Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Looking back: Redskins 2012 draft class
By John Keim
In between stories on quarterbacks, owners and coaches, still need to take a look at various parts of the roster -- and the future. Because of the likely change in coaches, some of the drafted players might not have the future they once thought they might in Washington. The 2012 group yielded two starters, both of whom should be in that role in 2014 as well. Beyond that, there's only one other player who has done much of anything and that's backup quarterback Kirk Cousins. They need (needed) one of the three linemen to develop into a starter. None are yet projected that way.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III (first round). I’ll sum this up fast since you probably have a good handle on this player. Great rookie year; injury; no offseason; inconsistent this year; not as explosive; inaccurate. He still projects as the quarterback of the future, perhaps in part because the head coach won’t be here. There are issues Griffin must fix, which will be the case no matter who coaches here in 2014 or what scheme they use. He does need an offseason and he does need more time. But, fair or not right or wrong, he’ll be connected to Mike Shanahan’s ouster so the pressure will increase on him. Griffin will have to show legit improvement.
Guard Josh LeRibeus (third round). Coach Chris Foerster said he’s finally back to the point he was a year ago. So that means this past year was wasted because LeRibeus did not take a serious offseason approach. A third-round pick who has yet to be active in his second season can rightly be called a bad choice. Plus the Redskins thought he might eventually shift to center, but that’s no longer the case. So he’s not as versatile as hoped. If he doesn’t make a 180-degree change in his approach this offseason he’ll be out of here in a hurry no matter who’s coaching.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins. Well, we might see a little more of him for at least one game. He’s intriguing, but he needs to show more before you can envision another team surrendering a high pick for him. The sample size is small (though not every team will view it the same way of course). Tough to measure Cousins’ progress this season because the games he’s entered have been massive blowouts where the defense knows what he’ll do and where he’ll take chances he might not ordinarily. It’ll be an interesting offseason for whoever coaches if Cousins does play and fares well.
Linebacker Keenan Robinson (fourth round). Had he stayed healthy he would have been groomed to possibly replace London Fletcher. Now? He has to show he can be healthy enough to make a roster. There’s no way you can count on him.
Guard Adam Gettis (fifth round). He did play a little Sunday when Kory Lichtensteiger had an injury. Other than that, his action has been limited to special teams. He now works at both left and right guard. The problem with Gettis is that I can’t imagine, at 292 pounds, how he fits into another system. So if this staff goes, his future depends on the next offensive system. He gets driven back in pass protection, though he does have strong legs and can anchor.
Running back Alfred Morris (sixth round). Morris has had two excellent seasons and it’s clear he was not just a product of the zone read. He’s not a game-breaker, but he is a good back, especially when allowed to be a one-cut guy. He runs with power and excellent vision. But he still needs to improve in the pass game to become an all-around back.
Tackle Tom Compton (sixth round). He was better this summer than last, but again guys like Compton can get squeezed out by new regimes. It’s clear he still has a ways to go or they would have inserted him by now.
Corner Richard Crawford (seventh round). Had he stayed healthy he would have been a fifth corner and punt returner. Now? His future here has to be in doubt because of the looming change and because he’s coming off an ACL tear. He faces a long road.
Safety Jordan Bernstine (seventh round). Gone. A horrible knee injury ended his time here.