With upgrades in the secondary ranking among the Redskins’ top needs for the preseason, members of the team’s scouting department took notes Tuesday on the crop of cornerback and safeties, among other positions, and held brief on-field interviews with some of them following the conclusion of the practice session.
Cornerback Robert Alford of Southeastern Louisiana and cornerback Sanders Commings of Georgia were among those who spoke with scouts today.
Most of the questions deal with skills, strengths, weaknesses and any possible character-related issues.
The scouts then take their findings back to General Manager Bruce Allen and the rest of the team’s decision-makers, and then some of those same players the scouts talked to here this week, and at last week’s East-West Shrine game, will then have additional interviews with Redskins officials and coaches at the NFL Combine next month.
It’s all about piecing together the most complete picture so the team can make the best possible decisions on Draft Day.
Here are some observations from Tuesday’s South practice:
- Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo and Georgia Southern’s J.J. Wilcox spent the practice rotating at strong safety.
- Rambo has good size at 6-foot, 210 pounds, but didn’t seem overwhelmingly impressive today. At times, he displayed his physical style of play, covering receivers in the slot and making plays on the ball for pass breakups. But Rambo also got turned around on double-moves when covering receivers.
- Wilcox is trying to prove he can make the jump from small school to the NFL, and had a couple pass breakups, but appeared a little indecisive at other times. He boasted impressive speed while returning kicks, which is another way for him to catch teams’ eyes and prove his versatility.
- Rambo and Alabama’s Robert Lester seemed to have a good feel for each other, but weren’t as aggressive or impressive a safety duo as was the North team’s T.J. McDonald and Phillip Thomas. McDonald and Thomas are projected as second- or early third-rounders, while Rambo and Lester have received some third- to fourth-round grades.
- All five of these safeties — McDonald, Thomas, Rambo, Lester and Wilcox — seem to have the versatility to play both strong and free safety.
- Alford comes from a small school, like Wilcox, but has good speed (4.32-second, 40-yard dash) and natural coverage skills. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and is eager for the opportunity to show he can be an impact player in the league.
- Cal corner Marc Anthony was aggressive in coverage with several pass breakups, one of which led to an interception.
- Commings seemed to do well in press coverage, but also got turned around on some double-moves.
- Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson looked like the top lineman on his team. A freshman for the Sooners in Trent Williams’ senior year, the 6-foot-6, 303-pounder originally was a tight end at Oklahoma before switching to tackle. Johnson went on to see time at both right and left tackle as sophomore and junior before playing full-time at left tackle as a senior.
- Virginia right tackle Oday Aboushi appeared to do well at right tackle, displaying good quickness and strength both in the run-blocking and pass-protection departments. He at times didn’t appear as aggressive as he could have been and struggled in some of his one-on-one matchups, but overall, appeared to have a solid practice.