The hard-hitting D.J. Swearinger is a first-rate talent and could find himself in Washington next season.
There will be no wild trades into the first round this year, no illogical moves to address skill positions—the Redskins are reigning NFC East champions and know that there are some very obvious positions of need that must be addressed if a repeat is in the cards. And as every Redskins fan knows: the biggest need in Washington is the safety position.
Luckily for Washington and its fans, the 2013 draft class is full of enticing options at safety, especially in the later rounds. There will be a few big decisions that Bruce Allen and company will have to make. There's really only one way to go on this one. Any of these three players could be the next player to suit up in burgundy and gold.
Tony Jefferson, Safety, Oklahoma
Jefferson could step in and fill an immediate need for the Redskins. He's a bit small, but has everything you look for in a first-rate starting safety. His instincts are superb and he's an instant upgrade over every single option on the roster.
Jefferson might require a little bit of time before he reaches his full potential but the fact is that he played well at a major Big 12 school and proved he had the ability to compete at the highest level of college athletics. He limits his mistakes—which should be music to Redskins fans' ears after the disaster that was Madieu Williams in 2012.
He's a free safety by trade, but has the ability to play corner as well. The only drawback is his size. He's small, but it would behoove prospective teams like the Redskins to overlook that. He has too many other enticing qualities not to take a chance on him.
David Amerson, Cornerback, N.C. State
The need for a cornerback lessened with the re-signing of DeAngelo Hall, but the Redskins could still go for a guy like Amerson. Why? Not only is he a turnover machine, many scouts project he could play the safety position in the NFL as well. There is a very good chance Amerson will be available at the 51st pick, and the Redskins should definitely give him a look.
The thing that scares prospective suitors is Amerson's spotty footwork and fundamentals. He's got all the talent in the world, but he's often too aggressive and doesn't have the makeup speed to recover if he gets beaten downfield. That said, he's much like Jefferson in that he'll need to develop. Once he does, it could be a sight to behold. Scouts compare him to a more physical Asante Samuel which would give the Redskins a new way to get the ball back for their developing offensive attack.
D.J. Swearinger, Safety, South Carolina
D.J. Swearinger is a popular pick by experts to end up with Washington, and he has rocketed up draft boards after a very good showing at the combine. Many people seem to believe he could be the second coming of Sean Taylor—and it may not be too crazy to suggest such a thing. Swearinger might be the hardest hitter in the entire draft and while he may never be the versatile monster that Taylor had become before his untimely passing, he's got all the tools to be a feared safety in the NFL.
Who do Redskins fans want the Redskins to select with their first pick?
Swearinger is a bit raw but he was a four-year starter at an SEC school and racked up 80 tackles in his senior year, a season when he also had to take some snaps at cornerback due to injuries at the position. There are some flaws in his game, most notably his tendency to be overaggressive, something he'll have to work on to avoid being exploited by quarterbacks around the league.
The other potential negative stems from his upside as a big hitter: he has a bad habit of leaving his feet when making a tackle and will no doubt draw a few fines and suspensions over the course of his career. But for a player at pick No. 51, Swearinger would be a stud. The Redskins would love to have him.