With the benefit of a rookie year’s worth of hindsight, the Washington Redskins appear to have had a pretty nice 2013 draft class, finding a potential Pro Bowl talent in tight end Jordan Reed, a cornerback expected to start, in David Amerson, and four other players who are expected to compete for roles this season. Only seventh-round running back Jawan Jamison is off the roster.
At this time last year, Amerson, Phillip Thomas and Baccari Rambo were just names on lists of secondary players who could end up in Washington. Insider commenters were also interested in players like Jonathan Cyprien (a safety picked 33rd by Jacksonville), D.J. Swearinger (an S picked 57th by Houston) and Blidi Wreh-Wilson (a cornerbacked taken 70th by Tennessee).
Take a look back at the days leading up to the draft last year, before you developed a fan’s affection for Reed or Amerson, or a fan’s hopes for Chris Thompson or Brandon Jenkins, and compare that with what you learned in Year 1.
CBSSports.com wrote that Amerson’s “lack of elite speed” would mean he would struggle in zone and off-man coverage in the NFL, and called him “far from a sure thing” to go in the first round. Scouts Inc.’s Kevin Weidl said Amerson was a Day 3 draft prospect, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said he had some of the “worst eye discipline” he had seen, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said Amerson “was beaten far too much for my liking.” (Rotoworld gathered those last three Amerson quotes last winter)
Reed looked the part of star receiving tight end in the first half of the NFL season, but well before that, after last year’s combine, he didn’t compare too favorably to other tight ends in the draft:
WalterFootball.com called out Reed’s blocking but wrote that “he should be able to contribute as a receiver immediately in the NFL.” Reed was also called a potential second-round pick. (He went with the 23rd pick in the third round).
At National Football Post, Russ Lande called Chris Thompson his underrated prospect at running back way back in Oct. 2012. There’s still no consensus on Thompson, but it’s interesting to go back and read what a scout thought of him long before the draft and well before he wore burgundy and gold. Here’s a quote:
“There is little doubt that NFL teams do not love 5’8 running backs that are not thickly built like Maurice Jones-Drew, but Thompson’s skill set warrants him being drafted. A naturally instinctive runner with excellent vision, Thompson finds the hole/crease, can make the sharp cut to get to it and has the burst to get through it.”
and one more:
“However, he lacks the size and playing strength to hold ground consistently in pass protection. If he does not improve greatly in pass protection he will not be able to get on the field in passing situations, which will hinder his ability to win a battle to be a backup running back.”
NFL.com lists strengths and weaknesses for Bacarri Rambo, and this was among the latter:
“[A]ngles to the ball and his ability to break down quickly are inconsistent, and will be eluded by quicker ballcarriers at the next level.”
But the same report also said he had the ability to become a starter in the NFL. And that really hasn’t been determined yet.
I cherry-picked quotes and reports, so if you were looking for a true consensus on what the feeling on a particular player was prior to him being drafted last year, you’d do well to click on the sites linked above and read several takes. The point of the exercise is more to jog the memory and to remind you that everything you’re reading this time of year will look a lot different not only days after the draft, but in a year’s time.
Stats draft tracker
The Post and Stats, Inc.’s Draft Tracker is up and running, which means you can sort the pool of prospects by position, school or alphabetical order, and get background on top players. It’s also worth keeping handy for the draft order, and when the event actually gets underway May 8, it updates live.
Opening Kick engages regular readers with a morning conversation starter, quick observation or poll. Click here for previous installments.
Mark Bullock examines defensive line prospects in the draft.
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