The Washington Redskins used their seven draft picks over the weekend to fill needs on both sides of the ball.
Most seemed critical of head coach Mike Shanahan and the front office for what seemed to be a lack of glamour and flash.
But at the end of the three days, the Redskins came away with a nice overall haul of athleticism and play-making ability, albeit a group in need of solid coaching and polish.
The Redskins went with N.C. State cornerback David Amerson in the second round, Florida tight end Jordan Reed in the third, Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas in the fourth, Florida State running back Chris Thompson and Florida State linebacker Brandon Jenkins in the fifth, Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo in the sixth and Rutgers running back Jawan Jamison in the final round.
The following is a collective report of Redskins' draft grades from around the web, including posted analysis from experts like Mel Kiper Jr. and Mike Mayock.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld comes off a bit hurtful in his analysis of the Redskins' weekend, but it's hard to disagree with him:
GM Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan's draft focus was on ballhawks, and they came away with three. But Rambo and Thomas can't tackle and Amerson got beat deep more than any cornerback in college football last season.
Both running back picks are potential throwaways. Thompson broke his back in 2011 and tore his ACL in 2012, and Jamison doesn't do anything well.
Washington drafted a slew of big names and added productive collegiates, but I'm not sure they got more than one or two productive NFL starters.
While I wouldn't call Jawan Jamison and Chris Thompson "throwaways", Silva is careful to describe that as a potential scenario, in which case, we can't disagree.
Thompson was brought in for his speed and home run ability—a wrinkle the Redskins need in their offense—but he also comes with an ugly injury history.
As for their secondary additions, the Redskins apparently weren't after intimidators. They wanted guys who can generate turnovers and help flip the field. In that facet, they succeeded with good value.
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. admitted the Redskins took care of some needs, giving them a B+ grade for the category, but the value at which they received wasn't ideal:
In terms of hitting needs, this was just OK. They need help all over the secondary, and David Amerson was a slight reach for me in Round 2, but at least offers depth. He was exceptional in 2011, but had some ugly games in 2012, so if he cleans up his play they get a good player.
Kiper wasn't as harsh regarding Phillip Thomas as Evan Silva was, adding:
Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo offer depth at safety, with Thomas close to being ready to start. I wouldn't be surprised if he does.
Chris Thompson could be yet another good late-round RB story for Mike Shanahan. But he'll need to stay on the field.
Brandon Jenkins is an interesting guy because if he's 100 percent he's a really good pass-rusher.
I have to agree with Kiper in seeing the upside that comes along with injury risks like Chris Thompson and Brandon Jenkins.
When healthy, each of these guys add a lot at their respective positions and the Redskins could use help in both areas.
I also have to agree with Kiper regarding Phillip Thomas and his chance to start as a rookie this season. Depending on how the secondary shapes up through camp, Thomas would add athleticism and ball skills to the deep half.
CBS NFL columnist Pete Prisco and Jason Chilton of Barking Carnival teamed up to grade the Redskins' pick by round, giving them grades for each individual draft selection.
Using a weighted method, I determined the rather generous B+ grade from CBS Sports.
Like Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN, Chilton seemed optimistic regarding Phillip Thomas and his future with the Redskins.
"A rangy safety who flashes some Cover-2 potential as well as the ability to drop down on slot receivers," Chilton said. "He'll need some polish but steps into a very unsettled safety corps in Washington."
Prisco said of David Amerson, "The Redskins need help in the secondary and this guy can play either corner or safety."
Chilton describes Bacarri Rambo as "an athletic safety who has dropped due to some inconsistent play as well as dubious off-field moments. If he has his head on straight and can improve the angles he takes to the ball, he could stick in an unspectacular Redskins' safety corps."
Chilton adds, "Late-round Shanahan's back. We all know how this goes at this point," talking about running back Jawan Jamison.
Not too bad from the guys at CBS. Neither Prisco nor Chilton seem to have any concern regarding the injury history of the Redskins' fifth-round selections, and they're much higher on the safety prospects than Evan Silva.
I agree with him, especially with his outlook of Bacarri Rambo. Although I didn't rate Rambo as highly as others, I thought he carried tremendous value in the sixth round.
He may not be a guy who physically imposes his will in the back half, but Rambo is an effective centerfielder with a nose for the football and a knack for creating turnovers.
Because the NFL grades the draft and each team's selection a little different than other sites, I found the average grade (weighted) to determine a rounded result.
According to the site's player grading scale, the Redskins didn't draft any immediate starters.
However, they did land four eventual starters in David Amerson, Jordan Reed, Brandon Jenkins and Jawan Jamison, with Jenkins graded the highest at 82.9.
According to NFL.com draft expert Mike Mayock, David Amerson comes with a wide spectrum.
"They're beat up on the back, and this kid's a first-year talent. He's a boom-or-bust candidate."
As for Phillip Thomas, Mayock said, "That is a great pick for the Redskins at this point in the draft. One of the best free safety ball hogs. Heavy production. This kid has an opportunity to come in and start, and I think he will."
Mayock also spoke highly about the site's top-rated prospect of the Redskins' seven selections.
"This is a guy that at this point in the draft is value," he said about Jenkins. "Heavy production in the SEC as a pass-rush specialist. When you get in the sub package, this is a guy you can move around a little bit. He can really help you."
Mayock has a point with Amerson, who may be a boom or bust, but given his length, athleticism and speed at a position of need, it's a chance worth taking for the Redskins.
It's also interesting to see such high marks for a fifth-rounder like Brandon Jenkins, but they're warranted.
Before Jenkins decided to return to Florida State and eventually injure his foot, he was projected as a first-round draft pick. He's well-built with insane burst off the line and good speed around the corner to rush the passer, as long as he's healthy.
We can all assume Shanahan and the front office did their homework on Jenkins and his Lisfranc injury.
By far the harshest on the board, Sporting News didn't hold back any punches when grading the Redskins' draft, which they label as risky and lacking production:
The Redskins knew this might happen after trading for Robert Griffin III—a weak class with no first-rounder. NC State's David Amerson is a huge coverage risk in Round 2, Florida tight end Jordan Reed had a big lack of production for Round 3. They'll hang it all on Fresno State's Phillip Thomas becoming a starting free safety for them.
The site also includes some specific analysis on each prospect:
There were higher-rated running backs still available on our board, but the Redskins opt for (Chris) Thompson, who’s coming off a serious knee injury. He will battle for the No. 2 spot behind Alfred Morris.
The Redskins entered the draft looking to add more speed on offense, preferably at running back. They needed another dose in the run game—a change of pace—and a guy that could break a play wide-open.
It wasn't necessarily about finding Alfred Morris' backup. It was simply about adding a new feature to the offense.
Chris Thompson fits that mold perfectly.
( Sporting News )