Five Mondays from now, the Washington Redskins will enter FedExField for the first home game in seven months against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a matchup of two multiple Lombardi Trophy winning franchises, fans will have the opportunity to see how the Redskins, in preseason albeit, are going to respond to heightened expectations.
While the heralded 2013 rookie class has already gelled with some of the veterans through OTAs and minicamp taking tips on techniques and learning the intricacies of the faster NFL style of play, the preseason is their first opportunity to show what they bring to a Pro Bowl laden squad.
As we saw during the duration of the NFC East winning 2012 campaign, the season will be extremely unpredictable. Still though, it’s fun to forecast potential performances of the newest in the NFL’s fraternity.
Take a look at these predictions via Walter Football about how some of the drafted rookies will do this year and beyond.
Let’s start and end with some good news, and yes, a little bit of “bad” news in-between for one.
In the fourth round (119th overall) of the draft, the Redskins selected Fresno State safety and 2012 NCAA interceptions leader Phillip Thomas. Draft “experts” had linked Thomas to the burgundy and gold in the months leading up to the annual extravaganza—at the No. 51 slot.
A steal if I do say so myself.
But I’m not alone in those thoughts. The man himself is predicting that in the years to come he’ll be dubbed the steal of the draft.
In the meantime though, Walter Football thinks Thomas will be a “solid starter” for the Redskins.
“Thomas’ ability to create turnovers make him a great safety to pair with Washington’s up-and-coming pass rush. Outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan could cause a lot of errant throws and the instinctive Thomas could pick off a lot of passes for his defense. Thomas may need a little time to develop, as most rookies do, but he could turn into a solid starter sooner rather than later for the Redskins.”
Over the last few weeks we opened up the forum to you, Redskins Nation, about your thoughts on which running back will spill record-setting sophomore Alfred Morris and more than half selected Roy Helu Jr. over Evan Royster and rookies Jawan Jamison and Chris Thompson.
Thompson slipped to the fifth round of the draft after an injury-shortened final season at Florida State. A blessing in disguise of sorts for the Washington Redskins. I mean just look at what he did over the last few years!
Walter Football, however, doesn’t exactly paint a bright future for the former Seminole claiming he has the biggest “bust potential” of the group.
“The 5-foot-7, 192-pounder has game-breaking speed and could offer a nice change of pace from Alfred Morris. Washington head coach Mike Shanahan has had a legendary ability to take mid- or late-round running backs and turn them into good pros. Thus, Thompson deserves the benefit of the doubt, but of all of the Redskins’ picks, I think he is the most likely player not to stick in the NFL.”
It’s been well documented over the last few months that the Redskins zoned in on talents with high ability to create turnovers in the draft.
David Amerson fits that bill to a tee. He finished his three-year career at NC State with 18 interceptions, 13 of which came during a record-setting sophomore season.
Despite the fact that the Redskins finished the 2012 season with 21 interceptions (tied for the third highest amount in the league), only seven came from corners.
If history repeats itself, expect Amerson to reach those totals by himself. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have Raheem Morris teaching him the ropes, either.
“Fortunately for Amerson, he landed with perhaps the best defensive backs coach in the NFL, Raheem Morris. He’ll teach Amerson to play more fundamental football and be more disciplined with his eyes. If Amerson works out his kinks, he has the skill set to be a Pro Bowl cornerback and one of the top corners in the NFL at producing interceptions. Amerson has the potential to be a massive steal with the ability of a top-10 cornerback.”
CHIME IN: What are your predictions for each rookie’s individual performance in 2013? Let us know below.
Tags: chris thompson, David Amerson, Phillip Thomas
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