What the NFL draft combine affords the Redskins
The 2013 NFL Draft Combine was this past weekend and finally came to an end on Tuesday and as far as the Washington Redskins go, it was one where Mike Shanahan and Dan Snyder and GM Bruce Allen were casting their eyes to the lesser known talent and not the top surefire first rounders. With the deal during last year’s draft with the St. Louis Rams in order to select Robert Griffin, III with the second pick, the Redskins have forfeited their first round pick until 2015. With the Redskins winning the NFC East in 2012, the Rams will get the 22nd overall pick in the first round. The Redskins though still have seven tentative picks for the ’13 Draft and will first be on the clock in the second round with the 51st overall pick.
The one thing with Mike Shanahan is that he is able to find high quality talent in the later rounds of the draft. Alfred Morris was selected in the sixth round last year and broke the Redskins season rushing record as a rookie. Kirk Cousins was a high quality selection that came in the fourth round last year. With that being said, you can bet that Shanahan and his draft war room comrades will be able to select some high quality talent. The key with the draft this year is being able to find good talent that will satisfy the Redskins’ needs.
Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen has had some interviews since the close of the combine and the one thing that he stressed that the Redskins will be doing for the upcoming draft is trying to add more depth to their roster and in Allen’s own words, ‘hoping that we get lucky’. The first thing that Allen said that needs to be addressed in the 2013 Draft for the ‘Skins is the defensive secondary. The Redskins defense was ranked 28th overall in the NFL during the 2012 season and had the 30th ranked passing defense. The defensive secondary was plagued by injuries and lackluster play at times in 2012 and Allen says he hopes to fix that with the upcoming draft. Allen also said that it will be tough due to the $36 million cap hit the team took over last year and this upcoming year over the issue that the league had with the structured contracts the ‘Skins had during the non-cap year of 2010.
‘One thing that is for certain is that with the 51st overall pick, we should be able to get a player that should be ranked in the Top 40 and should be able to immediately help our team’ said Allen, who also said that the scout team that the Redskins had in Indianapolis for the combine are very well knowledgeable about the players and that too should help he and Coach Shanahan and Dan Snyder in being able to select the right player for the team.
This leads to the question as to whom will Allen, Snyder, and Shanahan will go after in the second round with that 51st pick. Allen says that the defensive backfield needs to be addressed so that means cornerback and safety. The top cornerbacks that could be around for the Redskins in the second round are Desmond Trufant from the University of Washington, Jordan Poyer from Oregon State, and Darius Slay from Mississippi State. David Amerson from North Carolina State would be a nice selection here as this CB is 6’3″ and 200 lbs and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash time. He was reported as being one of the most intriguing prospects at the combine and seen his stock rise. He could be a late first rounder or early second rounder which means that the Redskins have the possibility of getting this top-notch player who set the ACC record for interceptions in a season with 13 in 2011 and was an All American. His production dropped off in 2012 but there is just so much upside with this player.
The safety position should be improved drastically with a healthy Brandon Merriweather returning. The status of Tanard Jackson playing in 2013 is unknown as he is still suspended from the drug violation he had during preseason last year. The best fit for the Redskins here and a player that surely could be around at the 51st pick is Eric Reid from LSU. Reid was an All-American in 2012 but the best thing about Reid is that he is 6’2″ and 215 pounds and would have Redskins fans thinking of LaRon Landry. Some scouts knocked Reid for being overly aggressive and lacks first round talent but in a good NFL system, Reid could flourish and he certainly would look good in the Burgandy and Gold. Other safeties that could be a possibility here are T.J. McDonald, another big and hard-hitting safety from USC, Baccari Rambo from the University of Georgia, and Tony Jefferson from the University of Oklahoma. Reid though would be the best pick here with McDonald being a close second.
The 2013 NFL Combine has come to an end and it now leads up to the 2013 NFL Draft that will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 25-27 and will be broadcasted on the NFL Network and on ESPN. It will be the 78th edition of what the league officially calls the “NFL Player Selection Meeting.”
Chad Morgan is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at CMorgan@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.