ChuckDiesel with the pick....
While discussing football at the gym yesterday, I asked my friend who he though the Redskins should draft with their first pick and he snipped immediately, "A new owner." I chuckled for a quick second and replied, "They already have a new owner... his name is Mike Shanahan."
In fact "Shanaplan," as the faithful Redskins fans have so eloquently dubbed him, has drastically changed the culture in DC: from one where the top brass have shelled out blank checks to the most sought-after free agents to one where they have sat back, evaluated the talent on the roster and have made conscious decisions on who to cut and who to go after and sign. Shanahan is coming off a year where he has been working on lowering his handicap and taking a well-deserved break from football but is now already hard at work on rebuilding the Redskins franchise. His moves have included cutting players such as Antwaan Randel El, Fred Smoot and tackle Levi Jones and signing guard Artis Hicks and bringing in ex-Chiefs Larry Johnson and Sean Ryan.
When looking back at the 2009 Redskins, this is a team that was in shambles: three of the Redskins' losses came from teams with an 0-for record (including the Chiefs) and the coaching situation, which included bringing an offensive coordinator whose previous job was calling numbers at a local bingo hall, was a total disaster. Things are looking up though.
Washington owns the fourth pick in the draft and with so many glaring holes their team has to fill they would ideally love to trade back and pick up more choices (currently they only have five) but that is not an option in this mock. Look for some trades around draft day, including the possibility of dangling DE Andre Carter who is coming off a double-digit sack season for some mid-round picks. Anyway, let's look at the best potential move for the Redskins at 4.
First off, I don't understand why everyone wants Jason Campbell's head spiked atop the Washington Monument; every year since he has been in the league he has thrown for more yards, more TD's, more yards per pass and more efficiently than the previous year. This guy has played with different coordinators every year since he was drafted, I mean last year if he had been telegraphed all the plays by Morse Code through his helmet, it would have been a simpler system than this clown fest. He threw for over 3600 yards last year, but at the same time he got sacked the third most times at 43, behind the other obvious two, Rodgers and Roethlisberger. I don't believe that the top two quarterbacks have what Shanahan is looking for; they don't have the top flight arm nor do they have the ability to make plays outside of the pocket with their legs like Elway, Cutler and Plummer did. I believe he will stick with Jason Campbell and forgo picking a quarterback in the first round.
I believe that their tenth ranked defense can get even better next year by adding players on the offensive side of the ball who can help control the tempo of the game and convert third downs. At times last year the Redskins had trouble keeping the ball on offense, leaving little rest for their defense. With that said I don't believe a RB, WR, TE or QB deserve the fourth pick; and except for the tight ends all of those positions will need to be addressed in the Redskins' draft at some point.
So that leaves me with the O-Line which is where I will be making my pick for this draft. The Skins have very little continuity on their line except for their center, Casey Rabach, who has started every game since coming from the Ravens in '04 and left guard, Derrick Dockery, their 2003 3rd round draft pick. With their franchise left tackle Chris Samuels having to bow out of the game with a career-ending injury, there is an immediate need to fill that spot.
Shanahan hit the Jackpot with Ryan Clady a couple of years back and won't hesitate to lock up my pick, Russell Okung, for the next decade or so to anchor DC's offensive line. Okung was a great player at Oklahoma State who started at tackle since he was a true freshman. [Insert the long rant where I mention everything from the amount of times he pressed 225 pounds (I can do 6), to the ratio of length between the index and ring fingers but I will spare you these homoerotic details.] But seriously, he will help out immediately in the run game that was ranked 27th last year with 3.9 yards a carry and hopefully will keep Campbell on his feet more often than he was last year.
I just wanted to mention that I thought long and hard (that's what she said) about going with Bruce Campbell with this pick because he is such a rare mix of raw talent and size but two reasons have kept me from making this pick: his injury concerns culminating from his inability to stay in for every single snap and the second reason, well I'll just give you a picture and stat-sheet to remind you of why not to pick Combine Gods. Look at that Smile! That smile is a smile of someone that know he just robbed a franchise of $70,960 for every hundredth of a second it took him to run 40 yards in his underwear.