Coming into the NFL draft, the Washington Redskins were needing to fix a few things. The list included rebuilding their secondary, finding more weapons for Robert Griffin III and strengthening their offensive line.
With their first pick in the second round, the Redskins selected North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson. Although he wasn’t the most popular cornerback prospect heading into the draft, he was regarded as a solid prospect who could surely develop into a quality starter.
In the third round, Washington selected former Florida Gator Jordan Reed, an athletic tight end with good hands and blocking ability.
There have surely been winners and losers in the draft thus far, and the Redskins seem to be right in the middle of the pack.
The Amerson pick was definitely a good selection, but there are questions as to whether or not it was smart to draft a tight end like Reed so early.
Let's take a look at each pick as well as an overall breakdown of the 'Skins draft so far:
David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State (Round 2, Pick No. 52 overall)
Mike Shanahan had this to say about his newest defensive back (via WashingtonPost.com):
I think Amerson really played well the last couple years. He’s done a great job getting interceptions. He’s a guy that we feel can play in off coverage, he can play in bump coverage. He’s got the speed you look for, he’s got some length, just a guy we felt can fit into our system very well. Very smart player.
The addition of Amerson is certainly a good one.
He possesses first-round talent, but he hurt his draft stock in his last year of college by playing too aggressively and taking too many risks, which can easily be fixed and coached out of his game.
By bringing in someone with the talent and ability of Amerson, you get a guy who will be a pretty quality starter for you in a year or two. Polish him up a bit, and you got yourself a pretty damn good player.
Given the situation that he will be coming into, things are pretty favorable for Amerson, too.
He will likely be playing on the outside, opposite of incumbent No. 1 corner Josh Wilson, and he will also have DeAngelo Hall in the slot next to him. Although he will be thrown into the lion’s den early, he will have veteran talent all around him, which will only make his transition easier.
Even though the Redskins’ biggest need was probably at free safety as opposed to cornerback, they still got the ballhawk they needed in Amerson, who had 13 interceptions in 2011.
Some more positives about the corner include his size and physicality. He is the perfect size for a corner at 6’1”, 205 pounds. Amerson’s body type and physical presence on the field makes him a great bump-and-run defender as well as a good matchup against bigger, taller receivers.
For all the good things that Amerson offers, there is still some bad. His hips get tight in coverage at times and his lack of consistent fluidity when shadowing receivers causes him to get beat by polished route runners. Granted, this isn’t an all-the-time thing, but it’s enough of an issue that it will have to be hammered out during training camp.
Aside from that, though, there isn’t much to dislike about Amerson. He is a very solid prospect, and a good pick up in the second round.
Washington may have themselves a bit of a steal.
Jordan Reed, TE, Florida (Rd. 3, Pick No. 85 overall)
Third-round pick Jordan Reed was a surprise pick to some, including Reed himself. According to Brian Tinsman of Redskins.com, the former Gator had no contact with Washington before the draft and had “no idea” that he would be their pick in the third round.
Many may look at this selection and think that it was too early to draft a guy at a position that isn’t a huge need. It may have been a tad bit early, but Reed’s value was just too good to pass up at that point. The type of athleticism and ball skills that he has will make him a great addition to Washington’s offense.
Ever since New England showed how effective the two tight end set can be, lots of teams have been catching on to the trend, and this may be Washington’s attempt at copy-catting.
Regardless, it was a smart pick.
With Reed, you get a big, athletic pass-catcher who can also block well. There were times where he would grab a little too much and get flagged for holding, but that can easily be coached away.
Another great aspect of Reed’s game is his versatility. He can not only play tight end, but can also line up as an H-back and wide receiver. He isn’t the fastest guy in the world (he ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at the Combine), but he is very fluid in his route running and breaks.
When you look at the tape, Reed is a very physical player. You will often see him fighting for extra yards while going down and trying to thump his way forward for a first down.
When you look at this pair of picks by Washington, there is much to be happy about. They picked up two big athletes that will definitely have an impact on either side of the ball.
Amerson may not be the next Darrell Green, and Reed may not be the next Chris Cooley (in his golden years), but they will definitely have a positive impact for the burgundy and gold in 2013 and beyond.
Not bad for their first two picks, huh?