By Ben Babcock
Offseason Grade: B
Answer: A little
The Redskins made a few big moves this offseason. The most notable being a trade for quarterback Alex Smith. They finally moved on from Kirk Cousins and are building around someone new and more affordable.
Adding Smith is good. They don’t need to deal with Cousins wanting more money anymore, but they did give up a promising young cornerback in Kendall Fuller, and a 3rd round pick for a 33-year-old quarterback who has had some consistency issues. While he won’t have the same kind of weapons as he had in Kansas City, they are already building up his targets. They signed Paul Richardson and Brian Quick. This adds quality depth to an otherwise weak receiving core.
They made some equally important moves on defense, solidifying their linebackers, and holding they’re secondary together. They re-signed Zach Brown and signed Pernell McPhee. This really solidifies their linebacker core. McPhee has starter talent that the Redskins will have coming off of the bench and Brown has been right behind the leading group of tacklers the past two years. Then after that, they managed to keep their secondary together even after losing starters Bashaud Breeland and DeAngelo Hall by signing Orlando Scandrick. Signing Scandrick keeps their group of cornerbacks strong, and now they can focus on their defensive line in the draft.
At the no.13 spot in the draft, the Redskins are in the perfect position to draft the defensive tackle that they so desperately need. Da’ron Payne will be available and that’s who I have them taking in my mock draft. Payne is a big body that can stop the run up the middle. Then all they need is someone that can get to the quarterback and the Redskins are in the top half of defenses in the league. After they take Payne, they should go for an edge rusher or defensive end in the later rounds to address their need in the pass rush. I’d also expect them to go for a running back at some point because they don’t have a dynamic running back that can tear other defenses apart.
The Redskins are making some good moves and are moving in the right direction. However, Alex Smith is not their quarterback of the future. So while what they are doing now is great, they also need to keep looking for the next franchise quarterback or else everything they do now won’t matter. The hardest thing to do is build without a quarterback. They’ve got one, for now, they just need to be ready for when Alex Smith is done and they can really jump into the next stage.