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Washington Redskins 2012 Draft Evaluation

1 - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3 - Josh LeRibeus, OG, Southern Methodist
4 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
4 - Keenan Robinson, ILB, Texas
5 - Adam Gettis, OG, Iowa
6 - Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic
6 - Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota
7 - Richard Crawford, CB, Southern Methodist
7 - Jordan Bernstine, DB, Iowa

The Redskins walked out of the 2012 NFL Draft with 9 selections. 2 QB’s, 3 OL, 2 DB’s, 1 LB, 1 RB were taken.

Starting with Griffin, this was a widely unanimous pick. The Redskins got the most dynamic player in the draft, and he’s a Heisman-winning QB. Griffin has a tremendous deep-throwing game and a great ability to throw on the run. His charisma is as much a part of his selection as his talent, as the Redskins need a face for the franchise to go along with being their franchise QB.

Josh LeRibeus is a guy that not many Redskins fans know much about, and a guy that absolutely nobody had the Redskins taking, especially in the 3rd round. The fans also doubted the Kerrigan and Jenkins picks last year, and while Jenkins did go on IR, he impressed everyone early on. LeRibeus is a Guard who can also play a little Center if he has to. He’s a big mauler, but he’s agile and quick, which is perfect for Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Shanahan is without a doubt a top 3 offensive line coach in the history of football, so I trust his eye for this kid and taking him as high as he did tells me Shanahan saw something in him he didn’t see in many other people in this draft.

Kirk Cousins has thus-far been a controversial pick, which we’ll get to a little later. He’s 6’3, and athletic. Shanahan got to meet him at the Senior Bowl and was really impressed with what the kid offers. He didn’t have the most impressive collegiate career of any mid-to-late-round QB ever taken, but he’s a solid quarterback who will work and compete for an opportunity.

Keenan Robinson was a solid pick. He’s got a lot of experience rushing the passer from the edges, so he could play outside backer if called on, but he was told he’ll primarily be an inside backer with Fletcher and Riley, which boosts his pass-rushing ability as he’ll be directly over center when he’s blitzing. He’s a dog who just likes to hit people and he’s exceptionally quick. Very good selection.

Adam Gettis might be my favorite pick of the draft outside of Griffin. He is a beast who has deceptive speed and loves to block downfield (swing-guard on the stretch). He also has experience playing Center, so we’ve added another versatile guy providing depth at 3 spots instead of just 1 on the line.

Alfred Morris is a guy I’m not entirely familiar with outside of his deceptive quickness, agility, and strength. But he’s a late-round running back taken by Mike Shanahan. When Shanahan drafts a running back, I don’t question, I just wait to be impressed. Load the backfield and let these guys go to work and keep each other fresh.

Tom Compton is a very shifty tackle with great footwork for his size and uses his hands well. He will sometimes be caught trying to block a speed-rush and get blown up by a power move, but in the zone blocking scheme, he’ll be able to attack rather than wait for someone to bowl him over.

Richard Crawford is another favorable pick for me. He has ideal size and he’s pretty damn fast on game-day. He didn’t wow anyone in the combine which is why he fell to the 7th round, and he had a 4.6 40-yard dash which raised eyebrows, but he’s good backpedaling and he has shifty hips, allowing him to keep on a receiver when he breaks on his route.

Bernstine is a safety, and will likely play strong-side. I don’t know much about him other than he likes to play up in the box a little at times and can tackle well. From what I’m told, he’s very disciplined and good at reading the quarterback as well as sticking to his zone’s responsibility.

If I have to grade this draft, I do it by giving the Redskins a B. They stayed honest to what they wanted and they grabbed who they felt could help them, and not who was the biggest name no matter red-flags. They got a franchise quarterback and likely a backup quarterback, both of whom are upgrades over last year’s options. Shanahan bolstered the interior line and added a lot of versatile guys who will dog it out when called on.

As far as the controversy I spoke of earlier, there is none. Kirk Cousins wasn’t selected to take Griffin’s spot or put any more pressure on Griffin. Griffin cost 2 first rounders and a second rounder… teams don’t normally trade up for busts, and the Redskins wouldn’t have selected Griffin if they felt they had a shot at another quarterback who could be better than Griffin.

Cousins is an exceptional pick because the Redskins didn’t reach for a player at that spot that they didn’t necessarily need. Outside of guard, the Redskins greatest needs were both QB spots. The Redskins got a rookie to sit behind Griffin and Grossman this year so that next season when Grossman is gone they have a young kid who can play with a little experience in the system in case Griffin goes down with injury. In 3-4 seasons when it’s time to figure out how to move forward with Cousins, he will either be re-signed with veteran experience of the playbook and familiarity with the team/coaches, or he will be a Kolb/Cassel type of guy with some trade value, or he could be a Matt Flynn who comes in and wows people and then has the opportunity to leave.


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