It must be nice as an Eagles fan to enjoy watching two of their NFC East rivals each stuck with a top 10 pick in this year's draft.
Obviously, it's because that means they didn't have success the year before.
The Washington Redskins missed out on the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five after finishing dead last in the division with a 6-10 record. Mike Shanahan was expected to bring the Redskins out of the doldrums in a hurry. The expectations were exacerbated with the trade to acquire veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb.
However, the transition from what had been a very good 4-3 defense to a 3-4 scheme didn't jive in Shanahan's first season. Of course, a large part of the struggle is trying to find the personnel to run the scheme in just one offseason. But the malcontent that is defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, whose weekly clashes with Shanahan seemed soap-operaesque, certainly held the potential of the defense back. The defense was next-to-last in the league in yards allowed. The pass defense was next-to-last in the league. The team's sack total and run defense were in the bottom-third of the league.
On offense, however, the trade for McNabb left the team without a second-round pick for the second straight season and a year later the team remains in search of a franchise quarterback. McNabb was benched in the final minutes of a winnable game against Detroit for Rex Grossman, who became the starter by the end of the season. Even though McNabb signed a contract extension hours before the Eagles throttled them on Monday Night Football, the Redskins essentially hold his rights as there will be a team that will take a chance on the veteran in a quarterback-starved league.
Where do the Redskins go from here? Last year, the Redskins used the No. 4 pick on a franchise left tackle in Trent Williams. That moved paid off for them. Williams looks to be the real deal. There have been reports that if Jake Locker entered the draft following his junior year at Washington that the Redskins would have selected him at No. 4. Would they take a chance on him here at No. 10? If not, the Redskins could lock down the offensive line - which still needs a jolt of youth - with either USC's Tyron Smith or Boston College's Anthony Castonzo.
Honestly, the Redskins should sprint to the podium with LSU's Patrick Peterson name on the card. Carlos Rogers hasn't lived up to his first-round billing. Washington pairs DeAngelo Hall with Peterson and they have a formidable cornerback duo. If you don't choose Peterson, the Redskins could bolster the pass rush with North Carolina outside linebacker Robert Quinn, who is also of great value at this spot, or Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt, who is a perfect fit for Washington as a 3-4 end.
Was it fair to expect the Redskins to be a contender in 2010? Certainly, Shanahan's Super Bowl reputation and the acquisition of McNabb put them through the roof. However, the Redskins are in much more of a rebuilding mode than many people expected and the age of some of the team's veterans in place will only increase the need to add a bevy of youth in 2011.
No. 1 - Carolina: QB Cam Newton, Auburn
No. 2 - Denver: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
No. 3 - Buffalo: LB Von Miller, Texas A&M
No. 4 - Cincinnati: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
No. 5 - Arizona: WR A.J. Green, Georgia
No. 6 - Cleveland: WR Julio Jones, Alabama
No. 7 - San Francisco: DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
No. 8 - Tennessee: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
No. 9 - Dallas: DE Cameron Jordan, California