Regrading the Redskins 2011 Draft

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks looked back at the 2011 NFL Draft and graded each team's draft class. How did the Redskins fare?

The 2011 Draft was Mike Shanahan's second draft as Head Coach/GM of the Redskins.  He took over a team that was seriously bereft of talent and depth.  The team also lacked draft picks in the previous draft due to trades by the previous GM, and also the trade that brought Donovan McNabb to Washington.  The Skins ended up getting 6players[7 if you count Jeremy Jarmon from the 2009 Supplemental Draft(3rd), but we're not counting that are we?] from that draft but the picks came in the 1st, 4th, 6th, and 7th(3X).  Trent Williams and Perry Riley were the only players to make an impact on the team, and are also the only players still on the roster from that draft class.

Going into the 2011 Draft, it was expected that the Redskins would look to acquire more picks, but no one knew exactly how eager they were to trade down.  They were able to start early by trading down from 10th overall so the Jaguars could get their franchise quarterback in Blaine Gabbert...  DE Ryan Kerrigan was the pick at #16 and has been a solid OLB for the Redskins, starting every game since he's been here.  If you want to play the What If? game, JJ Watt, Robert Quinn, and Mike Pouncey were all selected between the Redskins original pick(#10), and there they ended up picking(#16).

Clemson DE Jarvis Jenkins was taken with the Redskins original 2nd Round pick, and has had a disappointing career in Washington.  He was considered a reach at the time, but showed some good burst, and potential in training camp.  Unfortunately he tore his ACL in the preseason and missed his entire rookie season.  The following year, he returned and took over the defensive end spot opened up by Adam Carriker's season ending injury in Week 2.  Jenkins was clearly not the  same player he was in college/preseaon, and the hope was that in 2013 he would be completely healed and ready to get more push at the line to disrupt the QB.  Unfortunately Jenkins was suspended for the first 4 games of the season for supposedly taking a supplement that was not approved by the league.  He returned to play after the suspension, and recorded 2 sacks, starting 5 games throughout the season.  With Stephen Bowen still recovering from microfracture surgery on his knee, Jenkins will get his last opportunity to show he's worthy of a spot on the team before his rookie contract is finished.

Leonard Hankerson was selected in the 3rd Round and was expected to be one of the Redskins top Wide Receivers by now.  Injuries have seriously derailed his career starting with a hip injury in his rookie year that seems to still be affecting his play.  He was active the following year, starting 5 games and recording 500+ yards for the only time in his career.  Then during the 2013 season, he tore his ACL, and was place on IR for the second time in his short career.  He is still recovering and could start the year on PUP or IR.

Roy Helu Jr's selection in the 4th Round started one of the greatest draft runs in Redskins/Nebraska football history...  Helu's career in Washington has also been affected by injuries.  After a good run of 100 yard games in his rookie year and gaining over 1000 yards combined from scrimmage, he was injured.  The following year was cut short early with various foot and leg injuries after rookie Alfred Morris had established himself as the starter.  Last season he was the clear backup again, and was able to gain over 500 total yards from scrimmage.  For now he is the 2nd string RB behind Morris, but Coach Gruden seems to be preparing to move on from Helu soon.

Quick Hits on the Rest:


Niles Paul was taken in the 5th Round as a WR, who then got converted to TE.  Bucky Brooks named him the worst pick from this draft.  Niles Paul has become a core special teams player, and backup on offense.  He won't be lighting up the league on offense, but he was one of the few guys on the team last season that actually seemed to care about the abysmal state of the "forgotten" third unit of football.  He seems destined to take Reed Doughty's role on the team, special teams/backup player that people love to hate.

Evan Royster, Aldrick Robinson, and Maurice Hurt, have all been backups who have been forced to start for various reasons.  They are depth and backups at best, who could easily be replaced, especially with a new head coach here.  Only 3 players from the 12 draft picks are no longer on the team which is either impressive or depressing depending on your interpretation.  Markus White and Brandyn Thompson didn't play in the league last year.  DeJon Gomes was cut before last season started, and then picked up by the Detroit Lions.  He was active all 16 games last year, but barely made an impact.

So to recap the 2011 draft, the Redskins got 1 solid, Pro Bowl caliber player from 12 picks.  The goal of restocking the roster, and building some depth was achieved.  Injuries affected too many of the higher picks.  Jenkins, Hankerson, and Helu all had serious amounts of time on IR early in their careers, which hurts the overall grading of this class.  Looking back at the class now, I liked the trade downs and acquiring extra picks, but didn't like some of the players taken.  Injuries, poor talent evaluation, and lack of player development have always killed the Redskins.  I can't really argue with Broook's rating of a C.  It was an average at best class, that didn't produce enough starters, but did help with some depth.  What grade does the 2011 draft class get from Hogs Haven 3 years later?

Washington Redskins

The Redskins have repeatedly flopped in drafts over the past decade. The team's inability to identify and develop young talent has forced the team to consistently overspend in free agency. While the team has attempted to curb those forays, the 2011 class certainly didn't stop the Redskins from digging into the free-agent bin to address major needs. Of course, Ryan Kerrigan turned out to be a stud as a first-round pick, but the jury is still out on whether Jarvis Jenkins and Leonard Hankerson will emerge as frontline players. Although Mike Shannahan got terrific production from Roy Helu, the team needs more blue-collar workers on the roster to make a move in the NFC East.

Best pick: Ryan Kerrigan, OLB (Round 1, 16th overall)
As a gritty, hard-nosed worker off the edge, Kerrigan relies on his combination of strength, power and initial quickness to overpower blockers on the edge. He is relentless in his approach, which doesn't surprise anyone who studied him throughout his career at Purdue.

Worst pick: Niles Paul, WR/TE (Round 5, 155th overall)
The Redskins attempted to covert Paul into a tight end with limited success. While he is a spectacular athlete for the position, he wasn't a natural fit and showed limitations as a blocker. Thus, he offers little value on early downs and isn't quite dynamic enough to carve out a role as a specialist.

Value pick: Roy Helu, RB (Round 4, 105th overall)
Helu briefly looked like Mike Shanahan's latest find at the running back position when he tallied 640 rushing yards on 151 carries as a rookie, but the emergence of Alfred Morris in 2012 relegated him to backup duty a season ago. Although he didn't provide much production in his role as the No. 2 runner, he is certainly good enough to be a fill-in for Morris down the line.

Grade: C

Washington Redskins 2011 Draft Picks

Player

Position

Draft Pick

College

Starts

Ryan Kerrigan

DE/OLB

Round 1, 16th overall

Purdue

48

Jarvis Jenkins

DE

Round 2, 41st overall

Clemson

19

Leonard Hankerson

WR

Round 3, 79th overall

Miami

14

Roy Helu

RB

Round 4, 105th overall

Nebraska

5

DeJon Gomes

SS

Round 5, 146th overall

Nebraska

8

Niles Paul

WR/TE

Round 5, 155th overall

Nebraska

10

Evan Royster

RB

Round 6, 177th overall

Penn State

2

Aldrick Robinson

WR

Round 6, 178th overall

Southern Methodist University

3

Brandyn Thompson

CB

Round 7, 213th overall

Boise State

0

Maurice Hurt

OG/OT

Round 7, 217th overall

Florida

9

Markus White

OLB

Round 7, 224th overall

Florida State

0

Chris Neild

NT

Round 7, 253rd overall

West Virginia

0

A quick review of the multiple trades made by the Redskins during the draft:

  • Washington trades #10 overall to Jacksonville for #16(Ryan Kerrigan) and #49
  • Washington trades #49 to Indianapolis for #53 and #152
  • Washington trades #53 to Chicago for #62 and #127
  • Washington trades #62 to Miami for #79(Leonard Hankerson), #146(DeJon Gomes), and #217(Maurice Hurt)
  • Houston trades #105(Roy Helu Jr) and #178(Aldrick Robinson) to Washington for #127, #144, and #152
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