The Redskins recently hired former Tampa GM Bruce Allen and former Broncos coach Mike Shannahan to run the team. Their most recent splash in free agency sent shockwaves throughout the league, when they were able to strike a deal with divion rival Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb. This team is in transition into Coach Shannahan’s systems, which include a West Coast Offense and a 3-4 Defensive scheme.
The Washington Redskins select..
OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
I know what you’re thinking…either you’re shocked his Oklahoma teammate Gerald McCoy is still on the board or why we picked Williams over the best OT in the draft, Bryan Bulaga of Iowa. Let’s look at both.
First of all, the Redskins are transitioning into a 3-4 defense. McCoy does not have the bulk to play in a 3-4 defense. A bigger DT like Alabama’s Terrence Cody fits the 3-4 better. The Redskins currently have DT Albert Haynesworth penciled in as their starting NT in the 3-4, but that may change soon. Haynesworth is reportedly upset about playing NT in a 3-4 and has asked to be dealt in recent days. Couple one of the best DT prospects in recent years (McCoy) and a disgruntled DT, and you got the makings of a likely pick swap. The Redskins don’t draft again until #103, in the fourth round! Likely trading partners include the 49ers, who have 2 first round picks and are in the market for a DT, or the Titans, who have expressed interest in Haynesworth rejoining the team.
Why Williams over Bulaga? The Redskins are bringing back Coach Shannahan’s style of football, including the zone blocking scheme, which requires more agile, smart, and fleet footed athletes to execute, all of which Williams trumps Bulaga. Williams has also played against more athletic Defensive Linemen in the Big 12, which would only aid in his transition into the hard hitting NFC East.
Mark Mayock of the NFL Network brings up an interesting point on the effect landing Donovan McNabb has on the Redskins draft prospects.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the effect the Donovan McNabb trade will have on the draft, and the more I think about it the more I believe the Redskins will be a factor in the NFC East. They have a veteran quarterback now and they’re going to draft a left tackle with pick No. 4. And keep in mind, they could have a choice between Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung and Oklahoma’s Trent Williams, the two top tackles in the entire draft.
If so, they could go with Williams, even though he is generally regarded as the No. 2 left tackle behind Okung. Williams fits Washington’s scheme better. He’s a little bit more athletic for the Redskins’ zone-blocking scheme. I think Williams makes more sense for the Redskins at pick No. 4.
The other McNabb effect is on the quarterback situation with Jimmy Clausen, whose pro day I will be at on Friday in South Bend. He had a shot at going to the Redskins before the McNabb trade, but not anymore. The medicals and how he is evaluated off the field will go a long way in determining if he is going to be a top-10 pick.