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Bacarri Rambo to Redskins: How Does Safety Fit with Washington?

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03:  Bacarri Rambo #18 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the LSU Tigers during the 2011 SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Safety was their biggest need entering the draft, and the Washington Redskins haven't been shy about addressing it. Bacarri Rambo joins Phillip Thomas as two rookies who have a chance to start in year one.

Rambo is something of a risk for the Redskins. He was suspended for a failed drug test in 2012 and was suspended for a game the previous year, according to ESPN.com.

That should concern the Redskins' front office, considering the current roster has been blighted with similar issues. Trent Williams and Fred Davis received a drug-related suspension in 2011.

Tanard Jackson was suspended all last season for drug violations. Rob Jackson will miss four games to start this campaign, through suspension.

However, the fact that the Redskins took Rambo anyway implies they thought his value was too good to pass. That's easy to imagine given their need at safety.

Rambo is a fluid mover at the position and boasts an excellent feel for zone coverage. He'll fit nicely in the Redskins' two-deep coverage schemes.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett needs more range and athleticism in deep zones. He needs better protection against the big play to support his risky blitz calls.

Rambo can offer those valuable traits Haslett covets. He intercepted three passes and broke up another two in 2012.

His ball-hawking skills fit a theme for the defensive backs the Redskins have already drafted. Like second-round pick David Amerson, Rambo will gamble on routes and pounce on errant throws.

Like fourth-rounder Phillip Thomas, he's confident enough to spy a quarterback in the pocket and read his intended target. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen are certainly creating an opportunistic secondary rotation.

Rambo should be a key part of that. He has more agility than Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes and better ball skills than Madieu Williams and Brandon Meriweather.

Partnered with Thomas, he gives the Redskins two interchangeable safeties. They could disguise coverage and exchange responsibilities to help disrupt passing games.

The safety position is wide open with Williams not expected back and Jackson's future also in doubt. Meriweather is returning from a season-ending ACL injury and has started only one game in a Redskins uniform.

If Rambo stays focused, he has the ability to see the field in 2013 and maybe even emerge as a draft-day steal.

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