It seems like the thoughts on the success of the Redsins 2011 draft differs around Redsins Nation. There are people who believe the Redskins dropped the ball and missed out on an opportunity to pick up some key talent in much more important places and there are people who believe the Redskins had a really good draft. We all have the same question in common though, “Are the Redskins better after the draft?” Let’s break down the draft selections…
Round 1 pick 16- Ryan Kerrigan
2010 UNANIMOUS 1st team ALL AMERICAN on EVERY list, Led FBS in tackles for loss, 3rd in sacks…too many stats to post here (GOOGLE HIM!!) To trade down 10 picks and be able to pick a player like Kerrigan is a win regardless of what team it is. The Redskins definitely got better here especially since you are lining him up opposite of an already established Orakpo. If Kerrigan is half as good as he was at Purdue then the Redskins defense will be in good shape.
Round 2 pick 9 – Jarvis Jenkins
6’4″ 310 lbs. and has lined up beside one of the best DE’s in the draft this year. I believe he had alot to do with the success of Bowers at Clemson and should do the same for Orakpo and Kerrigan. He doesn’t get many sacks, however, he does take up space very effectively. Over his career he has blocked four field goals. This proves that he has a very quick and powerful point of contact with the Offensive line and gets to the backfield with superb quickness. This will help the Redskins solidify their rush and pass defense. Imagine if we can line up Orakpo, Kerrigan, Haynesworth and Jenkins on the same line…Scary thought right there. How do you contain a line like this without double teaming all of them?
Wide Recievers: Round 3 pick 15- Leonard Hankerson, Round 5 pick 24- Niles Paul, Round 6 pick 13- Aldrick Robinson
I’m not sure if I like the drafting of Hankerson because I am a “The U” fan or because he is a solid Wide out. However, I know I’ve seen this guy do some amazing things on the football field. One instance in particular, vs Florida State he caught a slant across the middle with one hand and in the process of getting hit switched the ball to his off hand. That right there shows an amazing sense of awareness. I believe that he should have been considered in the 1st round pick discussions but because of the lack of success for Jacory Harris and Miami, his production was flown under the radar. He definitely has the potential to be a #1 target but will take an increased effort to gain the trust of his QB. An absolute steal in the 3rd round.
Niles Paul is very skilled WR that I dont think is getting enough credit for what he brings to the table. When I watch Paul play, I see a rare combination of speed and excellent route running. He’s not the tallest guy but he is very strong (benched more reps at the combine that Jarvis Jenkins). When I think about speed, route running and power I immediately think about the likes of Wes Welker. Initially, I dont see Paul being an impact on the offense. It looks like he will be primarily used in Special teams alongside Banks which will almost garauntee that there wont be many kick offs or punts directed towards anyone wearing a Redskins uniform. Paul was good for Nebraska in the return game and I see that being his calling as a rookie. When he gets his chance to make plays with the offense he should be the forgotten player on the field which will ake him open alot. Its up to him to put in the work and become great.
If you see Aldrick Robinson running a 4.5 40 yard dash then something is wrong. Robinson has the type of speed that we havent seen in Washington since………………………………Banks! And he just got here! Ive seen Robinson just flat out run by DB’s and mae plays and Ive seen hi put his 40″ vertical leap to use and go get some passes. The Redskins with these three wide outs have added soe much needed speed to the offense and special teams. Any time you can improve a position with something you havent had, its a win! Im not saying that we have just drafted the second coming to “The Posse” but good qaulity guys have been added to the team. When you have respectable speed and skill at the wide out position you are forcing defenses to keep safeties and corners over the top and out of the run game. Which means… more production from our running backs! I love these selections and hope for a healthy pre season so we can see them all on the field.
Running backs: Round 4 pick 8- Roy Helu, Round 6 pick 12- Evan Royster
In rounds 4 and 6 the Redskins managed to add a 6’0″ 220 lb, 4.4 40 yard dash guy that just happened to be the lead rusher for Nebraska and the leading rusher in Penn State history. Thats an automatic win regardless of what they end up bringing to the table. Helu is a speed guy that isnt afraid to lower his shoulder and run somebody over. You can never have too many guys like that. As for Royster, to be the all time leading rusher at any school, you have to have an extreme skill set, hightened field awareness and MOST important of all DURABILITY!!!! Do we need anything more than durability at running back? For this reason alone I believe this was our best draft selection and should have the best career of any of the offensive picks.
The remainder of the picks which will mainly be used as either practice players or special teamers. The fact that we even had enough picks in the draft to be able to draft these types of players is a win! Overall, The Redskins traded and drafted very smartly and added what shows on paper as some picks to fill key holes. Now its time to see it in action on the field. Not drafting a quarterback tells me that either the guys we have are good enough to get it done or Shannahan has his eyes on a free agent that we dont know about. Honestly, I see McNabb coming back and finishing what he set out to do which was to lead Washington to the Super Bowl. I would have liked to see a Tyrod Taylor drafted so he can learn from Donovan and eventually take over as the future of the franchise, but who knows what ay happen in the years to come. Looking at the draft as a whole, the Redskins got alot better across the board and any fan has to be happy with the additions to the team. Lets talk about it Redskins Nation! Comment and spark a discussion. Til then…