By Chris Spencer-Payne
The Washington Redskins were tipped to go far last season but instead ended up with the fifth worse record across both the AFC and the NFC – ending on a disappointing record of four wins and twelve losses.
Following the forgettable season the off-season has been providing the Redskins with fantastic opportunities to improve their squad. Opportunities which have not been squandered.
The free agency provided the AFC East team with two big names and a great re-sign whilst the draft, which began last night, gave the Redskins a first round pick of Brandon Scherff.
All of this looks to have increased the strength of their offensive and defensive lines.
Offensive Linesman Brandon Scherff
Brandon Scherff who started his college career as a quarterback ended his time at Iowa as one of the best offensive lineman in the league. The OL started all 26 games for the Iowa Hawkeyes in his last two seasons before winning multiple awards upon leaving:
– First team all American
– First team big ten for the second consecutive year
– Outland trophy
– Rimington pace offensive lineman of the year.
Although all these honors came for Scherff as an OL, Jay Gruden says he will start his career at the Redskins by playing as a right tackle.
Scherff received a draft rating of 6.49, including him in the parameter of instant starter which it looks like he will be at the Redskins.
Cornerback Chris Culliver
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Chris Culliver, previously of the San Francisco 49ers signed for the Redskins as a free agent on a four year deal worth over $30,000,000. He is set to be a welcome addition to Jay Gruden’s underachieving side.
Culliver had a great 2014 season, contributing to all forms of defending. The cornerback managed 45 combined tackles, forced one fumble and recovered another throughout the campaign.
His fumble recoveries gained the 49ers a total of 35 yards.
When comparing Culliver to DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson his stats prove to be better in almost all areas meaning either as a starter or as backup he would be a great addition to the Redskins defense.
Defensive Tackle Terrance Knighton
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Terrance Knighton, Pot Roast. The 6 ft 3 in, 331lb Defensive Tackle is another fantastic edition to sure up the Redskins defence, especially when comparing his 2014 season stats to that of the current Redkins defensive tackle, Trent Williams.
Knighton played 16 games last season, allowing zero sacks whilst completing 30 combined tackles (18 total and 12 assisted). Whereas Williams allowed six sacks and 49 yards in 15 appearances throughout the season.
He also claimed three pass defends and two sacks throughout which is more than any defensive player on the Redskins roster.
Quarterback Colt McCoy
The re-signing of Colt McCoy could be the Redkins best bit of business in the free agency.
Although the quarterback only played five games last season he threw for 91 completions from 128 pass attempts (71% completion). He gained 1,057 passing yards in these five games which is just 600 yards less than Robert Griffin III who played nine games.
When taking statistics into account for the starting quarterback, should the Redskins be looking towards Kirk Cousins more than anyone. The 26-year-old threw for a massive 1,710 yards in just six appearances last season with an average gain of 8.38 yards.
The two previous signings of Terrance Knighton and Chris Culliver could help the Redskins next season whereas Colt McCoy could be used as a third (possibly second) choice quarterback to Cousins and Griffin III.