Why the Redskins should draft him: They clearly have a need for a strongside linebacker, which is what Cushing played at USC. One GM we talked to listed Cushing as the best of the three USC ‘backers and said there was no worry of him being a bust. He liked that when Maualuga had to come out of games for injuries, USC would put Cushing in the middle. He's strong and does an excellent job taking on blocks, using his hands well to shed blockers. He's also capable of taking on tight ends and playing them in coverage. His intensity would be a good asset to any defense.
Why they shouldn't: Because he's not a playmaker and at 13 the Redskins could use someone who makes plays. Also, scouts and others worry about his durability – and wonder if he's a bit too much of a workout warrior. He, too, left the field on third downs a bit too much. So why draft someone at this spot who is not an every-down player? Also, when it comes to importance of positions, this one would rank below finding an end and even a tackle. When asked which spot he would choose if there were a good tackle also available, one executive didn't hesitate: ‘'Tackle,'' he said. ‘'The position has more value.''
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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The Case For: Brian Cushing
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