With seven picks in the upcoming NFL Draft and plenty of positions to address, the Washington Redskins will head into April with the idea of "value" in mind. Without a pick in the top 50, this year's process will be a good test for the team's front office and it certainly won't be easy.
Although it's impossible to predict the strategy that head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen will use going into the draft, there are plenty of college prospects who should at least be on their radar.
The Washington Redskins 2013 NFL Draft Radar is a series of articles that helps you get familiar with prospects that would fit in Washington. Check back often for new scouting reports and info.
Name: Jonathan Cyprien
School: Florida International
Height: 6'0 1/4"
Weight: 209 lbs
Arm: 30 1/2"
Hand: 10 1/8"
Wingspan: 76 5/8"
Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien was one of the biggest standouts at the 2013 Senior Bowl practices and should experience some rising draft stock as April draws near. There may be plenty of other names swirling around at the safety position, but Cyprien is easily the best one you’ve probably never heard of.
At 6’0″, 209 pounds, Cyprien is a physical safety who can do it all from potentially either spot. He can come down and be very effective in the box with a violent style of play, while at the same time he can also drop back and make plays down the field. Cyprien recorded an interception in each of his first three seasons before capping last year off with three picks to end his college career.
Not only is Cyprien physical, but he is also aggressive, and fortunately that trait’s more of a gift than a curse. It can lead to bad angles from time to time, but not often. Cyprien understands his position on the field and has great form on his tackles, as he lowers his shoulders and uses his long arms to wrap up. He also gives off a sense of scrappiness since he appears to take a liking to tackling and being in on every snap.
Cyprien can take men off the line in coverage and regularly hang with tight ends in short space with an effective back pedal that allows him to keep his eyes on the quarterback. He can cover a wide range and his determination to get in on every play is the kind of secondary attitude could help the Redskins. Great agility and an understanding of the game make up Cyprien’s play recognition and pursuit of the football, as he regularly disrupts bubble screens and dump-offs.
Cyprien finished his college career with 33 starts, including seven in 2009 as a true freshman. He’s a product of North Miami Beach High School and was a preseason Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt player as a true freshman. He was named Blue Ribbon’s Sun Belt Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year as a senior last year and ended up earning unanimous preseason All-Sun Belt Conference First-Team honors from Athlon’s, Blue Ribbon, CBSSports.com, Lindy’s and Phil Steele.
The safety position is best played with high energy, intensity and plenty of confidence—all of which pour out of Cyprien on the football field.
The Redskins are in need of secondary help, both at the cornerback and safety positions. Fans are hopeful that 29-year-old Brandon Meriweather can return to full strength following his ACL injury last season, but he can't do it alone. Cyprien would be a nice pairing in the deep secondary and would have the chance to start right away for the Redskins.