Two rounds after taking Phillip Thomas in the fourth round, Washington went after Rambo to further bolster the depth at that safety position.
At 6 feet 1, 211 pounds, Rambo has great size and developed a reputation in college as a ballhawk and hard hitter. He recorded 16 interceptions and 235 tackles in four seasons at Georgia.
As a senior, Rambo tallied 73 tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles in 10 games last season. As a junior, Rambo recorded eight interceptions, finishing second to David Amerson (13), whom Washington selected in the second round.
Getting Rambo in the sixth round appears to be good value for the Redskins. He was projected as a third- to fourth-round pick, but slid down the draft boards.
“I thought everybody had forgot about me, man,” Rambo said via conference call. “I was sitting here, praying, asking God to give me one team that liked me, and the Redskins called. It’s just a blessed moment and I just thank the organization for believing in me.”
He added, “It was very hard, because I felt like a lot of those guys weren’t nearly the guy I was, but everything happens for a reason. It just puts a big chip on my shoulder and I’m going to have to go out and prove to everybody.”
Although frustrated by the long wait, Rambo believed that his past off-field issues scared teams off.
He served a four-game suspension for failing a drug test at the start of his senior year, but those issues are behind him, Rambo says.
“I understand where they’re coming from, but that’s behind me,” he said. “That’s my past. I can’t control my past, I can just grow from it.”
Speaking further about his suspension, Rambo said, “It was a very selfish decision I made, but I grew from it, and it helped me put my priorities in order and just take every moment as it comes. It helped me be a better person and be mentally strong. I hit adversity and overcame, I was there with my teammates, and I’m just happy to be here now.”
Rambo said he’ll play whichever safety position the Redskins tell him to, but said he prefers free safety because it gives him a chance to roam the center of the field and put his ball skills to use.
The safety positions in Washington’s schemes are largely interchangeable, so it’s possible that he could play some of both.
Rambo said he had met Thomas only briefly at the Senior Bowl, but now he feels a special bond with him since both had to wait longer than expected to be drafted. He said he looks forward to sharing the secondary with Thomas.
“I think he’s another great safety, and he was feeling the same way I was, watching those guys go ahead of us,” Rambo said. “But, now we’re together and I hope we get the chance to play right beside each other if we’re not the same position, and be the best duo in the country.”
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