Yesterday in Part 1 I looked at the first four round picks and how the Redskins might use them to improve on my Draft Grade for them of a B. Today I will look at the final four players, and how the Redskins can maximize their value as well.
From a draft pick value standpoint I really thought the Redskins did quite well as I had them landing the 78th, 83rd, 93rd, 101st, 110th, 149th, 311th talents on my Final Big Board. Landing three top 100 talents, and six total top 150 talents is really impressive overall. Unfortunately I wasn't as high on some of these guys in how they would fit with the Redskins. Below though is how I can envision the Redskins utilizing these players to get them to live up to those talent rankings:
5th Round Pick: RB Chris Thompson
-Let him Come Back Healthy
Thompson is coming back from his second major injury, the Redskins should be cautious with him and let him comeback at the time table that works best for his long term health. If that means putting him on the PUP list to start camp and even to start the season, that is fine. The worst thing you can do is to try to rush him back early, at which point he's either ineffective or gets injured again, forcing you to either cut him or put him on IR.
-Don't Try to Force Him as a Returner
Given Thompson's speed and agility, it is very tempting to see what he can do as a return man. The problem is he has very limited return experience in his college career and is coming back from an injury so he likely won't get as much work in that department. Thompson is likely to not make good decisions with the football, with a lack of experience at the position. The Redskins are just getting rid of a dynamic player, who ended up hurting the team with his decision making in the return game. They should be patient with Thompson in this department and let him learn the nuances of the position.
-Find Creative Ways to Get Thompson the Ball in Space
UK has Done a great job breaking down some of the ways to utilize Thompson. On the pitch and as the screen back in the read option Thompson could have some huge value. He can be utilized both out of the backfield and in the slot. Another area I'd like to see the Redskins attack is having Thompson run some other routes from the backfield, especially on plays where a TE or slot receiver could clear out some of coverage, and get him mismatched on a linebacker.
5th Round: OLB Brandon Jenkins
-Let him attack the Quarterback
Jenkins isn't going to have much experience in coverage and has been at his best when attacking the quarterback. The Redskins should let him do that first and foremost, to try to get the most out of him as a rookie. The Redskins are likely going to need him to play some snaps early on when Rob Jackson is on suspension. When he's in, he really needs to be rushing the quarterback.
-Don't just use him when he can play with his hand in the dirt
There seems to be a perception that Jenkins will struggle standing up, but I don't think that will necessarily be the case. Too me one of the biggest weaknesses in his game is he gets too upright when coming off the line, giving up leverage. It's a wasted motion that costs you a split second and some momentum. With Jenkins standing up he shouldn't have that same problem, which could help make him quicker to the quarterback. There will still be a period of adjustment, but it might be a better fit for him.
-Find ways to get him on the field with Orakpo and Kerrigan
The Redskins should look for creative ways to utilize his natural pass rush ability to complement Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, not just replace them. Obviously it's a smaller line-up, but in situations where the offense has to pass, having formations with three quality rushers could give a big advantage to the defense. A four man front with Orakpo, Cofield, Bowen, and one of Jenkins/Kerrigan with their hand in the dirt and the other rushing from a linebacking position could cause big problems for opposing offensive lines.
6th Round S Bacarri Rambo
-Don't Rush Him As a Rookie:
Rambo has some potential, but there are some holes in his game which probably helped his slide to the 6th round. If the Redskins are patient they could get a really good starter, but that could mean limiting his chances as a rookie. Rambo can get some playing time as a rookie, but it shouldn't be as an every down player just yet.
-Use Him as a Centerfielder:
Rambo's greatest strength is his range and ability to make plays as a deep safety. This is how the Redskins should look to break him in. He can struggle some in man coverage and playing the run, so the Redskins should avoid those situations as much as possible early on.
-Utilize his Special Teams Potential:
While Rambo has a lot of defensive potential, he's still got to play special teams as a rookie. He could end up being a dynamic special teams player, and it would be nice to see the Redskins get creative with him, both in coverage, but coming off the edge as a punt/kick blocker. The Redskins need to replace the value of Lorenzo Alexander on Special Teams and if someone like Rambo steps up it could go a long way to doing so.
7th Round RB Jawan Jamison
-Give him a Chance
Jamison is a great fit for the Redskins zone blocking scheme. He is a back with good vision and nice one cut ability. He should thrive if given the chance, and could quickly become Alfred Morris's primary back-up. Mike Shanahan doesn't always seem to trust non-first round rookies, but Jamison is a guy he should make an exception for.
-Give him some playing time
This might seem the same as the first one, but really they are different. In the first one it's about giving Jamison a chance to earn the number two RB job. This one is to actually utilize him. Last year Alfred Morris was a bit overworked because, the Redskins didn't seem to have much faith in their back-ups. A guy like Jamison should get 75-100 carries in a year and catch some passes out of the backfield as well. This could help keep Morris upright by limiting the number of hits he's taking.
-Run Some Two-back Sets
With the option offense and the Pistol formation it allows you to get more creative in the running game. If Jamison can start living up to his potential having him as a third option in the backfield could drive defenses nuts. If a defense already has to worry about RGIII and Alfred Morris, Jamison could exploit the lack of attention.
What do you think? How would you like to see these rookies used?