2011 NFL Draft Grades: Evaluating Washington Redskins' 12 Selections

How do the experts think the Washington Redskins did at the 2011 NFL Draft. Follow the updates in this StoryStream to find out.

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: Washington Redskins Drafting Philosophy Gets An 'A'

The experts don't think that the Redskins did very well in the 2011 NFL Draft. If you look at the bigger picture though, we think they did just fine.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Pete Prisco Likes Redskins' Draft, Except For QB Issue

We have located another fan of the Washington Redskins' 2011 NFL Draft. Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com rives the Skins a "B" grade, and becomes one of the few media members to actually like the selection of Ryan Kerrigan in the first round. Sure, he mentions the non-selection of a quarterback (apparently a contractual requirement of all writers), but also lauds the Leonard Hankerson pick and a later-round running back selection. In a surprise twist, it's Penn State RB Evan Royster, and not Roy Helu Jr., that Prisco likes. His full thoughts below:

Washington Redskins

Best pick: I like Ryan Kerrigan in the first round. They traded down, added a top outside rusher, and added extra picks. Nice move.

Questionable move: Passing on a quarterback. Who takes the snaps in 2011?

Third-day gem: I love the pick of running back Evan Royster in the sixth round. He was a productive player in a big-time conference.

Analysis: I'd give them a better grade if they picked a quarterback, but they made some nice moves with all the trades and ended up with some good football players. I like Kerrigan and receiver Leonard Hankerson a lot.

Grade: B.

I particularly like Prisco's take on Royster. The thought that being a productive player in an upper echelon college conference will translate to the pros is certainly logical. It certainly isn't always the case, but you'd like to think playing running back at Penn Sate against that level of competition at least gets a guy ready to compete for a job at the next level.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Evan Silva Very High On Redskins' Draft

The Redskins' P.R. department should cut Evan Silva of Rotoworld a check after seeing his NFL Draft grades for Washington's performance. Silva rewarded Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan with an "A-" for effort, offering up this assessment of their work over the last 72 hours:

Overview: The name of the game for Washington was trading down to recoup picks lost during the forgettable Vinny Cerrato era. But it's not like the Redskins didn't come away with good players. Entering the draft with the NFL's worst-looking roster, the Skins emerged with upwards of seven rookie-year starters. That's exactly the kind of rebuilding movement Washington needs to undergo. Kerrigan, Hankerson, and Helu were extremely productive per-play collegiates. In the late rounds, White and Neild stand out as rock-solid picks. The only reason Mike Shanahan's club doesn't get a full "A" is because it didn't pick up a quarterback.

This is the kind of draft grade Redskins fans like to see: an acknowledgement of proper draft strategy AND the recognition that many of these picks should be solid NFL contributors, and soon. I think saying SEVEN rookie starters is pushing it a bit, but I certainly do agree with Silva's opinion of Hankerson and Helu Jr. being contributors at the next level after solid college careers. Of course, the quarterback issue had to be mentioned, but at least Silva seems to recognize it isn't necessarily the "sky is falling" situation that many other media members have made it out to be.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Mark Maske Critical Of Redskins Passing On Blaine Gabbert

Mark Maske of the Washington Post has weighed in on the 2011 NFL Draft in totality, giving all 32 teams a letter grade. The hometown Washington Redskins received a a "C". Maske's thoughts:

There's nothing exactly wrong with the Redskins trading down to take LB Ryan Kerrigan in the first round. He fits into the defense well. But it's a QB-centric league and the Redskins passed on their chance to take Gabbert when he dropped to them at 10th. They'd better be right.

This whole "not drafting a quarterback" thing is either going to prove Mike Shanahan a genius or overshadow the entire 2011 Washington draft for years to come. Even if Bruce Allen and Shanahan end up unearthing several gems in the later rounds, such as a Roy Helu Jr. or a Markus White, their choice to eschew quarterback in the selection process might be all that's talked about in the future.

By the way, the only two teams receiving a lower grade than the Redskins on Maske's board? Division rival Philadelphia and Pete Carroll's Seahawks (both a "C-").


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Don Banks Sees No 'Slam Dunk' Rookies In Redskins' Class

By now, these NFL Draft grades and reviews of the Washington Redskins 2011 NFL Draft selections are all starting to sound quite a bit alike:

-Back-handed compliment to Skins for finally getting a draft right, trading down and acquiring more picks.

-Question why one of these picks wasn't a QB.

-Perhaps throw in praise for a middle-to-late round pick.

-Rinse, lather, repeat.

It appears SI.com's Don Banks got the memo:

I give the Redskins plenty of credit for moving around the board with trades and playing the draft game well, amassing what turned out to be a haul of 12 picks over the past three days -- their highest amount in almost 30 years. The Washington roster desperately needed a healthy infusion of youth and had needs everywhere, so it was the right call for the Redskins to go for quantity. But I don't see any slam-dunk impact rookies in Washington's draft, and the starting quarterback position remains a mystery of sorts. Donovan McNabb will be headed somewhere at some point, Rex Grossman is a free agent, and that leaves the unproven John Beck as the heir apparent. Redskins fans going to be OK with that? I don't think so.

I do see some accolades in here for the Skins adding youth and depth, two areas of serious need in Redskins Park. The QB question will dominate Redskins story lines for weeks (and possibly) months to come, especially if Mike Shanahan insists (whether truthfully or not) that John Beck is his starting quarterback when next season begins.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: ESPN John Clayton Critical Of Redskins For Not Taking Quarterback

After the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, John Clayton was calling the Redskins "Winners." Now, it appears I may have to pull Mr. Clayton off my Christmas card list, as his draft review begins with the beating of a dead horse: the Skins not drafting a quarterback. From Clayton's NFC East draft grades:


The Redskins skipped the chance to draft a quarterback even though they are going to move Donovan McNabb and don’t have Rex Grossman signed to a contract. Here’s why: John Beck might be their quarterback in 2011 unless something opens up in free agency or a trade. That’s right, John Beck, the former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins who is 0-4 as a starter in the NFL. When Beck came into the league in 2007, he was considered a Kurt Warner-type quarterback, but like Warner, he’s already well-traveled. (He's with his third team.) There is a belief in Redskins Park that they don't need to rush into a quarterback as they did last year in making the McNabb trade. Knowing they weren’t drafting a quarterback, the Redskins worked on getting bigger players to fit their 3-4 defense.

Hold on, is Clayton trying to get back in our good graces by even remotely hinting that John Beck could turn out like Kurt Warner? Slow down there lil' fella. At least he threw Washington a half-compliment with the selection of some extra defensive bodies. But wait, there's more.


The Redskins made five draft trades that enabled them to increase their number of draft choices from eight to 12, an unusual strategy for a franchise that loves to go for splash and flash. So file away the names of the players acquired and watch whether they become valuable role players or potential starters down the line. Ryan Kerrigan (left outside linebacker) and Jarvis Jenkins (defensive end) could be starters in the 3-4 defense, and third-rounder Leonard Hankerson is an interesting receiving prospect. The key name to file away is halfback Roy Helu from Nebraska, a fourth-round pick whom the Redskins actually traded up to get. The other names to file away are safety Dejon Gomes, wide receiver Niles Paul, running back Evan Royster, wide receiver Aldrick Robinson, cornerback Brandyn Thompson, guard Maurice Hurt, defensive end Markus White and defensive tackle Christopher Neild.

John really wants us to file these names away, so I have grabbed a manilla folder for all of us and placed 9x12s of each Redskins draft pick in the folder. We'll check back with them when training camp begins, especially the new spiritual leader of the backfield, Roy Helu Jr.

One final thought: after a while, all of this praise being heaped on Washington for actually trading down and acquiring more picks just seems like a pretty big back-handed compliment, right? "Hey, you guys never get it right. Ever. But you did this time. High five." Damn you Vinny Cerrato for setting the bar so low.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Redskins Listed As Drafting Three 'Steals'

At least one scribe thinks quite highly of some of the Washington Redskins' later selections in the 2011 NFL Draft. Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider, writing for SI.com, singles out three players that might prove to be "Steals" for the Skins in the years to come in his NFL Draft grades feature:

Leonard Hankerson/WR/Washington/Round 3/No. 79: Hankerson's inconsistency and untimely drops pushed him into the third round, yet he possesses the physical skills to be a productive second wide out on the NFL level. He will immediately help the receiver needy Redskins.

Roy Helu/RB/Washington/Round 4/No. 105: Helu was the second skill player the Redskins chose in round four. He's a triple threat running back who will compete for the starting position.

Chris Neild/NT/Washington/Round 7/No. 253: The fact Neild was the second-to-last player selected is mind-blowing. He's a 320-pound slugger who brings his lunch pail to work every day and is a prospect coaches will love. Don't be surprised if he's starting by the end of his rookie season.

It is no secret that Mike Shanahan has had great success when drafting running backs in the mid-to-late rounds of a draft, and the thought here is a one-cut runner like Helu is absolutely perfect for what Shanahan wants to do and that will translate immediately on the field. Hankerson is a freak, and already jumps way up the woeful Redskins' receiving depth chart (now just hold on to the ball Leonard). And I love the choice of Neild - he seems like the anti-Albert Haynesworth, which is just what the doctor ordered for this team. More Neilds, less Fat Alberts. 


2011 NFL Draft Grades: USA Today's Nate Davis Says Redskins Were Draft 'Losers'

What would the conclusion of the 2011 NFL Draft be without immediate and impulsive NFL Draft grades of the selections made by all 32 franchises, none more important than the hometown Washington Redskins. Nate Davis of USA Today is apparently a big fan of "the early bird gets the worm," as his "Winners" and Losers" draft review hit the internet barely two hours after the 2011 draft concluded. Unfortunately, Nate did his best Ace Ventura impression and lumped the Washington Redskins into the "L-O-S-E-R" column:

Washington Redskins: After years of moving up and mortgaging picks, they reverse course and amass them -- but in a year when the draft may have been thinner on talent than usual. Their top two choices, Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan and Clemson DT Jarvis Jenkins, would fit perfectly -- along with DT Albert Haynesworth, ILB London Fletcher and, arguably, former college defensive end Brian Orakpo -- if the Washington was still running a 4-3 defense. More importantly, with QB Rex Grossman a free agent and the bridge with Donovan McNabb blown, it seems John Beck remains the nominal starting quarterback unless the Redskins go after yet another veteran signal caller post-lockout.

Davis has a common complaint regarding the Redskins draft that is popping up in many draft reviews. Given Washington was able to obtain more picks, a newfound concept to them, why in the world didn't they at least use one of those picks on a quarterback? Davis' brief foray into being a defensive coordinator doesn't concern me here, as neither he nor I know whether Ryan Kerrigan will be a good pick in a 3-4 OR a 4-3. But it should be noted that Davis is not the first media member to wonder if the top two picks of the Redskins draft might have actually been their worst two selections.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Mel Kiper Gives Redskins 'C+'

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper has come out with his 2011 NFL Draft grades, and the Washington Redskins earned a C+ for their 12-man draft class. Kiper approved of the overall strategy to avoid a quarterback and fill needs elsewhere, but didn't think the Redskins picks would provide very much immediate impact. 

Kiper broke his grades up into two parts this year, giving each team a designation for whether they filled their needs as well as whether they received good value for their selection. Value, of course, is in the eye of Kiper's own evaluating skills, so I'm not sure why it is significant. Nevertheless, he handed the Redskins a C+ for filling their needs and a B- for the value they received. Here are his thoughts:

We know the Redskins need help at quarterback, but I'll give them credit: They realized there wasn't a quarterback in this draft who can help them in 2011, and they moved out of the spot that became the Gabbert pick. They clearly have concerns about their defensive line, and should get help in the pass rush from Kerrigan. Jenkins was an OK value, a bit of a surprise in Round 2, but the Hankerson selection at No. 79 was in the neighborhood of a steal. He gives them something they really don't have on the roster now. You have to assume Mike Shanahan thinks a lot of Helu, given the trade up to get him. The Skins added players at pretty much every need outside of quarterback, where they clearly have other ideas in mind. Fair enough. I just don't think impact will be significant.    

Seven other teams -- the Vikings, 49ers, Raiders, Patriots, Falcons, Eagles and Chiefs -- also earned a C+. Four other teams -- the Panthers, Titans, Jaguars and Seahawks -- earned grades lower than that. The Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals earned the highest marks of any team.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: Evaluating Washington Redskins' 12 Selections

The 2011 NFL Draft is in the books, and let the judging begin. We will compile as many 2011 NFL Draft grades in this StoryStream as we can find from across the Internet. Stay tuned.

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