Unless you have been living under a rock, or relying on your phone, (like I had to out in Luray, BFE, VA) you should by now be aware that the Redskins were able to amass an astounding twelve picks in the 2011 draft. This represents the first time in thirty years the Redskins have been able to accomplish this. Through a series of trade-downs, head coach Mike Shanahan was able to accomplish a feat which many Redskins fans have not witnessed in their life time, and many others figured they probably wouldn’t live to see. Here are the newest members of the Washington Redskins:
First Round, No. 16 (from Jacksonville): Ryan Kerrigan, DE/LB, Purdue
Second Round, No. 41: Jarvis Jenkins, DE/DT, Clemson
Third Round, No. 79 (from Miami): Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
Fourth Round, No. 105 (from Houston): Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska
Fifth Round, No. 146 (from Miami): DeJon Gomes, DB, Nebraska
Fifth Round, No. 155 (from New Orleans): Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska
Sixth Round, No. 177: Evan Royster, RB, Penn State
Sixth Round, No. 178 (from Houston): Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU
Seventh Round, No. 213: Brandyn Thompson, DB, Boise State
Seventh Round, No. 217 (from Miami): Maurice Hurt, OL, Florida
Seventh Round, No. 224 (from Indianapolis): Markus White, LB, Florida State
Seventh Round, No. 253 (compensatory): Chris Neild, DT, West Virginia
Now I will give my own grade for the draft along with some observations. As you can see, the Redskins went for quantity. I stop short of saying quantity over quality, because despite the lack of big names, a lot of these players like Ryan Kerrigan and Roy Helu are indeed quality players.
The Redskins took three wide receivers. This came as a bit of a surprise to me. I knew they would take at least one, and I was disappointed it wasn’t in the first two rounds. Three though, that in my opinion is a little over-kill, and we would have been better suited to use one or two of the WR picks on more linemen. Also a bit of surprise was the Skins taking two RBs. I like Helu a lot and think he can make a huge impact, but I don’t think we needed two RBs.
Two possible LBs will work well for the Redskins. Kerrigan may be more apt to play DE based on his size. He is big, but not huge, and I think his size and ability makes him a better choice for a DE. I am happy the Redskins picked up two DBs, with Gomes and Thompson. Gomes I think has the ability to compete for an immediate spot; however Thompson will have to develop.
It’s nice to see both offensive and defensive linemen; however I would have liked to have seen a little more on the offensive side. That, for years, has been the weakest point with the Redskins. Now was a perfect opportunity to pick up a new line.
Overall Grade: B
Giving the Skins a grade of a B in my opinion is a huge accomplishment. I did not anticipate the draft to go this well. We were able to pick up a very large quantity of players, filling in large gaps on both offense and defense.
I took points away from the Redskins for taking three WRs and 2 RBs. I just don’t think we needed to focus that heavily on offensive play-making positions, especially with mid-to-late round picks. In my opinion we should have bolstered both lines.
The lack of a big name player might have confused or upset a few. Though Kerrigan is a great play-maker and is worthy of a first round pick, I suspect many might have expected a much bigger name like WR Julio Jones, who I thought would be the first pick for the Skins.
And what’s the deal with Nebraska? Three picks in a row from the Cornhuskers? Who has stock up there? That looked a little odd to me. Also surprising is the fact the Skins did not draft a QB. This leads to more questions than answers with McNabb (still?) on the outs and Rex Grossman a free agent. I don’t see John Beck starting as the Skins’ QB this year. Or at least I hope I won’t see him starting. Perhaps the Skins are getting ready to deal for a QB? Carson Palmer’s name has been thrown around. We will have to wait to see.
Overall this has been the draft the Skins have needed for years and it will set a foundation for the team to build upon. Don’t expect a Super Bowl this year, but a few years down the road we might be serious contenders. Hail Skins!