With a lockout resolution on the horizon, it is that time once again to unleash the never ending rookie speculation. Because we are all experts before the season it's our job to make predictions now and excuses later.
Who will be this years late round fantasy sleeper? Who's rookie card will shoot up in value?
Most importantly who will standout and help Washington's transition from NFC East whipping boys to becoming a formidable foe?
Here we go through each of this years draft picks and breakdown the potential impact they will have.
1st round draft choice Ryan Kerrigan will win this year’s award for drawing the most comparisons to Green Bay’s Clay Matthews Jr.
Kerrigan will most likely start right away for a Redskins defense that needs help at virtually every position.
Deemed to be one of the most “NFL ready” prospects in this years draft, he will earn his fare share of sacks but look for him to struggle in coverage situations, as so may rookie linebackers do.
There will be a learning curve with Kerrigan as well. The 3-4 defense is no small undertaking and the lockout has already set him back.
Unfortunately, like so many Redskins rookies as of late, the expectations on Kerrigan are much higher than he will be able to deliver in 2011.
Jarvis Jenkins was drafted to do two things. Stop the run and clog up the middle to free up linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.
He is no guarantee to start off the bat as the Redskins may delve into free agency to help the defensive line.
Jenkins' goal is to take up as much space as possible. He will initially be used in short yardage situations and hopes to factor in as a starter by the end of the season.
If he can do that, consider this pick a success.
Hankerson was the 8th Reciever taken in the draft. The Redskins 3rd round pick could be the steal of the year.
The designation for Hankerson is to do what Malcolm Kelly has not been able to. Mostly stay healthy and be that big receiving threat in the red zone.
A successful campaign for Hankerson will be 5 touchdowns and 30 receptions. He may be able to move up to third on the depth chart by the end of the season.
Let there be no doubt however, Hankerson was drafted to be a No. 1.
He hopes not to follow in the wake of drafted recievers who didn't quite pan out. See Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Desmond Howard, Michael Westbrook, and Rod Gardner.
Fantasy Alert! Helu could be a sleeper as a late round find. The Redskins only have one proven running back with Ryan Torain who has had durability issues throughout his career.
Helu has a good combination of size and speed and the potential to split carries with Torain or emerge as the third down back from the get go. 700 yards and 5 touchdowns would not be far fetched especially in the Shanahan zone blocking offense.
If he has a tough time adjusting to the pro style offense, look for him to return kickoffs while he builds his confidence.
The 2nd Cornhusker taken by Washington in the draft is a bit of a mystery.
He was a late bloomer in college but emerged as the anchor of Nebraska’s secondary his senior year.
He will most likely make the squad as a reserve safety and special teamer. He could emerge as a starter somewhere down the line but the Redskins are set at the safety position.
Don’t expect to see much of Gomes. He was chosen to add depth as he looks to unseat reserve Chris Horton or the possible departing of Reed Doughty.
Yet another Cornhusker comes to Washington. Paul’s stock fell as he was unable to impress through his combine numbers.
He projects to be a possession style reciever but his best chance to make the Redskins is as a kickoff or punt returner. Look for Paul to compete with the speedy Brandon Banks.
Banks is electric as a returner but his size and an offseason night club incident that put him in the hospital for two weeks with a knife wound are working against him.
If Paul cannot take Banks’ job, he will teeter between a 5th or 6th reciever and the practice squad.
Royster appears to be proof that Washington learned their lesson from last year. The Redskins signed both Willie Parker and Larry Johnson but both were eventually cut. Royster is a younger and cheaper alternative.
Royster’s biggest competition will be Kieland Williams. The better special teamer will earn the roster spot with the loser possibly finding a place on the practice squad.
Barring injuries to Torain and Helu (which isn’t beyond possiblilty), Royster looks to have a quiet rookie campaign.
He was once projected to go much higher in the draft but a bad time in the 40 yard dash had many questioning that he could be anything more than a reserve at the next level.
Robinson most resembles a late round version of Santana Moss. Many see him as having the potential to turn some heads early.
He was known as a big play guy in college and that no doubt is what got him drafted. In the NFL he will need to learn how to separate from pro level corners.
His success is a coin flip at this point as he will be competing with veterans Terrance Austin and Malcolm Kelly to make the team.
He will be a fun guy to root for come training camp. He fares to be a reserve or practice squad player.
The first of four 7th round draft picks by Washington, Thompson hopes to provide depth at cornerback which is an area of need.
He has opportunity going for him but does not have the physical tools necessary to be a contributor right now.
His best chance for a roster spot will be on special teams and its likely that’s what the Redskins had in mind when they drafted him.
The good news for Hurt is that Washington is thin at Guard and the position was routinely under scrutiny in 2010. The opportunity is there for the taking.
Many considered the offensive line to be Washington’s biggest need. As the sole offensive lineman selected by the Redskins, Hurt must feel they have a lot of confidence in him. That could spur him to a roster spot or overwhelm him into failure. That makes Hurt an easy player to root for.
White hopes to make the Redskins roster as a run stopping end. Don’t expect him to provide pressure on the quarterback or impress you with his size. He lacks the speed to be able to provide depth at linebacker.
He could contribute his first year in short yardage situations. On a defense that was amongst the leagues worst last year, White has a solid chance of making the team.
Neild was drafted one pick away from being “Mr. Irrelevant”. He is however an experienced space eater and line pusher that the Redskins are looking for.
Washington hopes he is able to provide depth at Nose Tackle in the 3-4.
His athleticism is a question mark hence the late round pick. Best case scenario is he finds himself as a reserve down lineman.