Saturday, April 27, 2013
Redskins grab a pair of Seminoles in 5th
By Dan Graziano
Death, taxes and Mike Shanahan taking a running back in the late rounds of the NFL draft. These are things you can take to the bank, and with the first of their two fifth-round picks Saturday (No. 154 overall), Shanahan and the Washington Redskins selected Florida State running back Chris Thompson.
You'll recall the Redskins drafting Alfred Morris in the sixth round last year, and even if you don't you'll certainly recall Morris finishing second in the NFL in rushing yards in his rookie season. So while the Redskins don't have a need for a starting running back, Shanahan believes there's no such thing as too much depth at that position. He also believes you can find starting-caliber running backs late in the draft.
Thompson is a big-play running back who's not built for early-down, between-the-tackles work but is the kind of back who's a threat to score from anywhere on the field. The reason he was there in the fifth round is a history of major injuries that include a season-ending broken back in 2011 and a torn ACL last year. So he's a long shot, but if he can get/stay healthy, he could be an exciting new weapon for their Robert Griffin III-led offense.
The Redskins had a second fifth-round pick (No. 162 overall) as a result of the Albert Haynesworth trade to New England, and they used it on another injured Florida State guy with upside -- pass-rusher Brandon Jenkins. He was a defensive end in college who profiles as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL and could help augment the Redskins' outside pass rush. A foot injury ended his 2012 season early, but he was extremely productive in the years prior to that. He's a pure pass-rusher with good instincts, and if he factors in this year it'll likely be as a situational guy.
Basically, the Redskins spent their fifth-round picks on depth at positions where they already look good but believe you can never be deep enough.