Washington Redskins: Defensive tackle
The Redskins enter year one of the post-Cousins era with Alex Smith as their new quarterback, but need several improvements on the defensive side of the ball to get back into the positive side of the win column.
Washington added linebacker Zach Brown in free agency but the biggest area of need entering the 2018 draft is on the interior of the defensive line. The team spent a first-round selection on the defensive line last year (Alabama’s Jonathan Allen), but adding a pass-rushing presence to the interior should be priority number one this year.
Several quick-twitch players with positional versatility could appeal Washington in this class, including names like Florida’s Taven Bryan, Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne and Virginia Tech’s Tim Settle all being potential options with their first-round selection. In the later rounds, the team could look at players like Connecticut’s Folorunso Fatukasi and NC State’s Kentavius Street, both of whom have met with the club at points during the draft process.
Washington posted the fourth-worst yards per carry rate against the run next season and Jay Gruden knows his squad must improve that number if they want a chance at making the playoffs next season. The rushing attacks of Dallas and Philadelphia will continue to give the Redskins trouble next season unless their depth on the interior improves. Adding talent at linebacker is also a possibility, with Preston Smith scheduled to hit free agency following next season.
If Washington is unable to shore up the defense, Jay Gruden’s hot seat will be even hotter than it was at the end of 2017.