2022 NFL Offseason: Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins (Last Year: 7-10)

2022 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Carson Wentz, WR Alex Erickson, G Andrew Norwell, G Trai Turner, DE Efe Obada.
Early Draft Picks:
WR Jahan Dotson, DT Phidarian Mathis, RB Brian Robinson, S Percy Butler, QB Sam Howell, TE Cole Turner. Redskins Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Kyle Allen, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, G Brandon Scherff, G Ereck Flowers, DT Matt Ioannidis, DT Tim Settle, CB Danny Johnson, S Landon Collins.

2022 Washington Redskins Offense:
The Redskins did all they could to obtain a franchise quarterback this offseason. They aspired to trade for the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, but their attempts were fruitless. In the end, they acquired a new signal-caller, yet this quarterback was far from their first choice.

It was actually surprising that the Redskins even traded for Carson Wentz, given that the Colts would likely have released him. Wentz was a complete failure last year. The signing was very promising because Wentz once played so well for Frank Reich in Philadelphia, but Wentz has been a mere shell of his former self since enduring a concussion from Jadeveon Clowney. His decision-making has fallen off a cliff, and the Colts weren’t pleased with his attitude in the locker room either. Wentz could reemerge into his pre-2020 form, but the probability of that seems low.

Washington at least made sure that Wentz would have more than two viable downfield targets at his disposal. Taylor Heinicke was able to throw to talented receiver Terry McLaurin and tight end Logan Thomas last year, at least until Thomas suffered an injury. Both will be back, despite trade rumors circling McLaurin, and now the team will have Jahan Dotson on the roster as well. Dotson, chosen 16th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, has some height issues, but is an extremely gifted prospect otherwise. He, McLaurin, and Curtis Samuel, who is also returning from injury, will give Wentz plenty of talented receiving threats.

Wentz will have numerous skilled running backs at his disposal as well. Antonio Gibson will continue to be the lead back after he gained 1,037 rushing yards and caught 42 passes in 2021. There’s also rookie Brian Robinson, whom Washington selected in the third round. Ron Rivera suggested that the two players could be the reincarnation of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the great duo of backs Rivera once coached in Carolina. There’s also receiving specialist J.D. McKissic, who will continue to play on third down. McKissic hauled in 43 receptions in 11 games last year.

If there’s one weakness on this side of the ball, excluding quarterback, it’s the offensive line. There are two reasons for concern. The first is that the Redskins lost both of their guards this offseason. Brandon Scherff will be missed more than Ereck Flowers, but it’s unclear how their replacements will perform. Trai Turner was once a quality blocker, but he’s coming off two rough years. Andrew Norwell is probably better, but he has shown signs of regression lately. He turns 31 in October, so that trend could continue. The second reason for concern is that left tackle Charles Leno will also turn 31 during the season. Leno is coming off a great year, but it’s likely that he regresses a bit in 2022.

There’s nothing wrong with Washington’s other two blockers. Chase Roullier has developed into a top-10 center in the NFL, while right tackle Sam Cosmi thrived when healthy during his rookie campaign last year.

2022 Washington Redskins Defense:
The Redskins were expected to maintain one of the best defenses in the NFL last year, based on how the unit performed to close out the 2020 season. With so much talent on the defensive line, it was quite shocking that Washington finished 22nd in yards allowed.

Several things went awry for the Redskins for expectations to miss so greatly. The first was that Chase Young, who was expected to take a big step and become one of the best defenders in the NFL, actually declined following his brilliant rookie campaign. Young logged 7.5 sacks following a slow start in 2020, but he saw that number fall to 1.5 before he was lost to a torn ACL this past season. It’s unclear if Young will be 100 percent coming off this knee injury, so the other defensive linemen will have to pick up the slack. This includes Montez Sweat, who was having a strong 2021 before missing most of the second half of the year with numerous injuries.

Washington’s best player up front last year was Jonathan Allen, who tallied nine sacks. Conversely, Da’Ron Payne had his worst season yet, but he could rebound. It hurts that the Redskins lost top rotational tackle Matt Ioannidis to free agency, but a second-round pick was used on Phidarian Mathis to fill that void.

Another huge problem for the Redskins last year was the play of the secondary. The front office spent $42 million on William Jackson, but he ended up being one of the worst starting cornerbacks in the NFL in 2021. Jackson is extremely talented and could rebound, but there’s also a chance that all of this money went to his head. Kendall Fuller was the much better corner, but the Redskins shockingly did not address this position during the offseason. Thus, the Redskins will have to rely on pedestrian players like Benjamin St-Juste and Danny Johnson again, which will be miserable if Jackson doesn’t improve.

The Redskins were at least better at safety last year with Kamren Curl and Bobby McCain, but the high level of play from the latter came out of nowhere because he had always been a mediocre performer throughout his career. A fourth-round pick was used on Percy Butler, but it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be able to challenge for the job if McCain happens to regress.

The third issue for Washington in 2021 was the play of the linebacking corps. First-round rookie Jamin Davis was expected to provide some stability to the group. Instead, he was a major liability in all facets. Cole Holcomb was the best of Washington’s linebackers, but he wasn’t very good either. No reinforcements were added to bolster the position.

2022 Washington Redskins Schedule and Intangibles:
The Redskins’ rich fan base doesn’t show up to games because they’re too busy dining at fancy restaurants and passing bills that only enrich themselves even further. This would explain why the team is just 42-65 as a host the past 12 years.

Punter Tress Way ranked 28th in net average in 2017, but improved to ninth the following year. He was third in 2019 and fourth in 2020. He finished ninth in 2021.

New kicker Joey Slye was 23-of-25 last year, including 4-of-4 from 50-plus.

Washington’s special teams scored a touchdown and didn’t surrender one to the opponent.

Excluding the Packers and Browns, the Redskins don’t have a difficult non-divisional opponent on the slate.

2022 Washington Redskins Rookies:
Go here for the Redskins Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2022 Washington Redskins Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2022 Washington Redskins Analysis: The Redskins were a huge disappointment last year. There’s a chance they could rebound if Chase Young bounces back from his torn ACL, and both William Jackson and Jamin Davis perform up to expectations. Ultimately, however, Carson Wentz will need to play well for the team to qualify for the playoffs again. The odds of that seem low, as Wentz will likely kill another team with his horrible decision-making and miserable locker room presence.

Projection: 6-11 (3rd in NFC East)

2021 Projection: 10-7. 2021 Actual Result: 7-10.
2020 Projection: 4-12. 2020 Actual Result: 7-9.
2019 Projection: 4-12. 2019 Actual Result: 3-13.
2018 Projection: 10-6. 2018 Actual Result: 7-9.
2017 Projection: 8-8. 2017 Actual Result: 7-9.
2016 Projection: 9-7. 2016 Actual Result: 8-7-1.

NFL Draft Team Grade: C- Grade

Goals Entering the 2022 NFL Draft: The Redskins traded for Carson Wentz, so they’ll need to give him some receiving help; otherwise, he may struggle to catch on in Washington. The Redskin defense needs to shore up their woeful secondary as well.

2022 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I often like it when teams trade down and accumulate draft capital, but I’m not a fan of the Redskins’ decision to do so in the 2022 NFL Draft. They moved down five spots, but in doing so, they missed out on some of the top prospects in this class. Chris Olave, Jameson Williams and Kyle Hamilton all would have been terrific picks for Washington at No. 11. Wentz would have especially liked throwing to Olave and Williams. Instead, he’ll have to settle for Jahan Dotson. I like Dotson, but there’s a huge disparity between him and the other two wideouts.

The Dotson pick scored a “C,” as did the next three picks. Washington’s two second-day choices provided little value and no need, as Phidarian Mathis and Brian Robinson were questionable picks. The Redskins should have focused on positions they needed to address, such as cornerback, safety and linebacker. Instead, they drafted two players who won’t start for them anytime soon.

The Sam Howell selection in Round 5 saved the Redskins a bit. Howell won’t start this year either, but he may push Wentz down the road if the journeyman quarterback continues to make YOLO passes downfield. Howell was a steal in the fifth frame, and he provides a bit of optimism in what was a bleak draft class otherwise.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

16. Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State – C Grade
Much like the Texans, the Redskins deserve some credit for picking up resources for trading down. Still, this is a bit of a reach. It’s not as bad as the Texans’ pick, but there was some speculation that Jahan Dotson could fall out of the first round. The Redskins should’ve just remained at No. 11 and picked the much better prospect. I like Dotson, but he’s a bit short to be taken so early.

47. Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama – C Grade
I’m not crazy about this pick, as it offers medium value and no filled need. The Redskins had to find defensive line depth at some point because they lost Matt Ioannidis, but they could’ve have addressed the position later. They have major problems in the secondary that weren’t filled. Phidarian Mathis has nice upside, and he’s yet another Alabama player, but this is just meh.

98. Brian Robinson, RB, Alabama – C+ Grade
Yet another Alabama player to the Redskins, albeit on the offensive side of the ball this time. I like Brian Robinson in this range, but I’m not sure why the Redskins picked another running back because they happen to be very deep at the position.

113. Percy Butler, S, Louisiana-Lafayette – C+ Grade
The Redskins passed on safety in the first two days of the draft, and they were forced into reaching at the position because there isn’t great value available on Day 3. Percy Butler was a fifth-round prospect for me, so this isn’t an egregious reach, but it seems as though the Redskins could’ve handled their strategy differently.

145. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina – A+ Grade
One team we spoke to had Sam Howell as their second-ranked quarterback, so it’s insane that he fell so far. Carson Wentz may have trouble sticking around in Washington, so the Redskins needed someone to eventually compete with him. Howell’s height is an issue, but he’s a solid quarterback prospect otherwise.

149. Cole Turner, TE, Nevada – B- Grade
For a second, I thought the Redskins drafted Cole Strange, which would have been a good spot for him. Cole Turner is a tight end rather than a guard, and the Redskins needed one with some free agency departures. I think this is a bit too early for Turner, but it’s the fifth round, so that doesn’t mean as much in this area.

230. Chris Paul, G, Tulsa – B Grade
I mocked Chris Paul eight picks after this one, so I like the range for this prospect. Adding offensive line help makes sense as well, given that the Redskins currently don’t have a great blocking unit to shield Carson Wentz or Sam Howell.

240. Christian Holmes, CB, Oklahoma State – B Grade
I just missed on Christian Holmes, mocking him 239th instead of 240th! Darn it, my mock is ruined! At any rate, Christian Holmes is a tall corner, so there’s that. Cornerback is a huge need, so perhaps Holmes will have a chance to make the final roster.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Season Summary:
The Redskins were expected to boast one of the best defenses in the NFL, but the entire stop unit disappointed in 2021. Taylor Heinicke didn’t do a bad job of replacing an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he didn’t have a chance to reach the playoffs because of his underwhelming defense.

Offseason Moves:
  • Redskins sign WR Alex Erickson
  • Redskins sign G Trai Turner
  • Redskins sign DE Efe Obada
  • Redskins sign G Andrew Norwell
  • Redskins acquire QB Carson Wentz for draft picks

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: Taylor Heinicke has proven that he can be a top-tier backup in the NFL. However, he’s not the long-term answer at quarterback. The Redskins need to find one. Traded for Carson Wentz

    2. Two Cornerbacks: The main reason Washington’s defense disappointed last year was the horrendous secondary. The outside cornerbacks were terrible, including the disappointing William Jackson.

    3. Two Guards: The offensive line must be addressed for this new quarterback. The guard spot is the big problem. There was already a hole at one of the spots, and now Brandon Scherff is entering free agency. Signed Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner

    4. Linebacker: Washington’s linebacking corps was underwhelming last year. Cole Holcomb was just fine, while Jamin Davis figures to improve with experience. Another linebacker is needed.

    5. Wide Receiver: Once the Redskins find a new quarterback, they must obtain another receiver to pair with Terry McLaurin.

    6. Kicker: The Redskins have endured kicking issues for quite some time.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2022 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Andrew Norwell, G, Jaguars. Age: 30.
      Signed with Redskins

      Andrew Norwell has been a solid guard for quite some time, but he’ll turn 31 during the 2022 season, so he could be headed for regression soon.

    2. Trai Turner, G, Steelers. Age: 29.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year)

      Trai Turner was one of the better offensive linemen on the Steelers’ roster last year, but that’s not saying much.

    3. Efe Obada, DE, Bills. Age: 30. — Signed with Redskins (1 year)
    4. Alex Erickson, WR, Panthers. Age: 29. — Signed with Redskins
    5. Rashod Hill, OT, Vikings. Age: 30. — Signed with Redskins

    Washington Redskins Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Brandon Scherff, G/OT, Redskins. Age: 30.
      Signed with Jaguars

      Brandon Scherff would have a higher rating than four stars if he were a reliable player. Scherff is a tremendous guard, but he can’t stay healthy.

    2. Bobby McCain, S/CB, Redskins. Age: 29.
      Re-signed with Redskins (2 years, $11 million)

      Bobby McCain is a solid starting defensive back who can play anywhere in the secondary, including safety, outside cornerback and slot corner.

    3. Matt Ioannidis, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 28.
      Signed with Panthers

      Matt Ioannidis is a solid, well-rounded defensive lineman, but was cut because of financial reasons.

    4. Landon Collins, S, Redskins. Age: 28.
      Landon Collins was terrible in coverage this past season, but that may have been because he wasn’t 100 percent coming off a torn Achilles. He could rebound in 2022.

    5. J.D. McKissic, RB, Redskins. Age: 29.
      Signed with Redskins (2 years, $7 million)

      J.D. McKissic is an excellent pass-catching, third-down back, but cannot handle a full workload of any sort.

    6. Cornelius Lucas, OT, Redskins. Age: 31.
      Re-signed with Redskins (2 years, $8.2 million)

      Cornelius Lucas has proven to be a capable starting tackle when he’s had to step in for injury.

    7. Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Redskins. Age: 27.
      Signed with Giants

      Ricky Seals-Jones was a productive receiver when he stepped in for an injured Logan Thomas. He is also a capable blocker.

    8. Ereck Flowers, G/OT, Redskins. Age: 28.
      Ereck Flowers is known as a bust in New York circles, but he has played well since leaving the Giants. The trick was moving Flowers from tackle to guard.

    9. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Redskins. Age: 39.
      Announced retirement

      Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t even play a half of football in 2021, suffering a season-ending hip injury. Perhaps he’ll get another chance to start in 2022, but at 39, the end is near.

    10. Kyle Allen, QB, Redskins. Age: 26.
      Signed with Texans (1 year, $2.5 million)

      Kyle Allen did well in relief of Cam Newton in 2019, throwing for 3,322 yards and completing 62 percent of his passes. He’s only 26.

    11. Danny Johnson, CB, Redskins. Age: 26.
    12. Cam Sims, WR, Redskins. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Redskins (1 year)
    13. DeAndre Carter, WR, Redskins. Age: 29. — Signed with Chargers
    14. Adam Humphries, WR, Redskins. Age: 29.
    15. Tim Settle, NT, Redskins. Age: 25. — Signed with Bills
    16. Darryl Roberts, CB, Redskins. Age: 31.
    17. Jonathan Williams, RB, Redskins. Age: 28.
    18. Jon Bostic, LB, Redskins. Age: 31.
    19. Torry McTyer, CB, Redskins. Age: 27.
    20. Corn Elder, CB, Redskins. Age: 27.
    21. David Mayo, LB, Redskins. Age: 29.
    22. Nate Orchard, DE, Redskins. Age: 29.
    23. Temarrick Hemingway, TE, Redskins. Age: 29.
    24. Garrett Gilbert, QB, Redskins. Age: 31. — Signed with Raiders

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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