Redskins 2012 Draft Class Revisited
*Editor’s Note: Mike Johnson runs the up and coming shop Sneeki’s Tees. If you are a DMV sports fan, this is a must check out as they have some really great shirts and more designs are on the way.
Going into week 15 of the 2012 NFL season, the Washington Redskins are poised to make their first playoff run since 2007. Much of the their success can be accredited to the play of an exceptional 2012 rookie class.
Mike Shanahan’s player personnel decisions have been in question since the day he was announced as the Redskins Head Coach and Executive Vice President of Football Operations, but its time to give credit where credit is due. The Shanahans and Bruce Allen have put together back to back draft classes that have contributed greatly to the Redskins success in 2012. As long as the current braintrust is making decisions, I am confident that my beloved Redskins will continue to grow and develop into one of the most successful teams in the NFL.
Let’s have a look at how the 2012 Redskins’ draft class has contributed this season thus far.
Round 1 Pick 2: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
-2x NFC Offensive Player of the Week
-2x NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month (September/October)
-5x NFL Rookie of the Week
-Named Co-Offensive Team Captain by the players
-NFL single-season rushing record for a rookie quarterback
RG3 has brought hope, united a much maligned fanbase and has the Redskins in a position to claim a playoff spot. Knowing what we know now, getting RG3 for a mere 3 firsts and a second round draft pick seems like a steal. Can we ask Cleveland and St. Louis how they feel about this?
Let’s all hope for a speedy recovery while the Redskins continue to battle for a playoff spot.
Round 3 Pick 8: Josh Leribeus, G, SMU
Josh Leribeus was drafted mainly for his versatility, and to bolster the interior depth along the Redskins offensive front. He made his NFL debut in week 9 against the Carolina Panthers. He has contributed in 3 games so far this season, but the Redskins will be expecting more from him in the future.
Round 4 Pick 7: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
Without a doubt, the most controversial draft pick coming out of the 2012 draft class was Kirk Cousins. Redskins fans across the nation were dumbfounded; why would the skins braintrust throw a first, a second, and a fourth round draft pick at one position, all in one draft? The answer is simple; the QB spot is the most important position in all of football and the Redskins have been dreadful at that position for over a decade.
Fans saw a glimmer of what the Shanahans saw in Captain Kirk early in the preseason, but nobody expected what we all witnessed this past Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. With 1:48 left in a pivotal week 14 match-up, RG3 had to leave the game with a bone cringing knee injury. With an entire franchise’s playoff hopes on the line, rookie 4th round draft pick Kirk Cousins stepped into the game and calmly moved the offense down the field eventually throwing a beautifully arching pass to hit Pierre Garcon for a TD. Down by 8 the skins were forced to go for a 2 point conversion. No problem. QB draw up the middle for the tie and to send the game into overtime.
As we all have seen with Michael Vick, QBs who run are bound to get hurt. When that player is the most important player on the field, it is imperative to have a capable backup waiting in the wings. Anyone who questions drafting 2 quarterbacks in the same draft can look to this defining moment for the correct answer.
Round 4 Pick 24: Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas
Robinson served primarily as a special team contributor and as Perry Riley’s backup until a week 12 injury landed him on the injured reserve list. In limited action, Robinson had 12 tackles in his rookie campaign. Going forward Robinson will need to contribute more on special teams as he returns to action next season.
Round 5 Pick 24: Adam Gettis, G, Iowa
Much like Leribeus, Gettis was drafted for his ability to play multiple positions and to add depth to the offensive line. Gettis made the final 53 man roster and signed a four year contract. However, the book is still out on Gettis as he has yet to see any game day action. The Redskins hope is that he develops over the next season into a viable option at guard or center.
Round 6 Pick 3: Alfred Morris, RB, Florida Atlantic
Alfred Morris, an afterthought of the 2012 draft, has been an absolute stud in his rookie campaign. Expected to serve as a third string RB, Alfred Morris took full control of the Redskins backfield since the preseason and refuses to let it go. Through 14 weeks Alfred sits with elite company atop the NFL in several statistical categories including rushing yards and attempts. If not for RG3, Alfred may very well have been the most popular Redskins rookie since Sean Taylor.
Season Stats through week 14: 230 carries for 1,106 yards and 5 TDs. More importantly, thanks to his efforts the Redskins own the #1 rushing attack in the NFL.
Alfred Morris without a doubt was a draft day steal.
Round 6 Pick 23: Tom Compton, T, South Dakota
Compton got promoted to the 53 man roster in week 14 and has yet to see any game day action. He has served primarily as the backup to Trent Williams and Tyler Polumbus. It is a good sign that all of the offensive linemen drafted by the Redskins in 2012 have not seen much field action since the starters have somehow managed to stay healthy. However, there is an underlying theme in this draft class. The Shanahans are quietly developing a young offensive line that will continue to pay dividends in years to come.
Round 7 Pick 6: Richard Crawford, CB, SMU
Crawford has seen limited action on both special teams and in nickel packages this season. He finally got a chance to show his progress in week 14 when he got promoted to kick returner and nickel corner with the suspension of Cedric Griffin. Crawford wasted no time sparking the kick return game with a 64 yard return in overtime, which would lead to the eventual game winning kick.
Round 7 Pick 10: Jordan Bernstine, CB, Iowa
After performing admirably throughout training camp and preseason, Bernstine found himself on the active roster for the Redskins season opener at the Saints. Expected to serve as a backup safety and special teams contributor, Bernstine’s season was cut short after suffering a nasty knee injury in the season opener.
Going into the 2013 draft the Shanahans and Bruce Allen will have to address a dreadful secondary that has been obliterated by injuries. How they do this without a first round draft pick is yet to be seen.
As a lifelong Redskins fan, I am willing to trust them and ready to believe that they will make the right decision to make this team a champion in the near future. HAIL!