Sunday, May 5, 2013

SOW: NFL Draft 2013: Some Final Thoughts One Week Later

It's hard to believe that the 2013 draft has been over for more than a week, UnDrafted Free Agents (UDFAs) have been signed and the Redskins are on the final day of a rookie mini-camp held for the new rookies and veterans who saw limited action in 2012. By now you'd think all of the analysis, grades and commentary on this draft would be long over and many fans will be going back to watching the NBA or NHL playoffs or baseball until training camp while others are salivating for the next OTA. That said, I think that there is some significant things to takeaway from this draft class and how the team feels about its coaching staff, roster and what they look for in players. So let's go back one more time, one week later and look at some of the things that took place during the 2013 NFL Draft.
I've broken down the commentary into some sections so that you can skim through it since this is more about multiple topics than one topic.

The Redskins Have A Plan And Have Been Using It Since 2010

Washington Redskins Introduce Mike Shanahan - Press Conference
Mike Shanahan has a plan for the Redskins.
The Redskins like players with tangible qualities. What I mean is that they like athletic players who are agile, show quickness and have the straight-line speed, size and or weight that they desire for the position of need. They don't tend to need the most "day 1 ready" type of  player who has shown his best in college and has limited upside. This is predicated on the idea that you can't teach size, speed and athletic ability but you can teach a player how to use those abilities at the next level.
Trent Williams is a perfect example of what the Redskins look for in a prospect.
Trent Williams is a perfect example of what the Redskins look for in a prospect.
Trent Williams is a perfect example of this. Williams was not considered to be the best left tackle prospect entering the 2010 draft. It was clear that OSU's Russell Okung was the consensus top pick. That said, the Redskins took Williams off the board first at #4 overall because they liked his agility and athletic ability which fits their scheme more. It took a year or so of development but by 2012 Williams has shown that he is an all-pro left tackle and may arguably be one of the best for years to come.
The Redskins 2013 draft really felt like this as well. There has been a long-standing belief that Mike Shanahan evaluates a prospect based on his success on film more so than his struggles/failures. The thought is that if the player can do it once, then the coaching staff should be able to "Coach 'em up" as Steve Spurrier would put it to consistently achieve that success at the NFL level. The prospects that the Redskins chose in day 2 of the draft are ideal candidates for this theory and it will be up to the coaches to help these players live up to their potential.

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