Football.com - everything football

Redskins Rookies Fill Needs And Improve Team

By



How will the rookies help the Rendskins? Photo by Nick Wass/Getty Images.
How will the rookies help the Rendskins? Photo by Nick Wass/Getty Images.

The salary cap penalties caused the Washington Redskins to improve their team through the draft. Without a first round pick, the Redskins were able to fill the biggest holes they had and add depth to other positions.

“When you get done with the draft, you’re trying to look for some depth and some competition on your football team and I thought we were able to do that today,” Shanahan said. “I felt good about the guys that we did get. It gives guys a chance to compete against one another, and we’re a better football team today than we were yesterday, and I thought the draft went well.”

The Redskins drafted some great players, but how and where will they fit into an already powerful team?

CB David Amerson, North Carolina State

In 2011, Amerson led the nation in interceptions, and he can help protect the Redskins from multi-receiver sets.

Amerson brings speed to the team, and his strength lies in press coverage. The fact that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett likes to play press schemes is a plus, and that’s how he’ll fit in with the team.   

TE Jordan Reed, University of Florida

Reed is a traditional Y tight end and will not be much of a blocker. He has the ability to break open big plays, averaging over 12 yards per catch in his final year at Florida. He will most likely be a backup or a second tight end in two-tight end formations in order to create mismatches in the defensive secondary. 

Reed could also line up in the Redskins’ backfield, creating more confusion for defenses. During his freshman year at Florida, he had 77 rushing attempts for 328 yards and five touchdowns. He was also 26-for-46 passing with 252 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception — the Redskins could use him in a trick play throwing the ball with his experience.

S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State

The Redskins have possible openings at both the strong and free safety positions. Thomas was the leading tackler for Fresno State last year, and showed big playability with eight interceptions, including three for touchdowns. Thomas is also able to play either safety position, giving the Redskins some flexibility depending on the team’s needs.

RB Chris Thompson, Florida State

Thompson is someone the Redskins took hoping he would recover from injuries. He won’t have a huge impact because the Redskins already have Alfred Morris, who ran over 1,600 yards last year. If he is going to have an impact, it will be as a change-of-pace speed back. In limited action last year, he averaged seven and a half yards per carry.

OLB Brandon Jenkins, Florida State

The return of starters Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo and the addition of free agent Darryl Tapp should allow the Redskins to develop Jenkins, as opposed to forcing him to make contributions this year. He missed all of his senior year due to a broken foot and may need this time to fully recover from that injury.  

S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

Rambo adds depth to the safety position along with Morris, and could start if injuries occur during the season. He could have a bigger impact down the road as long as he keeps his off-the-field issues from following him. On the field, he adds another playmaker to the Redskins secondary after finishing his college career with 16 interceptions and six forced fumbles.

RB Jawan Jamison, Rutgers

Jamison could end up being a short-yardage and goal-line running back for the team. He runs really low and rarely goes down with first contact.

He can also be used as a receiving threat in the backfield: he had 28 receptions for 323 yards and two touchdowns last year. This is a threat the Redskins did not have last season (Evan Royster had a position high of 15 catches for the team last year).