Monday, May 2, 2011

Your 2011 Washington Redskins Draft Class

Before I write about the picks let's look at the Skins draft board one last time:

#16 (1st) Ryan Kerrigan OLB, Purdue
#41 (2nd) Jarvis Jenkins DE/DT, Clemson
#79 (3rd) Leonard Hankerson WR, The U
#105 (4th) Roy Helu Jr. RB, Nebraska
#146 (5th) DeJon Gomes DB, Nebraska
#155 (5th) Niles Paul WR, Nebraska
#177 (6th) Evan Royster RB, Penn St.
#178 (6th) Aldrick Robinson WR, Southern Methodist
#213 (7th) Brandyn Thompson CB, Boise St.
#217 (7th) Maurice Hurt OG, Florida
#224 (7th) Markus White OLB/DE, Florida St.
#253 (7th) Chris Neild NT, West Virginia

Overall thoughts: The Redskins had needs almost at every position other than TE and S and I believe that with the number of picks they accumulated, they made some major upgrades at a few positions. The Redskins drafted more players than any other team in the draft. Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980 made a great point that the draft is a crap shoot and in the Redskins case the more opportunities to roll a 7 the better off you are. Like Sheehan has stated, if only 1/3 of the class pans out, the Skins end up with 4 significant contributors. Some have speculated that the Skins may have as many as 7 rookie starters coming from this class. I'm thinking there's a chance for maybe 5. The only negative views I've read from pundits and fans was that the Redskins didn't address the QB position and/or draft more offensive linemen. The Skins could have taken Blaine Gabbert at #10, but if the Redskins had doubts on the player or didn't feel that he could contribute in 2011 then why not wait for 2012. 2012's class may have 4 potential franchise QBs, with at least a few being day one starters. By trading down, the Skins were able to pick up 1-2 potential starters (Hankerson, Helu) and grab a bunch of other players who may be solid contributors in 2011 and beyond. To me it was the right move to trade back. I also believe that the Redskins stuck to their board and picked the best players available to fill needs. So while the Skins didn't draft much OL, at least we won't see another Chad Rinehart being selected too high (Ed. Note: Rinehart was selected in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft, most had him as a 5th-6th round selection).

What I also like is that the Redskins looked for hard working, blue collar, team players. Many of the players drafted were either team captains or played a leadership role on their respective teams. Mike Shanahan really is sending a message to the team. The days of the "I'm here to get paid" and "it's all about me" are over. I still am convinced that the Skins aren't there yet. Aren't close. It's going to take 1-2 more good drafts to start to solidify the roster and have the complete foundation. That said, the Redskins are on the right path and I urge the Redskins fan base to be patient for another 1-2 seasons; especially if the team struggles in 2011. As Redskin fans, we've been pretty patient for over a decade of mediocrity. Only Joe Gibbs could muster 2 playoff berths for this franchise (just going to show again why Gibbs is in the HOF, he did so much with so little help it's amazing). Mike Shanahan got this team that was even worse than when Gibbs took over but he's setting a tone and building a foundation. Stick with this team, they will be going places (emphasis aimed to Mr. Snyder) -- let's see what this franchise looks like in 2012 and 2013.

Now let's look at the new Redskins:


(Photo US Presswire via CBS Sports)

Click on his name to read about my take on him from a few days ago and some highlight videos. Kerrigan will be a great compliment to Brian Orakpo at OLB.

 Jarvis Jenkins DE/DT Clemson
(Photo via Bleacher Report)
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout
NFL DraftCountdown

Highlights:




My Thoughts: For the Redskins 3-4 to work I believe that the team must get better at RDE and NT. Jenkins could be a perfect fit for the Redskins. He has the height and size to be a 5 tech. DE but also has the bulk to occasionally play NT and 3 tech. DT  when the Skins move to their 4-3 packages. Also a special teams threat with the ability to block FGs. Jenkins becomes an instant week 1 starter.


Leonard Hankerson WR, Miami
(Photo via NFL Soup)
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout
NFL DraftCountdown
Walter Football

Highlights:
Hankerson at the Senior Bowl (skip to 1:38 mark)




My Thoughts: I've been keeping my eye on Hankerson ever since the Senior Bowl. I really didn't think that he'd get out of the 2nd round and the fact that Hankerson was drafted near the middle of the 3rd round amazes me. He should be an excellent possession WR who can use his size to get to balls the DB can't. Decent speed. I'm expecting him to be a week 1 starter or at worst a major contributor. Another talented WR coming out of the U.


Roy Helu Jr. RB, Nebraska
Analysis:
NFLDraftCountdown
NFLDraftScout

Highlights:




My Thoughts:
Ryan Torain had a good 2010 but injuries has been a constant problem. Helu provides another back that may be able to compliment both Torain and Keiland Williams. Mike Shanahan compares him to the Denver version of Clinton Portis. If that is the case, the Redskins may have gotten themselves a steal in the 4th round.


DeJon Gomes DB, Nebraska
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout

Highlights:


My Thoughts:
When I saw that the Redskins were taking another safety, I was a bit caught off guard by the move. But Gomes isn't just a safety. He's pretty versatile in that he's played safety, corner and even linebacker. He could be effective in a scheme where every player could be blitzing from every position. A solid tackler who should make the roster probably at special teams but will push other players to get on the field in nickle and dime situations.

Niles Paul WR, Nebraska
Analysis:
NFLDraftCountdown
NFLDraftScout

Highlights:




My Thoughts: A player with real good height, weight and speed, some believe that Paul has 1st round caliber talent. That said, inconsistency and 2 off field issues
may have been the cause for him to drop to the 5th round. Paul also has the ability to excel as a punt or kick returner. If Paul can become a consistent player he could be another steal made by the Skins in this draft.

Evan Royster RB, Penn St.
(Image via Nittany White Out)

Analysis:
NFLDraftScout

Highlights:




My Thoughts: The all-time leading rusher in Penn St. history and local kid may be another late round talent that can excel in Mike Shanahan's scheme. Already Shanahan has compared Royster to another 6th round pick Terrell Davis. Let's hope Mike Shanahan is right.


Aldrick Robinson WR, Southern Methodist
(Photo via Collegefootballnews.com)
Analysis:
 NFLDraftScout

Highlights:




My Thoughts: A speed demon, who will need to develop at the NFL level. WR coach Keenan McCardell should enjoy working with his three new WRs.


Brandyn Thompson CB, Boise St.
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout

Highlights:


My Thoughts: Named Fiesta Bowl defensive MVP. Willing to play the run and make open field tackles. Has good hands based on his number of interceptions. Seems like he's need to be coached up at the NFL level a bit but could be a solid ball hawking corner.

Maurice Hurt OG, Florida
(Image University of Fl. via the bull gator) 
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout

My Thoughts: Skins need depth at the guard position and Hurt could fill that need. Looks like he may be a project like Cook and Capers were in 2010. CBS's Rob Rang states that Hurt is underrated and could out perform some prospects taken ahead of him.

Markus White OLB/DE Florida St.
(Photo via the examiner)
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout

Video:




My Thoughts: The Skins will attempt to convert another DE into a 3-4 OLB. Could be a role player. Will have to make the team on special teams. Has good sack numbers while in college.


Chris Neild NT, West Virginia
Analysis:
NFLDraftScout

Highlights/Video:




My Thoughts: Another team leader, I think Neild may be the player I root for the most to make the roster. I was arguing that one of the biggest needs of the Redskins was a Nose Tackle. That doesn't mean that I don't think Anthony Bryant is the guy. Bryant, when given the opportunity last year played well for the Skins. Neild may not fit most schemes but he does fit well in a Pittsburgh type 3-4 which is similar to what the Redskins are trying to build. Being compared to Kelly Gregg (another underrated, blue collar NT of the Ravens) is a compliment. It's going to be tough for the Skins to cut him and tough not to root for the player picked before Mr. Irrelevant.

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