NFL Draft Fantasy Preview Washington Redskins
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There will be a new regime for the Washington Redskins as we head into 2018. Kirk Cousins is out and in steps Alex Smith as the new starting quarterback in the nation’s capital. You should not see much change in how this offense is run, but you should expect more short and intermediate throws. This should help improve the stock of Jamison Crowder, as the team will try to get him into space and use his ability to gain extra yardage.
Alex Smith will likely see his draft stock diminish in value because of the move. If he was still the starter in Kansas City, you would be looking at a potential QB1. The move to Washington drops him to QB2 until he develops a rapport with his new receivers, who are less talented than the receiver group in Kansas City last season.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) April 8, 2018
Entering the draft, look for the Redskins to address the defensive side of the ball. They have taken a hit there over the last couple of years and need to find playmakers and depth at a variety of positions. Wide receiver is another area they could improve, but they may elect to pursue other needs.
Projected Top Three Picks
Team Needs: DL, LB, CB
First Round: Vita Vea, DT Washington
Second Round: Carlton Davis, CB Auburn
Fourth Round: Jeff Holland, EDGE Auburn
The Redskins know they need a solid defense to get back into contention in the NFC East, a division that sports three high-octane offenses. With their first selection, they will look to solidify the inside of the defensive line with the addition of Vita Vea. He is a very intimidating figure in the middle of the line, and he can overpower many interior offensive linemen. A two-gap defender, Vea has the power to get off blockers, but he also has an underrated quickness to get into the backfield. Vea will be a potential cornerstone for a new-look Redskins defense that is due to be overhauled before the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.
Second-round pick Carlton Davis will fill the hole left by the trade that sent Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs. His length and ball skills will help him be an immediate impact player in this defense. He will have to utilize his strength as a press coverage defender at this level to succeed. He has a tendency to struggle when reading receiver routes in space, leading to big plays from time to time. Starting as an outside corner, his instincts should take over and make this an upgrade at the position.
The next pick of Jeff Holland will provide some depth to the Redskins’ pass rush. Holland uses his strength and angles to get to the quarterback. He is limited in the athletic department, but his aggression and motor are what brings value in him. He never quits on the field, which is something that most coaches strive for. If he can polish his technique at the pro level, Holland could develop into a starting edge rusher in the NFL. That is what the Redskins will be looking for with this pick.
Jamison Crowder Photo Credit: Chris Thompson/AP