It sometimes feels to conservatives that nothing has gone right in Washington since Bill Clinton was elected, and that’s the same for Redskins fans, too.
Our draft needs show exactly how far this storied franchise has fallen. The team needs major upgrades at every position except safety, punt returner, and perhaps tight end (though Chris Cooley hasn’t looked quite the player he was since breaking his ankle on Monday Night Football in 2009).
The two highest-profile trades in football in the last two offseasons — Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb — have proved to be disasters. Ordinarily, drafting a nose tackle and/or a quarterback would be locks for a team in this state of disarray, but with so many needs, it’s hard to say that either will be the priority they might otherwise be. Quarterback is a definite need, but coach Mike Shanahan has particular requirements at that position, so unless Blaine Gabbert falls to No. 10, it’s unlikely a QB will be the Skins’ first pick. Most mock drafts have us taking Julio Jones in the first round, and he’d be a great upgrade to a wide-receiver corps that has had to start a No. 2 wideout as its No. 1 for longer than fans care to remember (not that Santana Moss hasn’t performed above and beyond the call of duty in that role).
What else do we need? A running back or two, a full back, an offensive line, a defensive line, at least one more impact linebacker, and a close-down corner to play opposite ball hawk DeAngelo Hall. Oh, and a kicker and a punter.
And we don’t pick between no. 41 and no. 144.
Apart from that, we’re in perfect shape.
— Iain Murray is vice president for strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.