By TPR Staff

As we continue the Team Needs series for the 2013 NFL Draft, we proceed to the only team without a first round pick; the Washington Redskins. I wanted to do this series in draft order, but it would just be rude to ignore the Redskins, so I’ll include them here at their original pick location that is now owed to St. Louis for the rights to Robert Griffin III last draft.

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While it was a fun ride that probably saved Mike Shanahan’s job as head coach, the final game of the season in the playoffs have many Redskins faithful ready to run him out of town. A team that looked ready to be an NFC contender next season now doesn’t know if their star quarterback will be ready to start the season after tearing his his ACL and LCL. Regardless, here is what I think the Redskins will do in the draft to set up his return, whenever it is.

Offensive Line

Robert Griffin III might not be as mobile when he comes back as he was prior to his devastating injury. Therefore, upgrading some of the average parts on the starting offensive line might be in order. At right tackle, Jamaal Brown seems to always be on the injury list while Tyler Polumbus is little better than a back up. At left guard, Kory Lichstensteiger is a free agent and not expected to return. With 50 picks off the board before they get their first crack, most of the elite level talent will be gone, but there are still some gems here. A tackle like Dallas Thomas and a guard like Kyle Long, both who can play either position, could make sense in the second.

Draft Possibilities: Dallas Thomas, Kyle Long

Safety

For as poor as the Washington secondary was last season, I expect this to be their main focus in this draft. Brandon Meriweather seems to injure himself every time he sneezes and Madieu Williams is ready to hit the free agent market. This will be a position addressed with the second or third round pick. If Eric Reid is still on the board in the second, expect that to be the pick.

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Draft Possibilities: Eric Reid, Phillip Thomas

Cornerback

For as poor as the safety play was in 2012, the play of the corners just might have topped it. When DeAngelo Hall is your best corner, it’s certainly time to upgrade. He isn’t terrible, but he’s inconsistent at doing the little things because he’s always trying to go for the homerun. Josh Wilson has been average ever since getting his pay day and Cedric Griffin likely walks in free agency. If the Skins go all defense early, whichever the best available safety or corner should be their picks in the second and third rounds beginning with a prospect like Jamar Taylor.

Draft Possibilities: Jamar Taylor, David Amerson

Linebacker

If you’re noticing a trend, it is because for as good as the Redskins offense was, the defense couldn’t get off the field most of the season. A big part of that was because of the average to below average play of the linebacker play. It has been Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan and just a bunch of guys the past couple of years. London Fletcher is who he is, but he’s getting a little long in the tooth and it is time to plan accordingly. Rob Jackson is a free agent and no one is really sure of what to expect from Keenan Robinson thus far. In the middle to late rounds, expect to see a handful of linebackers taken beginning with the likes of a player similar to Jon Bostic.

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Draft Possibilities: Jon Bostic, A.J. Klein

Wide Receiver

Pierre Garcon was great in his chemistry with Griffin last year, but he needs some help. The receiving group as a whole was nice, but a legitimate number two threat would be ideal in taking the pressure off of a recuperating Griffin to tuck the ball and go. If someone like Marquise Goodwin is there in the fourth, it would make perfect sense to go wide receiver.

Draft Possibilities: Marquise Goodwin, Chris Harper

For a team on the rise, there are still a lot of question marks. As good as Griffin was, not having a pick until 51 this year is tough for a team that has so many gaps in the defense to fill. Mike Shanahan has his work cut out for him and he needs to be nails in free agency and sell folks on the idea of playing for a team going in the right direction, finally.

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As far as those out to get Shanahan after the Griffin injury, I think we should let time tell. If he comes back and he’s never the same, then take your pound of flesh from him. Until then, we should sit back and see what he does to compliment his return with this draft.

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