The most exciting time of the off-season is almost here: the NFL draft. Despite this year’s draft being marred by the ongoing dispute between the NFL owners and players, the NFL is still doing its best to boost up the excitement knobs. A record number of 25 prospective players will be in New York awaiting their fate and each team will have their own past hero announcing their team’s second-round selection. Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams is the Redskins’ representative.

The NFL draft is the only sporting event without any sport involved that I can actually sit through, and admittedly I enjoy it more than regular season baseball. Strasburg-less baseball at least. If it were a season of drafts I’d be singing a different tune, but the NFL draft event is like no other.

It’s difficult to curb my enthusiasm when I should be managing all my expectations closely. Last year I thought Trent Williams was an excellent selection as it showed Shanahan chose a building block instead of a shooting star. In reality, Williams wasn’t much of a building block. He was a replacement block. After losing All-Pro left tackle Chris Samuels to retirement and being unsure of acquiring a left tackle in free agency the Redskins had no choice but to select a left tackle. Time will tell whether or not Trent Williams can become a six-time Pro Bowl selection.

Unfortunately, the Redskins aren’t in the position where one draft pick is going to turn the franchise into a stable winner. There are too many holes to fill across the roster, and too many question marks surrounding those holes. No quarterback in this year’s draft immediately stands out as a player you’d want to build your future around.

Cornerback and linebacker should not be concerns for the Redskins, but for some reason they keep popping up. O.J. Atogwe’s addition at safety will help the corners who are already solid enough. How long will Lorenzo Alexander keep proving he should be on the field as much as possible? Start him at linebacker and don’t waste a draft pick. Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson could also be pleasant surprises at linebacker.

Honestly, I have no idea what the Redskins will do. I’d probably feel better about trading down for more picks as opposed to going for a wide receiver, quarterback, or defensive lineman with the 10th pick. Shanahan needs to start bringing his type of players in before he succeeds and no one at No. 10 stands out as an immediate franchise changer.

Switching over to hockey speak, it’s been inspiring watching the Caps. Seeing an offensive powerhouse collectively shift its mentality over to a stubborn and scrappy defense seemingly overnight should be commended. They have a long way to go before my beard touches my toes, but they look like a completely different team. Hopefully some of the Redskins will find some time — considering they’re all technically out of work anyway — to pop on the TV and witness first hand how buying into a collective team mentality produces results.