Every year, starting on the last Thursday in April @ 8 p.m. NFL teams look to draft players from the college ranks to help them transition into the future. In this five-installment Draft Central series, we will look at the NFC East as a whole and how they fared in the draft but before that happens, we will first look at each team individually in the NFC East and recap their draft. First up, the reigning NFC East Champion Washington Redskins.
Round 1 (PICK 22): N/A (via Trade with St. Louis): Redskins surrendered their 1st Round Selection in 2013 to Rams during the Robert Griffin III trade.
Round 2 (PICK 51): David Amerson CB/North Carolina State University: Having one of worst secondaries in the NFL in 2012, the Washington Redskins look to bolster their secondary with a 6’1″ aggressive, ball-hawking cornerback in the form of David Amerson. Amerson led the NCAA in interceptions in 2011 with 13 but, was overaggressive in 2012 and was beaten on numerous occasions leading to questions about his discipline as a cornerback. However, he still managed to tally 5 INTs which shows his prowess for making plays on the football, a trait that cannot be denied. After being drafted by the Redskins, Amerson admitted that the success of 2011 went to his head and made him greedy, that admission shows growth, and coupled with his long, 6’1″ frame, 4.4 40 speed, willingness to tackle, and play-making ability Amerson could be an awesome addition to the Redskins defense. [GRADE: TRIPLE]
Round 3 (PICK 85): Jordan Reed TE/University of Florida: Strictly a BPA (Best Player Available) selection, this is evident because of the Redskins lack necessity at the tight end position. Probably more so a position of strength for the Redskins, an early selection dedicated to a position that shouldn’t require immediate attention shows that this was a BPA pick. Mike Shanahan said in a press conference after day two of the 2013 NFL Draft that Reed a converted TE from QB at Florida was “simply too good to pass on.” Part of the new wave of hybrid TEs (WR athleticism/skill trapped in TE body), Jordan Reed possesses the ability to make plays with the football in his hands and the innate and distinct ability to make defenders miss in space a devastatingly rare trait for a TE. Add to the mix that Reed is a mismatch for most linebackers and some safeties and the Redskins have increased the weaponry for Robert Griffin III and that high-powered offense. [GRADE: TRIPLE]
Round 4 (PICK 119): Phillip Thomas S/Fresno State University: The Redskins got their man in the 4th round, in safety Phillip Thomas, a smart, instinctive safety that led the nation in 2012 with 8 INTs. As anemic as the Redskins were in the secondary, no position was worse than the safety position. The Redskins desperately need an upgrade at the safety position if they want to maximize their opportunity to repeat as NFC East Champs, enter Phillip Thomas. The fourth round selection is a versatile, ball-hawking safety that projects well to the NFL, a willing and able tackler that excels at making plays on the football, the Redskins got extreme value with Thomas in the 4th round a player that most likely will be a starter for the Redskins at some point in 2013. [GRADE: TRIPLE]
Round 5 (PICK 154): Chris Thompson RB/Florida State University: In the fifth round the Redskins owned two selections and spent the first on FSU RB Chris Thompson, an intriguing prospect. Intriguing in many regards, first Thompson was oft injured at Florida State and career seemed to be somewhat in jeopardy due to chronic back problems but Thompson persevered to put together a respectable senior season and landed himself in Washington. One of the areas the Redskins struggled in last season was kickoff return. The Redskins lacked elusive, explosiveness as Brandon Banks proved to be a lateral runner and Niles Paul brought no wiggle to the unit. Chris Thompson offers the Redskins return value and also a change of pace option and a pass catching threat out of the backfield, with 4.4 speed at 5’7″ Thompson could prove to be a dangerous threat for the Redskins in some capacity. [GRADE: DOUBLE]
Round 5 (PICK 162): Brandon Jenkins DE/Florida State University: Mike Mayock said of the selection of Brandon Jenkins by the Redskins in the fifth round “This is a guy that at this point in the draft is value. Heavy production in the SEC as a pass-rush specialist. When you get in the sub package[s], this is a guy you can move around a little bit. He can really help you.” The value with this pick for the Redskins is tremendous, might turn out to be the steal of the draft for the Redskins in the fifth round. Brandon Jenkins is only available at this point of the draft because of medical, he suffered a LisFranc injury to his foot and missed essentially all of the 2012 season and then declared for the draft. If Jenkins can get back to his 2010 form when he amassed 21.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks and be the disruptive force that the Redskins envision him being, Jenkins could arguably be the steal of not only the Redskins’ draft, but the draft as a whole. [GRADE: HOME RUN]
Round 6 (PICK 191): Bacarri Rambo S/University of Georgia: This pick in the sixth round was indicative of just how bad the Redskins were against the pass in 2012 as they devoted a third selection to their beleaguered secondary this time in the form of the safety out of Georgia, Bacarri Rambo. Bacarri Rambo probably has second or third round talent but, off-the-field issues coupled with a gambler’s mentality on it, makes him a potential liability that many teams weren’t willing to invest a pick in. The Redskins looking to upgrade their secondary weren’t swayed by the off-the-field transgressions and took the extremely talented yet risky Rambo in the sixth round. On the field Rambo is a big play waiting to happen, at 6’1″ with great athleticism, Rambo could be diamond in the rough for the Redskins. If the coaching staff can get Rambo to scale back on risk-taking on the field and Rambo can do the same off of it, sky could be the limit for Bacarri Rambo. [GRADE: DOUBLE]
Round 7 (PICK 228): Jawan Jamison RB/Rutgers University: Unfortunately the Redskins were being greedy in the 7th round, instead of attacking another position that could potentially use more depth like defensive line, offensive line, or wide receiver, Mike Shanahan continued his fascination with late round running backs selecting Rutgers product Jawan Jamison. At an already crowded position, Jamison comes in and doesn’t do anything great but everything solid; a recipe to be overlooked as a seventh round selection. Jamison will be a long shot to crack the Redskins roster and seems to be a bit of overkill. [GRADE: SINGLE]
Overall the Redskins weathered the storm beautifully of not having a first round selection, making sound decisions on players who have a great chance of making an immediate impact on the roster all the while not over-extending for any of their draftees. Redskins were able to address their abysmal secondary with three different players who all bring three different skill sets to the table, land a potential game-changer in the fifth round in Brandon Jenkins and offered up two more playmaking options to an already explosive offense with picks Reed and Thompson. Only time will tell how successful this draft class will be, but Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen seem to be getting pretty comfortable in Washington and this draft seems to reflect the imprint that the two have made since coming to the Nation’s Capital. [OVERALL GRADE: TRIPLE]