Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins have been active in the free-agent market with plenty of money to spend over the past few years but haven't received a ton of bang for their buck. That's why all the positive press surrounding the signings of Jason Hatcher and DeSean Jackson is a bit out of the norm for Washington fans.
Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, the club is looking to build on all the good offseason news and continue to re-tool the team around young players like Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. It will be a tough task without a first-round pick, but there are plenty of options in such a deep draft for the team to add a quality player with the 34th overall pick.
Kouandjio was considered one of the best offensive tackles in the draft until knee problems came to light at the NFL Scouting Combine and he saw his stock drop dramatically. While there is an injury history with him, perhaps the Redskins won't be all that scared off once they have the chance to fully evaluate him at his secondary pro day in early April.
Trent Williams had a solid season last year, but Washington could always use a boost opposite from him after seeing Griffin hit the ground too many times in 2013. While the addition of Jackson should help by stretching the field and keeping defenses on their heels, it's possible new coach Jay Gruden's offense will still need an offensive lineman taken early in the draft.
"It's tremendous because it takes the eighth man out of the box," analyst Charley Casserly said of the Jackson signing. "The biggest change they're going to face is with the offensive line because they're going to go from zone blocking to power blocking."
A 6-foot-7, 322-pound tackle such as Kouandjio could be a perfect fit in those power schemes as he's better suited to block in those types of offenses. While he might be a bit of a project after a rough final year in Tuscaloosa, the physical tools he has and the tape from his sophomore season should be worth a deeper examination by the Redskins' brass.
There's not a ton of flexibility in the draft without a first-round pick, but waiting until the second day and grabbing a prospect like Kouandjio could be an option for the Redskins as they look to get back to the playoffs in 2014.