On Day 2 the Redskins selected David Amerson and Jordan Reed. On Day 3 they took five more guys. And on Day 4 everyone judged them for it. Of seven major sports sites that handed out NFL Draft report cards, the Skins pulled in about a 2.4 GPA, or a high C average. Not great, but at least RGIII was hype.
USA TODAY Sports: C-
They’re still paying for RGIII — no shame in that — and the tab will linger into 2014. However given the state of Griffin’s knee, we would’ve liked to see improvements to the offensive line. But the Redskins chose to focus on the secondary, which is understandable, with three of their seven choices. Still, CB David Amerson (Round 2) and S Bacarri Rambo (Round 6) come with various red flags. TE Jordan Reed (Round 3) is a nice insurance policy if TE Fred Davis (Achilles’ surgery) remains limited. We’re not sure why two more running backs were picked given Evan Royster and Roy Helu are capable backups to Alfred Morris.
CBS Sports: A-
With no first-round pick due to the trade up a year ago for quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Redskins had to wait until selection No. 51 overall before joining the action. Once they did, however, it became clear that the Redskins made finding ball-hawks in the secondary their top priority. The Redskins began their draft by selecting David Amerson, a lanky ball-hawk who left NC State after his junior season with an NCAA-leading 18 career interceptions. The Redskins continued this search for playmaking defensive backs through the third day, nabbing safeties Phillip Thomas (NCAA-leading eight interceptions in 2012) and Bacarri Rambo (who led SEC with eight interceptions in 2011). Tight end Jordan Reed is a virtual clone of former Florida Gator Aaron Hernandez and could prove to be similarly effective as the Patriots’ standout as a move tight end or H-back in this scheme. I also like the late-round gambles on injured pass-rusher Brandon Jenkins (Florida State) and running back Jawan Jamison (Rutgers). Overall, a very solid class, especially considering the lack of a first-round pick.
Washington knew this year would be lean after dealing its 2013 first-rounder as part of that package to land RGIII. The fourth-round pick of ball-hawking safety Phillip Thomas moved the needle more than that of up-and-down CB David Amerson in Round 2 (even if the Redskins later took sleeper Bacarri Rambo, a very similar player to Thomas). TE Jordan Reed could be fun to watch in this offense. There’s nothing great here, but all in all, it’s decent.
The Redskins knew this might happen after trading for Robert Griffin III — a weak class with no first-rounder. NC State’s David Amerson is a huge coverage risk in Round 2, Florida tight end Jordan Reed had a big lack of production for Round 3. They’ll hang it all on Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas becoming a starting free safety for them.
Yahoo! Sports: B+
This grade gets a pretty good boost from the fact that the Redskins used their first-round pick as part of the deal to get Robert Griffin III. That’s the excellent, but sort of unseen, part to this draft. As for the picks the Redskins made this year, they are pretty questionable. Amerson is a guy who suffers from DeAngelo Hall Disease, which is the inordinate tendency to get beat deep despite having good speed. Reed is very athletic, but is a bit of reach in the third round (most people projected him in the fourth or even the fifth). The one nugget pick in this group might be Thomas, who is a pretty good hitter and might provide some presence on defense.
GM Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan’s draft focus was on ballhawks, and they came away with three in 2011 NCAA interceptions leader Amerson, 2012 NCAA picks leader Thomas, and Rambo — who ranked second to Amerson in INTs two years ago. But Rambo and Thomas can’t tackle and Amerson got beat deep more than any cornerback in college football last season. Both running back picks are potential throwaways; Thompson broke his back in 2011 and tore his ACL in 2012, and Jamison doesn’t do anything well. Jenkins was a big-time sack specialist in 2010, but is coming off a Lisfranc fracture. Reed is a potential “Joker” tight end who could contribute on passing downs. Washington drafted a slew of big names and added productive collegiates, but I’m not sure they got more than one or two productive NFL starters.
The Redskins get a bump here because RG III is technically part of the value component when we grade what they got from this draft. But he is also coming back from an injury and we’ll see how they utilize him differently in 2013. He’s still a fabulous player, but there’s at least a little we don’t know. In terms of hitting needs, this was just OK. They need help all over the secondary, and David Amerson was a slight reach for me in Round 2, but at least offers depth. He was exceptional in 2011, but had some ugly games in 2012, so if he cleans up his play they get a good player. Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo offer depth at safety, with Thomas close to being ready to start. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does. Jordan Reed gives them a potential matchup threat at tight end, though I might have targeted an offensive lineman first.Brandon Jenkins is an interesting guy because if he’s 100 percent he’s a really good pass-rusher.Chris Thompson could be yet another good late-round RB story for Mike Shanahan, but he’ll need to stay on the field. I think Washington should have taken an inside linebacker, but didn’t. Not a bad draft, because the Redskins added depth at need spots.