People always say the first impression is the most important, and the Washington Redskins 6th round draft choice Baccari Rambo is taking that to heart. Most experts and football fans expected Rambo to be off the board way before the Redskins selected him in the 6th round. Rambo has been one of the best free safeties in arguably college footballs best conference for the past two seasons. He is a rangy free safety with good ball skills and always seems to make game changing plays. Many believe the Redskins got one of the steals of the draft with this selection.
Rambo had several off the field problems while at Georgia but he says he has learned and grown from those experiences and they are in the past. Coach Shanahan said Rambo scored high on a test they administer to test a prospects’ dedication and work ethic. Rambo stated he believes the linebackers coach at Georgia — and former Redskins linebackers coach — Kirk Olivadotti helped convince Shanahan of his work ethic, stating the following:
“I know Coach Olivadotti had something to do with it, told ’em what kind of player I was and about my true character.”
Shanahan was impressed with the size, quickness and speed of Rambo and fellow rookie safety Phillip Thomas, Washington’s fourth-round selection. There is an open starting spot available in the Redskins secondary because no player has been able to lock down the free safety position since Sean Taylor was in a Redskins uniform.
Neither veteran free safety FA signings from last off-season are expected to be back with the team. Former pro bowler Tanard Jackson was signed after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released him last off-season and he was projected to start at free safety last year, but he has failed to stay clean from banned substances since he was drafted and he missed the entire 2012 season. In fact, he still remains suspended and may never be reinstated. Madieu Williams, who was signed last year to be veteran depth played FS but struggled and hasn’t been re-signed.
With nobody stepping into the void, the position is open for a camp battle, which looks like it could be a real possibility that one of the rookies could end up earning the spot. Both Rambo and Thomas are expected to challenge each other for the rights to start next to Brandon Meriweather next season. After logging an interception during rookie mini camp on Sunday, Bacarri is well on his way to doing so. Rambo has made a tremendous first impression with the coaching staff, which is the first step. Next step will be to do this over an extended period of time, and take it to the next level when the veterans hit the field for training camp.