After picking the new franchise quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the first round of the draft, Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan decided to focus on depth in areas that this team has desperately needed it for years. Here’s a look at the other eight men the Redskins selected this weekend.
OG Josh LeRibeus, Southern Methodist – Many people think we could’ve gotten Josh in a later round of the draft, but Shanahan obviously thought this guy is perfect for the zone-blocking scheme he runs in Washington. His arms are too short to ever play the tackle position, but he can get away with that at guard. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in high motor and mean streak. His scouting report says he always finds a way to block his man. LeRibeus has faced and beaten adversity in the last couple of years, after being academically ineligible to play for SMU in 2011 and working off a significant weight problem. He’s now listed at 312 pounds, but he said he got as high as 380 at one time. His teammates jokingly called him XBOX 360 at one time because of his weight. Overall, this kid isn’t perfect, but he works hard and he’s a fighter. He’ll give the Shanahans a reliable option if one of our starting guards goes down, and he could start in a year or two.
QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State – For some reason, this has been the most controversial pick in the entire draft. It made little sense to some people, but I see the logic. Aside from Luck and Griffin, no college quarterback had a better work ethic in college than Cousins. He was a three-year captain, and the unquestionable leader of his Michigan State team. Together, Cousins and Robert Griffin can watch and analyze game film together, and help each other learn at the next level. Both are very smart quarterbacks, and having two perspectives will help both of them become better pros. There is little doubt that Cousins and Griffin will be the first ones to show up, and last ones to leave Redskins Park every day. In the NFC East, Griffin will be taking hits from Jason Pierre-Paul, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Babin, Justin Tuck, Trent Cole, and more. In 2012, he’ll be facing the super-tough AFC North defenses too. He’s fast, but he will get hit, and hit hard. If he doesn’t get up from one of those hits, do we really want to rely on Grossman again? The Cousins pick makes sense!!
LB Keenan Robinson, Texas – The Redskins got burned several times last year when linebackers tried to cover opposing tight ends, and failed miserably. The speedy Robinson is fast enough to cover top tight ends like Witten and Celek with ease, and he will be relied upon to knock the snot out of Philly’s LeSean McCoy and the scrambling Michael Vick, who have continuously destroyed us over the last couple of years. He will excel on special teams along with Lorenzo Alexander, and could be the guy who ultimately has to replace London Fletcher when he retires in a few years. That’s a lot to expect out of a late 4th round draft pick, but he definitely has the potential to live up to it.
OG Adam Gettis, Iowa – Gettis will likely have to put on some weight before he ever sees the field, bust he’s a fast, smart, athletic blocker with good feet. Shanahan probably thinks that adding fifteen pounds to his 293 pound frame won’t be that difficult, and his footwork and speed will help him excel in the zone-blocking scheme. His toughness is what got him drafted, and he will fight hard to be a back-up guard.
RB Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic – Morris doesn’t have the skills to pass Helu or Royster on the Redskins depth chart, but he could be the guy who enters the game in short yardage situations. Whether they’re counting on him to get a tough yard on 3rd and goal at the 1 yard line, or to block someone so Griffin can get the ball to someone in the end zone or run it in, those kinds of situations seem to be what he was drafted for. You never know in Shanahan’s offense though. It seems like any running back can succeed in this system.
OT Tom Compton, South Dakota – Compton is one of the more intriguing picks, in my opinion. He has the size and athleticism that Shanny looks for in a tackle, but he’s never faced top competition before at his small college. He won’t win the job this year, but a year on the practice squad could polish his game up and lead to big things for him, as well as the Redskins. Could this be our diamond in the rough?
DB Richard Crawford, Southern Methodist – Crawford has ideal size, but not necessarily ideal speed for a corner. He will battle for a back-up role, but he may have been drafted for his punt return skills.
CB Jordan Bernstine, Iowa – Bernstine was a good corner at Iowa, but excelled at kickoff returns. He averaged 23.8 yards per return in 2011. Brandon Banks may be in trouble!
Allen and Shanahan did what they set out to do in this draft. They got their franchise quarterback, quality depth at key positions, and a couple of unproven prospects who may blow our minds when coached properly and given a chance. Does anyone miss Vinny?