but he has a lot to learn and a lot to prove. Third-down back Chris Thompson should be recovered from shoulder surgery by the time training camp comes around but he’s not a workhorse back. Also returning from injury is Silas Redd but he has a lot to prove as well.

Need meter: 8 Even if Jones proves he can be a starting NFL back there is still a need for depth. Redd may prove to be the guy but some free agent dollars and/or a draft pick must be invested in the position.

Tight end—Jordan Reed is a star in the making if he’s not a star already and Niles Paul should be healthy enough for OTAs and work as Reed’s backup. Derek Carrier is pretty good pass catcher but blocking is not his forte as is the case with the other two.

Need meter: 6 A blocking tight end would be a great addition but as colleges go more to spread offenses that don’t utilize big-body tight ends they get tougher to find.

Wide receiver—There is plenty of discussion about Pierre Garçon and/or DeSean Jackson becoming cap casualties. Whether they are or aren’t, there is still a need to get some quality receivers in the building. Both are approaching the age of 30 and will be in the last year of their contracts. Jamison Crowder is fine in the slot. But with Andre Roberts likely to be gone the only receivers left on the roster are Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross. Close your eyes and envision them at your 2017 starters.

Need meter: 7 This is not quite as urgent as the running back position is as they should be in good shape in 2016. But with the future looking shaky some more quality depth is needed.

Quarterback—The reasonable assumption is that Kirk Cousins will be back either under the franchise tag or with a long-term deal. Then it gets iffy. Robert Griffin III will be released. The Redskins probably will want Colt McCoy back but he might want to go somewhere with a shakier quarterback situation where he has a chance to start some games. And whether he goes or stays the team will still need a developmental quarterback on the roster.

Need meter: 8 This is based on the notion the McCoy leaves for what he perceives to be greener pastures. A veteran backup who could step in if there is an emergency would be needed in addition to the developmental QB. If McCoy stays this drops down to about a 6.

  1. scottmccloughanfan - Jan 30, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Offensive moves include signing KIRK COUSINS III, DARRYL YOUNG, RFA TOM COMPTON, and match offers on CHRIS THOMPSON if not unreasonable.

    Plan to use COMPTON at swing TE/OT. Hopefully, he will improve at catching passes to the level of LOGAN PAULSEN.



    Of course, a lot more will be certain after the free agent signing period, and the prospects will change after the post-season games and combines.

    No doubt, the REDSKINS staff already are talking to prospects, and gathering background on college players.

    Hopefully, they have pretty much settled on who they want to bring back in their own FA pool, and who they will target afterward.

    Unfortunately, we as fans are outside such information and are merely guessing here. But playing amature GM is fun.

    • unknownskinfan - Jan 30, 2016 at 5:38 PM

      I don’t see them pursuing Alex Mack for the Center position. 30 Years old? Not sold on that one in any form. Wouldn’t want a dropped off back like Miller. I don’t know much about Prescott, Listenbee and Ervin to make a decision about that. Well, I know Prescott seems to be the consensus ‘Cousins’ style pick and Listenbee was the other receiver at TCU behind Doctson, and at 6’1 listed I would be wondering who goes in his place.

    • Lex - Jan 30, 2016 at 6:37 PM

      Tom compton is a blocker only and will never go out for a passwe need to draft a TE like Vanett from Ohio St. Jeff Driskell would be my pick drafting a Qb he looked better than any other Qb besides Dak Prescott at the senior bowl

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 30, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    I think I’d give a higher number than 5 to center, unless Spencer Long can make the switch.

    Also, we do not have a 6’3″ WR like many other teams have. We could use one.

  3. JOHNNY B - Jan 30, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Well I do think that we need to bring in more depth for the o-line good at run blocking so draft or fa for that. I would like to see Morris back next year if not Chris Ivory is a FA and a good down hill runner also good at breaking tackles. Good QBs are hard to find so get them young and groom him to be a Redskin. So let’s get one late in the Draft.

    • scottmccloughanfan - Jan 30, 2016 at 2:42 PM

      yeah, another TOM BRADY in the 6th would be nice. If anyone can spot the next low round QB phenom it’s McCLOUGHAN.

    • bangkokben - Jan 30, 2016 at 7:37 PM

      The o-line DOES need to improve in run blocking but how is bringing in depth (back-ups) going to improve that.? They either need a new LG/C or the LG/C need to improve in run blocking (btw, the running problem isn’t just a LG/C problem).

  4. colmac69 - Jan 30, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Until they get their defense up couple levels then it will make no difference what upgrades they do offensively….will win games in regular season but u invariably need strong defense to get to nxt level

    Look at broncos this yr…..their defense has got them their as there offense has struggled mightily esp with manning at qb…….carolina as well….Yeh newton has played really gd but if their defense hadn’t bn as gd would they b in superbowl? …seattle another team…..Wilson has played really great over last four yrs but it’s lot easier when u got great defense

    As it’s bout offense if your looking o-line it appears u got three pieces in place for nxt number yrs…..left guard possible if they think long could b answer but centre defo needs to b looked at

    Running back you got jones,,,,Thompson….assume morris leaves u got need there

    Tight end with reed,,,Paul not too bad

    Wide receiver possibly if your looking few yrs dwn the line…..get younger for sure although from what gm said other day u xpect both garcon and jackson b back nxt season

    Qb is set….just what you have as backup assuming McCoy leaves (would he get shot at starting somewhere?)

    But definitely more pieces in place going forward in future than defensively….imo the offense is capable of getting to playoffs…is it strong enough to go all the way?maybe but it would require a very gd defense to step in and carry it along if offense struggles…..

    Upgrade defensively has to b priority over nxt couple seasons

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 30, 2016 at 6:52 PM

      Billings could be a nice 1st round pick to solve our NT position (for the future).

  5. lezziemcdykerson - Jan 30, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    I’d give TE a higher grade. Consider how we started this season. Now consider how we finished the season, with a tackle for a TE. We need a solid back up that can catch and pass protect.. though if I had to choose get another catching TE. If we’re really going to utilize the short yardage gameplan and ink Cousins long term, TE will be a crucial position going forward.

  6. bangkokben - Jan 30, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    I like the idea of keeping both Garcon and Jackson for next year. Unfortunately, they seem like the cream of the 2017 WR FA class. (I don’t expect DeAndre Hopkins or Michael Floyd to hit the open market.) Of course, there may be guys released next year who have contracts into 2018. But the bottom line is that both of these guys will have to be replaced eventually and the free agency pool next year is not a good place to fish.

  7. John - Jan 30, 2016 at 8:53 PM

    Garcon is not going to take a pay cut, so he’ll be gone. There a more than a few receivers with size that can be developed. Trade out of the 1st and get some more 2s. There are quite a few defensive linemen out there. Centers will be there from Michigan State and Wisconsin. Jones has potential but we need a dynamic back to serve as a complement or to start. A blocking tight end will probably be available as an undrafted rookie free agent.

    • berniebernard666 - Jan 30, 2016 at 11:32 PM

      Andre Roberts is gone. Garcon is not going anywhere. The Redskins are on the threshold of doing better. Scott M is smarter than you are. He will not dump TWO receivers in one off season after having offensive success. Garcon is in his final year but he will be back.

    • bangkokben - Jan 31, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      Garcon doesn’t NEED to take a pay cut. He has one year left on his contract and it is ONLY the 13th highest WR cap hit for 2016. MOST IMPORTANTLY it fits under the cap with plenty of room to sign the QB and sign the entire 2016 rookie class. Jackson is 16th on the list. As for your “solution” of trading back for more picks and developing guys, that doesn’t help 2016. It’s a terrible strategy for 2016 and as illustrated above – UNNECESSARY!

      Below is a list of Redskin players and how they stack up against current cap hits in the same position. The position is for the position they were playing when signed or drafted which isn’t necessarily the position they currently play.

      QB 16th Griffin $16.1M (insert Cousins)
      LT 4th Williams $10.67M
      C 12th Lichtensteiger $4.05M
      RT 11th Scherff $4.82M (10th for RGs)
      34DT 3rd Baker $4M (17th for 34DEs)
      34DE 6th Hatcher $8.73M
      34OLB 5th Kerrigan $8.45M
      ILB 18th Riley $5.05M
      CB 14th Culliver $9.25M
      S 6th Goldson $8M

      Garcon should not be an issue of value or recent production. It’s about what is best for the team in 2016 and can you afford the contracts you as an organization has committed to. If the organization low balls Garcon or cuts him in this salary cap climate, then they are sending a resounding crappy message to the rest of the team. If you set records one year still play your tail off but don’t produce as much two years later, then we’ll get rid of you because we can is a bad business message.

  8. Kenny365 - Jan 31, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Honestly we still need a qb. We will regret giving Kirk a big contract.

    • boysheadcoach - Feb 2, 2016 at 10:36 AM

      Do you really want a rookie QB who wont be on his game for 2-3 years?
      There is no Luck, Manning, Brees type “Plug in and go to the Playoffs”in this years draft. at least where we draft. Or in FA.
      Kenny, life is not Madden. Cousins is our man for the near future. Yes Scotty can draft a Guy to sit w/ a clipboard and learn and he may pan out, but he will not be a starter in the near future. Archives

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