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Burner’s Burning Questions – Offseason Edition: Draft Picks, UDFAs, Cuts

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Burgundy Burner

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Burner’s Burning Questions – Offseason Edition: Draft Picks, UDFAs, Cuts

Greetings and welcome to that summertime lull when it is time to think about staying cool and wondering if training camp will ever get here. For football fans, boredom is the order of the day as basketball and hockey fades into the background too. However, this is an opportunity to examine the draft picks, undrafted free agents, and looming cuts to the roster as we get closer to September.

One item of importance: There will be two additional offseason editions of BBQ prior to training camp. When camp opens, there will be one BBQ offseason edition per week and the blog will return to its traditional place for analysis of each preseason game. In September, the blog will continue to focus on each game and if any special editions are needed, they will be posted in this forum.

Let’s get right to the analysis of who amongst the draft picks will have an impact.

Round One: Robert Griffin, III – QB, Baylor.
Does he need another introduction to the readers at BGO? Of course not, but it is nice to know that the most vital position of any football franchise appears to be set for the next decade and perhaps for twelve to fifteen years.

Round Three: Josh LeRibeus – G, SMU.
The Shanahan regime took the opportunity to address the offensive line in the early rounds and this pick will pay dividends for years to come. LeRibeus may not crack the starting lineup in 2012, but he will most likely be a mainstay on the line for the better part of a decade. This is a solid choice.

Round Four: Kirk Cousins – QB, Michigan State.
For several weeks, fans and pundits have questioned this choice and were totally surprised by the pick. While the move is somewhat curious, the team was able to get something of a steal. Cousins was projected to go in the second round by some football minds and no later than the third round. Given the struggles at quarterback over the years, the Redskins decided to fortify the position with a potential long term solution at the critical backup spot. In time, this decision could pay huge dividends.

Round Four: Keenan Robinson – LB, Texas.
It is not unusual to see linebackers chosen in rounds three through five. Some of the best prospects at this position come from these rounds and it is probable that Robinson will be no exception to this rule. It is increasingly likely that Perry Riley will become the successor to London Fletcher and this will give the young backer from Texas a chance to have an impact for many years to come.

Round Five: Adam Gettis – G, Iowa.
In this particular round, the coaching staff returned to the guard position and took a flyer on the prospect from Iowa. Once again, the team was able to pluck a lineman who could come in and be a reliable long term starter. Gettis will probably spend a year learning his trade and have the opportunity to start thereafter.

Round Six: Alfred Morris – RB, Florida Atlantic.
How does Mike Shanahan do these things? He has this knack for finding late round running backs that not only make the team, but can contribute right away. Look for Morris to continue this tradition.

Round Six: Tom Compton – OT, South Dakota.
In the latter rounds, teams are often choosing players who may turn out to be a special teams contributor or a practice squad star. If that player is able to make the team as a backup or a starter, then it is a steal. By all accounts, the Redskins could’ve fallen into the latter with Compton. Most draft gurus had him pegged as a fourth rounder and a few placed the South Dakota product in the third round.

Round Seven: Richard Crawford – CB, SMU and Jordan Bernstine – CB, Iowa.
The current logjam at cornerback may not bode well for Crawford and Bernstine, but both players could be candidates for the practice squad. If that happens, then they will have an opportunity to face Griffin each day in practice and hone their skills accordingly.

The undrafted free agents rarely produce a player who makes the team, but there are exceptions. Here is a list of those players who hope to fulfill their longshot dreams.

Antwon Bailey - RB, Syracuse
Lennon Creer - RB, Louisiana Tech
Grant Garner - C, Oklahoma State
Darius Hanks - WR, Alabama
Brian Hernandez - WR, Utah
Donnell Holt - LB, California
Samuel Kirkland - WR, Kent State
Lance Lewis - WR, East Carolina
Monte Lewis - LB, Jacksonville State
Nick Martinez - OT, Oklahoma State
Brian McNally - LB, New Hampshire
Chase Minnifield - CB, Virginia
Beau Reliford - TE, Florida State

The players listed in bold could have a realistic chance of making the team or find a place on the practice squad. Many on this list will not make it to a National Football League roster.

Lennon Creer is an intriguing addition to the team and any running back that has a taste of the Shanahan system can’t be ruled out. Keep a watch on this player in training camp. McNally is a massively-sized linebacker with speed and a motor that never quits. Minnifield has been impressive in OTAs thus far and has earned praise from the defensive coaches. Look for him to make the team in some way, even if it is being placed in a holding pattern via the IR or PUP lists.

Of the draft picks who may not make the team, only the seventh rounders need to be concerned. The Redskins appear to have another great draft after adding a lot of talent and depth in 2011. Look for each pick through round six to make the opening day roster.
 

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Lance Lewis is the player that peaks my curiosity from the UDFA class, that said knowing Minnifield is almost certain to be on this team. My friend in the OBX who does the ESPN radio show down there has followed this kid his whole career at ECU. He says he is surprised that this kid did not get drafted by the 5th round. I watched highlights of the kid and he abused Stephan Gilmore when ECU played South carolina. This is the same guy who told me Willie Smith was a steal for us last year.

Btw, thanks for the write up BB, glad to see you back giving us your insight.
 

Fear The Spear

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Lance Lewis is the player that peaks my curiosity from the UDFA class, that said knowing Minnifield is almost certain to be on this team. My friend in the OBX who does the ESPN radio show down there has followed this kid his whole career at ECU. He says he is surprised that this kid did not get drafted by the 5th round. I watched highlights of the kid and he abused Stephan Gilmore when ECU played South carolina. This is the same guy who told me Willie Smith was a steal for us last year.

Btw, thanks for the write up BB, glad to see you back giving us your insight.

I would add Darius Hanks to that list, as I've heard high praise for him as well
 

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It's just a feeling but I think there will be fewer new faces this year than last when the dust settles.
 

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Chase Minnifield looks to be a steal at a position where the Redskins have failed to get consistent production over the last decade.

Cedric Griffin looked dreadful last year in Minnesota and is coming off TWO ACL reconstructions in 3 years. The depth chart may put him as the #3 based on experience and name recognition, but I don't see him being a 16 game presence for this team.

Byron Westbrook, Kevin Barnes, etc. and a host of others have been either good special teamers or solid tacklers but they all seemed to lack basic coverage skills.

It's nice to see the team add a younger player that has natural instincts to play the position at this level, and you can't argue with the price :D
 

Lanky Livingston

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I don't know...I really, really want to buy into the Minnifield hype, but guys fall out of the draft for a reason. Usually, its because they're not going to make much more than a ST contributor in the pros, if they're lucky (due to injury, or whatever). Sometimes everyone is wrong (Fletcher is the premiere example), but for every UDFA player that becomes a star or even a regular contributor in the NFL, there's thousands that never even sniff an NFL roster.

We shall see...but I am tempering my expectations. Anyway, all my optimism is tied up in RGIII anyway, I have no more optimism for anyone else!
 

Lanky Livingston

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Ha! As far as I'm concerned, Hank has already shown what he can do with his 8 catches for 106 yards against one of the better young CBs in the NFL. I think with a much better QB throwing him the ball, he can only get better! My optimism in RGIII extends to everyone on the offense. :D (see what I did there?)
 

Bulldog

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I am not saying Minnifield is going to be a star. But he was a solid early round pick that fell because of leg injury that is not career threatening. He is close to 100% and most importantly is a player that is a bona fide cover corner, he has natural instincts to play the position which other younger players the Redskins have had in the recent past have NOT.

We spent 4 years on Westbrook and now 3 years on Barnes and neither player ever flashed the kind of ability in the regular defense that would make you believe they were part of the answer.

Given that and the fact Cedric Griffin, 29, is coming off twin ACL reconstructions makes me think that the positions behind Hall and Wilson at CB are wide open.

Minnifield, Crawford, Thompson, etc. are all younger player who we have not really seen with a full chance to show what they can do.

But Minnifield again is the best prospect of the three players based on his college career and his physical upside.
 

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