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2011 NFL Draft Review

16 September 2012

Redskins go quarterback heavy in the 2012 NFL Draft

The Skin's 2012 NFL Draft boiled down to one word: Franchise Quarterback; I know that's two words, but who's counting.

The Skins traded up in the first round to get Baylor QB Robert Griffin III (RG3). Its hard to fault the move, but the Redskins paid a very high price to get Griffin. The Rams got the Redskins' first and second round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, as well as Washington’s first round picks for the 2013 and 2014 draft. That's a huge price to pay for one player, but if Griffin develops as expected and ends up as a Pro-Bowl QB for the next ten years it will look like a steal.

Football fans for years have said that eventually a QB will come along that can run as good as Michael Vick and throw as good as Peyton Manning. While he has a ways to go to be compared to Manning, the talent is there and he ran a blistering 4.38 forty yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, so we know he is a threat to score a touchdown from anywhere on the field. The kid can flat out fly and he is not just a running QB, he can throw the ball as well as anyone. He has a strong arm, excellent accuracy and a nice touch. He throws a very nice long ball.

They didn't have a 2nd round pick, but in the 3rd round they really reached for SMU OG Josh LeRibeus. He (LeRibeus) probably would have still been available in the 6th or 7th round.

What surprised everyone was the Redskins 4th round pick where they selected Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins. That's a pretty high draft pick to use on a guy that will likely sit on the bench. Sitting behind RG3 he, will have difficulty developing.He might be future trade bait.

The other 4th round pick was a solid "need" pick in Texas linebacker Keenan Robinson. He isn't real fast (4.69), but at 6' 3" 245 lbs he is big and strong and excellent against the run. Down the road he could possibly be a decent starter or a quality back up in the NFL.

They did get excellent value in the 5th round for Iowa OG Adam Gettis. He is a little undersized, but he plays with good technique and has excellent feet.

The steal of the draft might be the kid they got in the 6th round named RB Alfred Morris. He was a small school running back prospect out of Florida Atlantic. He is not the fastest running back in the world, he only ran a 4.65 forty, but at 5' 10" 220 pounds, he is a load to bring down and he is fairly elusive, has great hands and breaks a lot of tackles.

So if the Skins end up with a franchise QB in RG3 and a solid back up in Kirk Cousins, this draft could end up being excellent. But if RG3 ends up being a bust, this could go down as the worst draft in NFL history. If I was a betting man I would place my money on RG3. The NFC East is probably going to be terrorized by RG3 for years to come.

2012 NFL Draft:

1. (2) QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
3. (71) OG Josh LeRibeus, SMU
4. (102) QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
4. (119) LB Keenan Robinson, Texas
5. (141) OG Adam Gettis, Iowa
6. (173) RB Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic
6. (193) OT Tom Compton, South Dakota
7. (213) CB Richard Crawford, SMU
7. (217) S Jordan Bernstine, Iowa

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2 May 2011

Draft Shows Redskins Long Nightmare May Be Over

nfl draft dogLet’s start with this amazing stat. The Washington redskins entered the 2011 draft with no third round pick and no fourth round pick. When it was over, the ‘skins picked in every round—include two guys in the 5th and 6th, and four in the 7th—and didn’t trade any of next year’s draft picks for a washed up vet.

I can come to only one conclusion: when they find Daniel Snyder’s body, they will discover ligature marks on his wrists and ankles and a gag stuffed in his mouth. Dudes and dudettes: was not a Dan Snyder-style draft. (Another fact: Twelve players drafted, the most since a pre-Snyder 1985.)

But we kid The Danny. At last check, he was alive and well and suing people. In truth, there hasn’t been this sort of sea change in the Redskins approach to drafting since Snyder bought the ball club. It is apparent to me this is now Mike Shanahan’s Show—beginning to end. Whether that will turn out to be a good thing or not--as the old cliché goes--only time will tell.

He came into the draft minus the aforementioned picks and with rumors that he wanted to trade up to grab Blaine Gabbert as his new John Elway. To do so, the experts experted, he’d have to trade his own first and second rounder this year and a first rounder next year. As we now know, not only did he not make that trade, he could have had Gabbert with his original #10 overall selection. Instead Mike traded down. (Seriously, someone check on Snyder, just to make sure he’s okay.)

Who the Heck’s Beck?

Then Sunday, Coach Mike endorsed one John Beck as his quarterback of the future. Beck is already on the roster, has hardly played at all in his career, is age 30, and nobody’s ever heard of him except his immediate family and maybe Glenn Beck. This means Mike knows more than we do, is razzle-dazzling everyone while he plots to trade for someone else, or has lost his mind.

But would a wackadoodle coach approach the draft the way Coach Mike did this year? I think not. Here’s why.

Going into the draft, the Redskins had more weaknesses than strengths. By conservative estimate the team’s needs on offense were a quarterback, some running backs, at least one WR, and some offensive linemen. On defense, the team needed a rushing linebacker, a defensive end, a nose tackle, and a cornerback.

Now then, let’s turn our cards over and see what Shanahan pulled off:

Defense Upgraded from Worst to What?

His first pick was Ryan Kerrigan, a defensive end from Purdue with a Rolls Royce motor, a rep as a pass rusher who can also play the run, and great character. The only question mark—can he make it as an outside linebacker and cover in space?

Mike had another second round pick because of his trade back in the first round, but he traded down twice more for a third and a fourth rounder. (Or maybe it was three times--my head is still spinning.)

Meanwhile, with his original second round pick—don’t bother memorizing this stuff, it won’t be on the final—he grabbed a defensive end slash run stuffer slash rush lineman named Jarvis Jenkins from Clemson, another good character guy. Experts are calling him a sleeper. No, not a Fred Davis forget-to-set-the-alarm-clock type sleeper, but a first rate player who’s been overlooked. In Jenkins case, it may have been because he was opposite De’Quan Bowers, who until medical issues arose, was thought by some to be the first player taken, period.

All right, Coach Mike has filled two gaping holes (‘skins fans hope) on a defense that was one of the very worst in the NFL last year. But then the offense was nothing to dance the Tango about either.

Start with the wideouts: the best one, Santana Moss, is a free agent. He may well sign with a contender if the CBA is ever signed. So Coach Mike used his third pick to Leonard Hankerson, also from the “U”. (Might it be a message to Moss to stay and mentor his eventual replacement?) I watched Hankerson’s highlight reel. After every TD he made, he just dropped the ball in the end zone. No spike, no dance, no “me-first” special move. That’s old school. (The Redskins took two other wideouts, Nebraska’s Niles Paul with a fifth round pick, and SMU’s Aldrick Robinson in the sixth.)

Shanahan’s Wheelhouse

Keeping in mind Coach Mike is happy with Beck, and the worrisome Oline may be upgraded with FAs, the next weak link on offense was running back. Portis was done and gone, and the current crop look like seat fillers. No one in football has a better rep for finding top notch RBs in lower rounds than Shanahan. So he said: “I’ll take two, just to be sure.”

With the fourth rounder, the ‘skins took Roy Helu, a Nebraska back people claimed was a “system” runner. Well, he’s going to a team with a “system,” and he’s a one-cut back who should thrive in Shanahan’s zone block scheme. So too might Evan Royster, selected in the sixth round. The former Nittany Lion flew under the radar despite being Penn State’s all time leading rusher. Bad radar, one guesses.

There were other picks you’ve never heard of, and with good fortune they may contribute.

Does the Danny Get It?

Is this past draft only a hiccup in an ongoing disaster, or—dare we dream—signs the owner finally “gets it,” has butted out, and is letting the Adult’s Table run the dinner?

Sorry kids, gotta say it again: Only time will tell.

One more thing: You have to hope Shanahan, GM Bruce Allen, and the scouting system are upgrades too. If these picks don’t pan out, you can bet Snyder-in-Charge will come roaring back to life quicker than the monster in a Grade Z horror flick.

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6 January 2010

Shanahan’s the Man for Washington

Bulletin! Bulletin! Bulletin! Stop the Presses!!! Alert the Medja!!! Oh wait, we are the Media.

Mike ShanahanMike Shanahan is the next Redskin coach in line to be fired by Dan Snyder. According to the Denver Post, ESPN, Fox and some guy named Bob who has a blog or something on the Internet, it’s a done deal--five years. By the time you read this, it will undoubtedly be an even doner deal, with all major media, from “Vatican Times” to the “Drudge Report” re-reporting the big news.

According to my best souses--two drunks at McGlaskey’s Saloon--Shanny will get $7 mil a year, guaranteed, and will assume the vaunted mantel of “Executive Vice president for Football Operations,” last worn by some guy named Vinny. Good Ol’ Vinny was fired what seems like months ago, but not before he could do plenty of damage.

Shanahan will have lots to say at a presser, likely Wednesday, and the best thing he could say is “Shut up, Clinton Portis!" Portis, who hasn’t liked to practice much, and has been a shadow of his former self for two years, verbally attacked (likely) outgoing QB Jason Campbell on a radio show for his alleged lack of leadership. Campbell ripped him back, too. But who cares? Skins got a new coach to begin undercutting.

Peter King, who gets some stuff right now and then, says Shanny will be looking for a new QB, likely to be coached up by his kid, Kyle. King also reported that Shanny is tilting toward a 3-4 defense. Okay…here’s some speculation on how that might shake out.

Need a nose guard. Two, actually, because the starter usually gets hurt. Need to trade for one, pick up a FA, or draft that immoveable object out of Alabama named Terrence Cody. The ‘skins then move Haynesworth to RDE, with Jeremy Jarmon and/or Phillip Daniels handling the left side. Inside backers would be London Fletcher and either H.B. Blades or Rocky Mac. The outside backers would be Andre Carter, and Brian Orakpo. Orakpo hasn’t shined as an LB, and Carter doesn’t like the position, but they’d spend much of the game blitzing, and if one doesn’t work out, MacIntosh can slide outside, and Blades play inside. Or an FA can be acquired as a stopgap.

This leaves guys like Golston as backup on the line and Montgomery, Griffith and a few others on the outside looking in. Lo Alexander could move back to offense—guy’s a keeper.

Of course, if they make that move and draft Cody or some other DL number one, it doesn’t address the mess that is the Oline, or the needs at running back and cornerback.

Shanny, you still sure you want the gig?

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