Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 3, 17 days before the start of OTA’s.
Redskins draft about getting to the next level
Mike Tanier is one of the best NFL analysts out there. He, like almost everyone else out there, graded each team’s draft. I thought his final take on the Redskins was particularly interesting and insightful.
Final Assessment: Proficient, bordering on Advanced. The Redskins are swinging for blue chippers, a sign that they realize that there is still building to do before they become true contenders. Past Redskins regimes would have flaked out after one divisional title.
As we have frequently noted, the Redskins bought back 21 of 22 starters from a team that won the NFC East title. The only depth player they lost that they wanted to keep was linebacker/special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander.
It’s not like they don’t have needs. After all, they were 3-6 at one point in the season and their pass defense was shaky in its better times. They have seven starters who will be free agents next year.
Still, Shanahan did not play it safe. He went for players who could be great. In David Amerson, they took the player who led the nation in interceptions in 2011. Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo were 1-2 in the country in INT’s last year. Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed can take it to the house any time they get their hands on the ball. Brandon Jenkins has the stuff to post double-digit sacks in the NFL.
There is some potential downside to some of these players as well. Jenkins and Thompson are both coming off of major injuries. Amerson has a knack for allowing more big plays than he makes. And Rambo was twice suspended for drug issues. These issues made them available later in the draft than they otherwise would have been. But it also means that there is risk involved. If, say, Rambo strays off of the straight and narrow during the season it won’t matter if he is “only” a sixth-round pick, it would be a disruption.
When you are trying to get your team up to the level where it is competitive, you are less likely to take chances like that. But when a team reaches a certain level you have to get difference makers, players who can change a game in one play. They have one of those in Robert Griffin III and giving him more targets and weapons and defenders who can put the ball into his hands more frequently will help the team move into that next tier of NFL teams.
RG3 talks about the Ravens game
Earlier this week I wrote about the Redskins’ need to balance their roster and get the right number of players at each position. The team announced 12 undrafted free agent signings yesterday. Let’s take a look at what positions the new players play and how that helps them get enough bodies at the right spots.
Here are the new signings:
OL (4): Jacolby Ashworth, Xavier Nixon, Tevita Stevens, Kyle Wilborn
LB (3): Marvin Burdette, William Compton, Jeremy Kimbrough
WR (4): Skye Dawson, Chip Reeves, Jason Thompson, Nick Williams
TE (1): Emmanuel Ogbuehi
On offense we figured that they would be looking for one more tight end, six more wide receivers, and four more offensive linemen. They are getting pretty close to being balanced on offense.
And we thought they would bring in two more linebackers so they are close to being good there as well.
The roster churn is not yet over. After this weekend a number of tryout players could be signed and others, perhaps including some of those who just came aboard, will be released.
OTA’s start May 20.
In case you missed it
- Redskins announce 12 signings
- Draft review: Brandon Jenkins
- In-depth chart: Defense
- RG3: “I can trust these guys”
Days until: OTA’s 17, Training camp 83, Preseason opener @ Titans 97