I know there is a concern by some about the Redskins draft so far and the multiple times they have traded back, but I want to go on record and say Bravo Shanahan and Allen, I think already it is a job well done.
Given all the hype surrounding the quarterbacks and Coach Shanahan's track record, when I saw Blaine Gabbert on the board at our 10th overall selection I thought the temptation would be too much for the Skins to pass up. Instead they wisely moved back and picked up that mid-2nd rounder (which they then of course proceeded to trade 15 times). Essentially the Redskins traded Gabbert for Ryan Kerrigan, Leonard Hankerson, a 4th, 2 5th's, and a 7th round pick.
Kerrigan and Hankerson alone could make this a major win, even if Gabbert turns out to be a good player in 2-4 years. Instead of drafting a quarterback that really shouldn't be playing for a year plus, we found two instant starters at need positions and can now add a couple more players who are significant contributors or even starters.
I know many people look at 5th-7th round picks as wasted value, and given the Redskins track record for those picks I understand the sentiment. But if you look at the top teams in the league (Pats, Packers, Steelers etc.), they consistently find big time value in those rounds. What is even more impressive is those late round/undrafted guys have to make stacked rosters, yet time and again they do. Also, I'd contend that these late round picks are more important this year than most, because as it stands now undrafted free agency won't begin until who knows when. This is why I'd like to see us keep all our picks today. Basically we can use our extra selections as a start to undrafted free agency.
As for whether or not we will find value, I decided to look at the previous 3 draft classes and highlight players taken in the 5th round on, plus undrafted free agents and show the value of these selections if chosen correctly. Not all of these guys are starters, but I'd say 3rd and 4th receivers, nickel and dime backs, backup running backs etc. are all important values. Also this list is far from complete, but just a snap shot of some talent available.
5th: Brandon Carr, KC: good quality starting corner
5th: Ryan Torain, Den.: right now our feature back
5th: Zach Bowman, CHI: Solid nickel back, could be a starter this year
5th Orlando Scandrick, DAL: Decent Nickel back
5th Tim Hightower, ARI: Good backup RB, outplayed former 1st rounder Wells last season
5th: Dennis Dixon, PIT: has shown flashes as a backup QB
5th Carl Nicks, NO: Has become one of the best Guards in the NFL
5th Trevor Scott, OAK: quality situational pass rusher
5th Geno Hayes, TB: decent starting weak-side LB
6th John Sullivan, MInn: good starting center
6th Pierre Garcon, INDY: starting WR
7th Matt Flynn, GB: bright young QB will become a trade chip
7th Steve Johnson, Buff: Very talented young WR
7th Peyton Hillis, Den: one of the best young power backs in the league
5th: Johnny Knox, CHI: Already a Pro Bowl receiver
5th Jasper Brinkley, MINN: Very good backup LB, has started a lot due to injuries and held his own
5th Thomas Morestead, NO: Good young punter for the Saints
6th Matt Slauson, NYJ: Starting guard, played solid last year
6th Jason McCourty, TENN: quality nickel back
6th Bernard Scott, CINN: good change of pace back
6th Captain Munnerlyn, Car: Good nickel corner and ST player
7th Brad Jones, GB: Good situational pass rusher as a rookie, was a top backup last year before going on IR
7th Jamarca Sanford, MINN: Good backup safety, ST player
7th Julian Edleman, NE: Good 4th WR, ST guy
7th Sammie Stroughter, TB: Good 4th WR, KR guy
7th Ricky-Jean Francois, SF: Good backup NT to Franklin, team is really high on him
7th Rashard Jennings, JAC: Good backup/power back for the Jags
7th: Ryan Succop, KC: Good kicker for the Chiefs
UDFA's: RB Arian Foster, OL Ramon Foster, DL Anontio Dixon, CB Jacob Lacey, WR Kevin Ogletree
5th Kendrick Lewis, KC: Emerging starting safety
5th Cam Thomas, SD: quality backup NT, could take the starting role this year
5th Zoltan Mesko, NE: Good rookie punter
5th DE Austen Lane, JAC: could be the starting RE for Jac. this year
6th Arthur Moats, Buff: Will likely be one of the starting OLB's this year, played well down the stretch
6th Nate Bynam, SF: Good #2/blocking TE for 49ers
6th James Starks, GB: Huge for the Packers in the postseason, should be at least a #2 back going forward
6th Anontio Brown, Pitt: Already number 4 receiver, made huge catch in Raven game to advance Pitt. in playoffs
6th David Gettis, Car: outperformed in many regards 2 higher drafted rookie WR's, should be at least a 3 next year
6th Ted Larsen, NE: cut by the Pats, he signed with Tampa and started most of the year
7th Cody Grimm, TB: promising rookie year cut short by injury (Russ's son)
7th Mark Marini, TEN: excellent return man, went to the Pro Bowl as a returner
(A ton of guys in this draft are poised to take bigger roles in 2011, and I mean guys who showed a lot more than our guys like Austin, Cook, Capers etc.)
UDFA's: WR Seyi Ajirotutu, WR Brandon Banks, RB Kieland Williams, TE Logan Paulsen, WR Blair White, WR Danario Alexander, WR David Nelson, WR Donald Jones, LB Fank Zombo, CB Sam Shields, CB Bryan McCann, LB Dane Fletcher, RB LeGarrett Blount, RB Chris Ivory, G Derek Hardman
Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com. Check out my NFL Draft LIVE Chat, covering every pick during the entire draft! Hope to see you there!