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Shanahan: Deep Talent In Draft's Middle Rounds


Each year, the NFL Draft storylines revolve around the elite talent that goes at the top of the first round.

Teams are often judged by the big names in the first round, but Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan sees significant talent available for the middle rounds this year.

"I think [talent] is always pretty deep rounds two through four every year," he told the media on Wednesday afternoon. "There are quality guys you can get. I think this year, the obvious people talk about this draft - the offensive linemen, you can take a look at receivers, defensive linemen – everything you guys write about every day."

Draft analysts have lauded the defensive backs available in this year's draft class, an area that the Redskins should be keen to address.

Following a season in which the Redskins ranked No. 31 in the NFL in pass defense, the Redskins could bolster talent at either the cornerback or safety positions.

Shanahan did not refute the team's interest in defensive backs, but pointed out that the team has already taken steps to improve the secondary.

"We have some corners with some experience. We have [E.J.] Biggers, who has some experience, I like the way he plays," Shanahan said of the team's free agent addition. "Anybody that comes in will have to compete and that is what you want, you want some competition."

He continued: "At the safety position, we lost [Brandon] Meriweather and Tanard Jackson last year and you are hoping that both guys will be back, will be back healthy. You don't know that for sure, so you've got guys like Reed Doughty, [Jordan] Pugh, [DeJon] Gomes, guys that have to step up and play but will have more competition depending how the draft works out.

"I like the nucleus we have. It is always nice to keep those players on your team."

Shanahan did not limit the team's options to just bolstering the team's secondary with tonight's picks. The team can also bolster an offense that took major steps forward in 2012.

"We can improve in every area, not just the offensive line, but the wide receivers, running backs, quarterbacks and that is what we are working on," he said. "I thought we did some good things last year that gives us a chance to do something special this year."

Regardless of who is left on the board when the Redskins select at No. 51, Shanahan said he feels confident about addressing one of the team's needs.

"There are a lot of those guys that will picked in the third, fourth, fifth round that are football players," he said. "You are hoping that you get the right guys targeted if they are there."




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