Position Analysis: Defensive Line

The sunny side up view of the Redskins D-line is that there is plenty of veteran leadership; the other side of that coin is that they're getting long in the tooth.

2005 Final Roster

Player

Posit

Status

'06 Contract

Status

Comment


Renaldo Wynn

DE

Starter (IR)

Signed

Still one of the best run-stuffing defensive ends in the league and one of the team's veteran leaders. His broken arm should be healed in time for minicamp.


Phillip Daniels

DE

Starter

Signed

Shook off 2004 injury bug to start all 16 games; pass rush improved as year went on, including four in Week 15 vs. Dallas. 


Cornelius Griffin

DT

Starter

Signed

Missed midseason time due to a groin injury probably cost him a Pro Bowl invite and his team some wins. The season-ending five-game streak coincided with his return to the lineup.


Joe Salave'a

DT

Starter

Signed

Played at a very high level against the run and got some key tips of passes towards the end of the year. He fought a painful foot injury all year long.


Demetric Evans

DE/DT

Reserve

UFA

Filled in for both Griffin on the inside and Wynn on the outside when the starters were out.


Aki Jones

DT

Reserve

ERFA

Was on practice squad to start season then make it to the 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent out of Fordham.


Cedric Killings

DT

Reserve

RFA

Was a game-day inactive about half the time.


Nic Clemons

DE

Reserve

Signed

Has made move from practice squad to 53-man roster, but received little playing time at DE.


Ryan Boschetti

DT

Reserve

ERFA

Played mostly on special teams in first 13 games and then was inactive down the stretch.

2005 Season Grade: B-

This is a difficult unit to grade. One usually goes to the sacks stats as a starting point—the line combined had 16 of the team's 35 sacks. But in this defense the line is asked to defend the run first and the pass rush falls on blitzing linebackers and defensive backs, so the mediocre sack total isn't really an indictment. More to the point of their responsibilities in pass defense was that they had more tipped passes than any line in the league. They were13th in the league in rushing defense, a statistic built on some solid performances and some poor ones (Tiki Barber in New York, Landanien Tomlinson in Washington).

2006 Outlook:

The sunny side up way to look at this group is that there is plenty of veteran experience and leadership on it. The other side of that coin is that it's getting old. The four starters will all be back, some of them after some offseason repair work. Griffin suffered some strained knee ligaments in the Seattle playoff game and his rehab will take a few months. Salave'a will try to rehab his injured foot without surgery and Wynn faces a few months of rehab following surgery to repair multiple fractures in his arm in the Tampa Bay playoff game. The team will try to keep Evans as he proved to be a valuable and versatile backup. The best guess is that he will be back unless he is offered a good chance at being a starter elsewhere. As all four starters will be on the north side of 30 when the season ends, the team is likely to go after some linemen in the draft. One strong possibility is using the second-round selection (that's the team's first) to draft an end with pass-rushing skills who could rotate in for Wynn in passing situations.


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