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Burner’s Burning Questions – Draft Evaluations, Minicamp Observations, 1st 2014 Mock

Part One - The Draft Picks

The 2013 NFL draft is history and the Redskins have held their minicamp for rookies and unsigned hopefuls. In these editions of BBQ, we will take a look at the seven draft choices, the UDFAs, minicamp, provide a self-analysis of the 2013 mocks, and toss in a 2014 mock (just for the fun of it!). Part One takes a look at the draft choices.

The Draft Picks:
Round 2:
David Amerson – It was not surprising to see the Redskins targeting the defensive secondary after that particular unit struggled in 2012. Amerson is an intriguing pick and the team is hoping he can return to 2011 form after leading the nation in interceptions. The 2012 season did not see the same flashy numbers and he took some risky chances. If Amerson can learn the system and live up to the expectations, then taking a chance will certainly pay off for the Redskins.
Grade: A-

Round 3:
Jordan Reed – Many in the media and football universe lambasted the Redskins for making a “luxury pick” when other needs seemed obvious. Staying true to their draft board, the Redskins chose a talented tight end that will bring versatility and athleticism to the position. Reed has the ability to play tight end, slot receiver, wide receiver, and h-back. Undoubtedly, the Redskins will utilize his many skills.
Grade: B+

Round 4:
Phillip Thomas – A gifted safety, Thomas should help to fill one of the most vital needs for the Redskins in 2013. Most draft gurus had Thomas going somewhere around the middle of round two to the latter stages of round three. The Redskins received excellent value in the fourth round. Look for Thomas to start much sooner rather than later.
Grade: A+

Round 5:
Chris Thompson – Is it fair to give poor marks to a running back choice by Coach Mike Shanahan? Many would say no and few would say yes. The Thompson pick is puzzling in many ways, but some football experts see him as a change of pace back – a player who can fill a Darren Sproles type of role. It’s possible, but Thompson is very prone to injury and is not a reliable backup. Simply put, he is not an every down player who can fill in when starters are injured. For now, the Redskins did not get good value with this pick.
Grade: D+

Round 5:
Brandon Jenkins – He comes with injury concerns, but could have an unlimited ceiling. Too, he could be the next Markus White – a player who held promise, but spent some time on the roster/practice squad and had very little impact. Since this is a late round pick with promise, the Redskins could be rewarded in the long run. Only time will tell if this is a value pick or a bust who had potential.
Grade: B-

Round 6:
Baccari Rambo – The Redskins returned to the defensive secondary in round six, much to the delight of their fans. A virtual consensus has formed amongst draft gurus and football pundits – the Redskins got a huge steal in round six and took another enormous step in solving their woes in the defensive backfield. Rambo (you’ve got to love the name!) provides extreme value in round six – most mocks had him going no later than the third round. The only knock on him is off-field issues, but the Redskins feel very confident in taking him at this juncture.
Grade: A-

Round 7:
Jawan Jamison – After taking a running back in the fifth round, the Redskins returned to the same position in round seven. Jamison is a talented back who probably has a better chance of playing the Darren Sproles role, but like Thompson, he is not an every down back. However, the value for round seven is very good and the Redskins find a possible keeper in Jamison.
Grade: B

The Redskins had a good draft, but it could take a few years to know the full impact. For now, round five seems to be the weak link. There is no denying that the defensive secondary likely received huge upgrades, but there are no guarantees of course. BBQ rates the Redskins 2013 draft as a B+.


Burner’s Burning Questions – Draft Evaluations, Mini Camp Observations, First 2014 Mock

Part Two – Mini Camp Observations

The Washington Redskins held a three day minicamp for rookies over the weekend and coaches are now fine tuning the ninety player roster as they head toward training camp in July. Here are some reports and observations.

1. The Defensive Secondary
Early reports are very encouraging. New safety bookends Phillip Thomas and Baccari Rambo are making a fine impression. David Amerson had a solid three day camp as well. The reviews are good thus far and it appears as if the Redskins were able to choose three players who can help in the secondary sooner rather than later.

2. Jordan Reed, Chris Thompson
Reed and Thompson did not participate in the minicamp due to injuries from last season. Both were present though.

3. Brandon Jenkins, Jawan Jamison
Both players fully participated in the three day camp and each was able to get many reps. Nothing stood out about either player, but there were no glaring mistakes as well. Jenkins appears to be fully healed from his injuries that were sustained in the two previous seasons.

4. The UDFAs
The Redskins signed twelve free agents after the draft and some have made early impressions. Xavier Nixon was thought to be a fourth rounder in the 2013 draft while some pundits had him going no later than the sixth round. If he can make the kind of strides that the Redskins envision, then he will be a steal. If not, then the team did not waste a pick and nothing is lost. Skye Dawson had a favorable minicamp and will have every opportunity to make the team or be a practice squad member. UDFA Kyle Wilborn did not leave a favorable impression at minicamp and was quickly replaced by a veteran from Tennessee.


Burner’s Burning Questions – Draft Evaluations, Mini Camp Observations, First 2014 Mock

Part Three – Self-Analysis, First 2014 Mock

Last year, BBQ did a self-analysis and forum owner Boone said it was too critical. This year, BBQ is a bit more generous.

Each mock centered on the defensive secondary and usually had three or four players being taken at safety and cornerback. A corner was taken in round two, but it was not a player that BBQ ever listed. Round two grade is a B.

The draft predictions usually featured a tight end in the later rounds in early mocks. In later mocks, that position was featured typically in the fourth round. A tight end was taken in the third round and the grade is a B.

Phillip Thomas was the player that BBQ featured the most in BBQ mocks and he was taken in the fourth round. The grade is an A.

Running back is usually a given in any Mike Shanahan draft and the fifth round (where BBQ guessed correctly for the most part) is where the player was taken. However, BBQ focused on one particular player and this did not come to fruition. Later in the fifth, the Redskins took a linebacker, a position that received considerable attention in later BBQ mocks. The grade is B-.

In the sixth round, the third defensive back was taken as per BBQ mocks - a bit later than expected. That particular player was never listed, but the defensive secondary was featured prominently as the team gave it considerable attention in the draft. The grade is B+.

The Redskins returned to the running back position in round seven. BBQ had a strong focus on the offensive line in the last round. As per the team, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon was going to be the choice, but couldn’t pass up the value that Jawan Jamison offered. Nixon was added as a free agent after the draft and this is the only reason why BBQ doesn’t receive a very poor grade here. It gets a C-.

For 2013, BBQ earns a B. We will try to do better next year. Those who deserve the highest marks for their predictions, mocks, and suggestions include Lanky Livingston, Tr1, Jimbo, McD5, Servuntuum, Elephant, Neophyte, Fansince62, Tshile, Bulldog’s Twin, DieselPwr44, BigMike619, and Win4us.

Here is the first mock for 2014. Obviously, it is way too early to really tell if the Redskins will be targeting these players/positions. We’ll have one more mock later this summer and the official BBQ mocks will return late next winter.

Round 2:
Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh
Round 3:
Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville
Round 4:
Jeremiah Sirles, OT, Nebraska
Round 5:
Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
Round 6:
Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech
Round 7:
Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon

Marcus Coker, RB, Stony Brook
Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska
Ciante Evans, CB, Nebraska
Bronson Irwin, G, Oklahoma
Eric Gordon, CB, Tennessee
Mike Olson, LB, Wake Forest
Graham Parker, OT, Oklahoma St.
Geraldo Boldewijn, WR, Boise St.
Jay Bromley, DE, Syracuse
Eric Waters, TE, Missouri
Andrew Miller, C, Virginia Tech
Patrick Mertens, DE, Wyoming
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