Saturday, April 18, 2009

Redskins Draft Needs Part 3: Linebacker

Unfortunately for the Redskins, they can only take one player with the 13th pick. A new offensive tackle, defensive end, and linebacker would all be nice, but they can only take one. The 'Skins enter the '09 season with a thin pool of linebackers. 

London Fletcher returns to hold down the defense at the middle linebacker position. Most likely he will be surrounded by Rocky McIntosh and H.B. Blades. All three are very viable options at the position, the problem arises with the depth at linebacker. Along with a thin corp of LBs, London Fletcher is aging and has already seen his best days.

To combat the problems that may come at linebacker, the 'Skins might use their coveted 13th pick on one. Some options at the position would be USC's Brian Cushing or Rey Maualuga. Cushing and Maualuga helped make up arguably the nation's best linebacker corp among the college ranks in 2008. Maualuga, plays on the inside and could eventually be the successor to Fletcher. Cushing, an outside pass rusher, could come in and rotate with Blades and McIntosh and be an instant impact.

UVA's Clint Sintim may also be an option; however, if the 'Skins were to show interest in the inside presence from UVA they would be better suited to trade down instead of reaching for him at 13. Obviously, the top LB and top prospect in this class, Aaron Curry, will already be off the board that's why I have not made an argument for him. 

I do feel that the Redskins would only draft a linebacker as a last resort. For example, if Andre Smith is off the board and if there isn't a DE that fits a 4-3 scheme available, then and only then do I see the 'Skins reaching for a linebacker.    

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