The classic coulda-shoulda-woulda conversation is always an entertaining one. And when it comes to an NFL franchise and its previous draft results, that particular conversation is a likely one amongst the front office and team's fan base.
Despite landing a franchise quarterback that has demonstrated every sign of becoming the next best thing in the NFL, even the Redskins had some moves they'd like to have back.
The following is a round-by-round breakdown of the Redskins 2012 NFL Draft and what the coulda-woulda-shoulda situation may sound like now that we're nine weeks into the season.
Actual Draft Pick: Robert Griffin III
Re-Drafted Pick: Robert Griffin III
In most cases, trading away three first-rounders and a second in order to draft one rookie is a lopsided deal. But in the case of the Redskins and St. Louis Rams, both parties appear to have benefited.
For obvious reasons, the Rams benefit and have the next couple years to help build their team around franchise quarterback Sam Bradford. And for the Redskins, they landed some Heisman Trophy-winning phenom better known as RG3.
Judging by Griffin's stats through his first nine professional games, there aren't any regrets about the Redskins betting the farm. Once the Redskins become a legitimate playoff team with a shot at championships, no one will even remember what Washington gave up to land its face of the franchise.
Actual Draft Pick: Josh LeRibeus
Re-Drafted Pick: Jayron Hosley (drafted 94th overall by NYG)
Coming into the draft, the Redskins were in desperate need of upgrading the offensive line. Initially, the second round pick would've been perfect to use on a lineman like Cordy Glenn, Jeff Allen, Peter Konz, or maybe even Kelechi Osemele.
The Redskins' second round pick, however, was used to land RG3.
By the third round, the talent seemed to have dropped off. And while many projected SMU's Josh LeRibeus as a fourth or fifth round prospect, Mike Shanahan and the Redskins pulled the trigger at No. 71.
Through just nine games, the verdict on LeRibeus is still out. Hell, he's only been active for one. But when you look at how bad the Redskins secondary has been so far this season, taking a play-making corner like Jayron Hosley out of Virginia Tech wouldn't be all that bad.
Hosley was a local product of Virginia Tech and I'm sure the Redskins front office had more than enough scouting notes on him (my scouting report here).
Through nine games this year with the Giants, Hosley has three starts in seven games with 22 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception.
Again, LeRibeus may turn out to be the bruiser that Shanahan envisioned within the next year or two. But at this point, I'd much rather have Hosley–a guy that would start in this Washington secondary.
Actual Draft Pick: Kirk Cousins
Re-Drafted Pick: Kirk Cousins
At the time of the selection, I'll admit I did sort of a 'what-the-hell' face and threw my hands around a little bit. It only took me about twenty minutes to understand that it was a good pick.The Redskins needed a backup quarterback and there's never too much criticism from drafting the best player available.
With Robert Griffin III leading the way, Redskins fans haven't seen much of Cousins outside of the preseason.
Cousins did step in against Atlanta after Griffin suffered a concussion and he showed glimpses here and there. It wasn't a great game for him, but it certainly wasn't a great situation for the guy's first action either.
Even with limited exposure so far, it's hard to find a Redskins fan that hates Kirk Cousins or that doesn't believe he's valuable.
Given the team needs him, Cousins appears like the intelligent quarterback that you can trust and he beats the hell out of Rex Grossman.
Admittedly so, the Redskins could have gone after a sexier pick like cornerback Brandon Boykin (my scouting report here) who would probably get some significant playing time by this point. But Cousins was a solid move for the future in a round where the Redskins were lucky to have two picks.
Actual Draft Pick: Keenan Robinson
Re-Drafted Pick: Keenan Robinson
With an aging middle linebacker and the need for young playmakers to come in and learn the system, the Redskins' selection of linebacker Keenan Robinson was a solid one.
Despite being active for all nine games so far this season, Robinson is still learning the ropes and adjusting to the NFL. The positive outlook, however, is that he has potential.
Robinson is a versatile player with good instincts and he has a lot to offer in a well-run 3-4.
Could the Redskins have gone with Brandon Boykin at No. 119? Sure, he was still floating around. Or could they have taken a chance on cornerback Ron Brooks out of LSU? I suppose. But I like Keenan Robinson's potential moving forward.
The idea, seemingly, would be for Perry Riley to take over London Fletcher's spot and for Robinson to step up.
Actual Draft Pick: Adam Gettis
Re-Drafted Pick: Adam Gettis
With so much focus on the offensive line and the attempt to establish depth, the Redskins' selection of Adam Gettis in the fifth made sense. He's not the biggest lineman you've ever seen, but that's exactly how Shanahan likes 'em. Gettis was/is an experienced and athletic lineman that could work really well in a zone-blocking scheme.
Florida State's Zebrie Sanders was available at No. 141, and you can't help but think even the rookie could come in and play better than Tyler Polumbus at right tackle. But even at that time, the Redskins were unaware of just how bad Jammal Brown's health really was.
Cornerback Josh Norman out of Coastal Carolina was available. But his stock was questionable. So far through eight games, Norman has eight starts for the Panthers with 52 tackles, one interception, and six pass deflections. And while I haven't seen enough of Norman to accurately judge, I do know the Redskins could use some corner help.
Finally, I was a big fan of Boise State safety George Iloka coming out (my scouting report here).So far this season, it looks like he's played two games for the Bengals, who selected him 167th overall. Like Norman, I haven't seen enough of Iloka to say that he would have been a better pick, but I know that I was obsessed with his size and athleticism and that the Redskins are garbage at the safety spot.
Actual Draft Pick: Alfred Morris
Re-Drafted Pick: Alfred Morris
Some may very well refer to Alfred Morris as the top sleeper of the entire 2012 draft class. Judging by a quick glance, no one taken after Morris at No. 173 has had anywhere near the impact on their team that Morris has had on the Redskins.
Shoot, even a majority of the guys taken ahead of Morris haven't had his kind of impact.
When Shanahan drafted Morris, some were skeptical (including myself) based on the level of competition that Morris faced in college and the overall unfamiliarity. But when you looked into his Combine performance (my preseason column) and you took in some of his college tape, one quickly realized just how well he would fit in Shanahan's running scheme.
Through nine games, Morris is fourth in the league with 793 rushing yards, his 4.8 YPC average is good for seventh best amongst starting running backs, and his five rushing touchdowns ties him for fourth.
Actual Draft Pick: Tom Compton
Re-Drafted Pick: Tom Compton
Many probably aren't familiar with Tom Compton, mainly due to his college career taking place at South Dakota. But when the Redskins drafted him in the middle of the sixth round, I was excited.
When you watched Compton on tape, you saw potential. He has great size at around 6'5 and weighing more than 300 pounds. He's athletic and he showed some tenacity and attitude. The questions, however, arose when you watched the level of competition that Compton was up against in the FCS.
As much struggle as we've seen at right tackle for the Redskins this year, I think Compton is a viable threat moving forward. Obviously things are never guaranteed, but once he's learned the scheme and has adjusted to NFL speed, I think Compton can be a starting right tackle for the Redskins.
Actual Draft Pick: Richard Crawford
Re-Drafted Pick: Alfonzo Dennard (drafted 224th overall by NE)
At the start of the 2011 college football season, I had Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard mocked in the first round. As the year went on, he slipped a little further and a little further until he ran into trouble with the law while still in school--ultimately crashing his draft stock.
By the sixth round, despite all of his troubles, I was banging the table for Dennard. Although his problems and recent struggles were noted, so was the Redskins' depleted secondary. Washington needed a cornerback.
Mike Shanahan and the Redskins obviously had the same idea in mind, but instead they went for Richard Crawford out of SMU. So far, while not terrible (13 tackles, 6 games), I believe Dennard would've been the better pick. Not to say I don't like Crawford and I don't think he can improve moving forward, but Dennard is better.
In his four games with the Patriots this season, Dennard has two starts, 11 tackles, and two interceptions.
Actual Draft Pick: Jordan Bernstine
Re-Drafted Pick: Daryl Richardson (drafted 252nd overall by STL)
Not very high on Jordan Bernstine at the time of the pick, the defensive back from Iowa did grow on me towards the middle of the preseason. An unfortunate knee injury, however, has made him a wasted draft pick so far.
With a surprise rookie season from Roy Helu in 2011 and the late season showing from Evan Royster, the Redskins didn't necessarily feel the need for help at the running back position. But if they had used their crystal ball, perhaps they'd understand it now.
And if the Redskins could have predicted the injuries to Roy Helu, maybe they could have also predicted the success of Alfred Morris. And if they predicted the success of Alfred Morris, maybe they could have predicted the promise that we've seen out of Abilene Christian running back Daryl Richardson in St. Louis.
See how this coulda-shoulda-woulda game eats at ya?
Since the Rams drafted him with the second to last pick in the draft, Richardson has been quite the surprise. Through eight games this season, Richardson has 335 rushing yards (5.4) and 99 receiving yards on 14 receptions. He even looks to be the eventual replacement (at least half of it) for veteran Steven Jackson.
In a picture-perfect Redskins backfield, we'd see the early signs and excitement of a thunder-and-lightning ground attack. Morris packs the thunderous punch and Richardson provides the lightning of a scat back.
Note: Roy Helu is expected to make a full recovery.