The Washington Redskins have long been looking for answers in the defensive backfield. Last year, they made some splashes in free agency by bringing in Madieu Williams, Brandon Meriweather, Cedric Griffin and Tanard Jackson. That didn't solve their problems, and so this year—with salary cap constraints playing a role—they turned to the NFL draft to address their issues in the secondary.
Three of their first six draft picks were spent on defensive backs, and all three of those rookies—North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson, Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas and Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo—started Washington's first preseason game Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.
Of course, that doesn't mean they'll all be in the starting lineup when the 'Skins host the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener on Sept. 9. In fact, that's impossible now that Thomas has gone down for the year with a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. Rambo entered the preseason with a good chance to earn a starting role, but Amerson still takes a back seat to DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, both of whom didn't play due to injury last Thursday.
Still, it looks as though they'll both be in the mix from the get-go, fighting for reps with guys like Hall, Wilson, Brandon Meriweather, free-agent pickup E.J. Biggers, second-year cover men Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield, second-year safety Jordan Pugh and veteran safeties Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes.