Rich Tandler’s five things that may or may not be related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.
5. To give you a sneak preview our Draft Talk Live review show on CSNwashington.com today, I really like the pick of linebacker Keenan Robinson. For the next two years he’ll be a special teams contributor who will come up with a big hit on a regular basis. After that, he’ll be all over the field as London Fletcher’s replacement at Mike linebacker. The Redskins were caught without a succession plan for Fletcher and were over a barrel during their recent contract negotiations with their defensive captain. They checked that item off of their to-do list on Saturday.
4. One thing we will be breaking down here during the upcoming OTA’s is how the offensive line is going to shake out after the Redskins drafted three O-linemen to add to nine who had game experience for the Redskins in 2011. Third-round pick Josh LeRibeus could get a look at first-team guard during OTA’s while Kory Lichtensteiger continues to rehab his knee. That is, if he can stay ahead of fifth-round guard Adam Gettis and Maurice Hurt, the 2011 seventh-round choice who started half of the season at left guard. Sixth-round pick Tom Compton will battle with Willie Smith to be the heir apparent to Jammal Brown at right tackle. The end result here will be some interesting competition in training camp and some players with some significant game experience might not make the roster.
3. It was somewhat surprising that the Redskins didn’t take a wide receiver at some point during the draft if only because it was one of the stronger positions available. But, then again, there already is an overload of bodies at the position. Most of the year the Redskins carries six or, if you count returner Brandon Banks as a receiver, seven wide receiver on the 53-man roster. They were able to do that in part because they carried only two quarterbacks. The addition of QB Kirk Cousins in the fourth round makes it very likely that there will be three quarterbacks on the roster in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and Rex Grossman joining Cousins. That could well squeeze a receiver roster spot out and we could see an interesting scramble for the last two jobs behind Pierre Garçon, Joshua Morgan, and Leonard Hankerson.
2. The Redskins will have 13 players who were rookies last year (12 draft picks plus the undrafted Willie Smith) joining the nine 2012 draft picks on the offseason roster. Let’s say that 10 of last year’s rookies and seven of this year’s selections make the 53-man roster. If that happens, nearly one third of the roster would be first- and second-year players. That would be a remarkable transformation as the Redskins were the oldest team in the league just two years ago. Of course, youth doesn’t do you any good if the kids can’t play and with the exception of Ryan Kerrigan we don’t know if any of them can. And the unknowns include Griffin, who is over four months away from taking his first NFL snap. But the transformation to youth was a stated goal of Mike Shanahan and we will see what they can do.
1. Griffin was impressive as he met with a media throng at Radio City Music Hall after he was drafted on Thursday. There aren’t many press conferences that I’ve been to that I’ll remember for a long time but this one of them. It will rank right up there with the return of Joe Gibbs to Redskins Park in January of 2004 in my book. The most impressive part Thursday was when he went to a smaller room behind the main interview area and dealt with numerous one-on-one sessions as well as some small groups. He answered every question sincerely whether it was the first time he has been asked it or the sixth time. If he can play at even a competent level he will become one of the most popular sports figures in the country.
Days until: Rookie minicamp 4; OTA’s start 21; Preseason opener 101; Redskins at Saints 132