Washington Redskins: Complete Redskins 2011 NFL Draft Report and Predictions
Recently, the Redskins have been consistent with their “Quantity over Quality” mantra.
They have the largest quantity of:
Seats in their stadium.
Coaching changes in the NFC east since Dan Snyder took over as owner (seven).
Money paid to undeserving free agents.
Relinquished draft picks due to ill-advised trades.
In terms of quantity, they are once again leaders, this time in terms of their draft class size with 12 draftees. This is certainly an aberration from previous years, and many say a welcome one. But will this be another example of the Redskins being champions of quantity, or will quality be the theme of the 2011 draft class pedigree?
Here are my predictions for first year performance and whether or not they will make the team for each of the Redskins draft picks, aka The Dirty Dozen.
Round 1, Pick 16: Ryan Kerrigan-DE, Purdue
The Redskins are under pressure to find their next quarterback of the future but decided that pressuring the quarterback was more important and drafted Purdue’s DE Ryan Kerrigan with the intention of making him an outside linebacker. He and Brian Orakpo should ruffle a few quarterback feathers.
Unfortunately, I don’t see Kerrigan adjusting to the system until at least his second year in the league. Let’s just hope that the Jacksonville Jaguars' (who traded up with the Redskins for the 10th pick) new quarterback Blaine Gabbert ends up being a royal bust so that we don’t have to be exposed to years of pundits talking about yet another bad Redskins draft day decision. Intangibles and relentless competitiveness will eventually make Kerrigan worthwhile as the Redskins top pick.
Predictions-Will start his first year, but record statistics along the lines of five sacks 30 tackles and most importantly, zero drama.
Round 2, Pick 41: Jarvis Jenkins-DE, Clemson
Another Redskins pick with the JJ initials. Will he go the direction of former Pro Bowl Hog Joe Jacoby (undrafted) in terms of success, or will he be built more in the mold of the disappointing Jeremy Jarmon (seven tackles and half a sack after two years in the league)? If the Redskins hadn’t released former tackle Jon Jansen, they would have more J’s than a Dirk Nowitzki playoff performance.
Speaking of which, is JJ Barrea available? That guy goes to the hoop like Shaq goes to the injured reserve list.
Predictions- Low sack totals resulted in Jenkins not gaining the attention he deserved, but he has three things going for him: his quickness/athleticness, run stopping ability and his last name isn’t Haynesworth.
Round 3, Pick 79, Leonard Hankerson-WR, Miami
Recent Redskins receiver draft picks have really been an example of the organization dropping the ball, which, incidentally, is what Hankerson was most notorious for at Miami. Let’s all just hope that the team keeps the Rod Gardner tapes locked away tightly. Will Hankerson’s name end up in the pot of ineptitude along with recent receiver draft busts Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Taylor Jacobs? Many hopeful fans trust the new regime to correct past mistakes, especially regarding the draft. But moves such as treating former starting quarterback Donovan McNabb to a large contract extension mere weeks before benching him point to the notion that little has changed.
Predictions- Hankerson’s size (6'3", 210) and speed help him make a few big plays, and he ends up with four TD’s and just over 300 yards receiving. Forms an unlikely bond with backup center Casey Rabach.
Round 4, Pick 105, Roy Helu-RB, Nebraska
One scouting report from Scott Wright's draft countdown describes Helu as “not very physical, tough or powerful with a tendency to go down easy and not fight for extra yards.” If the team is looking for someone to impersonate Clinton Portis in his last season, then they have found their man.
Predictions- Because of his ability to turn the corner and break off big runs, as well as his NFL size and decent speed, he will make the team as the third running back behind Ryan Torrain and Keiland Williams (possibly). The numbers will look something like 50 carries for 220 yards and three TDs.
Round 5, Pick 146, Dejon Gomes-S, Nebraska
Dejon “Mustard” Gomes (as I affectionately refer to him as) will have to play ketchup if he wants to transition to playing inside in the Redskins 3-4 scheme. Gomes will need to pick up some special teams skills, but aside from the established Laron Landry, there is room to move up the safety ranks quickly and become a starter.
Predictions- Is starting at Safety by the end of the year and will carry his reputation as a turnover machine into the NFL with three interceptions. Despite considerable effort, will not quite master The Safety Dance.
Round 5, Pick 155, Niles Paul-WR, Nebraska
Paul was really just drafted because he was friends with the other two Nebraska players who like him because he “knows how to party." This could have lead to Paul’s inconsistent performance on the field and to his drop all the way down to the fifth round when he had shown flashes of first round brilliance.
Paul has soft hands, but this could have been reported by his girlfriend. His height and athletic ability alone should earn him a roster position. Nebraskans may equate the chance the Redskins took on Paul to running backwards through a cornfield naked.
Predictions- Makes the team despite previous character issues involving drunken driving, charges of possession of alcohol as a minor and urinating in public. Success will be due to his duel-threat ability to not only catch passes but to return kicks. One kick return touchdown.
Round 6, Pick 177, Evan Royster-RB, Penn State
Royster achieved national prominence while playing for Penn State but fell to the sixth ound due to his lack of speed. He does have an ability to gain yards, as evidenced by his position at the top of Penn State’s all-time leading rushing list. This may be due to Penn State’s O-Line and system, but it may also be due to Royster’s quick feet and vision, but I would be more inclined to agree with the former.
Coach Mike Shanahan reportedly told Royster that he reminded him of Denver Broncos great Terrell Davis. If he was talking about Davis after his injury, then I would agree. Although there was plenty of RB success to go around during Shanahan’s Denver days, many are still weary of his judgment after the whole Maurice Clarett drafting disaster.
In terms of yards per carry, Royster’s last two seasons were actually a statistical decline from his sophomore year.
Furthermore, I don’t believe that there have ever been any successful running-backs named Evan. Lacrosse players? Yes. Running Backs? Unheard of.
Predictions- Simply put, Royster doesn’t have enough speed to make it in the NFL. A native of nearby Chantilly, Virginia, it will be a shame to see Royster go the path of recent local running-back standout Marcus Mason when he gets released.
Round 6, Pick 178, Aldrick Robinson-WR, SMU
Blazing speed and the ability to get into the end zone describe sixth round pick Robinson. Checking in at 5’10” and 184 pounds, he could at least do appearances for Santana Moss if he can’t end up playing like him.
Predictions- Signed to the practice squad and picked up by the team halfway through the year when injuries start setting in.
Round 7, Pick 213, Brandyn Thompson-CB, Boise State
Let’s hope that the spelling of his name isn’t the only thing we remember about this seventh round selection who comes in with one of the most oddly spelled names since Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway. He does have special team experience, which may help him make the team. What he lacks in size and strength he makes up for in speed.
Predictions- He will make the practice squad.
Round 7, Pick 217, Maurice Hurt-G, Florida
Maurice Hurt? No, he is doing fine; he just may not make the team because of his inability to protect the quarterback from NFL pass rushers. On that note, I noticed the Redskins drafted as if their offensive line is not even an issue. I’m not sure what O-line the team’s draft gurus were looking at, but the one I saw last year ranked an abysmal 30th out of 32 teams in rushing yards gained and 28th out of 32 teams in sacks allowed. Get ready, O-line free-agents; here come those famous Redskin checkbooks.
With the necessity for O-line help in mind, will a knee injury in 2010 have any long-term effect lingering effects on Hurt’s performance?
Predictions- Quickness and technique are poor, but his size and power will give him a good shot to make the team as a reserve on the Redskins’ notoriously thin offensive line.
Round 7, Pick 224, Markus White-DE, Florida State
A seventh round pick with the heart of a fifth rounder, this pass-rushing specialist had a senior year full of career highs, including sacks (8.5) and tackles (58). He will be forced to convert to outside linebacker like other DE’s in the 2011 draft.
Predictions- Suffers from seizures but will be giving other teams fits when he makes the team and posts solid numbers (for a seventh rounder) of four sacks and 20 tackles during his first year. I am going to go ahead and dub him the sleeper pick of the Dirty Dozen draft class.
Round 7, Pick 253, Christopher Neild-DT, West Virginia
The chance of a player drafted 253rd achieving real, prolonged success in the NFL are about as good as making it through the entire night watching TV without seeing an ad for Mesothelioma. By comparison, Houston Texans wide-out David Anderson was drafted 251st overall in the 2006 NFL draft and amassed over 800 yards...in five seasons. And to think that he is considered one of the successful ones.
If the Redskins ever need any couches burned, Neild and his West Virginia pedigree may be of some use (sorry if that insults any West Virginians, but I have seen it multiple times first hand, and we're talking nice leather couches; not just the ones you see torn apart with plentiful cat-scratch damage on the side of the road).
Predictions- Cut faster than onion in an infomercial.