2008 NFL Draft Review: Washington Redskins, Day 1
Ok, so you "freaked out" when the Redskins selected a tight end, USC's Fred Davis. And then absolutely "flipped your lid" when they selected a second WR, Oklahoma's Malcom Kelly. As many Redskins fans blogged about how bad the Redskins President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato and owner Daniel Snyder had screwed up the 2008 draft, I tried to understand what they were doing. And I think I do.
As incredible as it is, the Redskins actually made some pretty good decisions on Day 1 of the draft. What? You say. The made selections based on a simple enough theory that is really quite sound. They selected the best players available with each opportunity they had. One can argue that perhaps they simply should have selected Celmson's DE Phillip Merling with the 21st selection rather than making the trade with the Atlanta Falcons. However, when your team has so many holes to fill, none of which would be properly considered "dire", the opportunity to acquire aditional quallity talent must be taken.
We must keep in mind that the Redskins signed Reche Caldwell and longtime veteran Keenan McKardell two weeks prior and 2 weeks after the start of the season respectively last year. And the Redskins still didn't have a wideout with touchdown until James Thrash would catch two in week 13. The Redskins finished the 2007 regular season with a total of 18 passing touchdowns. Only seven to wide receivers. Not good numbers. The Redskins needed youth, and talent at wide receiver. They got 2 legitimate first rounders in Devin Thomas and Malcom Kelly.
How about tight end? you say. Simple, Pro-Bowler Chis Cooley caught 8 touchdowns in 2007, with 66 receptions for 786 yards. The next tight end, Todd Yoder, caught SEVEN passes, that's right, SEVEN, with only one touchdown. Do you think the defense knew what the Redskins were going to do when Yoder entered the game? In order for an offense to be truly dynamic, they must be able to mix up thier personel groupings such that the defense cannot get a read on what they intend to do just based on who is on the field. Redskins' quarterback Jason Campbell must be licking his chops thinking of all the weapons he has now. And so am I.
So I give the Redskins only a B- for day 1. Not because they did a poor job in the draft, but because things didn't go exactly as they had hoped. When the Miami Dolphins selected Phillip Merling(DE from Clemson) the draft falling together perfectly was no longer an option. Ideally, Merling would have still been on the board when the Redskins selected in the second round, enabling them to a get solid defensive end, and a top rated WR in the second. But it didn't work out that way. So the Redskins made the best of it.
Redskins fans rejoice, this is a new era in Redskins football. Hopefully, two or three years from now, we can all look back at this draft, and say this was the beginning of a long run of intelligent drafts that rebuilt our football team with high quality, high VALUE talent from the draft.
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