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Location: Bristol, CT

This blog is focussed on the psychology of sports: The games, the participants and the fans who watch.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27-- The draft

The Redskins pulled off one of the more shrewd moves under the Dan Snyder ownership by trading out of the first round acquiring two second round picks from Atlanta (while exchanging a few other selections) and ultimately picking at need and getting what is believed to be the top receiver in the draft. So the Skins nab Devin Thomas, a player believed a possible selection at 21 had he fallen to that point in the draft.. Vinny Cerrato had told me numerous times he beleived the draft was very deep at receiver (a need spot if the team couldn't land Chad Johnson/Anquan Boldin etc) in the second and third rounds.. He was very right with no receiver going in the first round..
So they select Thomas.. Then they go with Fred Davis, who certainly is a highly regarded prospect out of USC, but with the financial committment already in place for Chris Cooley, how he'll fit in will be in question.. maybe this is a team that can run two tight ends, only Jim Zorn can answer that..

The third second round pick is where I have a some apprehention. The Skins personally worked out Malcolm Kelly, the receiver from Oklahoma, but it was my understanding that the Skins didn't think Thomas would be available to them when they drafted at 21 or at whatever spot they landed had they traded down. Once Thomas fell into their lap, the necessity to spend that high a pick on Kelly seems moot.. So the Skins try to solve a void with two potential prospects.. Is this overkill? Possibly. Does this mean James Thrash is in danger of losing a roster spot? Possibly. Does this mean Chad Johnson is definitely out of the Skins potential plans? Possibly and probably.

Day two.. I love the selection of Colt Brennan, QB from Hawaii with a 6th round pick.. This is a win win for the Skins. Brennan owns NCAA records mainly because he was a competent gunslinger for a kitshcy offense that does nothing but throw. He certainly is not mobile, had some character issues which led to a transfer to Hawaii but by all accounts has been a good citizen since going to Paradise. The 3rd QB on this roster right now is former Terp Sam Hollenbach, therefore, this spot is open for a young prospect to grow.. Todd Collins should and could be the back-up for two seasons. Jason Campbell is the starting quarterback.. Brennan comes here with no pressure, prove you are worth a roster spot, and sit back and learn from Zorn for two seasons. At that point, you are either the primary back-up, or who knows...

I also applaud the team for taking the best punter in college football.. Derrick Frost has been an erratic performer and needs competition. Spending a low round selection on that was imparative.
The Redskins got a CB, DE and a swing O-lineman, all needs, but honestly I know so little about any of them, we'll see if they are hots or misses..

In all, I like what the Skins did, targeted WR as a need, got value by trading down and landing the right guy with their first pick.. The next two 2nd's need to be scrutinized. I firmly believe in the "best player available" mantra but the next two picks stunk of overkill.. Still, a core with emerging players like Kelly and Thomas with ARE and Santana could be an upgrade, certainly if one emerges, the other doesn't need to be an immediate impact player. The inherent competition the Redskins just created will be one of the most intriguing of camp..
Day two is day two. You take your shots. Grade: B to B+

2 Comments:

Blogger Alex Chilton said...

Yeah - I was a little suprised at the two WR's and the TE selection - probably b/c the media has been calling for line help - which I also agree with.
But if you look at last year - we had a big problem in the begining of the season getting a WR in the end zone - and I think SM and ARE had less than a handful of passing TD's each.
Dpeth past Cooley was also an issue which forced out a lot of packages on game day - if I recall what JG said correctly.
And with a better understanding now of how a true West Coast offense is supposed to work and how it has to be manned - I think adding a couple WR's and a TE makes sense to me.
And after looking back on last years statistics - seems pretty obvious that lines weren't the problems - it was moving the ball downfield and into the end zone.
sooo I'm happy.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Pile of Nonsense said...

I tend to think of draft picks like goldfish -- get two or three that you think you'll like, if you're going to want one for a while, because you wind up having to flush them at a depressing rate.

I think the Skins REALLY wanted a good, big receiver. I think they wanted that three or four times as much as anything else they could have gotten; they have the idea that a big receiver was the ONE PIECE they needed to advance in the playoffs. So, you don't bet it all on one guy -- the memory of a Len Bias situation is too fresh in this area's consciousness. You take a good pick, then a backup good pick, and then one more just in case.

That's what it looked like to me, anyway. This is a team that has often avoided using the draft at all, instead trading picks for "proven" free agents. If you view the draft as a slot machine, you walk up to it expecting to lose at least a few quarters before you get anything good.

9:48 AM  

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