10 Draft Prospects the Washington Redskins Front Office Is Salivating Over
In the past several years, the Washington Redskins have had some pretty good draft picks. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan have both panned out at linebacker, Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris made a huge impact in 2012 and Rob Jackson showed he could play with the big boys as well.
2013 will be a different story for Washington since it sold the farm to the St. Louis Rams last April to secure the second overall pick that turned into RGIII.
The pick worked out fine, but the consequence is that the Redskins are the only team in 2013 that doesn’t have a first-round pick. GM Bruce Allen will either have a once-in-a-lifetime draft where he finds two or three diamonds in the rough, or he’ll have a draft that was doomed from the start.
Whatever the outcome, Redskins fans won’t argue with RGIII’s services in exchange for a bad draft year. But there are still some very good players who will be available in Rounds 2 through 7, so Allen and the Redskins should put on their draft caps and get ready to make some big picks on days two and three.
One pick could be the difference between a Super Bowl appearance or an early playoff exit.
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
If the Redskins want to draft Dee Milliner, they'd have to work a miracle trade to move up in the draft. But there's no question that Washington might actually consider making such a move. Milliner is clearly the top cornerback in the draft and has tremendous upside.
In fact, he may be the only defensive back to go in the first round.
Is Milliner worth it? The answer is yes. He has length and range and projects as a superb ball-hawking defensive back who can tackle as well as force turnovers. He's a bit raw, but he'll be able to make the adjustment and become a front-line starter in the league.
The Redskins' troubles in the secondary are well documented, and if the burgundy and gold want to part ways with a guy like DeAngelo Hall, Milliner would be a perfect replacement. Of course, the chances of landing Milliner are very low, but you can be sure Bruce Allen and Daniel Snyder will give him a look and see if they're willing to make the monumental move to take him in the first round.
It would take a very large trade to tempt a team to give up its pick, but the Redskins have shown little fear in these matters in the past. Anything is possible.
David Amerson, CB, N.C. State
David Amerson is a much more realistic prospect for the Redskins. If he falls to Washington in the second round, it would be silly for Allen to pass him up. Amerson took a step back in his junior year after posting 13 interceptions as a sophomore, but he's got good size at 6'2" and 194 pounds and can make plays as well as anyone.
If Amerson can regain the form that made him one of the most dangerous defensive backs in the nation in 2011, there's no question he can be a steal in the second or third round for Washington.
The Redskins could benefit from his less-spectacular junior year, because it knocked down his draft stock a little bit and made him an option for the pick-starved franchise. If Amerson comes to D.C., he will be a starter very soon, and a good one at that.
Another advantage that Amerson brings is his ability to play safety. If called upon, he has proved he has the ability to play deep in the secondary. His size also allows him to press receivers at the line, something the Redskins have struggled with for a long time. Amerson could be a really, really solid pickup if he falls in the draft.
Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Tony Jefferson didn't exactly have the best performance of his career in the Oklahoma Sooners' 41-13 blowout loss to Texas A&M, but it didn't hurt his draft stock much. The junior out of Chula Vista, California is the real deal and could make an immediate impact for the Redskins.
Jefferson doesn't have many weaknesses. His size may be a bit of a concern to scouts—he isn't the biggest or strongest safety around. But he has superb instincts and has shown an innate ability to make plays in the opposition's backfield. He also tackles very well, something that is lacking in the NFL.
Jefferson isn't the type of safety who will make bone-jarring hits or game-changing interceptions.
Instead, he prefers to limit his mistakes and cover his half of the field in such a way as to frustrate the offense. He can also split time at cornerback and has the body type to play three or four positions on defense. He's very versatile, and can impose his will on an offensive scheme on instinct alone.
He would be a superb pickup for Washington, a team that has almost no talent at the safety position.
Robert Woods, WR, USC
Redskins fans probably won't be too happy if Washington takes Robert Woods with its first pick, but if the USC receiver falls further down draft boards, there's no reason why the burgundy and gold shouldn't give him a look.
The Redskins have a No. 1 wide receiver in Pierre Garcon, but outside of that, there's really not much to be impressed with. Leonard Hankerson could develop into something special, but he struggles with the simplest concept for a wide receiver in football—catching the ball.
Woods also has a problem with dropping the ball too often, but he definitely has a huge amount of upside. The Redskins probably won't get a chance to draft him, but if he falls to them, he could fit perfectly into their scheme.
Although he has a lot of name value, Woods will not be a dominant No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He isn't big enough and his game isn't diversified to the point where he can be a threat all over the field. That being said, he would be a perfect possession receiver for a team that needs a second option.
The Redskins could be that team, and Woods would settle in immediately as second in command to Garcon on the outside.
Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech
You may not know his name, but Omoregie Uzzi could be a very good late-round player should the Redskins choose to draft him. He's a very athletic guard who can play in space and was a critical part of the Yellow Jackets' option attack.
Uzzi will probably drop to the late third or early fourth round, a perfect place for Washington to pick him up. He fits the zone-blocking scheme Mike Shanahan runs very well and could be the type of depth pickup that eases the seemingly inevitable pain of losing multiple offensive linemen every year. The Redskins' front five played very well in 2012, but it was a group that stayed mostly healthy.
If Washington is smart and looks at that as an aberration, the Redskins will definitely take a gander at Uzzi.
He probably won't be a front-line NFL starter, but he'll definitely find a home somewhere. If Washington is lucky, he could develop into an athletic late-round gem that makes the front office look very knowledgeable.
Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
He's very small, clocking in at just 172 pounds, but Jordan Poyer is a very good player who could be a great playmaker in the NFL. The Redskins could use just about anything at the defensive back position, and Poyer would be a nice pickup.
Poyer was the leader of a surprisingly good Oregon State defense in 2012, snagging seven interceptions and bringing many intangibles to the field and locker room that allowed the Beavers to make a run through the Pac-12.
No, Poyer won't be an elite corner. But he could become a Josh Wilson type, someone who is neither flashy nor overly talented, but who goes about his business and gets his job done. If the Redskins select him, Poyer wouldn't start immediately. But there's no reason to think he can't develop into one.
He might be a guy who makes one or two plays every game that helps decide the outcome. The Redskins should definitely give Poyer a look.
Matt Elam, S, Florida
Matt Elam is more talented than people give him credit for, and the Redskins would be fortunate to have the opportunity to draft him. If he falls, he could become one of the steals of the draft.
He might be the best safety in the draft and will probably go at the bottom of the first round, but crazier things have happened. If Washington can get its hands on him, it'll be drafting a safety with little to no weaknesses, a player who is both physical and instinctive and can play anywhere in the defensive backfield. He can play the pass, play the run and can tackle well.
In other words, he would be a dream pickup for Allen and Co.
Elam wasn't particularly sharp near the end of the year, but that could work to Washington's advantage. If his somewhat shoddy play at the finish line made his draft stock take a hit, it could cause him to fall right into the Redskins' lap.
If that happens, expect Washington to scoop him up and say "Thank you very much" to the teams that failed to take him.
Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
There are few players as flashy and dynamic in this draft as Bacarri Rambo, a standout safety at Georgia who made a name for himself as a ball-hawking, hard-hitting force in the defensive secondary. Rambo isn't the perfect player, but there's no doubt that many teams will be looking for his services in the second or third round.
The Redskins would love to snag Rambo, who fits a need in a huge way. Safety is a problem area in Washington and Rambo is one of the best in this class. He has speed and size, and is a terror in the middle of the field. He's a bit raw, but no one can deny his ability.
There aren't many players that can grab an interception and make a game-turning hit in the same game. Rambo is a freak in the backfield and can really get into an offense's head.
He has some issues. His tackling is suspect and he's a gambler. But as far as talent goes, Rambo is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He's versatile and can play both safety positions. The Redskins would be ecstatic to grab him and start him as soon as possible.
Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech
The first thing that you notice about Marcus Davis are his measurables. He's 6'3", 230 pounds, and runs a 4.47 40-yard dash. He's big, he's long and he's got more speed than you think. Unfortunately, he's raw and inexperienced and could take a while to develop.
But if he does develop, he could become a late-round steal. As of right now, Davis probably projects as a seventh-round pick, although some teams might be drawn in by his size and potential. If the Redskins pick him up, he could be a very good addition to a solid wide receiver corps, further solidifying a position of need.
If Davis falls to the seventh round, there's no reason not to pick him up. He might not be polished but his potential is enormous and he could become a second option within a few years. He'll need to study a bit behind Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss, but when he is ready, he'll make an immediate impact.
It's all about whether or not Allen wants to pull the trigger on such a raw talent.
Brennan Williams, OT, UNC
He has some injury issues and isn't a surefire prospect, but Brennan Williams could turn into a very good depth pick if he's available in the third or fourth round. UNC has the tendency to put out some great players in the trenches, and you can bet Williams will be looking to become the next big man to come from Chapel Hill.
Williams isn't the most athletic lineman, but he's massive. At 6'7" and 315 pounds, few can match his sheer size. He also has very good work ethic, climbing the depth chart at UNC and eventually making 22 starts in his career. As far as realistic picks go, he is definitely on the list. He'll probably be available late in the third round for the Redskins to snag, and he could become a very good player at the next level.
Obviously, he still has a lot to iron out. But he showed in college that he has a great motor and the ability to make all the blocks necessary to succeed in the NFL. If the Redskins want to make sure they solidify their front five, Williams could be a good value pick on day two or three.