It's not just the media applauding the work of the Washington Redskins in the first three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft. SB Nation's Redskins blog Hogs Haven has also chimed in, with what I regard as a generally positive review of the work Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan have done so far in the draft.
The Redskins began their work Thursday night by (gasp!) actually trading down, in the process garnering a second round pick and choosing Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan at #16. The fellas at HH speak for most of the DC metropolitan area:
I'm pretty sure everyone reacted exactly like I did when Kerrigan got picked. First of all, we all wondered who that guy on the phone was. (I think I joked, "That better be Mark Ingram's agent.") Then, we all said, "Okay... So we picked a 4-3 defensive end over Prince Amukamara (or Ingram, or Castanzo, etc)?!?
I think we all have reason to be a little concerned that Kerrigan has never played linebacker, but it is a position where the transition can be pretty smooth. 3-4 OLB is not that different from 4-3 end, and given the amount of nickel the Skins played last season, it looks like we could count on Kerrigan being pretty comfortable at the line in pass-rushing situations.
At first, I did not like the pick, but the kid has character and great technique, so I've changed my mind. Good pick, better work to get a second 2nd-rounder.
Ah yes, a little hesitation over this pick, but a thumbs up overall. However, the positivity train slighlty jumped a track with the Redksins next selection, Clemson's Jarvis Jenkins at #41:
This guy is a beast. He balled against Maryland and can get into the backfield. Redskins
found their NT. This draft has me racing to find the club level ticket phoneline number.
Update: OK, hold the phone. Redskins are projecting Jenkins to be a DEFENSIVE END. I don't get this pick with Marvin Austin still there. I'm going to hold judgement until more info comes though fro the coaches.
Let's just say the strike-through is mightier than the pen. Well played Hogs Haven, well played. And hopefully come practice time the coaches will indeed find a way to utilize Jenkins effectively.
But wait, the Skins did something good again just a round later! HH agrees with me, I think, that the choice of Leonard Hankerson from Miami with the #93 was an excellent selection:
Analysis: Hankerson in and of himself is a good value pick here. Behind Moss (if he resigns) and Armstrong the Redskins depth chart was scary, and not in a Green Bay Packers 'you can't cover us' sort of way. If Moss does resign he can move to the slot, with Hankerson and Armstrong on the outside. While I don't think Hankerson is as good as say Julio Jones or Jonathan Baldwin, I don't think he is too far off either. He should immediately help Washington's depleted receiving corps and with all the extra picks Washington got great value.
So, it appears Skins fans generally like what has been done so far, but I think the bigger step in the process for the Redskins is to hit on over half of their picks today in Rounds 4-7. Otherwise, all of these extra picks acquired in actually playing the draft board property will be for naught, and the positive energy generated by the franchise in the past two days will slowly dissipate as Skins 2011 draft picks fail to make a difference on the field and depth remains an issue for the Washington franchise on both sides of the ball.