Sunday, January 8, 2012

Systematic, quantifiable look at Redskins' needs going forward

The Redskins Insider blog at the Washington Post put this piece up the other day.

It's a good read, as most of Burke's contributions this year have been. Sometimes his conclusions are a bit wonky but either way ti's interesting information to factor in. He uses "advanced statistics" to examine and evaluate players and teams, in this case the Estimated Win Percentage (EPA) that each player/position group gives. To excerpt his recommendations:

Assuming Fletcher and Landry are absent, the numbers would put the team’s needs in the following order: QB, OL, S, ILB, WR, CB, DL, TE, RB. Place kicker is a need as well, but it’s a position hard to slot with the others in terms of impact. It should never be a primary need, however, because the true skill of the league’s best and its replacement-level kickers are not as far apart than at the other positions.

Now, I think Fletcher is all but certain to be back and expect Landry to as well, so-- coupling that with the fact that safety woes are due much more to injury than personnel-- you can safely drop safety as a need. I would also raise cornerback and lower wide receiver because, as I've intimated, I've really lost confidence in Hall's ability to be a positive impact, and a top-notch corner would be the big missing piece in our defense. Meanwhile, even if the unit wasn't great this year, we have young guys like Leonard Hankerson(IR), Niles Paul and Terrence Austin who need a chance to show what they can do before we focus on burying them behind new options. All in all, the Skins have 5 draft picks at receiver going into their second or third year in 2012. That may or may not prove to be a good group, but either way it isn't as pressing a need right now, in my opinion. Furthermore, you have to think that with a competent quarterback throwing the ball the receiving group would've had a better showing.

Still, excepting the above and some of my espoused desire for a bottom-heavy, potato-shaped NT, my priorities are very closely in line with Burke's conclusions about the team based on EPA.He groups the DL and I think doing what I said at NT and allowing Cofield to play both NT and DE depending on package and down could be good for both positions and remove any DL need. It all depends on who is available in free agency and the draft and value, though.

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