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Positional Review - WR/TE


The Redskins revolving door of possible solutions to their need at wide receiver has never closed. The team never replaced, gaps, Gardner, Rod, if you can imagine that. Honestly, much as this will pain the blog collective, the dude did put up some decent numbers despite all the drops and his perpetual case of brain cramps. He was a big target receiver who could also get downfield.

Since then the Skins have turned to bust trades and a slew of street free agents to address the void. But it's still there. That move-the-chains guy with some plus size and speed to compliment Santana Moss is still out there, somewhere. Maybe one day it's Anthony Mix, but that's hardly a sure thing at this point (after all, he was playing way behind guys like McCardell and Caldwell, who the Skins essentially kicked to the curb this offseason).

To me, Santana Moss's health has to be considered an issue of massive significance entering the season. He hasn't been himself since 2005 - that's a long time in football years, folks. The hammie thing can be nasty and it's dogged him to no end. More troubling than that was just the way he faded in and out of games last year, and started dropping balls. That's just not him. Likewise, will Antwaan Randle El ever sustain a high level of play befitting a true No. 2 receiver for a full season?

The switch to a West Coast attack fits their strengths, but, again, who will be the grunt in the slot to get the tough yards, withstand all that abuse, and still be able to get some YAC? James Thrash has some of the tools to do that, but he's barely hanging on at this point and was primarily a special teams guy, anyway. Signing Jerome Mathis was shocking given his off-field issues, and has been injury prone and middling at best when on the field.

Thus all the speculation about the Skins drafting a wideout. Undoubtedly, Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato will continue to monitor the potential trade situations with Chad Johnson and Anquan Boldin closely, but in the end neither might hit the market.

Problem is, there is no sure thing in this draft. Not even close. If anything, guys like Jackson are slipping and some believe there might not even be a receiver taken in the first round. It's part of the reason why I see the Skins trying like heck to trade down, because you still might get to pick between Sweed, Hardy or Thomas at pick 35-40. I love Hardy's size and would lean his way, though Thomas could be very effective in this system as well.

In the end, taking any of these kids might not add much pop right away. That's why Snyder and Cerrato were so eager to try to take a shot at Johnson, and trust me, he definitely wants a shot to get into their pockbook, which has closed so suddenly and thoroughly this offseason. It's a longshot, but come late June, with the cap ramifications lessened, maybe the Bengals guage interest in him. Chris Henry's release probable eliminated any chance of an actual trade, but in this league I've learned you never say never.

As for tight ends, Chris Cooley is the man and will be for the foreseeable future. Todd Yoder has stabilized the depth - could this be the year when Brian Kozlowski is no longer on late-season speed dial? - but finding a young potential backup is something the team will try to address in the next few years as well. There are usually ample intriguing prospects at this position on the street after the draft - hence the run on scouting former college basketball players in recent years, since their frame and athleticism mesh with what you look for out of a TE.

By Jason La Canfora  |  April 17, 2008; 7:08 AM ET
 
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