The Washington Redskins looked at the 2013 NFL draft as an opportunity to provide depth at several key positions. Recent years of personnel wheeling and dealing have left the Redskins with only seven selections at their disposal. Washington needed to make those selections count if they wanted to resolve their issues in the secondary.
The Redskins selected North Carolina State Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson (above) in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. At six feet one and 201 pounds, Amerson possesses the size and physicality that the Redskins need in the secondary. As an added bonus, Amerson provides big play potential in the defensive backfield. He recorded 18 interceptions during his collegiate career, returning three of them for touchdowns.
Amerson isn’t looked upon to become a starter at corner, where he has veterans DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, and E.J. Biggers ahead of him on the depth chart. However, he will battle second year veterans Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield for playing time as a fourth cornerback. Considering that some NFL offenses currently trend towards multiple four receiver sets, the fourth cornerback position battle will be interesting to watch.
Washington also hopes to solidify the tight end position with the third round selection of the University of Florida Gators’ Jordan Reed. The selection of Reed offers the Redskins some insurance in case incumbent tight end Fred Davis is slow to recover from his Achilles injury. Although his game is not predicated on blocking, at six foot three and 243 pounds, Reed has the size to be an efficient red zone receiver when necessary. Redskins’ fans hope he will provide another efficient target for quarterback Robert Griffin III to throw to.
Safety was a position of major concern for Washington. After a disappointing 2012 season as the starter at free safety, Madieu Williams was relieved of his duties and is currently an NFL free agent. Reed Doughty is average at best at strong safety. Brandon Meriweather and Tanard Jackson are coming off a 2012 season fraught with injury and suspension, respectively. After a yearlong layoff, Washington can’t expect efficiency from Meriweather and Jackson.
That prompted the Redskins to select Fresno State Bulldogs’ safety Phillip Thomas in the fourth round. Although he suffered a leg injury during the 2011 season, Thomas rebounded with a solid 2012 season for the Bulldogs. He recorded 84 tackles, eight interceptions, and four forced fumbles, which illustrates his efficiency at safety. As a rookie, Thomas has a chance to actually win the starting free safety position. That wouldn’t be a surprise, considering that running back Alfred Morris won the starting running back position in 2012.
Redskins’ fans hope Amerson, Reed, and Thomas will see significant playing time and provide efficiency in their respective roles. If they can, Washington will be that much improved in 2013.