Category: Draft

Impact Players At Positions Of Need For Washington- Tony Jefferson & Brian Winters

Anyone worried about not having a first round draft pick? I’m not. Ask any NFL talent evaluator worth his salary and he will tell you that the scouts and GMs who keep their job are the ones who know how to find talent outside of the first round. With that In mind, during the next few weeks I will profile 32 players who will likely find their way out of the first round, but could still make an impact in the NFL.

Tony Jefferson, S Oklahoma. (5’11 212)

NFL COMPARISON: Michael Griffin, Tennessee Titans.

Strengths:

His ability to change direction is the biggest asset he will take with him to the NFL. Jefferson glides up and down the field, shifting effortlessly at full speed making plays sideline to sideline. While other players at the position may run a faster 40 yard dash, none of them can maintain the speed Jefferson can while changing directions. He also takes very little time to hit top gear when coming in and out of his breaks, which aids to his already very good ability to close on the ball in run support and pass coverage. While he needs to play under control more, Jefferson is fearless and throws his body around in run support. When he gets his angles right he can deliver a big hit and separate the receiver from the ball, but he also flashes the ability to actually play the ball and avoid the dreaded highlight hit/15 yard completion combo that plagues so many NFL safeties. Jefferson is also a very good run and pass blitzer, hitting the hole with explosion and has a knack for timing his attack perfectly.

Weaknesses:

The concerns I have about Jefferson’s game is his lack of ability to consistently play the position with his brain and eyes. Too many times I’ve seen him get jumpy instead of trusting his reads and this has led to him being badly out of position. Jefferson needs to work on his angles and playing under control, as his tackling technique in the open field is good enough for the most part, but what really hurts him is he doesn’t always turn on the breaks a bit when he has to and flings himself at the ball carrier, resulting in avoidable missed tackles.

Tony Jefferson’s three consecutive interceptions (5:oo, 5:40, and 7:10) vs Ball State in 2011.

Brian Winters, OT Kent State

NFL COMPARISON: Mark Tauscher, Green Bay Packers

Strengths:

Gets into his pass pro stance in the blink of an eye.Extremely quick feet allow him to shadow speed rushers and guide them around the QB. Very good lateral quickness makes him effective in sliding and picking up blitzers. At times he flashes the quickness and ability to change direction of a tight end which makes him tailor-made for a zone blocking scheme. Has the agility to get his body in position to hit a moving target while blocking on the run. Technique and hand placement usually right where it should be.

Weaknesses:

Won’t overwhelm anyone with his strength which is something he has to improve if he is to add to his value by adjusting to different positions at the next level. Lacks the strong hands to latch on to his defender and steer him in whatever direction he needs to and can be moved off-balance by club and rip moves as his hands aren’t strong enough to win those pseudo boxing matches that often go on in the trenches. While he is quick to his stance and plays with good knee bend, his first punch is severely lacking and will not jar defenders backwards in the NFL unless he gets stronger.

* The players profiled are only ones relevant to our needs, fit what we run and realistically attainable in accordance to our draft position.

REDSKINS INTERVIEWS AT THE EAST/WEST SHRINE GAME

The East/West Shrine game kicks off at 4pm, here is a list of players the Redskins have interviewed this week in St.Petersburg, Florida. Three of the Redskins 2012 draft picks participated in the shrine game: Alfred Morris, Josh Leribeus, and Tom Compton. Washington also signed 3 UDFA’s who played in the game. We may never see these names in Burgundy & Gold but you can never be sure.

Safety- Keelan Johnson #10: Arizona St – 6’1, 207Lbs

Safety- Bradley McDougald #24 : Kansas – 6’1 210Lbs

Corner- Rod Sweeting #6: Georgia Tech – 6’0, 187Lbs

Corner- Brandon McGee: Miami #21 – 6’0 197 Lbs

D.Tackle- Will Pericak # 83 : Colorado – 6’4, 295Lbs

linebacker- Sam Barrington #36: South Florida – 6’1 230Lbs

Wide Receiver- Marcus Davis #7: Virginia Tech – 6’4 232Lbs

JUSTIN’S NEW 7 ROUND MOCK DRAFT

So with the end of the Redskins season its time now to get into what makes teams great, the offseason. Washington has now been able to start identify the big needs and hopefully can now make some changes. Now I wont predict FA signings since they are almost impossible right now so I’ll only do a 7 round mock.

2ND ROUND- DAVID AMERSON S NC STATE
David Amerson is one of those guys I consistently go back and forth with about what he could be in the NFL. I watch him as a CB and I know he can’t be it in the NFL, but I do feel with his ball hawking ability he could make a very good FS in the NFL. Amerson will provide some stability to the FS position finally and allow Washington to finally feel comfortable on the back end. This video below gives you a solid viewing of Amerson the CB and what he could become as a S.


3RD ROUND- BRENNAN WILLIAMS OT NORTH CAROLINA
Brennan had a down year for UNC and mainly due to his shoulder injury. Reports so far are that he’s doing well and should have no problem playing next year. Brennan is a very athletic OT who would be able to come in right away and be the starter at RT for the Washington Redskins

4TH ROUND- SANDERS COMMINGS CB GEORGIA
Like KC, Commings is a favorite of mine in the 2013 class. An athletic CB who plays the ball well, Commings has proven to be a very good coverage CB. With the talent Commings has, he could very well come in day 1 and lock down the #2 CB position. Below is a very solid video of a Commings against Tennessee


5TH ROUND- JONATHAN CYPRIEN SS FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
This is one of my sleeper picks of the year with Jonathan Cyprien. Jonathan is a lesser-known safety from FIU, but plays a very physical game. Effective in the run game as well as coverage, Cyprien has proven to be a guy who can be relied upon in the secondary. Check out this video below of Cyprien against Western Kentucky


5TH ROUND- DENNIS JOHNSON RB ARKANSAS
Come on guys its Mike Shanahan did you not expect me to have us draft a RB? With the question of whether Roy Helu can come back healthy from his foot issues, Washington needs to look for an upgrade over Evan Royster. Johnson has been a very good RB at Arkansas who had some fumbling issues, but when given the opportunity he’s always made the most of it. Look for Johnson to come in and be a very good 3rd down RB right away. Here’s a pretty solid cut up of Johnson against multiple teams in 2011


6TH ROUND- JASPER COLLINS WR MOUNT UNION
One of my favorite small school prospects this year, Collins is another one of the good WR’s to come out of Mount Union. Collins has a little Garcon to his game with his ability to go across the middle and make the tough catches, but also doesn’t have the same speed that Garcon has. Collins is one of those guys who will make a contribution early on whether it is special teams or anything else and work his way up the depth chart.

7TH ROUND- STEVE GREER ILB UVA
With the final pick in the 7 round mock, the Washington Redskins have selected Steve Greer an ILB from UVA. Greer has been a starter for a long time at UVA and has experience in both the 4-3 and 3-4 fronts. Greer isn’t a burner at LB and won’t wow anyone with his athletic numbers, but he just gets the job done and is in the right place at the right time.

So with those picks done Washington has now added some help at positions that are currently lacking. While the Redskins take 2 O guys later, both Johnson and Collins can provide immediate results. As seen throughout the 2012 season, the D and in particular the secondary needs big upgrades and the get it with Amerson, Commings and Cyprien. Look for the 2013 class here to help provide a big upgrade to the Redskins team overall.

Questions? Comments? Hit me up on twitter @JTPartlow21

KC’S 7-Round Redskins Mock Draft 1.0

2nd Round.) Baccari Rambo, Safety, Georgia

God willing, Madieu Williams will be A.T.C (at the crib) in 2013 instead of in a Washington Redskins uniform. The Redskins safety position still hasn’t recovered from the hole left by Sean Taylor’s untimely death. There will never be another Sean Taylor; the man had the talent and ability to be the best ever to play the position.

Baccari Rambo was suspended the first four games of the season, but came back and did nothing but make plays for the Georgia Bulldogs. The Redskins need a player who can play the single high safety role with instictiveness and range, and Rambo brings both to the safety position. He’s a solid tackler who can come up and play the run. He can also make big time plays in the secondary. Rambo may not replace Sean (no one ever will), but he can help fill the void left by his absence in a big way.

3rd Round.) Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Washington

I’m not sure the Washington Husky will last this long, but everyone needs a miracle every once in a while. If it’s one thing the Redskins lack, it’s a corner with size; Cedric Griffin is the only lengthy corner the team has, and he may not be back. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are both 5’10″, as is Chase Minnifield if he returns healthy. Richard Crawford is 5’11″. The 6’0″ Desmond Trufant may not seem like that big of a difference, but he’s lengthy; he’s got long arms and legs. he can come up, press and play man, and his ability to change direction means he likely won’t get spun around. His range means that bigger corners won’t simply be able to jump ball him like they can Wilson and Hall. He’d be an instant upgrade to a secondary that continues to struggle defending the big play.

4th Round.) Sanders Commings, Cornerback, Georgia

Sanders is another tall, long corner with long arm and great range. The Redskins double up on corners here to cover their bases and solidify their secondary, making it significantly younger in the process. This would allow D-Hall to play more in the slot and more in the Charles Woodson nickel safety role. The secondary gets a huge boost with it’s first three picks in the weakest area of the defense.

5th Round.) Mychal Rivera, Tight End, Tennessee

The Redskins depth at tight end got thin in a hurry, didn’t it? Fred Davis is coming back from an Achillies injury, Logan Paulsen is a restricted free agent, the Niles Paul experiment is looking to be a dud, and Chris Cooley, basically, can’t run anymore. The Redskins need to add a tight end big time, just to cover their backsides. Rivera is a good receiving tight end that could use a little work on his blocking. But he’s got good hands and runs great routes. He’d be a solid option in the pass game and an even bigger asset if we re-sign Fred Davis and he comes back healthy.

5th Round.) Brandon Williams, Nose Tackle, Missouri Southern State

When Justin for showed me footage of Williams, I immediately went “whoa”. Brandon Williams is a big nose tackle that can definitely move and cave a pocket. Barry Cofield improved a ton in his second year as a nose tackle, but his bread and butter would still probably be playing at defensive end and being used in pass rush packages. Brandon Williams is a nose tackle in the Casey Hampton or B.J Raji mode; he’s a load to move, he caves the pocket, and he’ll command double teams. This 3-4 needs an anchor in the middle; if we can mold him, he’d be a fixture and a fan favorite for Redskins fans for years to come.

6th Round.) Marquees Wilson, wide receiver, Washington State
Wilson quit the Washington State Cougars football team after alledging abuse from their coaching staff. The allegations may hurt Wilson’s draft stock, which is a shame, since he seems like an altogether great kid with a lot of talent. Wilson is not a burner, but he’s big, tall and physical. He has a little trouble separating, but he has excellent body control and excellent hands, which provide a large target for a quarterback. He puts his body in between the defender and the ball. The Redskins are still looking for a guy who can make the tough jump ball type of catches. If developed properly, Wilson can be that guy.

7th Round.) D.J Harper, running back, Boise State

We can’t leave the draft without a running back; it’d basically be sacriledge. Harper is a 6th year senior who’s college football career has been unfortunately hampered by injuries. It also didn’t help that he played behind Doug Martin most of his career. This season was his first year as the fulltime starter and he racked up 1,137 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s solid in pass protection, and while he’s a bigger back, even on a surgically repaired ACL he possesses a surprising amout of burst and speed, not to mention breaking tackles after contact.

Other Team Needs:

Linebacker, inside and outisde. Brian Orakpo and Rob Jackson are both free agents, as is Chris Wilson. The depth the Redskins built up in there linebacker core is looking thin again, even at inside linebacker, as no one knows how much longer London Fletcher will want to play. Perry Riley is the obvious candidate to fill London’s shoes, and Keenan Robinson would likely be the man next to him, but still, the Redskins need to secure their depth. Taking someone like a Michael Mauti (LB, Penn State) or Kiko Alonzo (LB, Oregon would fill that hole), while a pick like Quanterus Smith (DE, Western Kentucky) could help us fill out our outside linebacker depth.

Offensive line, particularly right tackle. Mike Shanahan’s approach to the offensive line has always been to take later round picks and develop them into viable starters. It’s hard to forget that Tom Compton is waiting in the wings to possibly take over that role, but taking someone like a Kyle Long, Oday Aboushi or Justin Pugh could not hurt. Like, at all. As long as Tyler Polumbus isn’t in that role.

KC and Justin’s 2013 NFL Mock Draft— Version 1.0

So KC and I felt that doing a joint mock draft where we each did picks would be something cool for the HTTR24-7.com website. With that in mind I(Justin) will be doing the odd numbered picks and KC will do the even numbered picks. After each selection, we’ll have a brief reasoning as to why we chose the player. So with that we hope you all enjoy this article!

1. Kansas City Chiefs- Geno Smith, QB , West Virginia

hen you look up and down the Kansas City roster there really isn’t a ton of needs, except the one glaring weakness at the Quarterback position. While the QB class of 2013 isn’t the same as the 2012 class, Geno Smith has certainly solidified himself as the top QB. With new HC Andy Reid in Kansas City, the acquisition of Geno Smith could be one that puts the Chiefs back into the playoffs in the 2013 season.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

The Jaguars were so desperate for a pass rush this season, they took on the big contract of Jason Babin even though their season was long over. The Jaguars fell off as a team defensively and have had trouble generating a pass rush for several season. Bjoern Werner instantly upgrades their d-line, and should the Jags decide to keep Babin on, they would have one heck of a one-two punch as pass rushers

3. Oakland Raiders- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Oakland has struggled to generate any pass rush and it doesn’t just stem from one area of the DL. With young talent with Lamar Houston, adding in Star at DT would be one of the best moves for Oakland, especially with the talk of moving to a 3-4 D. What makes Star an impressive prospect is his ability to be a multi scheme player. Expect the DL to take off with Star manning the middle.

4. Philadelphia Eagles- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Quarterback Nick Foles was sacked an astounding 20 times in 5 games as the Eagles starter, and quarterback Michael Vick didn’t do much better behind the Eagles line as he was sacked 28 times and had his season ended early again. Luke Joeckel is the best pure offensive tackle in this draft, bar none, and whomever is the Eagles quarterback in 2013 will do well with this franchise left tackle.

5. Detroit Lions- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

While I can certainly see the Lions here taking a DE, there are many needs in the defensive secondary and with that I chose Milliner for them. Dee provides a strong CB who plays well in man coverage. He should be able to come in right away and compete for the #1 CB job and help provide some stability in the back half of that D. Look for the Lions to address DE in round 2 then.

6. Cleveland Browns—Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

Despite their bad record, the Browns have a team that’s closer to being good than being bad. The inability to get pressure on the quarterback was a consistent problem for them throughout the year, however, as second year defensive end Jabaal Sheard, while showing some progress, never took that next step to become the pass rusher he was meant to be. Jarvis Jones gives the Browns the pass rush they’ve desired, while also helping improve their linebacker core. If things go correctly, Jones could be the drafts’ Von Miller, excelling in passing situations.

7. Arizona Cardinals- Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

While I know the Cardinals need OL help in the worst way, Jordan is too good of a prospect to pass up here for them. Jordan would provide a versatile pass rush threat who would fit very well in the 3-4 D. Since we don’t project trades in this mock I can’t do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arizona trade down and take Chance Warmack.

8. Buffalo Bills— Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

It’s not a secret that the Bills want to get a quarterback in this draft. Buddy Nix has flat out said the Bills are looking to address their quarterback woes, after Ryan Fitzpatrick failed to live up to expectations. As usual in the draft, quarterbacks all tend to get pushed higher in the draft than expected.

New head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will want to install a high tempo, spread type of offense, and they need a smart quarterback to run it. Tyler Wilson has a strong, accurate arm, sneaky athleticism of the Aaron Rodgers variety, and operated a true pro style attack in college. If the Bills throw their support 100% behind developing this young quarterback, they may have finally solved the answer to the “who can replace Jim Kelly” riddle.

9. New York Jets- Keke Mingo, OLB, LSU

As long as Rex Ryan is the HC I fully expect the Jets to continue to add parts to that D. Barkevious(Keke) Mingo is one of the more dynamic players in the 2013 class, but also had a down year. This is a bit of a gamble pick, but if this plays out correctly, then watch out for the Jets D as they’ll finally have a dominate pass rusher. Look for the Jets to possibly look at WR help here, but if they do so I’d expect them to trade down and acquire more picks. If not I expect them to take one in round 2 and attempt to target a player like DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson.

10. Tennessee Titans —- Matt Elam, FS, Florida

The Titans defense got absolutely scorched last year, in no small part due to poor safety play. Both of the Titans starting safeties Jordan Babineux and Michael Griffin are set to become free agents next year, which leaves a gaping hole in their secondary should either, or even both, leave.

Matt Elam seems like the kind of candidate who will have a Mark Barron-esque rise in the first round. Elam combines the talents of being a hard hitting, firm tackler in the box safety with the range, speed, and instincts it takes to play free safety in deep coverage. That kind of versatility will serve the Titans well.

11. San Diego Chargers- Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama

I look at the Chargers here and I see a team that needs to fix a lot of areas between the O and D, but also I see a good need at NT and Williams is one of the best NT prospects in this class. Williams will provide an anchor for the Chargers 3-4 D and provide some stability to that DL. Williams does need to improve on his pass rush technique and still is a raw player at times, but the pay off is a possible 10+ year NT for the Chargers. Look for the Chargers to possibly look at Chance Warmack here or possibly an OT like Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson.

12. Miami Dolphins —- Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor

Ryan Tannehill may have had some of the typical rookie struggles in his first year, but he showed more than enough talent and ability to showcase that he could finally be the Dolphins’ long awaited franchise quarterback woes. Tannehill’s struggles seemed more based on the talent (or lack thereof) around him rather than his own ability. The Dolphins could use an offensive lineman as Jake Long struggled this season before going on IR, and he’s scheduled to hit the free agent market. But with Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan both returning for their senior seasons, the depth at tackle takes a tiny bit of a hit.

The Dolphins absolutely need a playmaker at wide receiver, as Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, while solid, don’t provide a solid, number one receiving option. Baylor’s Terrence Williams proved this season that his production was not solely a side effect of having Robert Griffin III throw him the ball; he lead the nation in receiving yards with 1,764 with 95 receptions and 12 touchdowns. He’s a solid route runner with great hands and ball skills. Tannehill to Williams could get the Dolphins offense rolling in a big way.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Tampa Bay has a pretty solid O and DL, but that secondary does need help as they can’t rely on guys like Eric Wright to be outside starters. Banks has a so-so year for the Bulldogs, but still in my mind is a top 20 pick. The Bucs could go other routes and a trade down here could be a great option for them, but adding in a player of Banks caliber has to be tempting and could help push Tampa back into the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tampa does look at QB at some point in the draft after another mediocre year from Josh Freeman. Not something they do immediately, but if they find value they could very well select another QB to groom under Josh.

14. Carolina Panthers— Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

If Hunter is available at 14, the Panthers will run up to the podium. Cam Newton took a solid step forward in 2012, but it’s clear he still needs pieces around him. Steve Smith is still capable of making plays, but he’s not getting any younger, and Brandon LaFell has showed flashes, but hasn’t proven he can be “the next” guy. A Newton-to-Hunter combination could turn an already potent Panthers attack into an even more explosive one. Hunter has the size, speed and ball skills you want in a number one receiver. Even though he’s got rare athletic ability, he’s a little raw, and he’s still trying to regain back some of his explosiveness, but in the Panthers can develop him, they have a potential All-Pro at the wide receiver position.

15. New Orleans Saints- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

If Richardson(who I believe is a top 10 pick) falls to 15 past the Panthers, the Saints have to be running up the podium to make this selection. Richardson is one of the more dynamic D players in this class with his quickness he has even though he’s a DT. New Orleans this year struggled on D both in the pass game and also in the run game, but adding a player of Richardson’s caliber to collapse the pocket will be huge for Steve Spagnuolo who had a great DL in New York. Richardson needs to work on his ability to become an overall player, but Richardson can come in and provide immediately what the Saints hoped they had back when they drafted Sedrick Ellis.

16. St. Louis Rams— DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

This first pick for the Rams will say a lot about their draft strategy. Sam Bradford was able to remain healthy and played solid if not outstanding football for the Rams. The Rams tried to solve their wide receiver woes in round 2 of the 2011 NFL Draaft when they drafted Brian Quick, but Quick was rarely on the field. They also drafted Chris Givens, who, while a nice surprise as a deep threat, isn’t a number one receiver. Danny Amendola is oft injured and is staring down free agency.

The Rams still need an offensive tackle, but getting Bradford a playmaker like Hopkins could be just the thing to help him take the next step. Hopkinss speed and YAC ability makes him a solid option that can be put in the starting line up right away; it’d be hard to argue you could find another receiver like him later in the draft.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

The Steelers are starting to get a little older on D, but that offensive line is still one of the worst in the NFL. While adding in DeCastro was a huge upgrade for the Steelers, but now adding in a player of the caliber of Eric Fisher would be huge. Fisher has good feet and is the epitome of a technician. Uses sound technique and makes sure to consistently stay in front of his opponent. This would allow Mike Adams to stay at RT and now the Steelers have the makings of a solid offensive line now. Possible that the Steelers look for a S here with guys like Polamalu getting older in that case I’d expect them to look at a guy like Kenny Vaccaro from Texas.

18. Dallas Cowboys— Kenny Vaccarro, S, Texas

The Cowboys spent a first round draft pick and big time money “fixing” their secondary when they took Morris Claibourne and signed Brandon Carr. Unfortunately, the addition of two solid corners did not make up for poor safety play; Danny McCray and Gerald Sensabaugh were victimized much of the season. So Jerry Jones continues his somewhat surprising trend of making sensible, not-completely-flashy draft picks and takes Kenny Vaccarro. If the Cowboys can find a solid d-tackle and another safety, they could have the beginnings of a very good defense.

19. New York Giants- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

This pick just makes too much sense right? I mean Ansah is another pass rush guy who fits well into what the Giants love to do. Ansah is a raw product and will take time to develop, but just see his development the past 2 years has been remarkable. He has very good awareness already but is raw with his pass rushing ability and his technique. He would be a great fit to sit behind Osi, JPP and Tuck and let him develop slowly, but when he’s ready watch out.

20. Chicago Bears— Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and general manager Phil Emery have both mentioned that they need to get better at attacking the middle of the field; i.e, they need a consistent tight end, and none of the guys they have on the roster are it. Eifert improved as a run blocker, but his role in the Notre Dame offense somewhat shrunk because of inconsistent quarterback play. Still, Eifert has the kind of skillset you dream for in a tight end, and he can certainly make the plays in the middle of the field that guys like Matt Spaeth couldn’t. The Bears have a near continuous need for offensive linemen, but getting Cutler another weapon is almost as important.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

The Bengals have a need at DE and with Michael Johnson set to hit FA this offseason they may be looking to replace him. Sam Montgomery is a gifted pass rusher, but has noted off the field issues as well as some worrisome issues on the field. If there was a DC who I felt could get the most out of Montgomery though it would be Mike Zimmer. Another option here could be Giovanni Bernard from UNC, although I just don’t see a RB going in the 1st round this year. Bengals could go Jonathan Hankins here if they want to develop two of the top DT’s in football, but Montgomery seems to be the better pick here.

22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington)— Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

The Rams offensive line has given up 35 sacks a season for the past three season. While the Rams could use a left tackle, there’s no one available at this point. They also need help in the interior line. Chance Warmack is the best guard in the draft and the best lineman available. The Rams would be foolish not to take him if he’s there. Their line needs all the help it can possibly get.

23. Minnesota Vikings- Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State

Well the slide for Hankins stops here with the Minnesota Vikings. Hankins is a talented player, but didn’t play well his senior year and at the same time disappointed many scouts with his play against lesser competition. The Vikings need help though with the interior of their DL and Hankins can provide that early on. Hankins needs to provide a better pass rush ability, but early on can be a good run stopping DT. Hankins and Kevin Williams would be a nice tandem for that talented Vikings DL.

24. Indianapolis Colts- Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

Andrew Luck was one of the most hit and most sacked quarterbacks in the league this season. While part of that is due to Colts’ offensive scheme, the Colts o-line lacks talent and depth. They need an upgrade at left tackle to allow Anthony Castonzo to play right tackle, but with the prime left tackle talent gone, they take the next best offensive lineman in Jonathan Cooper, who will have to add some size if he wants to play guard, but could also be a good fit for the Colts at Center.

25- Baltimore Ravens- Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame

The free fall for Te’o ends here as he goes to the Ravens to take over for the retiring Ray Lewis. Te’o had a great story this year at Notre Dame and was a key player for the Fighting Irish, but also a lot of this season overrated Te’o from where he truly should be taken which is in the 15-25 range. Te’o is a very good 3-4 ILB fit and having guys like Haloti Ngata in front of him will allow Te’o to flow to the ball and make plays. Expect Te’o to have a long career in Baltimore.

26. Seattle Seahawks— Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Pete Caroll’s first three draft picks were characterized by high risk, high reward players. Before getting kicked out of Tennessee for a positive drug test, Rogers was a near shoe-in to be a first-round draft pick. He’s got rare physical gifts that would make him a huge asset to Seattle’s receiving core, which, while good, doesn’t have a true number one. Caroll and Scheineder took a chance on Bruce Irvin and were able to get solid production out of him, and Caroll was even able to milk a solid year out of “Big” Mike Williams. If anyone can manage to turn Rogers around, it’s the Seahawks.

27. Green Bay Packers- Robert Woods WR USC

I usually don’t know what to project for the packers since they usually play things very close to the vest. Last year they made a great selection with Nick Perry who can become an immediate starter for a long time. Adding Robert Woods would add another dynamic weapon to add to that receiving corps. With the likely departure of Greg Jennings in FA, Woods can come in right away and be a very good player for the Packers. Look for woods to be a potential OROY candidate in this scheme.

28. San Francisco 49ers—Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Last season, the 49ers shocked many people when they chose Syracuse prospect A.J Jenkins in the first round. Jenkins struggled in training camp, struggled more in preseason, and hasn’t recorded a single catch this season; he’s only been active in 3 games this year.

If the Niners are committing to Colin Kaepernick going forward, they will need more explosive players. Tavon Austin is just the guy they need; explosive, great route runner, awesome kick returner. He adds an element to this offense they’re still looking for; downfield speed, to compliment receivers like Michael Crabtree and a (hopefully healthy) Mario Manningham.

29. Houston Texans- Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State

The Texans have a pretty good D, but with the loss of Brian Cushing they just haven’t been the same since. While the secondary does need some help, they can’t pass up taking one of the best ILB prospects in this class. Brown has had a great 2012 and while he isn’t the biggest guy, he makes plays and will always be a force in either a 4-3 or 3-4 D. Look for the Texans to take the a playmaker in the 2nd round to help add weapons to that O.

30. New England Patriots— Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

In all likelihood, the Patriots will probably trade down here, as they only have 5 draft picks, and none in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. But if they do stand pat, they’ll look to continue to upgrade a defense that, while improved, still needs some tweaking, particularly if they don’t re-sign Aqib Talib.

Jordan Poyer has been a favorite of mine and Justin’s for a while, hoping he’d last until the Redskins second round pick. That’s unlikely, as Poyer has all the makings of a potential stud. Good in man or zone, and good as a returner as well, the Pats would love to have a guy like Poyer in their defense.

31. Atlanta Falcons- Zach Ertz TE Stanford

Tony Gonzalez could very well be retiring at the end of the year and the Falcons need to find a replacement for him. Zach Ertz is the top overall TE in this class and provides exactly what the Falcons will love. Ertz is a mismatch problem who will prove to be a long term starter in the NFL. Atlanta could go other routes here if they want to especially DE if they want to upgrade that part of the D. CB is another option if they truly do lose Grimes in FA.

32. Denver Broncos— Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

If it’s one thing the Broncos playoff lost did, it was showcase that the Broncos still need to generate a pass rush. They have Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil off the edges, but they don’t have anyone in the middle of their d-line to create pressure. Kawaan Short was slowed by an ankle injury, but getting someone on the d-line who can shove the pocket around has to be a priority for Denver going forward.

NOTE: This mock draft was created before this weekend’s playoff games so the order has changed.

formats A closer look at Mike Shanahan and drafting of Offensive Linemen

One of the common misconceptions with Mike Shanahan and in general with Zone Blocking teams is that you need high draft picks in order to be successful. After studying and looking at previous OL’s that Shanahan and other zone teams have used, it paints a completely different picture than what is portrayed.

Lets take a look first off at the Denver OL’s from 2000 to 2008 and the draft positions of their offensive linemen. In 2000 Denver had an offensive line consisting of Tony Jones, Mark Schlereth, Tom Nalen, Dan Neil, and Matt Lepsis. Of those 5 guys, Schlereth was drafted in the 10th round. Nalen the 7th round and Neil the 3rd round. Tony Jones went undrafted and Lepsis was also an undrafted free agent.

Moving into 2001 the C, RG and RT positions were all the same and moving into the LT position was Trey Teague a 7th rounder and then Lennie Friedman a 2nd round pick. Throughout 2002-2004 the OL stayed the same except for the drafting of George Foster at RT a 1st round pick. In 2008 though Mike Shanahan made a huge change and drafted Ryan Clady at LT with the 12th overall pick. Up until then his LT’s were consisting of late round picks and helped lead a potent rushing and passing attack for the Broncos.

In case the Denver OL wasn’t enough to help convince you, lets take another look at one of the top ZBS teams in the NFL, The Houston Texans. Starting in 2007 with the hiring of Gary Kubiak, the ZBS scheme was implemented and the Texans offense began to finally take shape. Starting in 2007, the OL for Houston consisted of Ephraim Salaam, Chester Pitts, Mike Flanagan, Fred E. Weary and Eric Winston.

Now what you’ll notice is outside of Salaam, the other four offensive linemen were drafted in the first 3 rounds. One thing to realize though is Flanagan was signed as a FA and Weary and Pitts were both drafted under Dom Capers and the former staff and not under Gary Kubiak. Heading into the 2008, Kubiak finally got his OL just how he wanted to have it.

At LT he had his first round guy in Duane Brown, at LG he had Pitts again. At Center he found Chris Meyers a 6th round pick he got in a trade from Denver. At RG he has Mike Brisiel an undrafted free agent and Eric Winston still at RT. Overall throughout Kubiak’s time as the HC, Houston traditionally has drafted OL in the middle to late rounds with the exception of Duane Brown (who has turn into one of the premier OT’s in the NFL)

So what do these numbers mean for the Redskins? Well it’s pretty simple; Mike doesn’t look at OL the way many other teams tend to, just like he is the same way about RB’s. The zone-blocking scheme is a different animal than other scheme because it’s all about athleticism and working in tandem with 4 other teammates. So what can we expect from Mike Shanahan in the 2013 draft?

Look for Mike to target the RT position if he doesn’t feel comfortable in either Maurice Hurt or Tom Compton. If Mike does that, then expect him to look to target the RT with his 3rd or 4th round pick. In Denver, Shanahan made a gutsy pick and took Ryan Harris in the 3rd round to become his starting RT. Harris worked out and helped anchor the line although he did have injury issues throughout his career. Another thing that is asked a lot to me on twitter is why not RT in round 2?

Well as you can see throughout this and also other zone teams draft histories, they just don’t take RT’s in the top 2 rounds traditionally. Now there certainly are exceptions to that and teams will deviate from the norm, but usually with ZBS teams you see them draft a RT in the mid to late rounds and they become anchors on the line.

Finally lets look at the interior OL? Can we expect any draft picks this year? Well after tweeting back and forth with both Russ Lande and Josh Liskiewitz they both agree that Adam Gettis and Josh LeRibeus both have fits to be starters in the zone-blocking scheme. So with that in mind, I don’t see us addressing the interior OL, unless it is late for a center to groom under Will Montgomery.

So with all of that in mind, I hope that this clears up some of the common misconceptions about the OL in the ZBS scheme and just how they are valued and drafted.

Questions? Comments? Hit me up @JTPartlow21

Also give a follow to Russ Lande @RUSSLANDE and Josh Liskiewitz @JoshLiskiewitz

2013 REDSKINS 7 ROUND MOCK DRAFT

Initial Redskins 7 Round Mock Draft

Round 2: Kenny Vaccaro FS Texas

Reason: Vaccaro is the definition of a versatile S. He can play as a nickel back, play the deep half and even play some in the box as a SS. What he does best is make plays and provide an extra spark to the team. If Brandon Merriweather can stick at SS, then Vaccaro can handle the FS position and put this team in a lot better position moving into 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 3: Brennan Williams OT UNC

Reason: Brennan is one of my favorite OT’s in the 2013 class. A big and athletic OT who gets to the second level easily. What Williams will bring to the O is what is missing now, and that’s a guy who can seal off the edge and provide a little extra time for RG3. Adding Williams to young OL players like LeRibeus and Gettis provides a bright future for the Redskins OL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 4: Rod Sweeting CB GT

Reason: Washington needs a ton of help in the Secondary and this year Sweeting has elevated his game to being a top 100 pick. With good size and solid technique so far, Sweeting can come in early and provide a spark as a nickel CB. Sweeting projects as a starting caliber CB when its all said and done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 5: Brandon Williams NT Missouri Southern State

Reason: I was tipped off on Williams during the offseason but really didn’t pay much attention to it. As the season started the NT need began to show and I watched Williams finally. What I saw was a guy who hasn’t played against the best competition, but absolutely dominated who he played against. Possesses a strong anchor, and will surprise you with his pass rushing arsenal. A guy who has high character by all reports and can very well be a starting NT in the NFL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 5(From NE): Marquess Wilson WR Washington State

Reason: This is the typical risk pick that Mike makes in certain drafts. He did it in 2010 with Trent Williams, and did it in the past with guys like Maurice Clarett. Now they don’t always work out, but with a guy like Wilson who has beyond high upside, it would be tough to pass up on him with the potential to have a #1 WR. Wilson has suspect hands, but will always make the ridiculous catch. Character concerns with Wilson, but if he plays like he can, the Redskins will have a huge steal on their hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 6: Ray Ray Armstrong SS Faulkner College

Reason: Again another risky pick, but one that if it pays off could provide huge dividends for the Washington D. Armstrong is a SS in the NFL and is extremely raw as a player, but if a coach can refine his technique and get him to play the game smart he could be a pro bowl caliber player. Without playing this year teams wont have any film on him this year and the risk is certainly high with Armstrong and his off the field issues, but I think in the 2013 draft we see Mike make more risky picks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 7: Chris Thompson: RB Florida State

Reason: Okay I’ll stop with the risky picks with this one, but Thompson when healthy would be the perfect dynamic RB to pair with Alfred Morris. If you all thought our O was potent now adding a guy like Thompson in the backfield with RG3 would make it that much more dangerous. Thompson has the speed to take it to the house every play, but has had injury concerns with the back injury last year and now the ACL injury this year. With a coach on the proverbial hot seat next year, Mike will look to add dynamic players on both the O and D and Thompson certainly provides that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final look at the draft:

The 2013 mock here provides a solid mix of playmakers on O and D to help rebuild the Washington Redskins into a playoff caliber team. If this draft were to happen and the picks for the most part work out, Mike Shanahan might have just rebuilt a team from a basement level team into one that can compete for the playoffs every year. While there certainly on risk picks and we can’t assume all will work out, a guy like Wilson at WR could be the best pick of every one of them. Vaccaro at FS would provide stability and leadership and a versatility any coach would love.

A Closer Look at the 2013 Draft

In 2012 the strengths of the draft were in the CB position and also the OL. This year in 2013 the draft looks exceptionally strong at the OT and WR positions on Offense and the CB and S positions on D. So what that in mind lets take a look at some of the top prospects at each position

OT: Being a scout for NFL Draft Monsters, I’ve been scouting the OL all year and without a doubt I can say that the OT class this year is the best I’ve ever seen. With 5 legitimate 1st round prospects and a slew of Tackles who can go anywhere in the Round 2 to Round 5 range, many teams will be able fill the OT needs they have. The top guy in this years class is far and away Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. A great pass protector; Joeckel compares favorably to Joe Thomas the LT for Cleveland with his exceptional pass blocking ability and an average run blocking ability. Look for Joeckel to come off the board in the top 5 picks.

After him you have 2 guys in Taylor Lewan from Michigan and Jake Matthews from Texas A&M. Both look to come off the board in the top 15 picks and will be starting players from day 1 for their respective teams. Finally you have 2 guys who I’m high on, but just aren’t on the same level as the other 3. Those players are Eric Fisher from Central Michigan and Oday Aboushi from UVA. Fisher looks to becoming off the board in the mid teens and Aboushi could sneak into the late 1st a lot like Duane Brown did back in 2008. Overall this is a great OT class and the more I scout, the more potential I find in these players.

WR: WR packs a powerful punch at the top, but through the draft there are a lot of specialty players who can fill a role early on for a team ala Aldrick Robinson for the Redskins this year. At the top the best WR in this class is Keenan Allen from California a silky smooth athlete who can be a #1 receiver for a team in the NFL. From Allen comes the interesting part, because many scouts will rate #2 through #5 differently. For me I currently have #2 as Terrance Williams from Baylor and someone who will come off the board in the mid to late 1st. From there #3 is Tavon Austin from WVU, #4 is Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee and #5 is Justin Hunter from Tennessee.

Closely looking at the WR class, what you’ll notice is once you get to the 3rd round and on, there are a lot of players who can be big time players in the NFL, but there are also legitimate questions about them. For example, Marquess Wilson from Washington State is a player who was once considered a legitimate 1st round prospect. After a falling out with WSU coach Mike Leach, Wilson quit the football team and watched his draft stock plummet as a result. A team around the 4th round range will take a gamble on Wilson, and if he can keep his head on straight he could become a dynamic receiver in the NFL. Teams will make risky picks once you get to the 4th round and on and look for some of these gambles to pay off with huge dividends.

CB: On D, CB is one of the strongest points in this 2013 class. With 2 dominant CB’s early on and a slew of either Slot CB’s or Outside press CB’s, this looks to be a class where teams can get a quality starter even into the middle rounds. At the top you have Dee Milliner from Alabama and also Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State. Both look to be top 15 picks, with Milliner possibly going in the top 10 picks. After that you have guys like Jordan Poyer from Oregon State who are starting CB’s, but with other needs being a little more prevalent for teams, they’ll slide down the draft more so than they should. Finally rounding out this class are the slot CB’s and the high upside players like Terry Hawthorne from Illinois and also Blidi Wreh-Wilson form Connecticut. For my money, Wilson is maybe the most intriguing CB in this class because of his length, his ability to make plays and his smarts.

S: Finally is the S position and by far the strongest its been in a long time. At the top you have my favorite player in Kenny Vaccaro. With Vaccaro you have to look at the big picture of him. Not only is he a FS, but he also plays some SS as well as nickel CB for Texas. From Vaccaro you have guys like Tony Jefferson (if he declares), TJ McDonald from USC and Matt Elam from Florida.

What makes this class strong is the talent in the 2nd and 3rd round area, with my favorite S of that bunch being DJ Swearinger from South Carolina. Swearinger is an intimidator on D and one that will make his presence known early on. Along with Swearinger are guys like Bacarri Rambo from Georgia, Shawn Williams from Georgia and Duke Williams from Nevada. All bring a different skill set that teams will covet and all could be day 1 starters depending on what teams want.

As you can see, teams like Washington are going to love the 2013 NFL Draft. This draft will allow a team like the Redskins to be able to retool and fix the needs in the Secondary. With a strong CB and S class, Washington can also afford to address other needs early if need be, and then address those position because its very possible they can find starters even into the 4th round and on.

 

SWING FOR THE FENCES; WITH FOUNDATION SET, REDSKINS TAKE RISKS LOOKING FOR GAME CHANGERS

Welp, throw out everything I ever wrote about what the Redskins did and didn’t draft. The Washington Redskins took one look at that list, laughed at it, and then proceeded to break basically every convention they had created in the years prior.

If 2010, 2011 and 2012 were about setting the foundation for the football team, the Redskins 2013 NFL Draft class will be classified as one thing; “High Risk, High Reward.” The Redskins re-signed nearly every piece of the 2012 NFC East Championship team, and then decided to add playmakers at the position of needs, passing over more “proven” senior players for the high upside players who, for a variety of reasons, could either be home run hitters or bench warmers.

NC State cornerback David Amerson is someone I’ve run hot and cold on — mostly cold — since I started watching tape. Initially I was bothered, as it seemed like there was more “proven” talent. But the further away from the draft pick I got, the more I liked it. It’s as hard to discount Amerson’s sophomore tape as it is his junior tape. He is a playmaker, without a double, a tall, long corner with long arms. He’s better in zone coverage than he is in off-man, though if you work with him, he can probably play press and bail, if not bump and run. He’s mold-able clay, a physical prospect who got worked on double moves in 2012. He must get better eye discipline and work within the scheme to be successful, but if Raheem Morris can do for him what he seemed to do for Aqib Talib, we have a solid player in the secondary and a potential ball hawk.

With Fred Davis in a contract year and coming off a knee injury, with Niles Paul appearing more like a core special teams player than a game breaker, and with Logan Paulsen a reliable but unremarkable number two, tight end was a need. The Redskins took University of Florida tight end Jordan Reed, a “Joker” tight end in the vein of Aaron Hernandez. He’s not an in-line blocker by any stretch, but he’s a good right runner who will constantly threaten the seam. You can put him in the slot or split him out wide, and even line him up in the backfield. If Fred Davis can get healthy, having that combo at tight end could make a deadly offense even deadlier.

Fresno State prospect Phillip Thomas was drafted next. Thomas is a guy who physically and athletically, has the ability you want. He’s a striker who’s main issue is working on his physicality. His main issue, as with Amerson, is eye discipline. He’ll also have to get a little more physical in the run game, as he’s suited better inside the box then out in coverage, though he does show occasional flashes in the back end. Another high risk, high reward pick.

And then there was Florida State running back Chris Thompson. Kevin highlighted him waaaaay back in November as someone he wanted. Mike Shanahan’s scheme works best with two backs; one that can run the stretch and tire out a defense, like Alfred Morris, and one guy who can work the cutback lanes, find a crease and take it to the house. Chris Thompson is the lightning part of a Thunder and Lightning backfield. He ended up getting hurt at the end of 2012, derailing his break out season. He also had some unfortunate back and neck injuries. But, if he’s healthy, really, really healthy, he could be a match-up nightmare in our offense, especially with Jordan Reed on the field.

Doubling up on Seminoles, the Redskins used their second fifth round draft pick on outside linebacker Brandon Jenkins. Jenkins was the starter at defensive end for FSU, totally 22.5 career sacks before a Lisfranc injury derailed his senior year. Tank Carradine took over and went on to become an early round draft pick, while Jenkins slid. Florida lined Jenkins up everywhere, including having him stand up in sub packages as well as playing with a hand in the dirt. With Rob Jackson serving a four game suspension, Lorenzo Alexander lost to the Cardinals, and Brian Orakpo coming back from a pec injury, a back-up pass rusher was a crucial piece of the puzzle.

And then came the guy I’ve been banging the table for; Georgia free safety Bacarri Rambo. Rambo is, in my estimation, the best pure center field free safety in the draft. If any pick has the potential to be a steal, it’s this one. Rambo was considered in most circles to go no later than the 3rd, but a 4 game drug suspension diminished his value. He also has a little D-Hall in him; sometimes he’ll go for a hit or strip instead of simply securing the tackler. But he’s a ballhawk in our secondary who’s overall skillset perfect fits what we want to do.

To round out the draft, the Redskins selected a perfect Zone Blocking Scheme back in Jawan Jamieson. He is, to use a Mayockism, quicker than fast, decisive in the hole, he’s a willing pass protector and can catch the ball out of the backfield. The running back depth chart is a little stacked, but he’ll likely take a spot from either Helu or Royster, or possibly both.

All in all, the Redskins got a tremendous draft haul, full of high potential players who, with a lot of coaching and a lot of work, can come in a produce for the football team, probably this soon. If there was a year to not have a first round pick, this was probably it, and the Redskins got a lot of value. Nearly every pick they took involves a significant amount of risk, but if they hit on 2 or 3 of any of these players, the Redskins won’t be letting go