In his article discussing the Redskins signing of Madieu Williams, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com says that he thinks that the addition of the safety means that the team’s draft will focus on the offensive side of the ball.
The other bit of fallout from the Williams signing is that it makes it more likely that the focus of the Redskins' draft will be offense. They've made a number of signings in the secondary, as mentioned, and they still hope and plan to re-sign linebacker London Fletcher, so the area that currently needs the most depth is probably the offensive line, especially since that line will be charged with protecting a rookie quarterback.
While that makes sense and is likely to be the conventional wisdom, I’m not so sure I agree. The Redskins have seven picks and the only one that is assured of going to an offensive player is the first one, the pick that has Robert Griffin’s name on it. After that, I could see the remaining six picks being used for the best player at any position.
The need on the offensive line is clear. While it is unlikely that they will be able to find player who can start at right tackle this year, they could find someone who could succeed Jammal Brown in 2013. On top of that, depth, given Kory Lichtensteiger’s knee issues and Trent Williams suspension potential, is needed.
There is no reason to think that the Redskins would bypass a running back, wide receiver, or tight end if a player at one of those positions is at the top of their board when their pick comes up. While those positions are fairly solid at the top of the depth chart, the reserves could be getting some competition.
But the fact that the offensive side could benefit from some young talent doesn’t mean that the draft will be focused there. While the top of the defensive line rotation is set, there could be a reserve role up for grabs. Even if Fletcher comes back the Redskins could be looking to find his eventual successor. And it is easy to see a mid-round pick challenging the likes of Williams, Reed Doughty, Leigh Torrence, Kevin Barnes, or Brandyn Thompson for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Mike Shanahan may hold some bias toward drafting on the offensive side of the ball; if two players on their board are close, the scale may tip towards the offense. But look for the Redskins to stay true to their draft board and if that means that half or more of the six players taken after the first round are on defense, so be it.
You can reach Rich by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.