The Redskins in the fifth round selected a pair of players out of Florida State, taking running back Chris Thompson with the 154th overall pick and outside linebacker Brandon Jenkins with the 162nd pick.
Thompson presumably would help fill the Redskins’ need for a change-of-pace back, and Jenkins could help bolster the team’s pass-rushing depth.
Both will first have to prove their health, however, as both are coming off of season-ending injuries.
Thompson battled injury both as a junior and senior, breaking two vertebrae in his back in 2011 and tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in 2012. Jenkins, meanwhile, missed 13 games in with suffered a Lisfranc injury — a fracture to the mid-foot area — to his left foot.
The 5-foot-7, 192-pound Thompson played in only five games as a junior, and then had his senior season reduced to eight games. At the time of his knee injury, Thompson had rushed for 687 yards (averaging 7.5 yards a carry) and five touchdowns, and also had 21 catches for 248 yards.
In his first two seasons at Florida State, Thompson saw some time as a kick returner, recording six returns for 150 yards in 2009 and two for 33 yards in 2010.
Thompson said that his recovery from his knee surgery is progressing well and that he will be 100 percent by the start of training camp. Once healthy, he hopes to recapture his 4.3-second 40-yard dash speed, which would help make Washington’s offense more explosive, particularly on the team’s zone-read option plays or as a receiver out of the backfield. Starter Alfred Morris is more of a power runner, and backup Evan Royster lacks top-end speed. Fellow backup Roy Helu is the fastest of the three, but still is trying to recover from a toe injury that kept him sidelined for the bulk of last season.
Jenkins spent all of this past season in a walking boot, but has fully recovered and is eager to begin learning Washington’s defense. Despite playing defensive end primarily at Florida State, Jenkins played outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme in high school. There also were times at Florida State when he rushed from a two-point stance.
Washington has Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan as their right and left outside linebackers, respectively, and the team signed free agent Darryl Tapp last month. The Redskins also re-signed Rob Jackson, who started in place of an injured Orakpo last season, but Jackson will miss the first four games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the team’s substance abuse policy. Jenkins hopes to crack the linebacker rotation and also earn playing time on special teams.
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The Early Lead: Te’o goes to Chargers in Round 2
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