In the event that the Redskins have already filled their major needs by the start of Round 4, the team can focus on adding talented players to join their secondary as depth option. They really need a backup safety, and they have expressed an interest in Quin Blanding.
Blanding was a highly productive player at Virginia, and he amassed nearly 500 tackles during his career. The 6-foot-2 safety is adept at squaring up opposing players and bringing them down with his strong arms. He has great technique, and he should be a very solid No. 3 safety.
The biggest concern with Blanding, and the thing that is likely keeping him from becoming a Day 2, is his lack of deep speed. Blanding is a step slow when working back in coverage, and he really is at his best as a box safety. That’s not to say that he can’t play a role in coverage. It just means that he will struggle more with speedy options at the NFL level and may require a rangy, quick partner to pair with and play centerfield.
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Though this is a bit of a problem, it shouldn’t stop Blanding from doing what he does best. Because of his good frame and his tackling prowess, he should become a potential hybrid at safety and linebacker. That’s the role the team would have had Su’a Cravens play at times. Bringing in Blanding to operate in that capacity and serve as a special teamer would do a lot to help the squad improve and continue to add quality depth.
Blanding should be an option for the Redskins no matter what, and the fact that they visited with him demonstrates that they do have a level of interest in him. He could be a good fit in Greg Manusky‘s defense, and it’s possible that he will find a sizable role if he can quell concerns about his athletic ability.