Sunday, April 25, 2010

Solid Draft For The Redskins

The Washington Redskins entered the 2010 NFL Draft with four draft picks and one pick in the top 100. The Redskins ended the draft with six picks, three of them came in the 7th round. How did the Redskins do that? Well, they traded down their 5th round selection to the Miami Dolphins to get a 6th round pick and also get a couple of 7th round selections with trades from the New England Patriots.

This results in the Redskins getting six picks, three of which were offensive linemen. Other selections were a inside linebacker, wide receiver, and a tight end. Let's dissect each of the late round picks the Redskins selected yesterday.

Round 4 (103rd selection): OLB Perry Riley from LSU: Riley is a versatile outside linebacker from LSU. He is a instinctive player with good awareness, and great speed for a linebacker. He is a solid open-field tackler and can easily transition from OLB to ILB. Riley fits the 3-4 defense and could easily provide impact to a linebacker's core that has been aging in recent years. Look for Riley to replace London Fletcher in a year or so.

Round 6: (174th selection): TE Dennis Morris from Louisiana Tech: This selection didn't make much sense to me. But after finding out that Shanahan planning to switch Morris into fullback, then I understand the selection. Morris blocking techniques as a tight end looks very legit and I suggest you check his highlights from last season. It seems like Morris won't have any problem transitioning into fullback based on his blocking schemes. Morris will be competing for the fullback slot against Mike Sellers come training camp and don't be surprised if he's on the 53-man roster.

Round 7: (219th selection): WR Terrence Austin from UCLA:At 5-9, 163 pounds, Austin is a thin receiver that was ranked in the top 75 in wide receiver draft prospects. Austin earned 2nd team all PAC-10 as a kick off returner. Look for Austin to be used in that position, replacing the recently departed Rock Carthwright. The Redskins not only needed depth at wide receiver, but they needed a solid special team return player. Hopefully, Austin is the right fit and maybe becomes the next Desean Jackson.

Round 7 (229th selection) C Erik Cook from New Mexico: At 6'6"318 lbs, Cook seemed a bit tall for a Center, but he has good size and a very good knee bender. But Cook struggles in pass protection and struggles to recover when he loses his position. Therefore, Cook could have a hard time staying on the roster in 2010.

Round 7 (231st selection) OT Selvish Capers from West Virginia:
At 6'4" 308 lbs, Capers' pick is a steal for the Redskins. They desperately needed depth at the tackle position and they got it. Capers is suited for the right tackle slot despite his speed in left tackle. His long arms does very well in run and pass protection, but he struggles with his awareness. Either way, look for Capers to compete for the right tackle slot against Stephan Heyer.

Overall Grade: B+: The Redskins 2010 draft class is much improved then in 2009 and any other year under the Snyder/Cerrato regime. The team address the offensive line and added depth in other key areas. As for Mike Shanahan, drafting offensive linemen is a common norm for him. He has drafted 14 of those in his tenure in Denver. So it appears that the O-Line won't be a problem under the Shanahan regime??

Lastly for the record, those three offensive linemen were the most the Redskins have drafted in since 1987. They have drafted four of those in six years and two in the top 10 in ten years.

Coming up later tonight or tomorrow: My thoughts on the Jason Campbell trade.

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