NFC East draft grades: Washington Redskins

NFC East draft grades: Washington Redskins
May 1, 2012, 6:29 pm
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For part one of Jared's draft grades series, featuring the Dallas Cowboys, click here.

The Redskins are finally crawling out from under the rock owner Dan Snyder and his flunky Vinny Cerrato put them under for nearly the past two decades. Gone are the wild spending days on over-the-hill stars and the dealing away of draft picks for middling role players.

Now, under Mike Shanahan, the Redskins deal away (boatloads of) picks for potential superstar QBs.

The Skins' 2012 draft -- and their long-term future -- now rest on their No. 1 (second overall) pick, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner cost the Redskins three first-round picks (2012,2013, and 2014) and their 2012 second-round pick to move from No. 6 to the Rams pick at No. 2.

For a team with holes all over the roster, this was risky, but it could be a grand slam if RG3 becomes the franchise QB the team thinks he'll be. I tend to think he will be. His athletic ability is off the charts, and the smarts and leadership seem to be there too.

If Griffin III fails to flourish in D.C., the Skins' future is bleak.

After their splash with Griffin III, the Skins draft got weird. Their third rounder, SMU OG Josh LeRibeus, was one of the biggest reaches of the draft. LeRibeus didn't play at all as a junior because he was academically ineligible, and his senior season was mediocre at best. He has short arms, an unathletic build, and struggles to pass block. His strength is in the run game, and maybe Shanny is planning on having RG3 hand the ball off to Evan Royster and Roy Helu.

The other two picks of note came in the fourth round, with Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins and Texas OLB Keenan Robinson.

Washington is getting some negative feedback from fans for the Cousins pick because of how many other needs they have, but the value there was too great. And with a league starved for QBs, when does having two, young, talented signal callers become upsetting? Loved the pick.

Robinson doesn't seem to fit Jim Haslett's 3-4 scheme, but he's solid and will certainly contribute on special teams right away.

It really doesn't matter whom the Skins drafted after Griffin III. This draft and this franchise hinges on his success or failure. I'm betting on the former.

Jared Sherman has been providing with draft analysis since 2000. E-mail him at and follow him on Twitter @Phillyjared

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