Shanny drafted some promising talent in the defensive front seven and offensive skill positions, but the Redskins still have conspicuous needs at quarterback, nose, corner (with Rogers likely leaving), and O-line from left guard through right tackle. These will be addressed — albeit incompletely — via trades, free agency, and hopefully some smart re-signings … whenever football comes out of hibernation.
Here are 10 veterans that, for better or worse, have been or will be discussed at great length in the context of the aforementioned weaknesses. I’m trying to avoid idle conjecture. At least two or three of these will likely end up in D.C., if not more, so don’t let them slip under your radar:
1. Davin Joseph (G, Tampa Bay) – Solid if unspectacular through four seasons as a Buc. Drafted by Bruce Allen. Only 27 and made one Pro Bowl as an alternate. Projects favorably to a zone-blocking scheme and heavily rumored to have talked contract with us prior to the stoppage.
2. Ryan Harris (RT, Denver) — Drafted by Shanny in 2007 and successful in the ZBS as a Bronco. Still under contract, but injuries and scheme change have alienated him from the new Denver regime. Very likely trade target if Jammal Brown doesn’t come back.
3. Robert Gallery (LG, Oakland; pictured) — Former “can’t-miss” left tackle prospect that flamed out briefly before resurrecting his career as a capable guard. Very athletic, probably a nice fit for ZBS, and not ancient at 30 … but will want big money. Redskins just hired his assistant OL coach (Chris Morgan) away from Raiders.
4. Vonta Leach (FB, Houston) — Only 29 and made the Pro Bowl in 2011. Underappreciated stud blocker for Arian Foster. Came to prominence under the offensive coordination of Kyle Shanahan. Redskins like Darrel Young, but Leach is tempting.
5. Cullen Jenkins (DE, Green Bay) — This guy is an excellent 3-4 defensive end and would fit perfectly, but will be expensive. I thought the Redskins would make him a primary target until drafting cousin Jarvis (just kidding, no relation), who apparently is slated for the same position.
6. Kris Jenkins (DT, New York Jets) — Three-time All-Pro, but 31 with very high mileage and tore his ACL twice. If healthy — huge if — would make a great new nose tackle, even in rotation. Very cheap due to injury history and has area ties, having attended Maryland.
7. Aubrayo Franklin (NT, San Francisco) — Not a celebrity and will be 31, but he’s a true nose with good anchor and no injury history. Would be a significant upgrade over 2010 Kemo.
8. Ike Taylor (CB, Pittsburgh) — Not nearly as flashy as Nnamdi (or even Johnathan Joseph), but a hard-working, reliable veteran that fits the purported “culture change” and has experience in a similar defense. Two Super Bowl rings. Good football left at 31.
9. Matt Hasselbeck (QB, Seattle) – Drop your pitchfork, I’m not saying this one — or the next one — are sure things by any means. But I am 100% positive they have both been discussed inside Redskins Park as viable candidates to step in. Hasselbeck, at 35, would be an obvious short-term stop-gap, but he’s a winner with good accuracy and knows the West Coast Offense.
10. Vince Young (QB, Tennessee) – You might think he lacks the maturity and/or precision passing, but VY is only 27 and has won 64% of his NFL starts. He’s athletic and a better passer than most realize (especially rolling out). He’s also eminently available, and now carries a gigantic chip on his shoulder, which Shanny loves.