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:

MOST SURPRISING MOVE

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.

FILE IT AWAY

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.

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