The Washington Redskins are the sixth team to get the Draft Grader treatment, even if an aggressive trade means they’ll be the second team on the clock when the draft rolls round. As usual, we’ll be taking a look at every pick they’ve made between 2008 and 2010 (this does not include undrafted free agents) and giving them a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
So let’s take a look at the 23 players the Redskins drafted between 2008 and 2010!
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Find a quarterback in the sixth? The Redskins would settle for finding a starter at any position in the sixth.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Not in this draft series.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Brian Orakpo, LB (13th overall pick in 2009): If you’re going to hit on one pick in a draft, let it be your first one. The Redskins did so by finding a player who is in that group of pass rushers just below the elite. Likely to never be the most complete player, Orakpo is improving year on year and becoming a huge handful for left tackles in this league. He was also our fifth-highest-ranked 3-4 OLB rushing the passer last year.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Fred Davis, TE (48th overall pick in 2008): As good a receiver as he is bad as a blocker. Davis finally emerged from the shadow of Chris Cooley in 2011–only to end the season suspended. If he can stay on the field and out of the commissioner’s office, the Redskins nabbed themselves one of those mismatches at the tight end spot and that’s never a bad thing.
Chris Horton, S (249th overall pick in 2008): Horton was something of an impact player as a rookie, and has always looked decent when he’s got on the field. Clearly not a favorite of the new regime, his promising Redskins career ended after being waived this past September.
Rob Jackson, LB (242nd overall pick in 2008): Jackson has hung around since being drafted yet mustered up only 162 snaps on defense in four years. The fact he’s still on the roster, and didn’t embarrass himself when he filled in at times for Brian Orakpo last year, means they got more out of him than you’d normally expect from a seventh round pick.
Trent Williams, T (4th overall pick in 2010): After a horrendous rookie year, Williams started to get it and looked like a tackle capable of being that blindside protector teams are loathe to be without. A +5.1 pass blocking grade was a big step up, especially given Williams missed some time via injury and suspension.
Perry Riley, LB (103rd overall pick in 2010): After eight snaps in 2010, the Redskins finally bit the bullet in replacing the constantly poor Rocky McIntosh with Riley and received a substantial upgrade. If he continues to play as well as he did in 2011, Riley may go down as one of the better picks Washington has made in quite some time after he earned a +7.0 grade in run defense last year.
Terrence Austin, WR (219th overall pick in 2010): A former seventh round pick, Austin has seen 247 snaps since being drafted by the Redskins. He hasn’t blown anyone away, but he has flashed upside while also being able to contribute on special teams.
0.0: Nothing ventured, nothing gained (It could have been worse)
Justin Tryon, CB (124th overall pick in 2008): There must be something about Tryon, because wherever he goes he looks competent, yet he ultimately fails to catch on. That was the case in Washington where the former fourth round pick looked capable in the slot when he saw action in 2009, though he found himself gone a year later. He allowed just 9.9 yards per reception that year but was deemed surplus to requirements by a new coaching staff.
Durant Brooks, P (168th overall pick in 2008): A sixth round pick, Brooks had a year punting for the Redskins before they went in a different (and better) direction.
Kareem Moore, S (180th overall pick in 2008): Moore contributed on special teams, but his poor play when he was given a chance to play on defense was what he should be remembered for. He was clearly out of his depth in coverage.
Colt Brennan, QB (186th overall pick in 2008): Brennan put up some good numbers in preseason. He never got on the field for the Redskins before missing his entire 2009 season when old college injuries resurfaced. You don’t expect much out of a sixth-round QB, so you can’t dislike the Redskins taking a chance on him.
Jeremy Jarmon, DE/DT (2009 supplemental draft pick–equivalent of 68th overall pick in 2010): It’s always risky picking someone up in the supplemental draft, and so it proved with Jarmon. In fairness to him, a change in defensive schemes didn’t help, yet he was able to hold his own when he was on the field (as rare as that was). The saving grace in this deal was that, in trading him, the Redskins did get a productive receiver in Jabar Gaffney from Denver.
Robert Henson, LB (186th overall pick in 2009): A couple of special teams tackles aside, Henson didn’t do much in Washington, failing to establish himself on special teams with injuries playing their part. He did manage to hang around for a couple of years.
Eddie Williams, FB (221st overall pick in 2009): A late round project, injury played its part in Williams never catching on before being cut a year after being drafted.
Marko Mitchell, WR (243rd overall pick in 2009): He lasted a year in Washington which promised much but ultimately didn’t deliver a great deal. A training camp stud, it would have been interesting to see if more opportunities came his way if Washington weren’t trying to get something out of their two second round 2008 picks.
Erik Cook, OG (229th overall pick in 2010): Looking every bit the seventh round pick, Cook got 182 snaps of game time in 2011 but looked out of his depth in picking up a -5.4 grade.
Selvish Capers, OT (231st overall pick in 2010): A project at tackle, Capers lasted a year on the Redskins practice squad before being cut.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Chad Rineheart, G (96th overall pick in 2008): Rinehart got on the field for 227 snaps in 2009 before a broken fibula ended his season. A new coaching staff were obviously not impressed and said goodbye before the 2010 season began. He has since gone on to excel in Buffalo.
Kevin Barnes, CB (80th overall pick in 2009): After a slow introduction to the league in his opening two years, Barnes got his chance to establish himself as the Redskins’ slot cornerback in 2011. It did not go well. He gave up an extremely unhealthy 12 yards per catch from the slot and will need to really step up over the next 12 months if he wants to stick on with the ‘Skins.
Cody Glenn, LB (158th overall pick in 2009): After converting late in his college career to linebacker, Glenn was something of a project who you expected to contribute on special teams. He did, but for the Colts, who picked him up when the Redskins waived him. He would become available later in the year, but Washington didn’t pursue him.
Dennis Morris, TE (174th overall pick in 2010): How bad was Morris? The Redskins seemed to concoct an elaborate plan with the Rams designed to get him off the roster without paying him his entitlement months after being drafted.
-1.0: What a waste!
Devin Thomas, WR (34th overall pick in 2008): 445 yards on a high second round pick? Thomas did catch on as a special-teamer for the Giants and earned a ring. He was a monumental disappointment in Washington, though, and is currently with the Bears.
Malcolm Kelly, WR (51st overall pick in 2008): Kelly had some red flags heading into the draft and those were realized as he had a real hard time getting on the field. He may have played more than Thomas, but posted fewer yards. This was another gamble that turned into a waste of a second round pick.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
A new regime brings it with is a certain amount of leeway on how picks were handled, but the Thomas and Kelly picks were close.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
There were no Russell/ Leaf hybrids to pick from.
After being draft averse, the Redskins have tried to take a different path in finding talent throughout the draft. It hasn’t quite worked out, but they’ll be happy to have hit on their first round picks. The problem has been, as it is for most, finding players who can do more just fill in for some snaps here and there, and getting guys down the draft who can actually start to a decent level. Couple that with the wide receiver fiasco in 2008, and you just don’t have enough bang for your buck. It’s telling that the Redskins got the 28th (2008 and 2009) and 29th (2010) most snaps of all teams in the NFL from these draft classes.