This story contributed by Scott Hirsch
Even though Jay Gruden has kept a lot of the old regime coaching staff, we should expect a shakeup in the player roster with this draft. A new coach needs to put his players on the roster.
The Redskins had quite an active free agency, but that is not enough to call the 2014 Redskins Jay Gruden’s team. Expect some sacred cows to be slaughtered.
For example, even though the media has created a somewhat fake controversy with Brian Orakpo, he’s still a one trick, bull rush pony. That’s not his fault, as Shanahan basically had the coat check guy at Redskins Park coaching the outside linebackers for years. Now Gruden will wisely give his outside linebackers some real coaching on moves more sophisticated than Orakpo’s ‘patented bull rush’ as he calls it.
If Orakpo thinks he’s elite because he is a freak athlete with one main rushing move, Gruden knows it’s time to move on. The gamble will be how Orakpo takes to new coaching. Expect an outside linebacker to be drafted and Brandon Jenkins to take a step ahead.
I’ve already mentioned Darrell Young. He’s a great player but has proven he is not durable. There’s also the fact that Gruden may not want to use a fullback in his offense.
Logan Paulsen had a terrible year last season and is very vulnerable. I see a Tight End with the first draft pick as a very real possibility despite the desperate need at Right Tackle. Consider how fragile Jordan Reed is, how small the receiving corps is and how bad the Redskins were in the Red Zone, and you will realize how desperate the Redskins are in the Tight End position.
The Redskins must find a couple gems in the late rounds that could start this year to make it into the post season. Unlike Shanahan, I expect Gruden potentially to poach late rejects from the Seahawks and 49ers both of whom are overloaded with talent. Gruden already picked up a Seahawks safety reject from last year. Last season, the Chiefs struck gold on defense by plucking an outstanding albeit rejected cornerback.