Friday, April 26, 2013

Draft Decisions

Photo: Washington Post
   Who the Redskins choose with the 51st overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft is anyone's guess. They lack a first-round pick due to the blockbuster deal they made with the St. Louis Rams to acquire Robert Griffin III. While nobody can really argue with the outcome, it still hurts a bit to watch round one of the draft and not see Washington's name on the clock.
   Luckily for the fans and the organization, Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen are not amateurs at finding talent in the draft. In fact, Shanahan is known for picking diamonds in the rough out of the later rounds. Last year is a great example of this when they chose running back Alfred Morris in the sixth round. Morris was a candidate for Rookie of the Year and finished second in the league in rushing yards and touchdowns. Now the front office needs to work their magic again in this year's draft.
   So, what position should they consider? The response to this question is almost always unanimous; defensive back. Let's take a look at the cornerback position first. Washington brought back DeAngelo Hall while also signing E.J. Biggers to the group. There have been reports recently that the team has interest in adding Quentin Jammer to that mix as well. However, none of those players are elite defensive backs, which leaves the team room for improvement at this position.
   Jamar Taylor out of Boise State could be an option if he is still available at 51. He had a strong senior year and impressed scouts at the combine. The only real issue with him is his smaller size and fairly short arms. Still, he has potential to be a long-term starter in the NFL with his physical traits.
   Now let's consider the safety position with the Redskins. Ever since the passing of Sean Taylor in 2007, the team has been in desperate need of another playmaker. Fortunately for them, the quality of talent and depth in this year's draft is strong. NFL Network draft analyst was quoted as saying, "It's a great safety class — best safety class I've seen in years."
   Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien would be an instant starter for just about any team. Cyprien is the complete package with his speed, natural instincts, strength, and big-play ability. He just happens to still be available after not getting drafted on the first day. Perhaps the Redskins will trade up to get him because of his superb talent. He has too much upside to roll the dice on and hope he falls into their laps at the 51st pick.
   Shanahan and Allen will take the best player available at any position, but hopefully that player ends up being a starter in the secondary unit this upcoming season.