Redskins’ 2012 NFL Draft Report Card
-- Courtesy of ESPN --
Without embarrassing myself and mentioning how badly I missed with my numerous Redskins mock drafts, the following is a draft day report card for Mike Shanahan and the front office.
The Redskins added depth, drafted versatility and surprisingly pulled off a best-player-available strategy in the process.
Although maybe not as glamorous as last year’s draft class, the Redskins executed the ultimate draft plan of improving the team as a whole.
Round 1 — Robert Griffin III
Fans prayed and the Redskins answered.
Finally, after more than two decades worth of nothing at the quarterback position, the team drafted their quarterback of the future and new face of the franchise.
People will be critical of Griffin early on, as the cost for the Redskins to move up rests (unfairly) on the rookie’s shoulders. But with the hopes of Griffin helping the Redskins bring a Super Bowl to Washington, early success of any kind quiets the critics.
Round 3 — Josh LeRibeus
The Redskins entered this draft with a big need along the offensive line. Although most assumed the bigger hole to be at right tackle, the Redskins went with SMU guard Josh LeRibeus.
Despite hailing from an often-overlooked Conference USA, LeRibeus is the type of lineman Shanahan enjoys working with. He’s fit for the zone scheme, he plays with a mean streak and he’s versatile enough to play center.
With current guard Kory Lichtensteiger returning from a harsh knee injury, the coaching staff may have plans for LeRibeus on the left side in case ‘Steiger’s recovery isn’t superb. They could also be thinking of replacing Will Montgomery at center all together.
While I do like this pick, I think there may have been some better offensive linemen available. However, Shanahan likely fell in love with LeRibeus’ attitude.
Round 4 — Kirk Cousins
For the first time in a long time, the Redskins entered the fourth round and fell under a best-player-available strategy.
The Redskins have more than a few holes throughout the roster, but Shanahan was unable to leave Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins on the board at this point.
Rex Grossman may seem like a decent backup to RG3, but no one can honestly say that they’re confident in him. Not to mention, in the NFL, you can never have too many good quarterbacks.
From my original reaction to Cousins in Washington:
If the Shanahans are comfortable with teaching the offense to two rookies this summer and then comfortably entering the season with them, so be it. At the very least, Cousins will develop into a solid and reliable back up that brings it everyday in practice and serves as positive leader in the locker room.
Each quarterback will understand their role in Washington and Cousins will serve as the necessary fire behind Griffin to keep him performing at the top of his game.
What you really pray for as a Redskins fan, is for Cousins to become something like what Kevin Kolb was in Philadelphia. After watching what the Eagles have been able to do with all they acquired from Arizona in exchange for a second-string quarterback, it’d be an incredible haul.
Round 4 — Keenan Robinson
With a need for inside linebackers, fans were skeptical of the Redskins and their selection of outside linebacker Keenan Robinson. But at the pro level, Robinson is better projected as an inside guy.
A highly decorated backer from Texas, Robinson joins the Redskins and will learn under one of the best in London Fletcher.
Robinson is long and athletic with a desire to tackle anything that moves. Even better, he’s a stud in coverage.
The more you think about this pick and Robinson’s potential in Haslett’s scheme, the more you like it.
Round 5 — Adam Gettis
Continuing to stock up on offensive linemen, Shanahan went with Iowa guard Adam Gettis.
Like LeRibeus, Gettis plays with tenacity. Despite being undersized as a lineman, Gettis is very athletic and gets off the line quickly. In Shanahan’s scheme, you don’t have to be the heaviest anchor in the league. Gettis’ ability to get off, gain leverage and move up field is ideal in the zone system.
Shanahan could also contemplate Gettis at the center position. More weight would be ideal, but tape proves Gettis to have a good understanding of gaining leverage on his opponent.
In another system, I may question this pick. But considering what Shanahan does with his blockers, Gettis could be considered a steal two years down the road.
Round 6 — Alfred Morris
No one should be surprised with Shanahan’s selection of a running back in the late rounds. As I mentioned in every one of my many incorrect mock drafts, Shanahan typically takes on a backfield project every April.
Florida Atlantic’s Alfred Morris is best described as a bowling ball off the line. He runs hard and he’s bulky, but he lacks the initial quickness and speed to stand out. In order to become a threat, Morris has to get rolling with the ball after his first cut.
Considering the fact that better running back talent was still available at this point—guys like Cyrus Gray and Boom Herron—Shanahan likely has an idea for Morris at the fullback position.
Don’t get me wrong, he may get some snaps at running back, but fullback is a better fit for him at the pro level.
Round 6 — Tom Compton
This is about the point where Redskins fan began to let out the sigh of relief. Just as they had hoped, Shanahan showed a serious commitment to stocking the offensive line.
Having already taken two interior guys, Shanahan nabbed a good one in the sixth when he selected South Dakota tackle Tom Compton.
Compton is a very intriguing tackle prospect with prototypical size and the athleticism necessary to succeed in the ZBS. He has long arms and huge hands, using them both effectively in gaining leverage and finishing his blocks.
When it’s all said and done, Compton could very well be considered the team’s steal of their 2012 draft class.
Round 7 — Richard Crawford
The Redskins have needs amidst their secondary, so selecting a cornerback in the seventh round wasn’t a bad move at all.
That said, there appears to have been better talent left on the board when the Redskins drafted SMU corner Richard Crawford.
After spending his first two years at a community college, Crawford transferred to SMU and started his junior and senior year, earning All-Conference First Team last season.
As weak as the Redskins secondary appears, Crawford has a good shot at making the roster and serving as a backup.
While I fully understand the arguments against drafting a guy with character concerns, I will always make a case for why the Redskins should have drafted Nebraska corner Alfonzo Dennard with this pick.
Round 7 — Jordan Bernstine
Still addressing the secondary, Shanahan and the Redskins went with Iowa defensive back Jordan Bernstine as their final draft pick.
Bernstine was a four-year contributor in the Big Ten (medical RS in 2009) that brings versatility to the Redskins back line. He does, however, come with durability issues and will likely struggle to make the roster.
Similar to my reaction regarding Richard Crawford, I feel like there was better talent left on the board when the Redskins selected Bernstine.
In my opinion, project guys like David Molk (C), Antonio Allen (S), Nate Potter (T), Alfonzo Dennard (CB), Drake Dunsmore (TE), Cam Johnson (DE), Junior Hemingway (WR) and Andrew Datko (T) would have all been more valuable picks in the last round.
Seeing as how Shanahan went with a BPA approach already in the fourth round, it’s a wonder why he didn’t stick to it in the seventh.
At the End of the Day…
As a self-proclaimed draftnik, I would say that the Redskins draft could have been a tad bit better.
While I am 100 percent comfortable and confident in the BPA strategy, I am not okay with inconsistency in its approach. I think there were a few times where the Redskins could have made some valuable draft selections, but instead went off course.
That said, I’m the guy on the couch and not in the front office. Only time will tell.
Final Grade: B- (weighted)