This unit will stay intact for the most part, with only Bashaud Breeland leaving via Free Agency. Breeland’s projected market value is over $8 million a year, his play hasn’t garnered such a raise in Washington and the Clemson corner will be playing elsewhere in 2018. The groups performance was underwhelming this year, most notably Josh Norman’s production. I believe his drop in production had to do with his lingering rib/chest injury. So I’m looking for a bounce back year from “The Cerebral Assassin“. Norman will return as the clear number one going into next season. Nickel Corner Kendall Fuller had the best year of all the defensive backs though. Fuller played around 60% of the teams snaps in 2017 and still recorded 4 interceptions. Although Fuller is a really great Nickel Back, he can still be the number two corner and slide back to that position in three receiver sets keeping him on the field l. As for who’ll be the third corner, that’s still up for debate. Third year cornerback Quinton Dunbar seems to be the next in line, but rookie Fabian Morea is believed to have the talent to be a #2 corner in time. Moreau is currently one of the fastest players on the Redskins roster, after clocking a 4.3 second forty yard dash at the 2017 NFL Combine. For the first time in years, the Skins have decent depth at cornerback. Dunbar and Moreau can’t be counted on yet though, so the Skins could add a mid-level cornerback in FA or better yet in the mid rounds of draft for competition. LSU’s cornerback Kevin Toliver II or Penn State’s Christian Campbell are 3rd-4th round prospects. Those are just two examples that make sense for the Washington, if their still available in the 4th/5th round that is.
This position group could be listed as priority 1B, next to upgrading the defensive line. As it stands now only Matrell Spaight, Zach Vigil and Josh Harvey-Clemons are the only ILB’s returning that played for the Washington in 2017. (UPDATE Mason Foster resigned). Free Agent acquisition Zach Brown was hands down one of the best defenders on the Redskins, but played on a one year prove it deal. Well Brown is about to get paid! Brown is an impending FA and in my opinion the number one player the Skins must resign. Brown may test the waters though, after having a Pro Bowl caliber year. The Skins will have to pay him above market value to keep him around. Brown alone will not be enough to solve the position woes though. It’s been a position of weakness since the retirement of All Pro ILB London Fletcher. Luckily this draft boasts real talent at linebacker! The SEC continues to churn out NFL ready Inside Linebackers, such as Georgia’s Roquan Smith and Bama’s Rashaan Evans. The SEC linebackers are sure to be stars on the next level. The talent at Inside Linebacker, isn’t just limited to the first round though. In the previous Diamonds in the Rough post, I evaluated South Carolina State ILB Darius Leonard. The small school overachiever, is just one example of the talent and depth on defense in the upcoming Draft. This is the year that the Redskins solve the revolving door at Inside Linebacker!
With the Super Bowl less than two weeks away, teams are starting to get their free agency wish lists together. The Senior Bowl is days away as well and there will be a lot to talk about. Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll be writing about Draft Prospects that might not be household names, but could provide talent and depth to a team that is in dire need of more playmakers. HTTR🏹🏈