Monday, May 11, 2009

2009 NFL Draft Grades: Washington Redskins

The Redskins are kind of the east coast version of the Raiders. Each team has overbearing owners that end up hurting the team even though they think what they're doing will help. They are generally mediocre, which is actually better than Oakland. So Washington has that going for them. The Redskins have been more successful than the Raiders recently, making the playoffs twice in the last four seasons. However, like I said, they really have been mediocre. The team has registered double digit wins just twice since 1992. Since they won Super Bowl 26 in January 1992, the team has won a grand total of three playoff games and has not been back to the NFC Championship Game.

Fix the offense, Dan Snyder! It is, after all, the reason Washington missed the postseason in 2008. Going after Jay Cutler and flirting with trading up for Mark Sanchez are indications that the team needs help on that side of the ball, and they know it. That's good. But since they weren't able to land either guy, they better hope Jason Campbell can put that behind him for at least a year. Though Campbell has yet to prove he is capable of leading the offense effectively. The Redskins had a great rushing attack last season, ranking 8th in The League. But, like many teams picking in the top half of the first round, they couldn't score! Washington was 28th in points scored per game, posting an average of 16.6. That's awful. With a stellar defense, one that was in the top eight in the four major statistical categories, already on board tweaking the offense could add two or three wins which would put them in division title talk.

Jim Zorn is back for his second season as head coach but he has a lot to deal with. He appears to already be on the hot seat and has to make sure Jason Campbell is ready to play. If he's not it could be a career changing season for Zorn and many other veterans. Daniel Snyder is rumored to be very interested in former coaches Mike Shanahan and Bill Cowher. I'm afraid that Zorn must make the playoff or he'll pay the price.

1/13/13 - Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
3/16/80 - Kevin Barnes, CB, Maryland
5/22/158 - Cody Glenn, ILB, Nebraska
6/13/186 - Robert Henson, OLB, TCU
7/12/221 - Eddie Williams, TE, Idaho
7/34/243 - Marko Mitchell, WR, Nevada

  • DL - Check!
  • OL - Try again.
  • LB - Check!
  • WR - Check!
  • CB - Check!
The Redskins had two things to do on draft day: get help along the offensive and defensive lines. All other needs were secondary. Well they started off well, adding Texas' Orakpo to rush the passer but what happened after that? No more lineman? No offensive linemen at all? Zorn and his staff have some explaining to do. Not having a second round pick hurt but there were plenty of guys available in rounds four and five that could have helped in the trenches, on either side of the ball. They filled most of their needs but one of the biggest still has huge holes.

GRADE: 75/100

Pick 1 - A good way to start the draft for sure. The Redskins needed a pass rusher and Brian Orakpo was arguably the best one available. It had to be a DE, DT, or OT here and I believe the Redskins made the right choice, though Michael Oher would have gotten the same grade from me. Grade: 10

Pick 2 - I liked Kevin Barnes a lot and he went right around where people though he would. Barnes will most likely be used as the dime back in 2009, with the possibility of working into the nickel role in 2010. With Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot, and DeAngelo Hall all in front of him, Barnes can be brought along slowly. This makes the Redskins CB group very deep. Grade: 8

Pick 3 - Zach Follett, Stephen Hodge, and Moise Fokou would have been all better picks than Cody Glenn. Glenn was seen as a seventh round pick at best and it's very possible the Redskins could have grabbed him as an UDFA. There were a handful of OL picks that would have made much more sense, value wise. This pick wreaks of reaching for need. Grade: 4

Pick 4 - I can pretty much say exactly the same thing here as I said for Glenn. Henson was another player believed to be selected in the seventh or not at all. So why did the Redskins feel obligated to reach for LBs - twice? Ya got me. They'll provide depth but neither can do anything more than special teams in 2009 or 2010. Hodge was still available as were some nice RBs they could groom to eventually replace Portis. Grade: 3

Pick 5 - Eddie Williams fits the Chris Cooley mold. They're both hybrid FB/TEs with solid hands and the size to blow up blitzers. Williams will need some on-the-line blocking work if they plan on using him as a TE. He's quite raw. It's doubtful he makes the team outright given the presence of Fred Davis and Todd Yoder plus Cooley and Mike Sellers. Williams seems destined for the practice squad. Grade: 5

Pick 6 - I'm not really sure why WR was considered a need for this team - by experts or the organization. They have Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle-El, James Thrash, Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas, and they recently signed Roydell Williams. Why take Mitchell? He's a little bigger than Thomas but almost identical to Kelly. I don't see the thought process here. It's easy to rip on late round selections because they rarely fit perfectly but why not DT Ricky Jean-Francois, RB Rashad Jennings, or OG Trevor Canfield? Grade: 3

GRADE: 33/60


I liked the first two picks but after that they seemed t be reaching for needs. There were plenty other players available that fit needs and would have been fine picks, usually offensive lineman. Orakpo will have an instant impact but everyone else has at least a year or two before they'll contribute in any way other than special teams. The Redskins need to win now to save their coaches job. I don't know if they did enough.


WHY: Orakpo and Barnes: good. Glenn and Henson: reaches. Williams and Mitchell: developmental and not really needed. They had to make all of their picks count since the Redskins didn't have a second or a fourth. They didn't do it. Outside of Orakpo and Barnes, this is a forgettable class to me.

NOTE: My "final grade" is weighted and is not a simple combination of "needs" and "talent".

Best Pick: Orakpo
Worst Pick: Henson
Sleeper: Barnes
Instant Impact: Orakpo
Developmental: Glenn, Henson, Williams, Mitchell

OTHER DRAFT GRADES - Washington Redskins
CBS Sports (Prisco): C
CBS Sports (Rang): C
ESPN (Kiper): C+ (Brooks): C+ (Fan's): B
Walter: B-



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