The Washington Redskins came into the 2011 draft with very few picks, but the needed upgrades at nearly every position. As one of the thinnest teams in the NFL, Washington made the right decision to acquire extra picks by trading down multiple times. In fact, it seems that they were meniacle with the approach that they took.
Those within Washington's war room had to of worked around the clock setting up different boards and evaluating a wide array of players. Those at the top of your list at #10 were probably not going to be available at #15. This means that they had a constantly changing draft board with every trade that the made.
Did it pay off? Well, by looking at their bounty of picks and the players selected there, I would have to say yes.
Below I am going to take a look at all the players Washington selected, and evaluate whether or not the Redskins draft can be seen as a success.
1st Round, 16th Pick: DE- Ryan Kerrigan Purdue
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 15 2010 Stats: 70 Tackles, 12.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble
Analysis: The Washington Redskins needed a pass rush threat, and they got one in Ryan Kerrigan. Simply, put he may have been the best pure pass rusher in the draft not name Da'Quan Bowers. He finished his Purdue career with 32.5 sacks, this playing against top level competition and offensive lines in the Big 10.
Kerrigan never gets to low to the ground to lose leverage. Instead, he stays where he should be while attempting to shed blocks, and does extremely well in that facet of the game. You will not see him bull rush players, but he has the speed to get around the edge and beat tackles at the point of contact. I could easily see him teaming up with Brian Orakpo to make one of the best defensive end tandems in the NFL Grade: A
2nd Round, 42nd Pick: DT- Jarvis Jenkins Clemson
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 58 2010 Stats: 38 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble
Analysis: I wasn't completely sold on Jenkins coming out of Clemson. I watched my fair share of ACC games, and he really didn't pop out to me as someone that excelled in the interior of the defensive line. That said, as I watched game film in order to see if any defensive linemen were worth a 49ers pick early in the draft, I saw a little more from Jenkins than caught the eye at first.
At 310 pounds, Jenkins is reasonably quick of the snap and has the ability to shed blocks inside. I expect him to possibly add some weight to the frame in order to possibly take over as a NT in the NFL. He isn't incredibly strong either, which is an issue Grade: B
3rd Round, 79th Pick: WR- Leonard Hankerson Miami (F)
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 79 2010 Stats: 72 Receptions, 1156 Yards, 13 TD
Analysis: I absolutely love what Hankerson brings to the field and had him as a sleeper all the way through the off-season leading up to the draft. At nearly 6 foot, 2 inches, he brings a great amount of size to a Washington Redskins outside that is lacking such. Even at that height, Hankerson is surprisingly fast. The knock on Hankerson is that he drops too many passes, but when you get your hands on every ball; you are sure to drop some.
I believe that Hankerson equates well as a possible #1 wide receiver in the NFL. The comparison I would draw to him would be Terrell Owens; without the attitude. Grade: A
4th Round, 105th Pick: RB- Roy Helu Jr Nebraska
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 149 2010 Stats: 1245 Yards, 6.6 AVG, 12 TD
Analysis: This pick surprised me a great deal. Washington is in need of an every down future RB in the NFL, but they didn't get one in Helu. I am impressed with what the former Cornhusker brings to the field but wasn't sold on him in the early 4th round. Kendall Hunter, who equates better as a long term every down back, was available. So, I think they missed in terms of value here.
Helu has the frame to be an every down back, but he lacks the pass protection skills, receiving ability, and elite toughness needed. I envision him being a solid contributor to the Redskins for years to come as part of a RB committee situation; if they decide to go that route. Grade: B-
5th Round, 146th Pick: S- Dejon Gomes Nebraska
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 282 2010 Stats: 99 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 Forced Fumbles, 3 INT, 1 TD
Analysis: Gomes fell under the radar a lot during the NFL Draft season, and Washington appeared to make a reach here in the 5th round. That said, he was extremely productive at Nebraska after transferring from the City College of San Francisco. Gomes compiled nearly 100 tackles his Senior season, which caught many within Nebraska's coaching staff off-guard.
You are not looking at a player that has elite athleticism, instead he makes up for it with play making ability, a good understanding of the defensive scheme, and on the field intelligence. Additionally, Gomes did play some at LB in college, so with his speed there is a possibility of him moving in the front seven on certain scenarios. I really liked this pick because of the ceiling that Gomes has. Grade: A
5th Round, 155th Pick: WR- Niles Paul Nebraska
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 130 2010 Stats: 39 Receptions, 516 Yards, 1 TD
Analysis: The third of three straight Nebraska players to be selected by Washington. Without doing research, I can come to the conclusion that this hasn't happened in quite a while. Paul is an interesting prospect, who brings a nice amount of upside with him.
He is another tall and physical receiver to go a long with Hankerson. At nearly 225 pounds, he has the build for the middle of the field; where is I believe he will be playing. You will see Washington utilize Paul out of the slot in certain situations, which would lead to mismatch problems against opposing nickel cover men and outside line backers. I am high on Paul as a real nice complement to Hankerson. Grade: A
6th Round, 177th Pick: RB- Evan Royster Penn State
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 249 2010 Stats: 1014 Yards, 4.9 AVG, 29 Receptions, 202 Yards, 7 TD
Analysis: The problem that I see with Evan Royster is that he regressed each year with Penn State. If he had come out after the 2009 season, Royster probably would have been a late 1st or 2nd round pick. Instead, he decided to return for the 2010 season. Not a great decision.
Royster's yard per carry average dipped from 6.5 to 5.7 to 4.9 during his final three seasons at Penn State. It isn't a coincidence that this happened with the more touches he got. He doesn't have the athleticism, explosion or down hill running ability to be a standout RB in the NFL. I think that Washington dropped the ball with both of their running back selections. Grade: C
6th Round, 178th Pick: WR- Aldrick Robinson Southern Methodist
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 226 2010 Stats: 65 Receptions, 1301 Yards, 14 TD
Analysis: If you gain 1300 yards receiving and score 13 touchdowns at the college level I really don't care where you played; those are solid number. Robinson comes to the NFL with a finesse about him that must have turned some NFL teams off. But, he can be electric in the open field, makes tons of catches in crowds and has the ability to take it the distance on every play.
Much like Niles Paul, Robinson can work the middle of the field well and creates separation down the field, he does get pushed off the line quickly and will struggle against elite corners. That said, it would appear that he will be playing against nickel coverage early on, making him an immediate threat. Grade: A
7th Round, 213th Pick: CB- Brandyn Thompson Boise State
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 371 2010 Stats: 31 Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble, 3 INT
Analysis: On the west coast we see a lot of Boise State football, and Thompson is one of those players that stood out to me; especially, in the Nevada loss. I saw him make tons of plays against Rishard Matthews of the Wolfpack, despite him acquiring 10 catches. Additionally, his speed will enable him to be a standout special teams player; something that the Redskins are lacking Grade: A
Note: I really don't know much about the final three players that Washington selected in the 2011 draft. Instead of relying on other scouting reports and acting like a troll, I am just going to reserve judgment,
7th Round, 217th Pick: G- Maurice Hart Florida
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 236
7th Round, 224th Pick: DE- Markus White Florida State
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 229 2010 Stats: 58 Tackles, 8 Sacks
7th Round, 253rd Pick: DT- Chris Neild West Virginia
CBS Sports Line Ranking: 252 2010 Stats: 31 Tackles, 3 Sacks
Synopsis: Could the Redskins have done more with the myriad of picks that the ended up having? Sure! I am not a big fan of their two RB picks, as I don't believe either will ever turn into a full time NFL player. That said, I would have to assume Shannahan knows a little more than me in regards to NFL caliber running backs.
I do love all three wide receiver selections and believe that each one will make an immediate impact. I had Leonard Hankerson just behind Julio Jones in terms of projections; so, that is a huge steal in the 2nd round. Moreover, Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson bring a nice amount of talent to the slot positions. Whoever is the starting QB for Washington in 2011 should be pleasantly surprised with these three receivers.
In Ryan Kerrigan and Jarvis Jenkins, the Redskins get two players that should fit right into what they are attempting to do a long the front 7. Kerrigan has an opportunity to be one of the premiere pass rushers in the NFL and will show this immediately. If Jenkins is able to add a little muscle to his build, he will also be a major contributor moving forward. When teams like Cleveland are reaching for Phil Taylor in the 1st round, Washington did a great job getting a better all around defensive tackle in the 2nd.
This is a team that needed to fill a lot of holes. Did they fill them all? Obviously not, but what they did do was add a nice amount of talent to a roster that was lacking it. Final Grade: B+