The Redskins will enter the season with glaring needs that need to be addressed. Quarterback and running back are needs that are obvious, but with the Redskins likely picking 10th or 11th in the draft, the key targets for these positions may not be available.
Clearly anything can happen between now and April, but here is an early look.
ESPN’s big board has Stephen Paea (DT) and Janoris Jenkins (CB) as the 10th and 11th rated players at the current moment. Obviously if the Redskins have a specific need they will obviously gravitate in that direction.
But while we are here, let’s look at these guys:
Scouts started looking at Stephen Paea last year after he had his second consecutive productive season with Oregon State after spending one year at the junior college level. However, Paea only played one year of football in high school and still needed to learn some things, so returning for his senior season was certainly a good thing for multiple reasons. The Beavers usually do not ask their defensive tackles to get sacks, but Paea tallied 5.0 during his first season with the program. He added 41 tackles and 11.0 tackles-for-loss. The following year Paea totaled 43 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.0 sacks.So far during the 2010 campaign, Paea is not putting up quite as solid numbers, but he does get constantly double teamed. Yet even double teaming Paea usually does not work. He will get consistent pressure on most quarterbacks by collapsing the pocket and forcing the action. Paea may not end up with a tackle, but few defensive tackles are as disruptive as he has been this season.
Jenkins is just a junior, but a lack of experience will not be a factor as he likely prepares for entry into the 2011 NFL Draft. The cornerback played in 27 games and made 25 starts during his first two years at Florida. In his freshman campaign he was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team by the conference’s coaches and he made five tackles in the BCS National Championship win over Oklahoma. Jenkins has started all seven games this season and although offenses generally avoid him, he is third on the team with two interceptions (one of which he returned for a 67-yard touchdown) to go along with a sack and five pass breakups.Although he has solid size at 5’11” and 186 pounds, Jenkins can sometimes get overpowered by more physical wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. On the other hand, he has 4.42 speed and rarely gets beat on pass routes, especially not down the field. NFL scouts will love his big-game experience in the SEC and he can certainly step in right away and contribute. Jenkins has the tools to eventually become a star shutdown corner at the next level. Look for him to be off the board somewhere around the middle of the first round.