Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Recap

   Now that the 2013 NFL draft has come and gone, only time will tell if the selections the Redskins made will pan out. On paper, nearly all of the players look good and have a legitimate shot at making the roster. 
   With their first pick, coming in the second round, the reigning NFC East champions addressed a position of need. They picked up defensive back David Amerson from North Carolina State. He possesses the size and physicality to be a starting NFL cornerback. His speed will certainly be a welcomed asset to the current secondary that gets burned by players such as Victor Cruz. Some analysts believe he may be too much of a gambler on the field, however. In 2011, he recorded a whopping 13 interceptions to lead all college players. The following year, his interception total fell to five as he tried to chase his high expectations. Regardless, those numbers are better than any of the Redskins' defensive players and he should make an impact for them right away.
   Most fans expected the third-round selection to be a safety or right tackle. Mike Shanahan does not base his decisions on what the fans think, however. Instead, he went with Jordan Reed, a tight end out of Florida. This is not a position of need for the team, but Reed must have been ranked high on Shanahan's draft board. Reed led his team in receiving with 45 catches for 559 yards last season. Depending on how Fred Davis plays in his contract year, Reed might get an opportunity to show off his pass-catching ability. Perhaps he is the future tight end of this organization.
Photo: Washington Post
   Safety had the biggest question mark coming into the draft, and that question did not go unanswered. The team was very fortunate to have Phillip Thomas fall into their laps in the fourth round. He was projected to go in the second or third round. On April 10, he had visited Redskins Park, which had many fans speculating he may be wearing a burgundy and gold uniform someday. Thomas led the nation in picks last season with eight. Growing up, he was a Redskins fan after watching their games on television. His favorite player was Sean Taylor, and he hopes that he can fill the shoes of a Pro Bowler like Taylor.
   With the 154th overall pick, the team selected speedy running back Chris Thompson of Florida State in the fifth round. Thompson dealt with injuries throughout his college years, playing only five games as a junior and eight games as a senior. However, when healthy, he is an explosive player that can catch the ball out of the backfield. When asked about where Thompson could fit, Shanahan said, "He could be that third down back. He's got great hands. He's got great elusiveness. He's the type of guy who can do it all." For a late-round pick, Thompson could have great reward.
   After taking one Florida State player in the fifth, the team decided to add another in the same round with outside linebacker/defensive end Brandon Jenkins. Like his fellow Seminole mentioned above, he too will have to prove his health as he is coming off a season-ending injury. Through 40 games, he made 22.5 sacks, which could help improve Washington's pass-rushing depth.
   Apparently landing a talented ball-hawking safety in the fourth round was not enough to satisfy Shanahan's draft appetite. Luckily for him, Bacarri Rambo was sitting there in the sixth round. Rambo is a natural playmaker and has lots of potential to be a star for this team. His numbers were good; recording 235 tackles and 16 interceptions at Georgia. His draft stock plummeted due to previous drug-related suspensions at school. However, after conducting an extensive background check, Shanahan said he feels comfortable with him. Rambo described his long wait by saying, "I was sitting here, praying, asking God to give me one team that liked me, and the Redskins called. It's just a blessed moment and I just thank the organization for believing in me."
   Washington used their last selection in the 2013 NFL draft by taking another running back in Jawan Jamison of Rutgers. He has yet to be told exactly how he will be utilized, but he is expected to compete with the other backups on the team. Jamison is not the quickest guy, but if he does not find a place on the roster, at least he was only a seventh-round choice.
   Besides the obvious impact of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris from last year's draft class, this most recent draft could be the best since Shanahan and Bruce Allen took over the regime. Every position of need was attended to besides the offensive line. No one should have to worry about either safety position anymore now that two highly talented ball hawks were selected. Shanahan has stressed the importance of turnovers since he got here, and he explained that usually the team to excel in turnovers, wins championships. Again, time will tell if these athletes are studs or duds.