Grading the Washington Redskins' 2013 Draft

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Grading the Washington Redskins' 2013 Draft
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

"They" say it takes two, three or more years to properly assess a team's draft class. But we aren't patient. We were already issuing grades just hours after the Washington Redskins and their 31 NFL counterparts made their picks last April. Now that one season is in the books, we're ready to reassess things in regard to the seven players the Redskins suited up as drafted rookies in 2013. 

 

Round 2, pick 51: David Amerson (CB, North Carolina State)

Amerson wasn't necessarily a bad pick, but we had to know he wasn't ready to take regular NFL snaps based on how often he was torn apart in coverage during his final season in the ACC in 2012. But because Washington's secondary was paper-thin, Amerson had to play quite a lot, and he was torched on several occasions, especially by Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, Philip Rivers and Nick Foles

Most yards allowed per cover snap, 2013
Cornerback Yards/cover snap PFF grade
1. Marcus Cooper 1.95 -3.8
2. Chris Houston 1.93 -8.1
3. Shareece Wright 1.82 -13.5
4. Dee Milliner 1.75 -2.6
5. Ike Taylor 1.70 -8.4
6. Brandon Flowers 1.70 -5.9
7. David Amerson 1.60 -5.5
8. Josh Wilson 1.59 -4.2
9. Lardarius Webb 1.59 7.3
10. Darius Butler 1.53 -1.4

Pro Football Focus (min. 400 snaps)

Amerson has big-time playmaking ability and was supposed to be a bit of a project, so we're not giving up on him yet. He filled a need, which was key, but the 'Skins were really desperate for wide receiver help in 2013 and they could have had Keenan Allen or Terrance Williams here. Hindsight is on our side now, but that's something to think about. 

GRADE: C+

 

Round 3, pick 85: Jordan Reed (TE, Florida)

By the time we reached November, it was looking as though Reed might have been the steal of the draft. That might still be the case, but a Week 11 concussion ended his 2013 campaign before he was able to make a run at some rookie tight end records. 

Reed still managed to catch 45 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns in only nine games and four starts. He was Robert Griffin III's safety valve almost from the get-go, which is very encouraging entering 2014. 

Most productive rookie tight ends, 2013
Tight end Yards/game Rec/game TD/game
1. Jordan Reed 55.4 5.0 0.3
2. Tim Wright 35.7 3.4 0.3
3. Tyler Eifert 29.7 2.6 0.1
4. Zach Ertz 29.3 2.3 0.3
5. Mychal Rivera 25.4 2.4 0.3

Pro Football Reference

It's amazing how quickly the 23-year-old made Fred Davis expendable. Look for Reed to become a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end very soon. 

GRADE: A+

 

Round 4, pick 119: Phillip Thomas (S, Fresno State)

This was my favorite pick of Washington's 2013 draft. The unanimous first-team All-American was supposed to be a second- or third-round pick, but he dropped to the 'Skins in Round 4, and I thought he'd be a reliable starter by the end of his first season. 

But then a foot injury suffered in his first preseason game cost the 24-year-old his entire rookie season. Should the Redskins have seen any red flags? Not really. Thomas missed the entire 2011 season at Fresno State after suffering a brutal leg injury, but that was freakish. Aside from that, he didn't have a dangerous injury history. 

GRADE: N/A

 

Which later-round pick has the best chance to cut it?

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Round 5, pick 154: Chris Thompson (RB, Florida State)

He was active for only four games as a special-teamer and couldn't do much of anything on a combined 15 punt and kick returns before losing those jobs to Josh Morgan, Santana Moss and Niles Paul.

Thompson was never able to see the field as a running back because he was beat out by Alfred Morris, Roy Helu and Evan Royster in the preseason, during which he averaged a measly 3.5 yards per carry. 

I wouldn't be surprised if the 23-year-old failed to make the final roster in 2014.

GRADE: D

 

Round 5, pick 162: Brandon Jenkins (OLB, Florida State)

It's not easy getting reps behind Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, which is why Jenkins was on the field for only 41 defensive snaps in 2013. That could change next year if Orakpo leaves as a free agent, but we don't have enough of a sample size to draw conclusions regarding how that might go. 

I'll just say that it's not a great sign that guys like Rob Jackson and Darryl Tapp were getting preferential treatment. Throw in that Jenkins couldn't do anything to help on special teams and, right now, this is a bad pick.

GRADE: D+

 

Round 6, pick 191: Bacarri Rambo (S, Georgia)

During the offseason and training camp, it was looking like Rambo might have been the steal of the draft. The guy was making plays and impressing coaches and fans, so much so that he found himself in the starting lineup in Week 1. 

But it was all downhill from there. 

The 23-year-old did have a sack in that opener against Philadelphia, but he also missed four tackles and was responsible for two touchdowns in coverage during the first two weeks of the season, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He didn't play another snap until Week 8 and didn't get back into the starting lineup until injuries forced the issue in Week 14. 

Rambo's tackling never improved, he never made any big plays and he was close to useless on special teams. Don't be surprised if Rambo isn't a Redskin by the team the 2014 regular season arrives. 

GRADE: D

 

Round 7, pick 228: Jawan Jamison (RB, Rutgers)

After averaging 3.4 yards per carry during the preseason, Jamison spent the majority of the year on the practice squad before being promoted in light of Evan Royster's injury in December. However, he was never active and still hasn't suited up for an NFL game.

The fact that Jamison managed to stick around as a seventh-round pick helps his grade, but there are no expectations going forward.

Still, why take another running back in this spot? Didn't you have enough?

GRADE: C-

 

This would be looking like a terrible draft if it wasn't for Reed. He could become a star, though, and I wouldn't give up on Amerson or Thomas. Plus, let's keep in mind that their first-round pick was technically/partially used on franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III. That has to count for something. 

OVERALL GRADE: C+

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