We are just over three months into the 2017 fiscal year for the National Football League. It’s safe to say we have seen plenty of player movement via free agency and trades. And in late April, a total of 253 players were selected in the NFL draft. So as teams participate in mini-camps and OTAs, we figured it was a good time to have some fun looking (and learning) at the significant numbers – both in regards to the past and the present – for each of the 32 franchises. You can play catch-up by clicking here. Last but not least, it time to check out the Washington Redskins.
Talk about consistency that you would prefer to keep yourself? In each of the past two seasons, the Washington Redskins have featured the 28th-ranked defense in the league. They were also 25th in the NFL against the pass each of those years. All told, the cub has allowed 40-plus offensive touchdowns five consecutive season. Hence the free-agent money was spent on defensive linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain, inside linebacker Zach Brown and hard-hitting strong safety D.J. Swearinger. And the ‘Skins also addressed the issue in late April.
Along with the aforementioned free-agent additions, team president Bruce Allen used six of the team’s 10 draft choices to bolster the defense. That included the club’s first three selections in defensive end Jonathan Allen (1-Alabama), outside linebacker Ryan Anderson (2-Alabama) and cornerback Fabian Moreau (3-UCLA). The ‘Skins also used their second of two fourth-round choices on Michigan State safety Montae Nicholson. Getting Allen was a major coup after he surprisingly slipped to the 17th overall spot. He was the team’s first defensive selection in the first round since linebacker Ryan Kerrigan in 2011.
Last season, the Washington Redskins were No. 2 in the NFL in terms of passing yards per game. Jay Gruden’s team could certainly use a little more support from the ground attack. And it will also be interesting to see how quarterback Kirk Cousins adjusts without his two 1,000-yard pass-catchers of a season ago in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. The team signed wideouts Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick in free agency and have emerging Jamison Crowder, as well as 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson. If the running game improves, this could put a very formidable unit.