Setting Expectations for Each Member of the Redskins' 2013 Draft Class
First of all, it’s difficult to judge or grade a draft now. Sure, some of these rookies were graded highly by Mel Kiper Jr. and other analysts, but how can we accurately assess a draft with each rookie having yet to play a single down in the NFL?
What we can look at now is their potential and where they fit in the Redskins' scheme. Where will David Amerson be playing this year? Is he on the outside as a corner? Is he playing the slot? Could he play free safety?
Additionally, Jordan Reed is the most intriguing prospect of the seven selections. Will the Redskins enter the 2013 season with four tight ends? Does this put Niles Paul’s job in jeopardy?
In fact, there’s a lot of questions that need to answered, and the frustrating part is that we can’t sufficiently answer them until the end of next year. However, we can put forth expectations.
That is what you will find below.
Round 2 (51st Overall): David Amerson
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
I would have loved the idea of David Amerson on the Redskins prior to his final season at North Carolina State.
Last year, Amerson was a hit-or-miss player, as he was often beat on double moves against opposing receivers.
However, what if the Redskins get the 2011 David Amerson, the same cornerback who led the nation in interceptions?
This was a high-risk/high-reward type of selection for Mike Shanahan. Amerson might not be able to contribute immediately, but given Amerson’s superior athleticism and speed, we’ll see him eventually.
Either way, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris is going to be busy with him. I would expect Jim Haslett and his defense to explore Amerson, thus testing him all throughout the secondary.
Round 3 (85th Overall): Jordan Reed
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Jordan Reed is still getting familiarized with the tight end position, so this is a big project for the Redskins.
When it comes to Kyle Shanahan’s offense, if you can’t block, you won’t play, and that’s where Reed needs to improve.
On the other hand, I envision the former Florida product being used all throughout the line of scrimmage. If the coaching staff continues to utilize the pistol formation, they can place Reed in an H-back role or even spread him out wide.
With three tight ends already on the roster, did the Redskins need to draft Jordan Reed? Absolutely not, but Mike Shanahan’s strategy here was taking the best available.
Even though Fred Davis was re-signed for another year, that still doesn’t give the Redskins a long-term answer at that position.
Niles Paul’s ability to play tight end remains in question, and Logan Paulsen is considered to be more of a blocking tight end.
Fred Davis is still on the roster, so I don’t expect Reed to substantially contribute in his rookie season. It will be in the years following that we will see if Mike Shanahan’s gamble paid off.
Round 4 (119th Overall): Phillip Thomas
Kevin Casey/Getty Images
I would have been fine with Phillip Thomas being selected in the second round. He’s a cerebral, playmaking free safety that could very well end up being the Redskins' starting free safety this season.
He’s at least going to be competing for that spot.
Phillip Thomas is not a bone-crunching safety, but in today’s NFL, that style of play is obviously prohibited. Therefore, a player of Thomas’ caliber can be highly successful.
If you couldn’t tell, this was my favorite selection.
Round 5 (154th Overall): Chris Thompson
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
I understand that YouTube can make anyone look good, but Chris Thompson’s highlights are pretty impressive.
Even with Alfred Morris, Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. on the roster, Thompson provides much-needed insurance for the running back corps.
Alfred Morris will clearly start the season as the offense’s No. 1 running back, but finding a back that features a skill set that complements Morris’ style is the smart thing to do.
Thompson is an elusive runner that has the ability to score on any play.
While I remain a big fan of Helu, he’s now been injured for more games than he’s been healthy for.
Round 5 (162nd Overall): Brandon Jenkins
Rob Jackson will be the first the reserve linebacker to see the field if either Brian Orakpo or Ryan Kerrigan get injured.
Aside from Rob Jackson, the Redskins struggled to find additional pass-rushers. Chris Wilson, Markus White and Lorenzo Alexander all were given shots to fulfill that outside linebacker role.
Rob Jackson is on a one-year deal, so Jenkins will have the opportunity to provide much-needed depth at that position and could eventually replace Jackson as a vital role player.
Round 6 (191st Overall): Bacarri Rambo
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
The Redskins front office got the former Georgia product in the sixth round, and he had been widely considered to be a early- to mid-round draft pick.
Rambo’s off-the-field concerns became the issue.
Even with a loaded secondary, selecting him in the sixth round was too much to pass up.
In some cases, late-round draft picks find themselves on the practice squad to begin with, but given Rambo’s potential, it’s hard to see him not used on special teams at the minimum.
Round 7 (228th Overall): Jawan Jamison
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Now, Jawan Jamison is someone I see on the practice squad. Then again, before last season, I thought Alfred Morris was, too.
Predicting Mike Shanahan’s plan at running back is hard. Both Jamison and Thompson will be getting a lot of carries in the preseason.
With two rookie running backs coming to the roster, where does that leave Evan Royster and Helu, though?