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Washington Redskins: Reviewing Their 2012 NFL Draft

Dan HopeContributor IIINovember 5, 2016

Washington Redskins: Reviewing Their 2012 NFL Draft

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    From Patrick Ramsey to Mark Brunell to Jason Campbell to the duo of Rex Grossman and John Beck, the Washington Redskins have had a revolving door of subpar starting quarterbacks over the past decade.

    That was why the Redskins had to trade up, even at a very steep price, to draft the second of two elite quarterback prospects in the 2012 NFL draft—Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.

    While the Redskins’ poor history at the quarterback position made it clear that trading up for RG3 was the move they should make, giving up many draft picks in the process made it crucial that they take advantage of the remainder of their draft selections.

    Did they manage to address their other needs and find value through the rest of the draft?

    Read through the following slides to find out.

Evaluating the Picks

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    Round 1, Pick 2: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

    Overall Prospect Rank: No. 3

    Griffin is an elite quarterback prospect. He emerged in his junior season as a franchise quarterback prospect who would go No. 1 overall in most draft classes. He's known for his tremendous athleticism, but he's also a tremendous pocket passer with a very strong arm, downfield accuracy, terrific pocket presence and intangibles. Griffin has the skill set to be a star NFL quarterback.



    Round 3, Pick 71: Josh LeRibeus, G, SMU

    Overall Prospect Rank: No. 323

    LeRibeus is a solid guard, but there's nothing special about his game. He worked his way up in the draft with a solid showing at the Shrine Game, but he's a stiff lineman who may not be able to establish himself as anything more than a backup at the next level.



    Round 4, Pick 102: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State

    Overall Prospect Rank: No. 78

    Cousins is a solid all-around quarterback who is perfectly suited to be a No. 2 quarterback. He has subpar arm strength but is an intelligent decision maker with good intangibles. A solid all-around pocket passer who was productive in Big Ten, he should pick up an NFL offense quickly and be able to spot start if Griffin has any injuries or setbacks.



    Round 4, Pick 119: Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas

    Overall Prospect Rank: No. 86

    Robinson is a big, athletic and well-rounded playmaking linebacker. He brings versatility but will be best suited to play at inside linebacker in the Redskins’ 3-4 defense. He's a good tackler who also does well with dropping back in coverage. He should fit in well as a rotational player.



    Round 5, Pick 141: Adam Gettis, G, Iowa

    Overall Prospect Rank: Not in Top 400

    Gettis is an athletic but undersized guard. Footwork is a big asset to him as a pass blocker, but he may not have the size and strength to last at the position at the next level.



    Round 6, Pick 173: Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic

    Overall Prospect Rank: Not in Top 400

    Morris is a big running back who is powerful and can block but lacks speed. His best ability to contribute will come as a fullback in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He will have to be able to contribute on special teams.



    Round 6, Pick 193: Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota

    Overall Prospect Rank: No. 218

    Compton is an FCS All-American who has a very good blend of size and athleticism. His game needs polish as he makes a big leap in competition, but he's a good developmental prospect.



    Round 7, Pick 213: Richard Crawford, CB, SMU

    Overall Prospect Rank: Not in Top 400

    Crawford made some plays at SMU, but he's an inconsistent cornerback who gets beat too often. He could contribute as a fourth or fifth cornerback or on special teams, but he was not expected to be a drafted player.



    Round 7, Pick 217: Jordan Bernstine, SS/CB, Iowa

    Overall Prospect Rank: Not in Top 400

    Bernstine was a productive safety at Iowa who is instinctive and tackles well, but he's too short to play safety at the next level while he lacks the coverage skills to play cornerback. He has high potential as a special teams player, where he could be quite valuable.

Evaluating the Trades

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    The Redskins traded Round 1, Pick 6 and Round 2, Pick 39, along with their 2013 and 2014 first-round selections, to the St. Louis Rams for Round 1, Pick 2.

    The Redskins paid a very steep price to move up only four spots in the draft, but if Robert Griffin III ends up being the star quarterback whom he has the talent to be, this trade will be well worth the price.

    Quarterbacks are always at a premium above other positions in the draft, and Griffin is an elite quarterback prospect. The Redskins have gone more than a decade since having any quarterback who could be considered a franchise quarterback, including two first-round busts in Patrick Ramsey and Jason Campbell.

    Had the Redskins stayed at the No. 6 overall selection, they may have been enticed to overdraft another quarterback in Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, which could have led to another bust. The move that the Redskins needed to make in this draft was to get in position to draft Griffin, and they did what they needed to do to get there.



    The Redskins traded Round 3, Pick 69 to the Buffalo Bills for Round 3, Pick 71 and Round 7, Pick 217.

    This trade did not have much implication on the Redskins’ third-round selection, as they probably would have reached to select Josh LeRibeus regardless. Picking up a seventh-round selection to move down two spots was a fair return.



    The Redskins received Round 4, Pick 109 from the Oakland Raiders in April 2010 for quarterback Jason Campbell. The Redskins later traded Round 4, Pick 109 to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Round 4, Pick 119 and Round 6, Pick 193.

    At the time, trading Jason Campbell may not have been the right move. When the Redskins made that trade in April 2010, it was shortly after they had acquired Donovan McNabb, who they were expecting to take over as a successful starting quarterback for the franchise.

    While that move did work out, and Campbell still had potential to be a solid starting quarterback, he has since bounced to becoming a backup quarterback in Chicago following a season-ending injury which prompted the Raiders to replace him last season with Carson Palmer.

    Now that the Redskins have RG3, this trade for the 2012 draft worked out well. Trading down was also a very good move, as the Redskins benefited by adding another pick to address needs while they still got a very good value at the No. 119 selection in Keenan Robinson.



    The Redskins received Round 6, Pick 173 along with a 2013 sixth-round selection from the Minnesota Vikings in July 2011 for quarterback Donovan McNabb.

    Considering how poorly McNabb performed in Washington and his rocky relationship with head coach Mike Shanahan, the Redskins were either going to trade or release McNabb, so getting two sixth-round picks in return was about as good as they were going to get.

Assessing Value

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    While the Redskins gave up a lot to move up for Robert Griffin III, he was a sure-fire No. 2 overall pick who they had to move up to select. RG3 is an elite quarterback prospect who was worthy of being drafted before any player other than Andrew Luck, so the Redskins certainly got value in their selection.

    The Redskins got two third-round talents in Round 4 in Kirk Cousins, who should be a very solid backup to RG3, and Keenan Robinson—a talented linebacker who was great value in the middle of Round 4.

    However, the Redskins also came up with very poor value on many of their other selections. Five of their nine total draft picks were players ranked outside of the top-300 prospects, including SMU guard Josh LeRibeus, who was a major reach to be selected in Round 3 over Miami (Ohio)’s Brandon Brooks and Utah’s Tony Bergstrom.

Addressing Needs

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    Reiterating once again, the Redskins made the move that they needed to make in order to fill their biggest need at the quarterback position. The Redskins have been in search of a quality starting quarterback for many years and should have finally have their answer in RG3.

    While drafting a backup quarterback may not necessarily have been a need, the selection of Cousins was also smart. The Redskins did not have much at the quarterback position behind RG3 aside from Rex Grossman. Considering RG3’s dual-threat style of play leaves him more susceptible to injuries than many quarterbacks, drafting a quality long-term backup in Cousins made sense.

    The Redskins also needed to upgrade on the offensive line. They may not have found any starters in this draft, but they at least added three offensive linemen who can provide much-needed depth.

    The Redskins also needed depth at linebacker and added a versatile player to fill that need in Robinson.

    One major area of need that the Redskins failed to adequately address was the secondary. The Redskins were in need of help at both cornerback and safety but only drafted two defensive backs—both in Round 7. Neither Richard Crawford nor Jordan Bernstine is likely to be answer to the Redskins’ pass-coverage woes.

Conclusion

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    The Redskins made a great move at the top of the draft by moving up to select their franchise quarterback in Robert Griffin III. However, having traded away three more crucial picks over three drafts to make that deal, they really needed to maximize value and find the best players to fill their needs through the rest of the draft, and they did not do so.

    While the Redskins addressed their need for offensive linemen, they reached on both Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis. The Redskins did get a quality developmental offensive tackle prospect with Tom Compton in Round 6, but they could have done better with their earlier selections.

    Drafting a backup quarterback with good value in Kirk Cousins with their Round 4 pick made sense, and they got another very good value in Keenan Robinson later in Round 4. However, they failed to address their needs in the secondary through this draft.

    Acquiring RG3 should pay off in a big way for the Redskins, but they did not do as well as they needed to do with the rest of their draft to fill the roster around him, which hurts their overall grade.

    Grade: B-

    Thanks for reading!

    Throughout the month of May, I will be reviewing one team’s draft each day, in the order of the original 2012 NFL draft order.

    Follow me on Twitter @Dan_Hope.

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