2013 NFL Draft: Which Prospects Should the Redskins Be Scouting?

Tom NataliCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2012

2013 NFL Draft: Which Prospects Should the Redskins Be Scouting?

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    Look at the previous Super Bowl winners as of late: the Steelers, Saints, Packers and Giants. Their franchises were not entirely made up of 1st round picks.

    Victor Cruz went undrafted, Donald Driver was selected in the seventh round, Tracy Porter was a second rounder and Hines Ward was a third rounder.

    My point is that the draft matters. Successful teams find talent throughout all seven rounds and through undrafted free agents.

    As we know, the next two NFL drafts will be somewhat boring for the casual Redskins fan, as consecutive first round selections will be given to the Rams as a part of the Robert Griffin III trade.

    However, the Skins selections from the second round and on should be highly emphasized, and that’s putting it lightly.

    For things to work out ideally, Robert Griffin III must prove to be as good as advertised, the 2013 second round selection must turn into a reliable starter and other selections must be "hits" as well.

    Is it unrealistic to believe that something like that could happen? It happens to contending teams just about every year, so it’s certainly possible. However, it is much easier said than done. We just have to see if the Redskins personnel are willing to buy in.

    That previous statement got me thinking. How many Redskins teams have we seen over the years that actually "bought in"? I really can’t think of any.

    Below is a list of college prospects whom I think the Redskins' front office should be targeting this coming season.

Wide Receiver Tavon Austin, West Virginia

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    This is a stretch. I absolutely love this kid’s talent; he reminds me of a quicker version of Percy Harvin and a better route runner.

    West Virginia’s best offensive threat has playmaker written all over him. Even though both cbssports.com and sidelinescouting.com have Austin projected as a second or third round pick, I envision his stock rising throughout the season.

    At 5’9 and 175 lbs, Austin will fit right into that slot role that Santana Moss will occupy for one more year. In addition to that, he can help on special teams as a returner.

    So that’s two vital roles taken with one selection. But with passing offenses substantially growing throughout the league, talented pass catchers will be even more emphasized in next year’s draft.

    Do the Redskins absolutely need another receiver? Definitely not; the offensive line and the secondary will probably need more help. That being said, you can get a great value out of Austin coming out of the second round.

Free Safety Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

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    Rambo is a first-round talent, but a four-game suspension and a failed drug test will cause the All-American safety to slip in the draft.

    Rambo just looks like a safety, as he was second in the nation in interceptions last year. A talent like Rambo is someone that the Redskins' defense needs, as creating turnovers turned out to be an issue last year.

    I’ve been critical in previous articles, but I’m very concerned for this year’s secondary. There’s no answer at either free or strong safety.

    Can Madieu Williams, DeJon Gomes and Tanard Jackson hold the fort? Or are we going to be in another Kareem Moore type of scenario where our safety play plagues our defense.

    Bacarri Rambo could solve that problem.

Strong Safety Matt Elam, Florida

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    I know I sound like a broken record, but I obviously don’t like the safeties on the roster. Ok, that may be harsh, I love Reed Doughty, but we all know that he’s best suited in a reserve role. I also like DeJon Gomes, but we really don’t know what we’re going to get out of him.

    That being considered, Brandon Meriweather, Tanard Jackson and Madieu Williams are all temporary solutions. Drafting Matt Elam could solidify a youthful core in the secondary.

    Elam has been a consistent strong safety out of Florida, and I love the fact that he and Rambo are coming from the SEC.

    Let the debate start, but the SEC remains the best conference in college football. I like athletes from that conference for a variety of reasons.

    For one, they are used to playing at big venues. College football on a Saturday in the South is beyond glorified. Secondly, I love the speed of the SEC; it makes the transition to the pros easier. Lastly, the competition is better in that conference; the more competitiveness the better.

Offensive Tackle Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

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    You know what would be awesome? If Jammal Brown had a good season and played out the rest of his contract.

    If that happens, then please disregard Jake Matthews. So what are the chances of that happening? Not good. Yes, I am aware that three offensive linemen were selected in this year’s draft, even though only one of them was a tackle.

    Still, major questions remain on the offensive line. The need to protect RG3 might be of the most importance. Previous first round quarterbacks have struggled mightily without the time to make a play. A 50-percent Jammal Brown or a lesser player is not good enough.

    Obviously, it’s hard to substantially elaborate on Jake Matthews. He was an Honorable Mention to the all-Big-12 team last year, and both of my resources (cbssports and sidelinescouting) have him rated as a mid-round selection.

    At 6’5" and 310 lbs, Matthews seems to fit the description of the offensive lineman that Mike Shanahan covets. Matthews would need to produce in the zone blocking scheme, thus the need for slender and athletic offensive linemen.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

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    Being at a local school, the Redskins scouts will have plenty of opportunities to see this kid in live action. He has a nose for the ball and has experience in both the nickel and outside cornerback positions.

    DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are the team’s starters going into the fall, and I am confident in those two despite my utter frustration with Hall at times.

    Other than that, we don’t have a lot of answers. Veteran Cedric Griffin was brought in, but he’s obviously not a long-term solution. Holdover Kevin Barnes regressed throughout the season after surrendering his nickel role, and rookies Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield will be vying for a spot.

    Sure, Minnifield has been a great story so far, and I’m sure Griffin can do a solid job in the meantime, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t know what is going to happen.

    Other than Josh Wilson, I thought the entire secondary underachieved, and while the defense improved from year one of the Jim Haslett defense, there were obvious holes against the pass.

Center Dalton Freeman, Clemson

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    With over 35 games of starting experience at Clemson, Dalton Freeman has become a leader in the Tigers' locker room.

    At 6’4" and 285 lbs, Freeman is undersized for his position, but once again, this is the type of player that Mike Shanahan might target. A limber lineman who is also of high character; Freeman could fill that void.

    Will Montgomery is the starter, I am aware of that. Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis were drafted this year, I am aware of that too. Both were guards in college, but many expect LeRibeus to take reps at the center position.

    The more depth the Redskins have, the better, especially on the offensive line where injury woes have been consistent every year, creating the need for someone like Dalton Freeman.