Washington Redskins 2012 NFL Draft Preview

Today we are adding two team previews to the bog nation.  The Washington Redskins have the second overall choice in the 2012 NFL Draft.  How they got there is just part of the story.  The NFL Preview will look back on 2011 before looking forward to 2012.

The reader will find a little bit of everything in this draft preview.  The other team which will be previewed today is the Indianapolis Colts, who own the first pick in this draft.  I will randomly add other team previews as the days go by, HOWEVER, if any reader of this blog wants to see a preview for a specific team, just LET ME KNOW and I will gladly make it available.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  As always, your comments, questions and/or disagreements are welcome!

Additional Note: This preview includes ratings used for the 2011 draft.  A short explanation of these ratings is as follows:

Numerical: The rank of the player for that position.  If there are TWO numbers, the first number is the rank for the general position (OL for example) and the 2nd number the rank for the specific position (OT).

* rating: A rating just below those at the position

NR: Not ranked, meaning I do not think that player is draft worthy.

WASHINGTON:      2011 RECORD 5-11  2010 RECORD 6-10  2009 RECORD 4-12  2008 RECORD 8-8   

TEAM OVERVIEW: Once upon a time Mike Shanahan was given near genius status.  Sorry, but we never bought into the hype, as after Elway left he was just another HC.  We call him the “ruler of all things”, and unfortunately, he is also the spoiler of all things.  Washington started 3-1 and was all of a sudden a trendy playoff pick.  That was a nice cash bonus for us!  The stats weren’t bad, but Mike (and his son’s) people management skill is lacking, to say the least.  RB’s play and excel one week and then are inactive the next!  Beck is pronounced the QB, then Rex is the QB, then Beck is the QB, then Rex is the QB.  The Redskins dropped to 3-7 and out of the playoff picture.  Washington ended up losing their final 6 home games!  Congratulations on going 2-0 vs. the NYG, now watch the playoffs at home on your sofa!  There’s no question this team has talent, but also no question this team is led by ineffective management and poor coaching.  It’s at this time we are saddened to report that ’12 will begin with RG III on the Redskin roster, “mentored” by the ruler of all things.  Please don’t ruin this very special player

KEY STATS: Washington allowed “only” 39 sacks (152 in 3.5 seasons 56 games).  The Redskins had a -14 turnover ratio which is going to happen when Rex is your QB.  He threw 20 of the teams’ 24 picks, leading to a -11 interception ratio.  In fact, Rex threw at least 1 interception in 12 of 13 games played, including each of his last 12 games!  By the way, Shanahan is just 11-21 SU here as HC.  Despite Shanahan’s run O proclivity the offense produced just 8 rushing TD’s.  Washington was routinely outscored in the 4th quarter.  The pass D% continued >60% (60.5).  There was (surprisingly) good news on special teams.  Coverage was above average, and the Redskins found a Punter who had just 1 touchback and downed 42% of punts inside the 20.  As for PK Gano, here we go again!  His % was poor at 31-41 (72.6%) and he was an unacceptable 5-9 from 30-39 yards.  Each year we tell this team to draft a REAL PK.  Of course Dan Snyder does not subscribe to our report.  Spread-wise, the Redskins slipped to 43-20 (0-2) as a grass RU and 30-17 (0-2) as a RU vs. the AFC.  The HF ledger reads 56-74 (0-2).  They lost their last RG to move that # to 7-13.  They are 17-28 in the 2nd of BB road games and 6-15 in MNF road games.

TOP STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT: Washington has no clear strength right now.  Please e-mail us with your suggestions!  Clearly, PK performance is the critical weakness, always costing them games.

A FIRST LOOK AT THE 2012 SEASON:  The 2012 schedule has not yet been released.  Below is what was written in this spot for 2011.

2011: How ready will they be in ’11?  If they have to break in a new QB then game #2 vs. Arizona and game #4 at STL are critical, as otherwise Washington could be buried early.  Considering how poorly this team plays in Division, the Redskins need to capitalize on the ‘easier” part of the schedule (games at Carolina, in Toronto vs. Buffalo and hosting SF).  The schedule gets rough at the end.  Washington ended ’10 with a Power # of 23.  The current roster tells us that # is not going to rise anytime soon.

FREE AGENCY ANALYSIS AND STAFF NOTES: Yes, once again the Redskins have overpaid for talent, but perhaps it’s not quite as bad as in the past.  WR is deeper, with Garcon and Morgan replacing Stallworth.  Back-up OT Locklear left.  The Redskins made multiple DB moves.  Safeties Landry and Atogwe are gone, replaced by oft-injured CB Griffin, back-up CB Torrance, back-up safety Madieu Williams and benched safety Meriweather.  Only trouble safety Tanard Jackson has true starter ability but certainly there is plenty of depth at that position right now.  Ex-Tampa HC Morris steps in as the new DB coach, significant because the awful Bob Slowik was the previous DB coach.  Slowik has been a DC at 3 places, and has had a negative impact on pass D’s at every place of employment in the NFL.  Unfortunately, he is now the LB coach.  Even worse, his son is on staff as Assistant DB coach.  Speaking of sons, don’t forget that Kyle Shanahan (son of the “ruler of all things”) is the offensive coordinator.  Is this the best run organization in football?  When will bad teams and bad owners ever learn

2011 DRAFT REVIEW: Don’t expect to see this type of draft real soon in Washington.  We’ll just copy our notes from the ’11 report:  First of all, we’re impressed!  We actually e-mailed a draft scenario to THIS TEAM about six years ago on how in that particular draft they could turn four picks into ten.  All of a sudden the Redskins sat with 13 picks.  In the end, pick 49 was traded to get picks 79,127,146,152 and 217.  For a team with many needs this is ideal.  Remember, they entered the draft without a 3rd and 4th, and did not even sacrifice a pick in ’12!  We correctly predicted Royster, and along with Helu, Shanahan is getting younger and faster at RB.  Washington wore out our * rating with 8 such draftees, including an amazing 3 from Nebraska!  They bit their tongue and ignored QB, but should have addressed OL with 2 rated players and also whiffed on adding LB depth, although Kerrigan may play some LB.  A national writer liked their draft, but did not see any “slam dunk impact rookies” chosen, and “the starting QB position remains a mystery”.  We agree with this assessment on both fronts.  Rated OL Willie Smith outperformed OT Williams when Williams was suspended.  We listed him in the Washington report last year.  In free agency, RB Hightower was playing ok before injured.  NT Coefield (25-3) was adequate.  RE Bowen (41-6) performed better than expected.  Of course these last 3 were overpaid ($61 million).

1-16              DE  Kerrigan             9-6   

64-7.5 and played better than expected vs. the run, forcing fumbles like we noted!

2-41              DT  Jenkins                *     

Effective run stopper drafted too high.  Tore ACL in camp so lost his rookie year.

3-79              WR Hankerson           3    

Complimentary WR slow to assimilate but did catch 13

4-105            RB  Helu                    *     

Ran well when Shanahan used him (640-4.2) and also very effective receiver (49)

5-146            S   Gomes                *     

Like we said, a solid run supporter and tackler but a liability in coverage.  35 tackles.

5-155            WR Paul                    *     

3rd straight Nebraska pick was sparingly used, with 2 receptions and 2 returns

6-177            RB  Royster               *     

Called up late and ran for >100 in last 2 games.  328-5.9 and 10 catches overall.       

6-178            WR A. Robinson       21    

Small slant WR 3rd to be drafted but only made game roster in season finale

7-213            CB  Thompson           *     

2 special team tackles, adds depth in a need area on D

7-217            OG  Hurt                  NR   

Injuries led to 8 LG starts.  Not bad, but better as a swing back-up?       

7-224            DE  M. White                       *     

2 games, 0 tackles for the former Seminole sacker with stamina issues    

7-253            DT  Neild                   *     

Blue collar run D guy had 10 tackles as replacement for $100 Million DL Haynesworth

2010 DRAFT REVISITED: OT Williams has underachieved and is capable of better.  He was also suspended late in ’11.  LB Riley starts and had 68 tackles.  He’s not an impact player however.  FB Morris was cut in ’10.  WR Austin is barely hanging on (12 catches).  OC Cook was a spot starter but fared poorly when in that role, while OT Capers is gone.

2012 DRAFT NEEDS: Many!  Our top 2 needs are for 3 (yes 3) OL and 2 (yes 2) DB’s.  Here is the current OL: LT Williams, LG Lichtensteiger, OC Montgomery, RG Chester and RT Brown.  Here are the current DB starters: CB DeAngelo (Mr. Burnt toast) Hall, CB Wilson, Safety Doughty, Meriweather, Jackosn, Williams and/or Barnes.  Next would be QB, DE and NT.  The front 3 on the DL read Carriker, Coefield and Bowen.  The final needs include 1 ILB, a PK, and yes, a long snapper (4 blocks).

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY AND TENDENCIES FOR 2012: Until the amazing 12 player draft last year the Redskins most often kept the George Allen tradition going of trading high draft picks in current and especially future years to get current players.  Washington often misses on mid to late round picks, and certainly reached often in the ’11 draft, picking players slated (by us) to go 1-2 rounds LATER.  Even the supplemental draft has caused grief.  In ’09 the Redskins lost a 3rd round pick (in the ’10 draft), grabbing marginal DE Jarmon in July.  He tallied 7 tackles in two seasons then was traded to Denver where he DID NOT PLAY!  Washington won’t be major players in the next few drafts, trading multiple early round picks to move up to get RGIII.

DRAFT PICK OVERVIEW: Picks in 1st 3 rounds: 2, 69.  Washington still has 7 picks in this draft but must use them wisely, partly because they need help and partly because they will lose their #1 pick in each of the next two drafts.  These picks went to STL, along with picks 6 and 39 of this draft for the right to move up to #2 and select RG III.  Washington has picks 102 and 109 in round #4, the latter thanks to the trade of QB Campbell to the Raiders. 

ROUND ONE PREVIEW: This is a done deal.  RG III, welcome to Mike Shanahan’s world.  You have our condolences.

REST OF THE DRAFT: It will be impossible to fill all of the remaining Redskin needs since Washington next picks at #69.  This puts a heavy burden on the coaching staff, one we certainly feel they can not handle.  Washington MUST take an OL or a DB at #69.  Maybe FSU’s Sanders or Miami Ohio’s Brooks will be around from the OL.  Perhaps UCF CB Robinson is there at #69.  These are the current three players we would target.  In the NFL, the things that matter are protecting your QB investment and getting your pass D% under 60%.  Can Washington at least work on these two goals?  Finally, for THIS team, a PK upgrade would be wise.  Perhaps the Redskins are tired of losing 2-4 games a year due to missed field goals.  Let’s see what the “ruler of all things” and his GM accomplish on draft day.






  1. The Redskins are going to be better next year and the team will be surrounded with optimism simply because of the addition of RGIII, but you are right the coaches are going to have to do an excellent job developing talent this year and in the future because of all the picks that were given up to acquire RGIII. As for their offensive line, the Trent Williams selection two years ago ahead of Russell Okung was surprising one at the time and it is beginning to look like a mistake. Overall it seems like the Skins have had some hits and misses during the Shannahan era in the draft. I enjoyed your synopsis. In particular I look forward to reading the one you do about the Dolphins.

    • ronace said:

      Thank you so much. I think RG III is a special player and I commented in my first blog (positional review) how much I really like him. I hope Washington understands what a special talent and person they are going to draft.

      I will put up my Miami Dolphin draft preview later today (Sunday). Thanks for asking, and reading what I have to say.

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