Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Redskins' Future: Now AND Later - Part Three


No new deals costing the Redskins high draft choices. Trading down for more picks and then making smart picks. What happened to my beloved Redskins, the team that cares not for draft picks and swings for the fence every free agency at bat with some new signing of questionable overall strategy? The Cerrato Effect may already be measurable. Curly R's series on the changing draft philosophies of the Washington Redskins continues.

Part One: Draft Picks Are Free But Not Without Cost
Part Two: The Y Axis
Part Three: Round Two
Part Four: Round Three
Part Five: Round Four
Part Six: Round Six
Part Seven: Round Seven and Wrap Up


The dance of the NFL, where players shine brightly for a time and then are replaced by players groomed in the system by the team, has seemed often to be poorly choreographed in Washington, with the Redskins simply throwing bodies on stage with little preparation or incentive to perform.

Yet examining the Redskins draft selections this year, a trendline emerges. The players picked highest are of a caliber to play now and should experience shorter learning curves than say a marquee lineman or quarterback that may take years to develop while costing dearly against the cap. And as we move through the later picks, key positions and the future are addressed. Middle round players may be called upon to contribute this season, and the lower round players have an opportunity to mentor under veterans and grow to assist or replace them.

Let us examine the Redskins draft picks and what they mean for this team's future, round by round:

Round Two
Devin Thomas, WR
Fred Davis, TE
Malcolm Kelly, WR

Play now It does not take a genius or a football blogger to realize what is going on here. The Redskins, wisely in my opinion, traded down from number 21 overall when there was no obvious impact player at their positional needs and, perhaps not as wisely but that is a topic for later discussion, picked three ball catchers. These picks reflect new head coach Jim Zorn's intent to pass the shit out of the ball, the Redskins receiving corps now consisting of Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El, Chris Cooley and these three draft picks with James Thrash and a cast of others on the outside looking in.

Like a mad scientist Jim Zorn, without the benefit or detriment of previous performance or experience designing an offense or calling plays, will put together an aerial offense that floods all the lanes, sending guys in short, wide, deep, center, post and sideline. There will be more hands reaching for balls, more elevation, quick hitch, slant in, jump ball, dump out, go long, cock it and rocket. Jason Campbell will have a sore arm all season but not from getting hit.

At least that's the idea.

Later in this offseason I will get some licks in on the logjam at receiver and how there are now many mouths to feed, for now there is no question these three ball catchers can play now, they instantly become Jim Zorn's heritage players, a new coach implementing a new offense with new ball catchers that have no prejudice for any other professional system or head coach.

Bottom line: for better or for worse the Redskins' NFC Beast opponents better check up on their defensive secondaries.

The Redskins' Future: Now AND Later continues tomorrow with part four, Round Three.

Refuel Cafe & Bar sign from here.