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