NFL free agency officially started on March 9. Not everyone may have noticed because of all the off-field drama with the Washington Redskins, but they’ve quietly been addressing their needs. They made a concerted effort to address the defensive line, added a hard-hitting safety and replace two playmaking wide receivers with a rising star.
The thing is, more work remains. Here are the three biggest needs left for the Redskins this offseason.
Defensive Line/Nose Tackle
The Redskins signed two defensive linemen -- Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee -- with the hope of upgrading a run defense that ranked 24th last season. It remains to be seen how defensive coordinator Greg Manusky uses them. My guess for both is both defensive
Bennie Logan visited the Redskins this past Saturday but signed with Kansas City on Monday. Another NFC East notable, former Giants DL Jonathan Hankins is still available. He is a force against the run and would create a hell of a defensive line rotation. But what about the pass rush? That's fair, but adding three solid run-stuffers on the line would make the Redskins much better in the trenches, helping turn opposing offenses one-dimensional. Washington still receives most of its pressure off the edge with Ryan Kerrigan and other outside linebackers.
Revamping the defensive line is needed, but the Redskins need a solid inside linebacker to go along with it. In free agency, San Francisco's Gerald Hodges would bring a very solid presence to the position. Hodges, 26, would help with the apparent youth movement up front. Last season with the 49ers, he posted 88 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble in his contract year. He’s a physical linebacker who excels in shedding blocks and isn’t a liability in coverage. Shedding blocks
Assuming quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing in Week 1 for Washington, the Redskins' offense shouldn't have a misstep despite losing DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon thanks to the signing of wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. That said, the run game was hardly consistent in 2016, either in terms of production or attempts. Adding a true workhorse back would help. At this point, the best course might be adding one on Day 1 or 2 of the NFL Draft. There are plenty of options, including Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Joe Mixon.
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