It’ll take a wide-angle lens to take the class picture for the Redskins’ 2008 draft.
Ten new players were selected Saturday and Sunday. That ties for the most players drafted by the Redskins since they started the seven-round draft in 1994. They also took 10 players in 2002.
As the ’02 draft indicates, a lot of picks doesn’t always mean that you better your team considerably. From that haul, only Ladell Betts (second round, No. 56 overall) and Rock Cartwright (seventh, No. 257) still are with the team. Tight end Robert Royal (fifth, No. 260) and quarterback Patrick Ramsey (first, No. 32) are still on NFL rosters. A few others may be bouncing around trying to catch on but the most are moving on with their post-football lives.
The hopes for the current crop are much higher.
It’s easy to see the top four picks—wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, tight end Fred Davis and guard Chad Rinehart—still contributing with the Redskins or elsewhere in 2014. In addition to those four, sixth-round pick Durant Brooks could make a string of appearances in Hawaii as the Pro Bowl punter.
Thomas and Kelly will have the perfect opportunity to work themselves into the lineup. Moss and Randle El will start and the two rookies will get a healthy but not overwhelming workload.
Davis will be able to work in situations where he can be successful as well. Rinehart will have a year to learn under Joe Bugel and then step in to the starting left guard spot when Pete Kendall is gone in 2009.
As for the rest, time will tell. Cornerback Justin Tyron is not lacking for confidence. How can you not like a fourth-round pick who says, "I bring wisdom to the game. I bring heart to the game. I was made for this. I was made to play football. I was made for this...This is all I can do."
If his game is anything like his talk, he’ll be a nice surprise. He will compete with Leigh Torrence for time as a nickel and dimeback.
Colt Brennan is who he is—a developmental quarterback. All of the records he set at Hawaii combined with five bucks will get him a latte at the Ashburn Starbucks.
His sidearm delivery doesn’t need tinkering, it needs an overhaul. He certainly was overmatched against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, but so was the entire Hawaii squad. One quarterback, no matter how good he is, is good enough to lift his team to the level of an SEC team that had a legitimate argument that it should be playing for the national title.
He could develop into a solid backup quarterback in a couple of years or the Redskins might have to find another Todd Collins.
The chances of Kareem Moore, Rob Jackson, and Christopher Horton making the team or sticking with the practice squad depend largely on their special teams abilities.
My favorite pick was Rinehart. The scouting reports talked about his mean streak and his aggressiveness. He was taken with the compensatory pick awarded for the loss of Derrick Dockery in 2007. Dockery had the size and athletic ability, but he played timidly, even soft at times. If Rinehart lives up to his nasty billing he’ll be an excellent replacement.
I like the Brooks pick as well. This offense will struggle at times while learning a new system and working the rookies into the mix and you can’t rely on a fortuitous roll to get you out of the hole. Brooks can both boom the ball and place it inside the 10.
You do have to wait three years to get a good handle on how successful a given draft was but we’ll have some kind of idea in late August when the 53-man roster is finalized. If at least seven or eight of these guys are still around that will be a good start.