New quarterback Alex Smith hopes to point the Redskins to their first playoff appearance since the 2015 season. Photo by Brian Murphy.
The Washington Redskins faced an unprecedented situation when their twice-franchised quarterback Kirk Cousins was slated to hit the open market in March. Instead of ponying up to keep the three-time 4,000-yard passer in the stable, the team opted to give up rising cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in April’s draft to the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith.
Now the pressure is on Smith to keep the Redskins afloat. After missing the playoffs the last two seasons, Smith is charged with bringing the team back to relevancy. New running back Derrius Guice (a steal as the No. 59 pick in the draft) will certainly relieve some of the pressure Smith faces this season.
In one of their best drafts in decades, the Redskins continued to address defensive line in a big way, taking Alabama defensive tackle Daron Payne 13th overall along with Virginia Tech defensive tackle Tim Settle in the fifth round.
After losing four of their top five picks from the 2014 draft to free agency this spring, it’s unclear how quickly their replacements will step up. Based on how the rest of the division adjusted their rosters this offseason, it appears the Redskins haven’t done enough to compete for a playoff spot, at least according to the top NFL preview magazines. Take a look at how they view the Redskins going into the 2018 season. (more…)
University of Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea is a very likely option for the Redskins at No. 13 overall in Thursday’s NFL Draft. (Photo by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)
By Jake Russell
The Washington Redskins have many holes to fill and, sitting at 13 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, are in an advantageous situation to improve their roster. They have the flexibility to do that through staying put and taking the best player available or trading back and recouping a third-round pick to make up for the one they surrendered in the January trade that landed quarterback Alex Smith. Trading up in the draft appears very unlikely and unnecessary at this stage. (more…)
Firing popular general manager Scot McCloughan on the first day of free agency seemed to add to the discontent the fan base developed toward the Washington Redskins after a disappointing late-season collapse in 2016. However, the team gradually salvaged a disastrous start to their offseason with respectable free agency and draft hauls. The team signed big-bodied receivers Terrelle Pryor while addressing each level of their defense, highlighted by their first-round selection, defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, falling to them at pick No. 17 and the signings of linebacker Zach Brown and safety D.J. Swearinger.
The Redskins missed the playoffs by one game in 2016 and the road to the postseason in 2017 hasn’t gotten any easier based on the improvement of their NFC East counterparts.
Let’s take a look at what the top NFL preview magazines expect from the Redskins this season. (more…)
I must say it is fun to parlay my love for NFL preview magazines into a Washington Redskins-centric breakdown. Even though I typically anticipate their projections won’t be very good, especially by national media, I never really know where they’ll end up. Feel free to enjoy my 2014 and 2015 breakdowns.
The Redskins surprised just about everyone by winning the NFC East in 2015 under Scot McCloughan’s first year as the team’s general manager with a record-breaking season by quarterback Kirk Cousins, an infusion of young talent and gritty, low-cost veteran additions over the course of the season.
The burgundy and gold’s first division title since 2012 was followed up by an offseason primarily spent acquiring top special teams contributors and reserve players. That was until cornerback Josh Norman became available in late April to the surprise of just about everyone throughout the league. Pairing Norman with third-year corner Bashaud Breeland should help cushion the loss of defensive tackle Terrance Knighton up front. The team also rid itself of 2012 stalwarts Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris.
Washington is looking to post its first string of consecutive winning seasons since 1996 (9-7) and 1997 (8-7-1) and its first run of back-to-back playoff appearances since going to the postseason from 1990 to 1992. The team also hasn’t won consecutive division titles since winning three straight from 1982 to 1984.
This breakdown was a hit with readers last year so I’ll continue it again this year.
The Washington Redskins are attempting to start fresh under new general manager Scot McCloughan, who has brought a different attitude and scouting perspective after stints with successful franchises like the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
The team isn’t expected to improve on it’s record from the last two seasons (3-13 in 2013 and 4-12 in 2014) much, if at all, but under McCloughan’s guidance, the quality of the roster appears to be on the upswing.