They could find a solid starter, as they’ve done in the past. Or they could find players who contribute little and are out of the league before turning 26. The Redskins have found those players in the past as well.
When it comes to their recent history with second-round picks, there’s an obvious mix with some hits (Jon Jansen, Fred Smoot) and misses (2008). Some are still to be determined (David Amerson, Jarvis Jenkins).
Their last second-round pick to become a Pro Bowler was Stephen Alexander, a 1998 pick who earned a trip to Hawaii in 2000. In fact, Alexander is one of only three second-round picks by the Redskins to make the Pro Bowl since 1965 – Chip Lohmiller (1991) and Tre Johnson (1999) being the others. Of course, they’ve also had 18 seasons since 1972 without a second-round pick thanks to trades.
The good news is that Fred Davis made a postseason all-star game; the bad news is that this Davis was a third-round pick in 1941.
Anyway, here are the Redskins’ last 10 second-round picks:
CB David Amerson (2013; 51st overall)
Note: Improved as a rookie while serving as the No. 3 corner. Will open this season as the starter. Amerson did not look overwhelmed by any means and improved as a rookie, but whether he’s a quality starter remains to be seen.
DE Jarvis Jenkins (2011; 41)
Note: Jenkins has started 19 games for Washington in two seasons (missing the first with a knee injury) and done a solid job against the run, but he hasn’t developed enough as a pass-rusher. He’ll be a free agent after this season and there’s no guarantee he’ll return.
WR Devin Thomas (2008; 34)
Note: Caught 40 passes in two-plus seasons with Washington before being released. Also played for Carolina and the New York Giants, where he was a solid special-teams player. Was the first of three pass-catching picks in the second round of this draft. It was not a memorable draft.
TE Fred Davis (2008; 48)
Note: The talented Davis flashed for a couple seasons (59 catches in 2011; 48 catches and six touchdowns in 2009), but overall his career will be remembered as a disappointment. Though he was hardly the first player to have fun off the field, it wasn't a good fit for him and eventually led to him being suspended. His 2012 Achilles injury hasn’t helped, either. He remains unsigned (and will be suspended for the first four games whenever he does sign).
WR Malcolm Kelly (2008; 51)
Note: Despite concerns expressed by their own training staff about his knees, the Redskins drafted Kelly anyway. He caught 28 passes in two seasons before being released. He never played for another team. Shockingly, injuries spoiled his career. So to add it up: both he and Thomas were done playing before they turned 26.
LB Rocky McIntosh (2006; 35)
Note: McIntosh was a productive player for several seasons, both from scrimmage and on special teams. Coaches liked his toughness and desire to compete. He spent four years as a full-time starter, but was not a good fit in the 3-4 scheme and eventually lost his job to Perry Riley in 2011. He spent 2012 in St. Louis and last season with Detroit. He remains unsigned.
WR Taylor Jacobs (2003; 44)
Note: Would look good in practices, then be unproductive in games. Jacobs caught 30 passes in three seasons with Washington, then spent 2006 with San Francisco and ’07 with both the 49ers and Denver. He caught another seven passes in his career, but did not play after 2007.
RB Ladell Betts (2002; 56)
Note: He had a decent career and finished with 3,326 yards rushing, 1,646 receiving and 2,085 returning kicks. But if you’re picked in the second round, you should spend more than one season as the full-time starter. Betts was never outstanding at anything and his career long run was 27 yards. However, Betts was a good backup to Clinton Portis, who arrived in 2004. Betts shined in 2006 after Portis was hurt, rushing for 1,154 yards and averaging 4.7 yards a carry and adding 53 catches for 445 yards. As a rookie Betts was behind Stephen Davis and Kenny Watson and, in Year 2, Trung Canidate. Betts played one season in New Orleans, finishing with 150 yards rushing and 141 receiving.
CB Fred Smoot (2001; 45)
Note: If nothing else he’ll win the award for funniest Redskin ever. Though he never ate pineapples on the big island (Hawaii; Pro Bowl), as he predicted, Smoot was a solid player for the Redskins. He started 85 games in seven seasons with Washington – a tenure interrupted by two seasons in Minnesota. Smoot did not play after 2009. He did not enter with a reputation for being tough, but exited with one.
RT Jon Jansen (1999; 37)
Note: A solid starter for his first five seasons before his Achilles injury in the Hall of Fame game in 2004; he and Chris Samuels made terrific bookends. After the injury, Jansen wasn’t quite the same and lasted two more years as the starter before another injury in 2007. He was the full-time starter in ’08, but released after the season (and 123 career starts). He played for Detroit in 2009.