Last week I wrote that the Redskins had fewer starts by their own draft picks in 2011 than any other NFL team. Of a total of 352 starts (22 starters times 16 games), draft picks made 121 of them.
With a great emphasis being put on the draft by Mike Shanahan than we saw in the past in Washington, one would expect the Redskins to have more starts by home-grown talent in 2012 than they did last year. Now we’ll look at how many draft pick starts they might have in 2012. Last week we looked at the offense Today, the defense.
It is a good bet that the Redskins are planning on starting the three linebackers drafted by the Redskins for all 16 games this year. Brian Orakpo, Perry Riley, and Ryan Kerrigan are mainstays on the defense and are set in the starting lineup.
Along the line, Jarvis Jenkins will fight it out with Adam Carriker for the starting job at left defensive end. Both will play a lot but the question here is who gets how many starts. It says here that earlier in the years Carriker’s experience will have him on the field first earlier in the years but when Jenkins’ knee if fully healthy and he gets familiar with the defense, he will get the nod. Give Jenkins, who was drafted in the second round last year, 10 starts in 2012.
There is a possibility that no Redskins draft picks will get starts in the backfield. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are set as the starters at cornerback and Tanard Jackson and Brandon Meriweather are penciled in as the starting safeties. It would not be surprising to see DeJon Gomes match the five starts he got as a rookie in 2011. If Kevin Barnes can beat out Cedric Griffin for the nickel back job he may get a few starts. Beyond that, it is hard to see Brandyn Thompson getting a start and 2012 draft picks Richard Crawford and Jordan Bernstine are probably a year away from contributing at all.
With 48 combined starts for the linebackers, 10 for Jenkins and five for Gomes, that projects to 63 starts for the defense. We’ll add in 10 more for unexpected developments for a total of 73.
If you add that to the 78 starts projected for the offense, that makes 161 starts by team draft picks for the Redskins. In 2011, that still would have had them near the bottom of the NFL. Only the Rams (125) and Bills (155) had fewer that 161 starts by their draft picks.
The Redskins’ recent focus on building the team through the draft is, as Shanahan likes to say, a process. Indications are that it it will be a very long process.
In 2011, the Redskins had 72 starts by their own draft picks on defense:
- S Reed Doughty 11
- S DeJon Gomes 5
- OLB Ryan Kerrigan 16
- S LaRon Landry 8
- ILB Rocky McIntosh 8
- OLB Brian Orakpo 16
- ILB Perry Riley 8