Week 18 Reality Checks: Washington at Giants
By Tim Payne
4. The Reality Is, this rookie class is all over the place.
Here’s how I’d rank this rookie class based on their production and trajectory compared to their draft status.
John Bates is, undoubtedly, the best value in this draft for Washington. His contributions and development are extremely encouraging. Look for him to continue to grow and develop into a solid TE in this league for a long time. Great value from a late-round pick.
Sam Cosmi looks to be a solid starter in this league at RT for a long time, and shows the skills and development to potentially take over for Leno on the left side once Leno’s new contract expires. second rounders need to turn into solid starters…so chalk Cosmi up as a solid selection.
Camaron Cheeseman was probably over-drafted, but appears to be a serviceable long-snapper, and didn’t have any major gaffes this season, which is a good sign.
Jaret Patterson, Dyami Brown, and Benjamin St. Juste all showed flashes this season. Brown and Patterson did so very late in the season and both have an opportunity to build on those developments in week 18. St. Juste’s concussion issues are a concern, but hopefully he comes back and continue to develop into a starting corner in this league.
Shaka Toney, Darrick Forrest, and William Bradley-King all contributed in brief opportunities. It will be fascinating to see if any of them make the team next season, or if they get replaced by next years’ “flyers”.
And that leaves us with Jamin Davis, who obviously disappointed this season, based on his draft status. His struggles are exhibit 9,543 why you don’t draft non-premium positions in the first round. I have no doubt that Davis will develop into a serviceable starting LB in the NFL…and he might even be much better than that.
But when you draft a player 19th in the draft, you have to get more value than “serviceable starting linebacker” out of them. “Serviceable starting QB” or “Serviceable starting LT” or “Serviceable starting Corner” are still much more valuable, so even if they don’t end up becoming elite, they still fill a premium hole. Middle linebacker is not a premium position, so the fact that Davis struggled for much of this season simply compounds the over drafting of him in the first place. All that said, I do expect him to make a leap next year and be a significant contributor.
Look for Davis, Brown, Patterson, Toney, Bates and Cosmi to all have meaningful snaps in New York as the coaching staff looks at roster construction for Year 3 of the Rivera Era.