With the NFL Draft now days away, it's time to give a pre-draft look at the Washington Redskins roster. Below I'll grade and review each position on the team. Today's edition is on the running backs, offensive line and tight ends.
Running Back (Rankings):
Position Grade: C
Perfect Draft Fit: Joe Mixon, Oklahoma - I may be in the minority, but I believe that this 20-year old is on track to proving he's a person your program can trust. As a player, Mixon can do it all -- making him a perfect fit.
Notes: While Rob Kelley had success last season, it should be noted that Matt Jones was on pace to post a similar, if not better stat line (704 yards, 6 touchdowns). I like Kelley and his potential, but I don't think he's a bonafide lead back. Matt Jones has to fix the fumbling issues, if not, he won't be around much longer. But let's not forget he is still the youngest back on the team without much mileage on his legs. He will get another shot this offseason to prove himself. When discussing backs on this team, I think many forget about Keith Marshall, who missed his entire rookie season last year. He's an injury-prone player who looked extremely raw in training camp last season. But he's explosive. It'll be interesting to see how he progresses. Should the team draft a running back? I'm of the belief that every team should draft a running back each year. Considering the Redskins don't have a star in the backfield, they could consider one early in the draft.
Offensive Line (Rankings):
Others: John Kling, Isaiah Williams, Ronald Patrick, Arie Kouandjio, Vinston Painter and Kevin Bowen
Position Grade: A-
Perfect Draft Fit: Ethan Pocic, LSU - I like Pocic for the Redskins because he's a rare player that can literally play every spot on the offensive line with some level of efficiency. Teams covet that kind of versatility.
Notes: This is by far the best unit on the team and one of the better units in the league. Washington could use another piece at maybe left guard to solidify the line.
Tight Ends (Rankings):
Position Grade: B-
Perfect Draft Fit: Jake Butt, Michigan - I would say OJ Howard, but that's unlikely. If not for his torn ACL injury, Jake Butt would probably be a more discussed tight end in this draft. He's an in-line player, which the Redskins could use, who is strong at the catch-point. With time, he should develop into a solid blocker.
Notes: The people who think the Redskins are settled at tight end are mistaken. While Reed is a stud, he's also a concussion away from his career being in danger. Vernon Davis is getting old and I don't expect him to build off the campaign he had last season. Niles Paul hasn't been healthy in several years. Not to mention, Derek Carrier has also been injury-prone. The tight end position is key in Gruden's offense and offensive line coach Bill Callahan loves to utilize in-line tight ends. I would not be surprised if they draft one at some point.