The modern day washington Redskins have been the model of inconsistency. The team has fired and hired coaches, have had great signings and bad signings, and through it, all have had some winning and some losing seasons. Even the draft isn’t immune to this Redskins tradition. Over the years the Redskins have made some great high round picks, like linebacker Ryan Kerrigan but they’ve also missed in the higher rounds, with players like Robert Griffin III and David Amerson. The 2016 draft proved to be more of the same for the Redskins, first round pick Josh Docston only caught two passes last season and ended up on IR after an Achilles injury.

While second round pick Su'a Cravens became a fan favorite but didn’t put up great stats, and there are still question about what position he should play. It may be too early to judge Docston or Cravens, but it’s not premature to start thinking about who the Redskins could take with the seventeenth overall pick in this year’s draft.

A First Round Running Back

Like a lot of things about the Redskins, the run game in the 2016-2017 season was inconsistent. Through the first half of the season the team seemed to have no run game, the team relied heavily on 2015 third round pick Matt Jones. Jones was slated to be the next great Redskins’ running back, he has a rare combination of size and speed, but after being handed the starting job, he wasn’t able to keep it.

Jones struggled with fumbling issues and got injured in a game against the Lions. Without an established back up on the roster undrafted rookie Robert “Fat Rob,” Kelley took over the starting duty and never looked back. Jones rode the bench the rest of the season, while Fat Rob ran for over 700 yards and six touchdowns.

Even though Kelley put up good numbers, there were times when he struggled and didn’t look like a number one back. The Redskins did nothing to fix their running back in problems in free agency, but the 2017 draft may give them a chance.

The old rule that teams shouldn’t take running backs in the first round is fading, and the Redskins are in a spot to get their own first round running back.

The two tops backs in this year’s draft are Leonard Fournette out of LSU and Christian McCaffrey from Stanford. Fournette will probably be gone by the time the Redskins draft, but there’s a chance McCaffrey slides to seventeen, and he may be the perfect fit for the head coach Jay Gruden’s offense. Gruden likes running backs that can catch the ball coming out of the backfield; McCaffrey can catch better than most backs. McCaffrey even impressed scouts by running routes as at predraft workouts. For as much as Gruden loves Fat Rob, he also loves having options at running back, as the roster sits right now he doesn’t have those options. Getting McCaffrey at seventeen could give the Redskins an option and set of hands they desperately need.

Not Another Slow Linebacker

The Redskins defense last year made some big plays, but they also let the team down in a lot of games and were historically bad on third down. The Redskins have already gone about trying to fix their defensive problems, by firing their defensive coordinator Joe Berry and signing big names players in free agency. But none of the players they’ve signed this offseason have fixed the linebacker problem. Even before the news of Trent Murphy being suspended four games and Junior Galette being arrested, the Redskins still had a major issue at linebacker; the Redskins only have one type of pass rusher. The Redskins linebackers are all healthy, but they all lack speed and speed is what a defense needs on third downs.

Haason Reddick from Temple University could be the speed the Redskins need. Reddick might not be coming out of powerhouse school, but in his senior year he put up 66 tackles along with 9.5 sacks and deserves the first round grade he’s been given. But what sets Reddick apart from other linebackers is his rare speed, he ran a 4.52 forty at pre-draft events. Reddick’s speed could be responsible for getting the Redskins off the field on third down, instead of the leaving the fans in a constant state of frustration watching opponents convert another third down. Reddick may already be the prospect the Redskins have their eye on; he recently visited the team’s headquarters. Reddick may not be the most exciting or well-known name in the draft, but he’s the player that could complete the Redskins’ defense.

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