On the Clock: Washington Redskins

Scouts Inc. puts the Redskins on the clock, breaking down their offseason moves and looking at what questions still need answering.

Originally Published: April 12, 2007
By Jeremy Green | Scouts Inc.

Through April 20, "SportsCenter" will put every NFL team "On The Clock." Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering.

Scouts: Free-agent tracker
Redskins
For a complete list of all of the Redskins' free agents and all their offseason signings, check out Scouts Inc.'s free-agent tracker.
Redskins' free agents
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This team is always tough to evaluate. Owner Dan Snyder is willing to do whatever it takes to win, but the Redskins have not enjoyed any consistent success since he bought the team. Washington does has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but the one that this organization has failed in has been the draft.

One of the biggest reasons is because the team has traded away so many picks over the past few years, choosing instead to build through free agency. In the modern NFL, it is better to build a team through the draft. The Redskins have learned the hard way that just because you add a lot of big names in free agency, it does not mean they can gel quickly.

Washington has a chance to be explosive offensively, but that will depend on how quickly Jason Campbell can develop. The Redskins have spent the majority of the offseason addressing the defensive side of the ball, as they look to get a lot more athletic.

Key additions

The centerpiece of the Redskins' offseason thus far has been the addition of MLB London Fletcher. Fletcher has definitely lost a step, but is still an attacking sideline-to- sideline player who will pile up a lot of tackles in their defensive scheme. More than anything, Fletcher will bring leadership to a defense that was not very disciplined in 2006. The team has also focused its efforts on the secondary, trying to improve a pass defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL in 2006.

Fred Smoot returns for his second stint with the club and will be much more comfortable playing more man coverage. Smoot never fit in Minnesota's Cover 2 scheme. The team also added David Macklin, who is a nice reserve corner. Those two, along with holdovers Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers, give the Redskins some much needed depth at cornerback.

Mock draft: Redskins
The Pick (No. 6 overall):
DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville
Insider

Okoye
Todd McShay: After setting a franchise record with only 19 sacks in 2006, the Redskins must upgrade their pass rush. Because Adams is no longer on the board, Okoye becomes the next-best option.
Complete mock draft Insider
SportsNation: Mock draft
Vote: Team needs
Key losses

The Redskins lost guard Derrick Dockery, but he was far too inconsistent and the team would have never paid what Buffalo gave him.

The team also lost corner Kenny Wright but the additions of Smoot and Macklin are upgrades, so Wright will not be missed. The T.J. Duckett trade from last season never worked out and he left via free agency. If Washington even wanted to try to keep him there would have been no room in a backfield that will have a potent 1-2 punch of Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts.

Safety Adam Archuleta was one of the biggest busts in the 2006 free-agency class. He was never a good fit in the Redskins' defensive system and was traded to Chicago for a sixth-round pick. The Redskins have not had many losses via free agency this offseason

Remaining questions

Don't be surprised if the Lance Briggs deal still occurs. The deal would have been done for the flip of first-round picks, but the Bears tried to up the ante at the last second. The Redskins have said they are done talking about the deal, but this trade could regain some steam prior to the draft.

The biggest hole on this team right now is at the DE position. Clemson's Gaines Adams is a strong possibility, if the Redskins are still in the sixth spot and he is on the board. Washington set a franchise-record low with only 19 sacks last season and needs a big-time pass rusher to take some pressure off the secondary.

The defensive tackle position needs to be upgraded. The Redskins could use some guard depth after losing Dockery in free agency. Washington has no trouble fielding talented football players. If Campbell develops into a solid starter, the Redskins have enough talent to be a playoff team. Getting that talent to gel and play well together will once again be their biggest hurdle.