Jamar Taylor would have been a safe pick.
There can’t be too many regrets about the way the Washington Redskins approached free agency and the draft this year. With the cap penalty still impacting everything, Mike Shanahan and the front office needed to make shrewd decisions that would benefit both the present and future of the team. They did that, but players inevitably slipped through who could have made good contributions.
Read on to find out which players could make a great impact in 2013—just not in Washington.
Jamar Taylor fell due to a kidney problem, but the Dolphins took a chance on him.
A kidney problem allegedly caused Jamar Taylor to fall to the Miami Dolphins in the second round (via ThePhinsider.com). Before the draft, he was widely regarded as a first-round pick and a player with the skill set to be a Week 1 starter.
Of course, the Redskins selected David Amerson with the intention of bolstering the secondary with a player capable of multiple interceptions. If Amerson works out, no one will miss Taylor. However, Amerson’s 2012 season saw a big regression and the feeling is that he still has a lot to learn.
Early reports of Amerson are promising, but Taylor would have been a safer pick. Taylor shows a lot of patience as the play develops, remaining with his assignment and putting himself in the best position to make a play on the ball.
Amerson could seemingly do no wrong in 2011, but the following season he gambled too much and was regularly burned for big gains. The Redskins’ corners have had a similar problem, so picking up Amerson was always going to be a risk.
Jordan Poyer fell to the seventh round and could turn out to be the biggest steal of the draft.
Jordan Poyer was expected to go before the end of the second day, but instead slipped down to the seventh round. The Redskins took two running backs in this year’s draft and could have easily swapped one for a second corner, fulfilling a bigger need in the process.
Poyer has a great short-area burst, getting to the ball quickly and recognizing plays extremely well. He is a player who gives up very few big plays and is quick to read the quarterback and diagnose his intent before the throw is made.
Although he isn’t the strongest of corners, he’s tough in coverage and never gives up on a play. He excelled as a returner at Oregon State, which is a position where the Redskins could be deficient in 2013. Even with the selection of Amerson and Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall on the roster, Poyer had value on special teams, especially given how far he fell.
Given that he was ultimately drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, he’ll have two chances every year to make his mark against the Redskins. He may yet make them pay.
Chris Harper would've been an ideal pickup for the Redskins.
Of all the receivers in the 2013 draft, Chris Harper was the one who made the most sense for the Redskins. A big receiver who has the strength to fight off cornerbacks in the air, make the catch and protect the ball on the way down, he could have been a genuine red-zone threat in Washington for years to come.
Instead, however, he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round, just four picks after the Redskins selected Phillip Thomas. Picking Thomas was the right choice for Washington, but Harper was a prospect Shanahan could have really used this year.
Although the Seahawks already have Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate, Harper could yet find his way to the field. At K-State, he picked up key first downs and was a reliable target for Collin Klein. He runs good routes and has a good initial burst of acceleration that enables him to get separation.
Both Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III could have done a lot with a receiver like Harper, while Kyle Shanahan could have dreamed up some plays that made good use of his size and created mismatches across the field.