April 28, 2011

Redskins 2011 Draft Tracker

It's not like I'm going to ignore this completely, you know.

And away we go ...

Round 1 (16) - Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
With their first pick in 2011, the Redskins make news by not making news. They trade down from 10 to 16 (JAX) and grab a potential impact bookend to Pro Bowl OLB Brian Orakpo for their still-in-transition 3-4 defense. This pick may not be fully appreciated for 2-3 seasons; Karrigan is unlikely to be a regular on weekly highlight reels early on as he adapts both to the pro game and the shift from DE to OLB. But if the Purdue All American's quickness, instincts and high motor are what the Redskins hope they are, and Karrigan can integrate himself into the starting lineup by midseason, defensive coordinator Jim Hazlett should enjoy devising gameplans considerably more in 2011 and beyond than he was able to in his highwire-act Washington debut in 2010.
Round 2 (41) - Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
The Redskins continue to give every indication that the Shanahan/Allen Era signifies a sea change in how the team does personnel business. Again eschewing sexy in Round 2, they opt for size (when is the last time a high-round lineman pick was not a shock in Washington?), consistency, production and character over flash and attempts at instant gratification. The steady Jenkins almost surely becomes a regular rotation from opening day, and barring injury or developmental hiccups adjusting from a 4-3 DT at Clemson to a projected 3-4 DE, takes ownership of a starting DE slot by midseason and never looks back. The Redskins will hope that access to an NFL training table and regimen will quiet any concerns over stamina, and that he will develop enough as a pass rushing threat to obviate the need to spell him on passing downs.
Round 3 (79) - Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
Is it too early to say it? Not at all. You have to hand it to the Redskins. It's all about the hands on this pick. On the one hand, scouting reports say the lanky, 6'2" 210 lb. wideout's hands are inconsistent. On the other hand, he has "massive hands, once compared by a former coach to Godzilla's, measure 105/8 inches from the tip of his pinky to the tip of his thumb - the largest of any player at the combine this year." On the one hand, reports say he lacks explosion off the line and doesn't get great separation. On the other hand, he runs a 4.43 and, oh by the way, broke Miami's "single-season receiving yards record on a team-high 72 receptions in 2010, his 13 receiving touchdowns broke Michael Irvin's mark of 11 set in 1986. His career numbers: 2,160 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns on 134 receptions." Hard for Redskins fans not to be pleased with the idea of a tall, athletic, productive and by all reports solid citizen wide receiver to come in and compete for a starting slot as a rookie. He may not turn out to be Jerry Rice, or even Larry Fitzgerald, but he doesn't have to be. He just has to be a productive professional and give the Redskins the big red zone and possession receiver they have lacked for so long. Another solid foundation-building pick, a developing pattern in year two of the Shanahan Era
Round 4 (105) - Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska
The Redskins trade back up in the 4th to grab Helu, a decisive, determined, downhill runner who seems to fit the "Shanahan mold" to a tee. But don't take anyone else's word for it. Sometimes, pictures really are worth a thousand words.
Round 5 (146) - Dejon Gomes, DB, Nebraska
The first "huh" pick of 2011. The Redskins grab an apparent nickle-depth DB and special teams player arguably a round or two earlier than his projections. Not known for coverage or open field skills, Gomes will have to earn his playing time on teams and ability to show coaches he can handle a role on defensive "packages" that ask him to support the run and clog passing lanes near the line of scrimmage. Will have to turn some heads in camp to earn his way onto the active roster. Best bet to stick around may be the developmental squad for a year.
Round 5 (155) - Niles Paul, WR, Nebraska
Round 6 (177) - Evan Royster, RB, Penn St
Round 6 (178) - Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU
Round 7 (213) - Brandyn Thompson, DB, Boise St.
Round 7 (217) - Maurice Hurt, OG, Florida
Round 7 (224) - Markus White, DE, Florida St.
Round 7 (253) - Chris Nield, NT, West Virginia

April 25, 2011

NFL Draft - History of 10th Overall Pick

Thursday night, the Washington Redskins will have the option of making the 10th overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Should they use the pick instead of trading it away or abdicating (obligatory royal wedding reference), the young man selected could turn out to be a Hall of Famer. The great DB Rod Woodson was drafted tenth overall in 1987 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the immortal Redskins-killing RB Marcus Allen drafted tenth by the Oakland Raiders in 1982.

Of course, as with any pick, the gentleman selected could also turn into a future "who?" There's no need to embarrass anyone by naming names. Just look at the list below--you'll find plenty of examples.

As I like to do every year, I have assembled a list of the players selected at the Redskins' specific pick(s) in a given draft. For the record, this is not intended as a predictor of success or failure, or a suggestion of where I think the team could or should go.

It is simply a self-indulgent exercise in fandom. I'm always intrigued by what the history shows.

Perhaps you are as well.

I went back to 1970, the year of the NFL/AFL merger. I figure that encompasses a couple of generations of players and fans, and covers what most of us deem the "modern era" of the game. Plus, forty years seemed like a good round number (okay, so it's actually 41, but you get the drift).  And let's face it, 1970-2010 just looks better.

So on to the stuff...