Should the Redskins draft a cornerback?

openingkicklogoIn compiling a draft wishlist for the Redskins, it’s easy to look at their needs by position. There are spots, such as quarterback, where the team is set — star, solid backups and a developmental player. There are other places, such as at safety, where the need is obvious.

Cornerback is somewhere in between. On one hand, Washington has its starters from last season, DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, back in place. On the other, those were the prime cornerbacks on a defense that ranked 30th against the pass (281.9 yards/game) and allowed 31 passing touchdowns, second-worst in the league.

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Free agent addition E.J. Biggers is an intriguing possibility as the third cornerback, or possibly a player who lines up outside while Hall covers the slot. Biggers, made 12 starts for Tampa Bay last season, his fourth in the league, and six starts each in 2011 and 2010.

Richard Crawford showed glimpses last season, playing in 10 games, picking off a pass and turning in at least one memorable punt return. Chase Minnifield hasn’t played a down in the NFL, but his name stays on fans’ tongues because he was a potential high draft pick before a knee injury turned him into a UDFA and a player that missed all of last season.

Five corners is typically enough, and in Hall, Wilson, Biggers, Crawford and Minnifield, you’d have a mix of veterans with varied skills, and young guys you can project to someday develop into starters or start in a pinch. Jerome Murphy, who has spent time with the Lions, Saints and Rams, is also on the roster.

If Antoine Winfield, who finished atop Pro Football Focus’s cornerback rankings for 2012, comes aboard, then it’s a non-issue. Or more accurately, a different issue entirely, as everyone bumps down a spot in the pecking order, and the competition for jobs increases.

Absent that though, should the Redskins target a cornerback in the draft? Should they be open-minded to taking one if the opportunity presents itself, value-wise? And are they adequately covered if they don’t take one? It might be a stretch to count on Minnifield to earn a roster spot, and some competition among the cornerbacks can only help.

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