The Washington Redskins front office doesn’t get a lot of credit for what they do. But during the 2018 offseason, Doug Williams and Bruce Allen did a great job of reshaping the Redskins roster.
Coming into the 2018 NFL offseason, the Washington Redskins had a lot of decisions to make. With many free agents set to hit the market, including quarterback Kirk Cousins and several impact defenders, the Redskins had the potential to see a lot of roster turnover. And they did. But, it appears that most of the holes on both sides of the ball have been patched.
The Redskins’ ability to patch these holes and improve their roster is largely thanks to the effort of their front office. Chiefly, Doug Williams and Bruce Allen deserve a lot of credit. And while the latter may often be viewed as a villain in the mind of Redskins fans, it’s clear that his performance this offseason was fairly solid.
In terms of free agency, the Redskins did lose quite a few players. Notably, Cousins, Trent Murphy, and Junior Galette have left the team. However, the front office, and particularly Allen, did a good job of retaining quality pieces as well. Both Mason Foster and Zach Brown were re-signed to resume their roles as starting linebackers.
Additionally, the team was able to get a few quality pieces on the free agent market. The big get was Paul Richardson. He is a 26-year-old receiver with great downfield speed and an excellent catch radius. He will be a great starter and should complement Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder very well.
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Aside from Richardson, the team added a couple of depth players in Pernell McPhee, who should be a solid backup edge rusher, and Orlando Scandrick, who is a veteran corner option. Neither should be a starter, but getting this kind of depth was smart. So, all the members of the Redskins front office deserves credit for this.
However, the bigger haul for the Skins came in the draft. This year was Doug Williams’ first full year in charge of the draft, and he did a great job. He fixed the team’s problems on the defensive line, added a quality running back in Derrius Guice, and added depth at almost every position that needed it. It was one of the best Redskins drafts in recent memory, and that was definitely thanks to Williams’ efforts.
Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com recently rated Williams as his top draft newcomer, and praised Williams’ picks, particularly on the defensive line. He also made an interesting point when he said the following.
"Just like in 2017, the Redskins had an excellent draft, but they don’t get a lot of credit for it because their staff doesn’t lobby the national media to give them praise like other teams and general mangers. Williams is building the Redskins into a hard-nosed and talented football team with a strong office, including astute director of college scouting Kyle Smith. This was a phenomenal debut for Williams’ directing of Washington’s draft."
That point about the team not lobbying national media for attention is interesting, as it would explain why the Redskins haven’t gotten as much praise as they deserved for this year’s class. But, it also speaks to the fact that Washington’s front office staff including Williams, Kyle Smith, Eric Schaffer, and Allen care about upgrading the team more than they do about getting patted on the back by others. And that is a terrific sign.
This offseason, it appears that Washington has found a front office structure that works. And they deserve praise for being able to do that. They have a strong scouting department and have done solid work during free agency in 2018, and if they keep these front office people in place, the Redskins should be in good hands moving forward.