The Redskins surrendered their 2013 first-round pick in the trade for Robert Griffin III, leaving them with seven selections later this week — two picks Friday and five picks Saturday. With the QB position in good hands, addressing one of the NFL’s more porous defenses would be a logical next move for Washington. Here’s a rundown of the top draft needs for the depending NFC East champions:
Cornerback: Bringing in at least one rookie would be sensible with DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and E.J. Biggers all slated to be unrestricted free agents at season’s end. It will interesting to see how the Redskins proceed at this position without a first-round pick in this draft and the 2014 selection meeting. If they can find a second- or third-day cornerback with promise — think Casey Hayward to Green Bay at No. 62 last April — it would give them some flexibility.
Outside linebacker: If Brian Orakpo can stay healthy after missing most of 2012 with a pectoral injury, he’s likely to garner a big-time second contract. Edge-rushing talent for a “30” front is a must, and Orakpo — a free agent at season’s end — shouldn’t lack for suitors if at full strength. Orakpo is productive (8.5 sacks or more in three seasons since entering the league in 2009) and in his prime (27 at the start of the season). Even if Washington can keep Orakpo, there is always a spot for another pass rusher.
Right tackle: Tyler Polumbus seems the likely starter here after re-signing for two more seasons. However, adding a tackle prospect capable of backing up both spots now and pushing for the ORT job later would make sense.
Inside linebacker: London Fletcher will be 38 in May, and the other starter inside, Perry Riley, can test free agency after the season. The Redskins drafted ILB prospect Keenan Robinson in Round Four last April and could stand to keep adding to their options behind Fletcher and Riley.
Safety: Brandon Meriweather comes off an ACL tear. Reed Doughty will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 campaign. Ex-Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson must seek NFL reinstatement to return to the field this season. If the Redskins get some breaks at this position, they could craft something of a workable solution from the personnel at hand for 2013. However, there’s a good deal of uncertainty. Bolstering the safety depth chart might not be a bad idea.
The Redskins’ first pick is in Round Two (No. 51 overall), and they have at least one choice in each of the next six rounds. This is good news for Washington, which needs to make good use of its selections. The Redskins can fill out a solid lineup for 2013 as is, but they have numerous free agency decisions coming, and their defense needs bolstering. Also, Washington could use a little more defensive line, wideout and running back depth, too. Oh, for a team to be in love with a quarterback when the Redskins are on the clock in the second round. Here’s a team that could use another couple picks.