Running back Roy Helu Jr. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
This afternoon I was able to get with Jon Johnston manager of the SB Nation site Corn Nation for some more information regarding the three new Redskins drafted out of the University of Nebraska.
Corn Nation: Most talented Nebraska running back since Ahman Green in the middle 90's. (Certainly had a better Nebraska career than Correll Buckhalter.) Good speed and great elusiveness; seems to find a hole when there isn't always one available. Capable of carrying the team at times; if he's got a hot hand, you can ride him and ride him and ride him to wear down a defense. Check out his performances against Missouri in 2009 and 2010. He finished off the Tigers with power running in 2009 in a monsoon, then ran for 307 yards in 2010 with three long touchdown runs. The downside is that while I think he's durable in a game and gets stronger late, his career has shown him to be injury prone. Shoulder injuries limited him as a sophomore and junior, and he missed several other games due to various injuries.
Niles Paul is an enigma to many Husker fans. He's a cousin to Ahman Green, and Green once brought him to Green Bay to work out with the Packers when he was in high school. He looked like he could play in the NFL then. But he's been plagued by inconsistency and some horrible mistakes throughout his Nebraska career. In 2009, he dropped a lateral pass then stood and watched a Texas Tech linebacker pick up the ball and return it for an 80 yard touchdown. Then the next week against Iowa State, he caught a long pass and was racing into the end zone when he somehow kicked the ball out of his own arms inside the 10 yard line with nobody around him. In 2010, he dropped a sure touchdown pass against Texas, then against Iowa State, returned a kickoff from well behind the goal line, only to fumble the ball at the 15 yard line.
But every time you give him up for dead, he comes back and makes a big time play. Against Missouri in 2009, he caught two huge touchdown passes early in the fourth quarter to take the lead. Against Oklahoma State in 2010, he made several key catches, and added a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Paul has the physical skills to be a complete receiver; someone just needs to work with him on the mental aspects. He's also a devastating blocker downfield.
Dejon Gomes is a small, but extremely tough, safety with great ball skills. Nebraska used him as a dime defender, frequently moving him up as a quasi-linebacker. He got exploited at times in this role in the running game; he's just too small to take down big running backs by himself. But in the open field, you have to love his instincts. He's great in coverage, and has a knack for stripping the ball away in the open field.
I don't know if he's an every-down player in the NFL, but rather a really useful role player. I think NFL teams might look at him as a nickel/dime defender, and possibly on special teams.
If you're like me then you heard some good things and some bad things. It will be exciting to see these three grow together in training camp. Special thanks to Jon and everyone at Corn Nation!