The fascinating thing about the Redskins’ 2013 draft class is that—even more so than usual, in my view—every pick has a high ceiling and a low floor. Now I suppose you could intelligently argue that every draft pick for every team in every round has a “low floor,” since there is really no such thing in the NFL draft as a “sure thing.” But what I’m trying to convey is that each of the seven drafted rookies has a special trait that could make him exceptional and a key flaw that could make him irrelevant.
- Amerson has rare ball skills. His interception total over the past two years (17) is ridiculous. But his discipline as a junior was awful and he got destroyed by the double-move.
- Reed is uncommonly agile for a tight end but undersized and undeveloped as a blocker.
- Thomas has excellent ball skills but lacks consistency as a hitter and tackler.
- Thompson is incredibly fast with jaw-dropping lateral quicks, but he’s tiny and (so far) fragile.
- Jenkins can clearly get after the quarterback. His 21.5 sacks over his last two full seasons is outstanding. But he’s a tweener and often got exposed in college against the run.
- Rambo: see Thomas.
- Jamison has uncommon toughness and elusiveness but, simply put…he’s slow.
Drafting guys with clear-cut strengths and weaknesses makes application and scheme-fit crucial. The coaches are betting on themselves.
This class is exciting because Shanny swung for the fences in every at-bat. History could end up judging it very favorably, very harshly, or anywhere in between. But if three or four of them can max-out their lofty potential, we’ll look back with high regard for what the Redskins accomplished despite not participating on Day 1.