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NFL Washington Redskins

Late Round Draftees Are a Head Scratcher for Washington Redskins

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins looked to address issues within their defensive backfield via the 2013 NFL draft. They selected cornerback David Amerson, as well as safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo in an effort to solidify the secondary. Whether or not Amerson, Thomas, and Rambo make significant contributions to the Redskins’ secondary in 2013 remains to be seen. However, they will get every opportunity to improve Washington’s pass defense.

However, I have an issue with some of the Redskins’ draft selections. Adding defensive line depth, while not a huge priority, would have been a more prudent use of Washington’s limited draft opportunities. Instead, they two of the remaining three selections on running backs Chris Thompson (pictured, above) and Jawan Jamison in the fifth and seventh rounds, respectively.

Running back is the one position where Washington has stability. The exploits of running back Alfred Morris have been well documented. The depth behind Morris is pretty solid as well. While Roy Helu Jr. saw limited playing time in 2012, he can still be an efficient rusher and pass receiver. He was the Redskins’ leading rusher in 2011, which proves he can handle the rushing workload if called upon to do so.

Washington has veteran running backs Evan Royster and Keiland Williams to provide depth. Royster rushed for two touchdowns while serving as the Redskins’ third down back in 2012. While Willams has played sparingly in recent years, he is still in a position to contribute to Washington’s backfield at age 26. He rushed for 261 yards and three touchdowns in 2010 for Washington before joining the Detroit Lions before the 2011 season.  Williams returned to the Redskins midway through the 2012 season, reflecting Washington’s confidence in him to provide backfield depth. In perhaps a big understatement, it’s been proven that quarterback Robert Griffin III can contribute to Washington’s ground game as well.

On paper, it’s hard to imagine how draftees Thompson and Jamison can contribute to an already crowded Redskins’ backfield. Alabama Crimson Tide defensive end Quinton Dial was available for Washington to draft. While considered a major project, Dial could have filled the Redskins’ need on defense as a pass rusher. It’s possible that Thompson and Jamison may not make the team, which means Washington would have squandered two picks that could have been used to add defensive depth.

But that’s okay. Washington feels it solidified its team with their 2013 draftees. What must also be taken into consideration is that NFL draftees are not only auditioning for the team that drafted them, but also for other NFL teams. If some of the Redskins’ draft picks can establish themselves a little like Morris did as a rookie in 2012, it would go a long way towards Washington capitalizing on last year’s success.