This year’s rookie class is unlikely to be as exciting as last year’s RG III led group; though the rookies of 2013 will be aiming to become an integral part of coach Shanahan’s legacy.
While last year’s draft was all about the franchise quarterback and his able deputy, this year Washington were heavily focused on defense.
As part of the 2012 trade with the St Louis Rams for last year’s pick, used to grab Griffin, the Redskins had no 1st round choice this time around.
With their second round pick Washington took North Carolina cornerback David Amerson. Cornerback is an area of need for the Redskins, with the play in the secondary inconsistent at best at times last year. Amerson will need to improve on the play he showed in pre-season to be truly effective, he has been up and down and occasionally earns silly penalty flags, this will need to stop. Amerson will need to be up to speed quickly with DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson dealing with injuries.
Florida tight end Jordan Reed could come in and do a job for Washington after being chosen in the third round. Reed projects as the fourth tight end on the roster behind veterans Niles Paul, Fred Davis and Logan Paulson. The rookie could jump the depth chart with any injury by the veteran group, in a position not known for its stand-out performers last year.
Fourth round pick, strong safety Philip Thomas definitely has to get healthy to have a chance of regular play time. Brandon Meriweather looked good last year when he could stay healthy but Reed Doughty was inconsistent and with some consistent play Thomas could nail down a spot. Thomas starts the season on injured reserve.
The first pick of the fifth round saw Washington select Florid State running back Chris Thompson. Unlikely to be this year’s ‘Alfred Morris’, Thompson has to improve is ball handling skills if he is to beat out Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr for the right to back up Morris.
Also in the fifth round the Redskins added to their linebacking group. Florida State alumnus Brandon Jenkins has a chance of grabbing some play time as the fith linebacker on the team, any suspension or injury to Rob Jackson should see Jenkins in as a reserve.
Sixth round selection Bacarri Rambo has made his way to the top of the depth chart at the Free Safety position and is in line to start right away. The 6’0″ Georgia man has questionable tackling ability, but has made progress since being drafted. His determination and work ethic should lead to success, whether it is this year remains to be seen.
Former Rutgers Scarlet Knight and seventh round pick, running back Jawan Jamison, was the only drafted player not to make the cut, but the Redskins have placed him on the practice squad for 2013, along with three undrafted rookies, linebacker Will Compton, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, offensive lineman Tevita Stevens and wide receiver Nick Williams. Linebacker Jeremy Kimbraugh has been placed on IR.
One practice squad player to keep an eye on is Chase Minnifield. Although not technically a rookie, Minnifield spent last year on IR and is yet to make the field for Washington. He has some time to make up for but is undeniably talented. Expected Minnifield to be activated if one of Washington’s five cornerbacks is ruled out long term.