Monday, August 19, 2013
Draft rewind: Cousins up, LeRibeus down
By John Keim
Kirk Cousins is impressing scouts and is becoming a solid No. 2 quarterback.
Heading into the second preseason game, here is an update on the 2012 draft class:
Quarterback Robert Griffin III (first round): Still recovering from his knee surgery. The Redskins say he’s on pace to start the opener, but more needs to be seen.
Guard Josh LeRibeus (third round): Whatever I can say is not as strong as what line coach Chris Foerster said about him Thursday. Foerster said LeRibeus not being in great shape is “very disappointing.” Foerster called LeRibeus a work in progress and said he’s still catching up to the others when it comes to getting in shape. The tough part is that LeRibeus, who missed much of the spring workouts because of a hamstring injury, had a lot of ground to make up. “It will happen at some point, but at this point he has a lot of work to do. Obviously the offseason program, a lot of it is voluntary and if you’re not here and working hard… But maybe if you’re not working as hard as you should and you come back overweight, it just puts you behind. Then he had the injury to add on to that. … He still has a big hill to climb to be in a position to be where he was.” Foerster liked how LeRibeus played in relief during the Seattle game. He worked some at center last year, but in camp was only at left guard.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins (fourth round): Keeps improving. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said he’d trade a first-round pick for him -- not sure how many teams would agree with him right now given the small sample size. But the point is Cousins continues to improve and has impressed not only the Redskins, but others. If nothing else, he’ll continue to be a good backup whose value keeps moving up. With Griffin’s health in question, the Redskins need such a player.
Linebacker Keenan Robinson (fourth round): Done for the season after tearing his left pectoral muscle. His season ended prematurely last November after he tore the right pec.
Guard Adam Gettis (fifth round): The coaches like how he’s progressed, particularly as a run blocker. He had some solid blocks in the run game vs. Tennessee. He still shows strength in pass protection, even when defenders get into his pads. “He was always a good pass blocker,” Foerster said. “His area was in the run game and he continued to be a good pass blocker and has improved in the run game.” Gettis has worked only at right guard.
Running back Alfred Morris (sixth round): It’s hard to say how much he’s improved because there’s no live tackling in practice. Morris has looked a little quicker with his cuts in the open field. The Redskins are optimistic that he’ll have more long runs this season; his longest last year was 39 yards. Morris is much more comfortable in the offense, and he did not feel that way for the first four or five games in 2012.
Tackle Tom Compton (sixth round): Saw progress in some areas a week ago, specifically with his strength. He will get beaten and is still developing, but he did a better job knocking rushers off their initial path, making it tougher for them to beat him back to the inside. “Now he’s in a position to where he has improved those things,” Foerster said. “It’s still [about] technique. The thing about Tom that’s so exciting, as with Gettis, is the progress they made from the last preseason game [in 2012] against Tampa. It’s like, ‘Wow, if they can keep improving, you really might have something.’ Tom still has work to do. He’s not a finished product. He has a lot of development to do.” Compton has worked exclusively on the left side. The Redskins want him to develop at one spot before trying to see if he can play on the right side. It stands to reason that if he can handle left tackle, he could shift to the right side if need be. But, for now, the Redskins lack a proven backup swing tackle.
Corner Richard Crawford (seventh round): Best punt returner on the roster and an improved corner. Understands the game, which helps him overcome size limitations. Quickness in the slot and ability to mirror receivers helps, though his size could hurt him. Still, he knows better how to play to the help of the defense, something he did not always do last season.
Safety Jordan Bernstine (seventh round): Released. His knee injury last September was a bad one.