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.