We’ll have to wait two or more years to decide whether or not the Redskins’ 2011 draft will be considered a success or a failure, but what’s to stop us from looking into our crystal balls and shaking our magic eight balls, putting on our gypsy robes and predicting the future? I will abashedly admit that after the 2008 draft I was waaaay too optimistic. I’ll try to be more open-minded here, but I’m still a homer at heart.
Position, Player, (Round-Overall Number) — just in case you accidentally came across this page while taking a break from a frantic news day.
• DE/LB Ryan Kerrigan (1-16). I like Kerrigan, but I don’t like this pick. Regardless of his motor and work ethic Kerrigan will be playing a new position in a much faster game. If he enables Orakpo to get after the quarterback then maybe he’s a solid addition, but I don’t see him chalking up double-digit sacks. Instead, I see him as a liability in pass coverage. Amukamara, Castonzo, Ingram, and Carimi are four players I’d have preferred here.
• DT/NT Jarvis Jenkins (2-41). Shanahan is setting up some major competition at nose tackle, as he should be. Jenkins could very well beat out Kemoeatu, Bryant and whomever Shanahan tries to stuff in the middle. Unfortunately, that’s not saying much. Does anyone know Dave Butz’ current weight and 40 time?
• WR Leonard Hankerson (3-79). With Malcolm Kelly’s hands and Devin Thomas’ build Hankerson is my favorite pick in this draft, especially at the value. This guy is a football player. Hands, size, speed and good blocking, the Skins were lucky to scoop him in the third. I recommend heading over to YouTube and getting wowed by some one handed Hanker-grabs.
• RB Roy Helu (4-105). The first of the Nebraska three. Due to Torain’s success and size I assumed Shanahan would be looking for a smaller and more elusive back or else he’d pick Ingram. I guess I was wrong. Shanahan compared Helu to Portis. We’ll see about that one. I expect he’ll be a third-stringer behind Torain and Williams or on the practice team if Royster beats him out.
• CB/SS DeJon Gomes (5-146). Gomes’ versatility could make him The One-Man Gang’s (Lorenzo Alexander) sidekick. The Lone Ranger did have Tonto and that’s equally as incorrect. Gomes could contribute on special teams, but Shanahan not going after a true shutdown corner presses the need for new contracts for Carlos Rogers and Philip Buchanan.
• WR Niles Paul (5-155). Paul is a bigger receiver and considered fearless over the middle with some kick returning skills. Special teamer or a practice teamer. Hopefully the Nebraska three will last longer than the last drafted Cornhusker, linebacker Cody Glenn.
• RB Evan Royster (6-177). I consider this a steal. The leading rusher in Penn State history slipped until the sixth round. Royster didn’t look good enough on paper for most, but some people have what it takes on game day. Hopefully he’ll have a huge chip on his shoulder.
• WR Aldrick Robinson (6-178). Three drafted receivers. Robinson is considered the slot candidate. Will Santana be re-signed? Or will Joey Galloway return for veteran leadership?
• CB Brandyn Thompson (7-213). A truer cornerback than Gomes, Thompson will compete for a reserve role. But can he out-play Byron Westbrook?
• OL Maurice Hurt (7-217). Finally an offensive lineman! What’s the point in having twelve wideouts and eight running backs without a steady offensive line? John Beck is going to need some protection. Legally.
• DE/LB Markus White (7-224). Another converted linebacker project, that makes 10 in total on the roster. White is depth for the depth.
• DT/NT Chris Neild (7-253). The last pick is Neild who will compete for nose tackle. Hopefully these guys can really push each other to get better so by game day one of them will be good enough.
Shanahan has done a tremendous job adding depth, something the Redskins have been lacking for years. Whether or not this translates on the field is now in the hands of the coaches. We’ll talk it up in two or more years, preferably with little suffering in between.