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Draft review: Washington Redskins

david amerson getty

After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The Washington Redskins.

What they needed: Cornerback, outside linebacker, right tackle, inside linebacker, safety.

Who they got:
Round 2: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State.
Round 3: Jordan Reed, TE, Florida.
Round 4: Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State.
Round 5: Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State.
Round 5: Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State.
Round 6: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia.
Round 7: Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers.

Where they hit: The Redskins’ top three veteran cornerbacks (DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, E.J. Biggers) are all unrestricted free agents after 2013. Amerson has starter-caliber talent and can learn from the veterans in Year One. If he quickly learns the pro game, all the better for Washington. The same can be said for Jenkins, who has some pass-rush ability but comes off a foot injury. His best work could come down the road.

At safety, Thomas and Rambo are fresh faces at a position that needs some help. Finally, Thompson and Jamison will vie for complementary roles behind starter Alfred Morris. The Redskins needed a little more RB depth, and they got it.

Where they missed: The Redskins will go with a cast of experienced but shorter-term options at right tackle this season, with Tyler Polumbus the likely starter. Longer term, the Redskins may want to bolster this position, and perhaps as early as next season. Similarly, the Redskins’ linebacking corps (inside and outside) may soon have to be addressed with Brian Orakpo a free agent after 2013 and London Fletcher turning 38 in May.

Impact rookies: Could either Thomas or Rambo start right off the bat? The Redskins’ safety play does not look like a strength, and a strong camp by either player could put Washington to a decision. Also, Thompson and Jamison would seem to be threats to 2011 fourth-round pick Roy Helu, who’s coming off a toe injury that cost him most of last season. Reed could also earn playing time with Fred Davis recovering from an Achilles injury.

Long-term prospects: Let’s start with the obvious: If Robert Griffin III can play all or the vast majority of the 2013 season in top form after his January knee injury, then the Redskins should again be major factors in the NFC East.

Now, let’s consider how the 2013 draft class fits into this puzzle. It probably won’t deliver the same instant impact as last year’s class; after all, Griffin III and Morris helped the team to the 2012 division title, and fourth-round QB Kirk Cousins stepped in to win a big late-season game in Cleveland. Nevertheless, the Redskins’ Class of 2013 fills some short-term needs and could help Washington address some longer-range issues, too.