Unlike last year’s draft where the Redskins were determined to move up from their original draft slot of sixth overall to draft one of the biggest college prospects, the team stood pat during the 2013 NFL Draft and let everyone know that they weren’t going anywhere.
They didn’t move and they didn’t drop back; they kept their seven draft picks and added depth and addressed need at the same time.
Standing firm with what we currently have has been a recurring theme this offseason as the Redskins return all but one starter from last year’s squad.
Going into the draft, though, secondary was an area of interest for the 2012 NFC East champs as it seemed like every “expert” was tabbing a corner or safety to come to the Nation’s Capital.
Did they predict three DBs, two of which led the NCAA in interception, would join the team?
ESPN.com NFC East blogger Dan Graziano looked into his crystal ball for the NFL future for trio and sees some starters for the upcoming campaign.
David Amerson was a beast during his sophomore year at NC State.
Seriously. There’s no other way to describe it.
13 interceptions in 13 games is unheard of. And then on top of it, he had three interceptions in his first three games to start of his last year in Raleigh.
Graziano sees big things in the former Wolf Pack star’s future, but with three seasoned veterans at corner, he’ll have some time to work with defensive backs coach Raheem Morris before taking the field as a starter.
Cornerback David Amerson, selected in the second round with the Redskins’ first pick of this year’s draft, needs help staying disciplined in coverage and must work on his tackling. But he knows how to make a play on the ball, and Mike Shanahan believes that’s a lot harder to coach into someone than those first two things are. Amerson doesn’t need to play much this year, with Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hallstarting and E.J. Biggers as the No. 3 corner. Get him with secondary coach Raheem Morris and see if he can shore up the trouble areas and make him into something special.
Unlike corner where there is a clear depth hierarchy, safety is one of the most wide open positions on the team as far as competition.
With the selections of Thomas and Rambo the Redskins now have nine safeties; however, there are no clear cut favorites on who will be taking the field September 9th against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brandon Meriweather and Jordan Bernstine are recovering from severe injuries, Devin Holland has never taken the field for the Burgundy and Gold, and Jordan Pugh who was signed to replace Bernstine after he went down against the New Orleans Saints, has only three career NFL starts.
Reed Doughty could be called on once again to be a spot starter, but it seems more realistic that he will take over leadership duties for the special teams with the departure of Lorenzo Alexander. Tanard Jackson is a wildcard in the equation as his role remains a question after his year-long suspension in 2012.
That leaves the door wide open for the two 2013 draft selections to become starters right out of the gate.
Safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo were fourth-round and sixth-round selections, respectively. Because the position is vacant, it’s not crazy to think either or both could compete for the starting free safety spot this year. But that’s not the main reason they were picked. Shanahan took these players because they represented good value at their slots and played a position at which his roster is thin. He’s playing the percentages with guys who were playmakers in college, and if one of these two ends up being a starter, that’ll help this look like a good draft in retrospect. If both do, he’s struck gold.
Keep tabs on the safety battle at training camp. It will be hotter than the August heat in Virginia’s capital.
Hail to the Redskins!
Tags: Baccari Rambo, Brandon Meriweather, Dan Graziano, David Amerson, Jordan Bernstine, Jordan Pugh, Phillip Thomas, Raheem Morris, Reed Doughty, Tanard Jackson
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