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Grade Our 2012 Draft

One of many experimental iterations ...

McD5

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Greetings fans, both old and new of the beloved Redskins.

Overall, this draft is going to be determined by how RG3 pans out. If he can be what we hope, this could be the greatest draft of the last decade, or even longer. If the opposite occurs, well......I don't even want to think about that.

For the record, I believe he will be spectacular.

So, let's grade the rest of the draft. Taking RG3 out of the equation, how do you grade the rest of the draft, and why?

I'll post my thoughts shortly, and I am interested to hear everyone else's feelings.
 

China

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Grading the draft at this point may be fun message board fodder, but in reality it is pointless. You can't effectively grade this draft until about 3 years out. Then maybe we'll know if LeRibeus pans out and whether Cousins becomes a valuable backup or someone we get a good draft pick for in a trade if he shows value subbing for an injured Griffin.
 

McD5

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China, part of me agrees with that, but another part of me strongly disagrees.

I may be a bit of a homer, but it didn't take me five minutes to believe that our 2008 draft was the worst of a generation.

I didn't need three years to believe that Devin Thomas was a crazy pick, or to believe that Malcolm Kelly would be a huge bust. And I felt strongly that Calais Campbell would have a better career than both, combined.

So while it's early, what are early impressions from everyone? Does anyone feel particularly strongly about anything?
 
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servumtuum

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I'm going to post a response after a few more people have chimed in.

I'll be surprised if my grade isn't higher than most will be.
 

Goaldeje

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Looking at Shanahan's track record with the OLine earns my trust. The fact that we added several young prospects who might be ready to contribute in a couple of years is terrific. My reaction when read my phone about Cousins was not surprised or upset, but accepting. He was a very good value pick, and may turn out to pay major dividends in the not so distant future.

I grade it a B, agreeing with China's assessment that it is too early, but in the spirit of initial reaction, that's what I give it. I am a little surprised we did so little to address the secondary, in what was supposed to be a CB-rich draft; that holds me back from giving an A.
 

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Taking RG3 out of the equation, I'd have to give us a C-

While we filled needs, by rearranging the order we filled them I think we could have gotten better players than some we did.

The strange pick of Cousins really seemed the throw everything off. To me, that was by far our worst pick. Unless you're planning on getting rid of Rex THIS year, it was a terrible pick. If you DO get rid of Rex, you write the season off if RGIII goes down. Rex would give you a slight chance to win but Cousins gives you a "Beck's" chance. If that doesn't bother you then you are the the camp where gaining experience is just as important, if not more, than winning. I just don't camp there.

Keenan Robinson over JMJ, and a couple of others, was a puzzler as well.

Even WITH RG3, I think we had the worst draft of any team in the NFC East.

*DISCLAIMER* This is all based on paper. You can't REALLY grade a draft until at least 3 years down the road. Just playing along with the pundits and I sure as heck hope I'm dead wrong.
 

McD5

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I think he just wants to have some fun, China. I'm sure we all know its nit rocket science before they've even played one snap.

Overall from me its a C+. If it wasn't for RG III wed get a D-.

Wow. That seems a little harsh. At least the C+ part, when including RG3. What did you dislike the most about the rest of the draft?


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I grade it a B, agreeing with China's assessment that it is too early, but in the spirit of initial reaction, that's what I give it. I am a little surprised we did so little to address the secondary, in what was supposed to be a CB-rich draft; that holds me back from giving an A.
Goal, you are giving the entire draft a B? Is that including Griffin? Or is that taking Griffin out of the equation?

If that is without Griffin in the equation, what else did you like most about our draft?
 

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Today's picks as grade by Walter.com...

102. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State: D Grade
Ugh, what the hell is the point of this pick? Kirk Cousins can become a good backup eventually, but the Redskins would have been better served finding some weapons for Robert Griffin.

119. Keenan Robinson, ILB, Texas: B+ Grade
London Fletcher's successor? Keenan Robinson fits the range in the middle of Round 4. Fletcher, despite popular belief, can't play until the end of time. Washington will need someone to take over in a year or two beside Perry Riley.

141. Adam Gettis, G, Iowa: B- Grade
This is a slight reach, but I like that the Redskins are making an effort to improve the offensive line in front of Robert Griffin and Kirk Cousins. Adam Gettis fits perfectly in Mike Shanahan's blocking scheme. Oh, and it's also hard to hate any pick used on an Iowa lineman.

173. Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic: C+ Grade
You can't question a Mike Shanahan late-round running back pick. Alfred Morris has some good running ability, but he's guilty of fumbling a lot. The Redskins needed to find a running back because Tim Hightower is a free agent.

193. Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota: A Grade
Another lineman? If these guys pan out, Robert Griffin may never be sacked, given his scrambling ability. Tom Compton is a really nice value pick; he was a Round 4-5 prospect enterting the weekend.

213. Richard Crawford, CB, SMU: C Grade
It's really surprising that the Redskins waited this long to address their secondary. There were better defensive backs available.

217. Jordan Bernstine, S, Iowa: B- Grade
More secondary help, so no surprise here. Jordan Bernstine was a fringe draftable prospect, so this pick makes sense.
 

McD5

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Taking RG3 out of the equation, I'd have to give us a C-

This is exactly how I feel. I'm giving it a C-. That's without Griffin in the equation. I believe that for three reasons:

1. John Belushi/McRibeus in the third? Really? He certainly wasn't BPA, and to boot, there were other linemen I felt would have been much better at that point. Or instead, we could have picked up a star CB here.

2. Another QB? I get the back up RG3 part. I really do. But I guess this means that Crompton was a bust now? He's had an entire year to learn the offense. And like Jimbo said, if we see our 4th round QB play at all this season, we are in serious trouble. I'd rather see Rex than him.

3. A total lack of imagination. I understand that no one may have offered much for players like Cooley, Moss or D Hall. But I'm going to be pissed if I see them cut with nothing in return. Instead, wouldn't it have been better to package 2 of them together to try and move up for another future star? Few, if any of our picks gave me that "Yes....incredible move" feeling besides RG3. Our approach to the draft felt lazy to me.
 
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McD5

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McDonald we way overreached and drafted players all wrong. RG III is an A+ on his own.
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I agree with this. Our secondary is a good example. It's almost like it got late into the draft, and then Shanny remembered that we have D Hall, Wilson, and not much else.

I'd like to have the third and fourth back. This draft approach felt lazy to me. Like after we got RG3, we could coast a bit.
 

Goaldeje

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Goal, you are giving the entire draft a B? Is that including Griffin? Or is that taking Griffin out of the equation?

If that is without Griffin in the equation, what else did you like most about our draft?
Entire draft with RGIII included. I love the Fact that we drafted so many OLinemen, and people are still bitching about it. Williams being such a high draft pick for our Line is the exception, not the rule. Most of Shanny's OLinemen have been in the later round, and given his success in the run game, I'm good with that approach. Hell, Willie Smith and Maurice Hurt started a few games last year and acquitted themselves well. Let's give these guys a couple of years and I betcha we will be happy.
 

Jimbo

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Our approach to the draft felt lazy to me.
Well said. We did have a couple of nice trade downs but should have done so with our 3rd rounder instead of reaching on McRibeus.
 

Henry

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I give it a C+.

We grabbed some extra picks which enabled us to take three OL, fill a future big hole at LB and add a few projects. I'm as baffled by the QB pick as anyone, though. I can only assume we meant to take a QB late and just couldnt believe Cousins was still on the board or something.

Whatever the case, that brings my grade down a bit.

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The people that are dismayed about the Cousins pick fail to realize that running a successful franchise means more than simply looking for the short term fix.

Like a good chess player, a good GM sets up moves with other moves.

The Redskins drafted with 2012 clearly in mind, but also with some thought to the future.

Vinny and Dan didn't do much if any of that for the past 10 years, hence why it seems so strange.

But its what the Packers, Patriots, Steelers, and others do on a regular basis.
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China

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China, part of me agrees with that, but another part of me strongly disagrees.

I may be a bit of a homer, but it didn't take me five minutes to believe that our 2008 draft was the worst of a generation.

I didn't need three years to believe that Devin Thomas was a crazy pick, or to believe that Malcolm Kelly would be a huge bust. And I felt strongly that Calais Campbell would have a better career than both, combined.

So while it's early, what are early impressions from everyone? Does anyone feel particularly strongly about anything?
You didn't need 3 years to "believe" it, but you did need 3 years to know for sure. What is also presupposed with grading at this point is that everyone has scouted all these potential draft picks and knows them as well as the Redskins staff. Personally I hadn't heard of any of them besides Griffin and Cousins before this draft. I don't have the time to study hundreds of college players, and I doubt most other people do either (with the possible exception of BB ;) ).

I agree you can make assessments as to whether players at certain positions fill needs, but that's about all at this point.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of the thread I would grade it as a C+. If they were looking for a developmental QB as a backup, they could've gotten one later, a 4th round pick should be used on a player that is likely to contribute (read have some playing time during regular season games, even if just on special teams, or start a year or two down the road). LeRibeus seems like a little reach based on what I've read, but again, I haven't seen what the coaches have, and don't know how well he projects. Anything from the 5th round on is a crapshoot, but I'm glad they took 2 more OL players. To me the RB selection was meh, and I would have rather had them draft a CB with that earlier pick rather than just with 7th rounders.
 

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The problem with the Cousins criticism is we have no clue what The FO felt about Cousins. If he was someone they coveted and couldn't believe was still available in the 4th then I can't fault the pick too much. RG3 and every other QB is almost guaranteed to miss a game or two to injury each season, seems to just be the NFL trend. Having a guy who doesn't make you cringe like Grossman and Beck back there can only be a good thing for the future.

I'm with China in that you can't really grade anything yet for the very reasons he cites, but if forced my sentiment is in line with Goalde....3 linemen, 2 CB's, a RB and backup QB, all needs. The pick in the 3rd is a bit out of left field in terms of players available at that stage but who knows where the Redskins had him graded for use in THEIR system. I'll wait to see how this kid pans out before I pan the pick.
 

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I am not going to grade the entire draft, there were a couple players in certain positions I would rather have seen chosen, Jimbo hit on one of them...JMJ from Nevada over Keenan Robinson. And I had Adam gettis in the mock, but decided against him because of his size, I though Joe Looney from GT would have been the pick there. But Gettis ran the 40 in 4.8 at 293 pounds!

The one player I want to concentrate on is the one player you all seem so angry about Kirk Cousins. I gotta say I like the pick. He offers us a chance to have a quality backup to RG3 and one that the entire offense does not have to be adjusted if RG3 goes down for a game or 2. This year if Rex goes in, we are going to have to make some major adjustments for the tub-o-lard. Also, like Boone has mentioned, if given an opportunity to fill in for RG3 a few times and turns out like Schaub or Flynn, there could be a market for him after his services here have run their course. If nothing else, he should be a quality backup for years to come. It was reported Shanahan spent lot of time with the kid during the Senior Bowl.

Yeah, we need players in other places, however I don't think we get Cousins if there is no trade with Pittsburgh in that round. I think this is a good pick.
 

servumtuum

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O.K. I start by confessing that Goal threw me for a loop with his "B" grade because that's where I'm going with mine. As has been stated this is an early "guesstimate" which will proven/unproven as these guys wind up on the field in actual games but I looked at the draft in terms of an overall strategy that seemed to contain within it something surprising about Shanahan.

He has the ability to learn from his mistakes.

The main problem I've had with Mike and Kyle Shanahan has been their penchant for trying to force round pegs into square holes-believing that the "scheme", the "system" will work on a one-size-fits-all basis and that any player can succeed if they buy into and work the "system". Sometimes this works-sometimes it doesn't.

Haynesworth?

McNabb??

Grossman??? Beck???

Shanahan is a ZBS guy and he finally is targeting players that have the skills and have been noted as potentially good within a ZBS system. LeRibeus and Gettis are both suited for a ZBS OL, likely more so than the other OL players available at or near their relative positions in the draft so I have no problem with those picks looking at it from Shanahan's perspective, I liked the Compton pick because he looks to be the bargain of the draft IMO. Keenan Robinson as OLB/ILB/eventual Fletcher replacement-I'm cool with him too.

RB Alfred Morris-sounds like the prototypical ZBS-style RB, no fancy dancing trying to find a hole just a quick move into the cut lane as soon as it opens up and go-a nice fit.

Bernstine and Crawford as DBs? At the very least we have added depth and with Raheem Morris to coach 'em up they could be better than their draft grade projected them to be.

Kirk Cousins...ah, yes the pick the media hated. Well, I will admit to questioning it but it can make sense if the idea of learning from your mistakes is really operating here. What does Shanahan want in a backup QB anyway-John Beck? Uh, no. Grossman-not in the long term I don't think-he's an example of bad habits too ingrained to be gotten rid of-the stereotypical attempt at the "square peg in a round hole" in operation. Cousins is a rookie. A fresh, too-young-to-have-developed-horrid-habits and able to be trained from the start into Mike and Kyle's system as a backup QB. Crompton? Well, I have to wonder just why we haven't seen much of him-maybe we will, maybe we won't. At any rate I understand Shanny's desire for a start-from-scratch QB to be developed as a backup. Or possibly, as I've seen mentioned, developed into potential trade-bait but realistically that seems like a reach to me.

(Aside, one of the guys commenting on the Packers site I visit questioned the Cousins pick and I posted that the Redskins were looking for their own Matt Flynn to have a "tag and trade" debate about. LOL!)

And that brings me to RG3. This had to happen-it simply had to.

All last season we suffered through the worst attempt at fitting a square peg into a round hole I've seen-well, the worst since the McNabb disaster-of Kyle Shanahan trying to get Rex Grossman to fit a scheme he simply did not have the capacity to fit. He was asked to make passes consistently and accurately and be mobile and quick and decisive and he just can't do that sort of thing.

Now we have a QB who can. A QB that will fit in a ZBS-based system with quickness, football smarts, accuracy, mobility, and the ability to do something Grossman could never even dream of.

RG3 can scare opponents.

Our receiving corps just got better as well. An excellent QB can make average receivers look good far better than an excellent WR can make a mediocre QB look good. How many passes not made were because Grossman simply couldn't deliver a decently deep pass with accuracy? Or consistency?

RG3 can do that.

RG3 fits what Shanahan-both of them-want in their offense, someting McNabb never wanted to do and Grossman and Beck can't do.

Mike Shanahan is finding the players who better fit the system he wants to run moreso than he is trying to force-fit what's available into a system they might fit all that well.

I rate this draft, in that respect, as smarter than even last year's draft-BPA within the system while meeting team needs (OL e.g.).

I give it a "B."

(RG3 is an A+, the rest are B-/C+, Cousins a C, Compton an A for value at his draft slot)
 
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Canadian Hog

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Let's imagine for a second the 2012 draft whereby the Redskins stood pat at #6 and missed out on a premier quarterback. We'd all be pissed facing the prospect of having a second tier guy taking over for Grossman and hoping that Shanahan could mold him into something serviceable. That would have been the ultimate mistake and a guarenteed fail in this year's draft.

To me, the Redskins got an automatic B grade back in March when they pulled the trigger on moving up to #2 to take RG3. Screw second rate quarterbacks - we've been there and done that, trying to get by with the Campbells and Ramseys of the world only to fail in the end. The franchise took a stand and finally stopped tap dancing and tippy-toeing around their #1 problem for years - quarterback. Griffin's intelligence and more importantly, maturity, are assets that give him an outstanding chance to singlehandedly make this franchise relevant again.

Everything over and above RG3 in this year's draft are just gravy and dressing in my honest opinion. I like the fact that we are thinking towards the future and preparing ourselves for the eventual end of London Fletcher's career with the Robinson pickup. Learning a year or two under an outstanding leader and player in London isn't a bad situation for the young Robinson kid. Additionally, it's logical spending three picks to address the interior and edge along the offensive line, especially considering the investment in RG3. LeRibeus, Gettis, and Compton all sound like guys who fit our scheme - that's a major plus. LeRibeus sounds like a fighter considering the adversity he has faced and the other two linemen sound like good value at their draft spots. Being fans of the Washington Redskins, we should be very familiar with unheralded guys making a name for themselves on the offensive line, provided they are put in the right situation.

As for the remaining late round players - they will play the same role as any other teams' draft picks in these rounds - add competition, and a push for guys currently on the roster in camp.

Overall, I like the investment in the offensive line, given the fact that this year's focus was always about one thing and one thing only - finally fixing the most important position (QB) on an NFL roster long term.

This year's draft approach looks like one that might not give us immediate results in 2012 like that of other teams around the league (outside the Griffin choice). However, I believe that with some grooming, some of these kids will be able wrap their heads around playing effectively in this league 2 - 3 years down the road when Griffin is hopefully ready to hit full stride as an NFL quarterback. That might help us become dangerous and more importantly, well-balanced, throughout the roster.

Call me crazy... B+
 
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