So what if Zeke is a rookie? And they didn't draft him #4 overall, given that he's a prototype 3-down back, to have him in a timeshare with Morris or McFadden. Behind that line, coupled with his skills as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker, there's no way he should fall past the first round.
QB Donovan McNabb, QB Rex Grossman, RB Larry "East Coast Cat" Johnson, RB Willie Parker, WR Mike Furrey, OT Jammal Brown, OT Artis Hicks, DE/DT Adam Carriker, NT Ma'ake Kemoeatu, NT Howard Green, CB Phillip Buchanon, P Josh Bidwell.
Early Draft Picks:
OT Trent Williams, ILB Perry Riley.
QB Jason Campbell, QB Todd Collins, RB Quinton Ganther, RB Rock Cartwright, WR Antwaan Randle El, OT Chris Samuels, G Randy Thomas, NT Anthony Montgomery, CB Fred Smoot, P Hunter "The Punter" Smith.
2010 Washington Redskins Offense:
When's the last time the Redskins had a quarterback who was widely considered to be in the top 12 of his position? The 1992 season is probably the answer to that question, with Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien coming off a year in which he threw for 3,564 yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Since then, Washington has enjoyed pathetic quarterbacking from Heath Shuler, to Gus Frerotte, to Brad Johnson, to Tony Banks, to Shane Matthews, to Danny Wuerffel, to Patrick Ramsey, to Mark Brunell, to Jason Campbell and Todd Collins. There's a reason the Redskins have just three postseason appearances since 1992.
Donovan McNabb changes everything. At 33, McNabb is entering the final stage of his career, but can still play at a high level. Last season, he threw for 3,553 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 picks in 14 games. McNabb's athleticism, arm strength and great deep accuracy will work well in Mike Shanahan's system. Remember, Shanahan inherited John Elway at the end of his run with the Broncos. Elway was once seen an athletically gifted signal-caller who constantly choked at the biggest stage. That's what McNabb is known as right now.
The problem right now is that McNabb doesn't have the same type of supporting cast in Washington that he possessed in Philadelphia. Between Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy, McNabb has always had a potent running back coming out of the backfield. Sure, Andy Reid didn't run the ball at all, but all three backs were crucial members of the passing attack.
The Redskins don't have anyone nearly as talented. Clinton Portis has eclipsed the dreaded 2,100 carry mark and will never be the same player he once was. Willie Parker stinks and may not make the team. That leaves Larry Johnson, who could be ready for a huge rebound season. Herm Edwards ruined Johnson's career by giving him 416 carries in 2006, but Johnson's had three years to recover. Johnson impressively rushed for 204 yards on a 4.4 average in seven contests with the Bengals last season.
Washington's receiving corps isn't nearly as talented as Philadelphia's, but then again, McNabb thrived in the early part of the previous decade with talentless wideouts like Charles Johnson, Torrance Small, Na Brown, Todd Pinkston (Len Pasquarelli's favorite) and James Thrash. McNabb will have Santana Moss, and tight ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis at his disposal, so it's not like he'll have to do everything by himself. The No. 2 receiver position is up for grabs between Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. The two have issues with their knee and work ethic, respectively. There's just not much hope there.
The offensive line was an abomination last year, but received multiple upgrades this offseason. The big move was a trade that brought Jammal Brown in from New Orleans. Brown is an elite left tackle, but missed the entire 2009 season with a sports hernia and hip injuries. If Brown stays healthy (a big if, given his track record), McNabb will enjoy great protection from his blind side. Brown's presence allows newly acquired Artis Hicks (upgrade No. 2) to move inside to right guard instead of starting at right tackle.
The third move was the selection of Trent Williams with the No. 4 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. The choice of Williams over Russell Okung was a curious one because the latter is more talented. Williams also struggled in his brief action at left tackle with the Sooners. But with Brown on board, Williams doesn't have to play on the blind side. If he struggles there early on, he can just as easily line up on the right side, where he's much more comfortable.
In the interior, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach and Hicks are pretty solid. Dockery and Rabach were the only consistent members of Washington's front in 2009.
2010 Washington Redskins Defense:
The 3-4 defense is the new fad now, and the Redskins are the latest team to switch over to that scheme. Unfortunately, this isn't what $100 million defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth had in mind. Despite accepting a $21 million bonus this offseason, Haynesworth spent the entire spring threatening to hold out because he feels the 3-4 doesn't fit his strength. He later changed his mind, but who knows how long that's going to last?
If Haynesworth is eventually traded away, Ma'ake Kemoeatu will be the starting nose tackle. Kemoeatu is talented, but is coming off an Achilles' tendon tear.
Starting next to Kemoeatu will be Adam Carriker, and either Phillip Daniels or Vonnie Holliday. Like Kemoeatu, the 37-year-old Daniels has health issues (knee surgery). Holliday is 34, so he's not promising either. Carriker was a bust with the Rams, but the 3-4 fits his skill set much better than the 4-3 did, so he may emerge as a key contributor for Washington. Still, it's safe to say the Redskins will have one of the weaker defensive lines in the NFL, so it's a good thing they have skilled inside linebackers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh playing behind the front.
The pass rush was the strength of Washington's defense last year, as rookie Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter registered 11 sacks each. Both figure to transfer well to the 3-4, but the big question is how effective they'll be without Haynesworth (if Haynesworth is traded away or loafing around). Carter and especially Orakpo were able to be so forceful because opposing offenses paid so much attention to Haynesworth. If he leaves or doesn't put much effort into being part of the 3-4, that won't be the case anymore.
Less pressure on the quarterback will make things much more difficult for the Redskins' secondary. That's definitely not a good thing, given how many coverages strong safety LaRon Landry blows.
Cornerback is a slight concern; DeAngelo Hall is fine as the No. 1 guy, but Carlos Rogers was pretty inconsistent last year. The Redskins also lack depth at the position. Free safety, meanwhile, is pretty secure with Reed Doughty.
2010 Washington Redskins Schedule and Intangibles:
Going into the 2009 season, the Redskins had surrendered three touchdowns on special teams (two in 2008). They didn't allow a score last year, but they failed to get into the end zone as well. Antwaan Randle El, Rock Cartwright and Devin Thomas were miserable on returns.
New kicker Graham Gano is an enigma right now; he was 4-of-4 as a rookie with Washington last year.
New punter Josh Bidwell missed all of 2009 with a hip injury. That's not good...
The Redskins certainly have their work cut out for them at the beginning of the year; five of their first six opponents (Cowboys, Texans, Eagles, Packers, Colts) all had winning records in 2009. Things get easier later on with the Rams (Week 3), Bears, Lions, Buccaneers and Jaguars on the slate.
2010 Washington Redskins Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
2010 Washington Redskins Analysis: There's plenty of cause for optimism in Washington. The Redskins are no longer just a franchise run by a maniacal and frivolous owner; they have a proven general manager, mastermind head coach and talented quarterback.
Washington could certainly make the playoffs in 2010, but the team has to hurdle a few road blocks, including three very talented NFC East foes, a ridiculous early-season schedule (five of their first six opponents are the Cowboys, Texans, Eagles, Packers and Colts) and of course, one very large, unhappy defensive lineman.
The Redskins had only one pick in the first three rounds, but that's because they traded their second-rounder for Donovan McNabb - a really great move that will turn this franchise around.
Unfortunately, Draft Weekend didn't prove to be as fruitful. Washington selected Trent Williams over Russell Okung as its new blind-side protector. Williams is perceived to be a better fit for the blocking scheme because he ran a fast 40 at the Combine. Looking at the film, however, he really struggled in his one year at left tackle with the Sooners. Okung, on the other hand, was a stud and consequently was ranked as the consensus No. 1 offensive tackle.
Washington had to find more offensive line help, but failed to do so until Round 7. The running back and receiver positions were also ignored. Instead, the Redskins used a fourth-round pick on linebacker Perry Riley, who is not projected to be a good fit in the 3-4.
I can't give the Redskins a terrible mark because they acquired McNabb with one of their selections. That's the only thing that is saving this grade from being a D.
Overall 2010 NFL Draft Grade given on 4/26/10: C
2010 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
4. Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Russell Okung is projected as the best offensive tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft. Trent Williams struggled at left tackle last year. He's supposedly the best fit for the Redskins, but I'm not buying it. It's the right position, but in my opinion, the wrong player. (Pick Grade: C)
103. Perry Riley, ILB, LSU
The Redskins have tons of needs and few draft picks. They can't afford to screw around like this. Perry Riley is a fine player, but I don't see him as a great fit in the 3-4. (Pick Grade: D)
174. Dennis Morris, TE, Louisiana Tech
Dennis Morris is a decent late-round prospect, but I think the Redskins have too many needs to spend their rare picks on positions they don't need to address. (Pick Grade: C)
219. Terrence Austin, WR, UCLA
Terrence Austin was not expected to be drafted, but Donovan McNabb needs another weapon. (Pick Grade: B)
229. Erik Cook, C, New Mexico
I really can't believe that the Redskins waited this long to take their second offensive lineman. Erik Cook fits the range. (Pick Grade: B)
231. Selvish Capers, OT, West Virginia
The man Emmitt calls "Selfish Crappers" is a project. He has good physical talent, but has a long way to go. Still, he's a great upside pick this late. (Pick Grade: A)
Key Undrafted Free Agents:
Shay Hodge, WR
The Redskins won the championship. When they signed Albert Haynesworth to a $100 million contract a few hours after the 2009 NFL Free Agency period commenced, they were instantly crowned offseason winners. Unfortunately, spending money doesn't translate into victories on the gridiron. While Haynesworth played well, defensive tackles don't exactly win you a lot of football games (Rams, take note). The Redskins were limited to 17 points or less a whopping 11 times, and they finished with four wins. Interestingly, the four teams they beat had a combined record of 17-47.
Redskins acquire QB John Beck from Ravens for CB Doug Dutch
Redskins re-sign CB Carlos Rogers
Redskins acquire OT Jammal Brown from Saints for conditional 3rd-round pick
Redskins re-sign ILB Rocky McIntosh
Redskins sign WR Mike Furrey
Redskins re-sign S Reed Doughty
Redskins sign DE/DT Vonnie Holliday
Redskins waive RB Anthony Alridge
Redskins waive WR Marko Mitchell
Redskins waive RB P.J. Hill
Redskins waive DT Anthony Montgomery
Redskins sign WR Joey Galloway
Raiders sign RB Rock Cartwright
Raiders acquire QB Jason Campbell from Redskins for 2012 4th-round pick
Redskins acquire DE/DT Adam Carriker from Rams for exchange of 5th-round picks
Redskins sign NT Howard Green
Redskins sign RB Ryan Torian
Redskins re-sign DT Kedric Golston
Redskins re-sign OT Stephon Heyer
Redskins re-sign DT Anthony Montgomery
Redskins re-sign QB Jason Campbell
Redskins acquire QB Donovan McNabb from Eagles for 2010 2nd-rounder and a 2011 3rd- or 4th-rounder
Redskins sign RB Willie Parker
Redskins sign CB Phillip Buchanon
Redskins re-sign DE/OLB Chris Wilson
Redskins sign P Josh Bidwell
Seahawks sign RB Quinton Ganther
Redskins sign QB Rex Grossman
Redskins re-sign G Will Montgomery
Redskins sign RB Larry "East Coast Cat" Johnson
Redskins sign NT Maake Kemoeatu
Steelers sign WR Antwaan Randle El
Chargers claim RB Marcus Mason
Redskins sign OT/G Artis Hicks
Redskins re-sign OT Mike Williams
Redskins re-sign DE Phillip Daniels
Redskins re-sign DT Lorenzo Alexander
Redskins cut WR Antwaan Randle El
Redskins re-sign C Casey Rabach
Redskins tender DT Lorenzo Alexander
Redskins cut QB Todd Collins
Redskins cut RB Marcus Mason
Redskins cut CB Fred Smoot
Redskins cut DT Cornelius Griffin
Redskins cut G Randy Thomas
Redskins cut RB/KR Rock Cartwright
Redskins tender CB Carlos Rogers
Redskins announce retirement of OT Chris Samuels
Quarterback: The Redskins need some stability at quarterback. They need a franchise guy. Jason Campbell has improved each season, but he has taken 81 sacks in the past two years and could be damaged goods. His career record as a starter is 23-32. And Clinton Portis even called him out by questioning his lacking leadership qualities. The No. 4 pick will probably be used on a quarterback - even if Campbell is tendered. Traded for Donovan McNabb
Left Tackle: The first step to winning in the NFL is finding a franchise quarterback. The second step is protecting that quarterback. Left tackle is a huge need for the Redskins, who saw Chris Samuels suffer a possible career-ending neck injury this year. Russell Okung will be an option at No. 4. If not, Washington will have to trade up into the back end of the first round for Charles Brown. Traded for Jammal Brown
Strongside Linebacker: The Redskins need to find a capable strongside linebacker so they can move Brian Orakpo to defensive end. Free agent Scott Fujita might be a solid short-term solution until Washington can find one next offseason.
Running Back: Clinton Portis is out of gas. He averaged 3.9 YPC or less in all but two games last year. His offensive line was an issue, but he just lacked the same burst he had earlier in his career. Daniel Snyder might shell out for Chester Taylor. Signed Larry "East Coast Cat" Johnson and Willie Parker
Right Tackle: Right tackle is also a big need. One can be found in the middle rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft. Drafted Trent Williams
Center: Casey Rabach is a free agent, but he isn't very good anyway. Count the center position as the third slot that needs to be upgraded up front. A center can be drafted in the middle rounds come April. Drafted Erik Cook
Right Guard: Yet another offensive line position that must be upgraded. Signed Artis Hicks
Free Safety: LaRon Landry is the King of Blown Coverages. Finding an upgrade for him could be difficult with so many more prominent needs.
Return Specialist: Rock Cartwright isn't going to break any long runs, and Antwaan Randle El is no longer the dynamic athlete he was a few years ago.
Defensive Tackle: Cornelius Griffin turned 33 and is entering his contract year. With so many needs, however, it's unlikely that Washington will address the defensive tackle position until 2011. Traded for Adam Carriker; signed Maake Kemoeatu and Howard Green
2010 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Jammal Brown (RFA), OT, Saints. Age: 29. Traded to Redskins for conditional 3rd-round pick
An elite left tackle, Jammal Brown would be at the top of the offensive tackle rankings if it wasn't for his recent injury history.
Phillip Buchanon, CB, Lions. Age: 29. Signed with Redskins (1 year, $1.5 million)
Phillip Buchanon is a solid corner, but struggled last year. You can attribute that to Detroit's anemic pass rush. Buchanon is worth signing as a sound No. 2 corner.
Ma'ake Kemoeatu, NT, Panthers. Age: 31. Signed with Redskins (2 years, $7 million)
Ma'ake Kemoeatu is a good player, but suffered an Achilles injury in August. Unfortunately, his recovery isn't going well. He'll be a risky signing.
Josh Bidwell, P, Buccaneers. Age: 34. -- Signed with Redskins
Artis Hicks, OT, Vikings. Age: 31. -- Signed with Redskins (3 years, $9 million)
Howard Green, NT, Jets. Age: 31. -- Signed with Redskins (1 year)
Larry "East Coast Cat" Johnson, RB, Bengals. Age: 30. -- Signed with Redskins (3 years, $12 million)
A very talented weakside linebacker, Rocky McIntosh would be a 4-star free agent if it weren't for his dubious knee history.
Jason Campbell (RFA), QB, Redskins. Age: 28. Traded to Raiders
The good: Jason Campbell's completion percentage has risen in each of his four seasons. He threw for 3,618 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 picks on a 64.5 completion percentage and a 7.1 YPA. He did this despite one of the worst offensive lines in NFL history.
The bad: Campbell has taken 81 sacks in the past two years and could be damaged goods. His career record as a starter is 23-32. And Clinton Portis even called him out by questioning his lacking leadership qualities.
Divisional Rival History: Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have won the last three meetings, but Dallas-Washington games tend to be close regardless; eight of the last 12 matchups have been decided by four points or less. New York Giants: New York dominates this NFC East rivalry, having won the past four, and seven of the last eight. Philadelphia Eagles: Philadelphia swept the series this year, but the Redskins pulled off the sweep last season.
Features to be Posted This Offseason:
2010 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)