Sal's Sports Page


RD 1: Brian Orakpo [DE] from Texas -- GRADE: A

Comments: Orakpo was widely regarded as a top-ten player, and the 'Skins were thrilled to be able to grab him at the thirteenth overall position. HC Zorn has affirmed that Orakpo will see significant playing time as a rookie. He is a versatile defender capable of playing both the DE and OLB positions, and given that the 'Skins have needs at both spots he is a smart fit for the 'Skins D. The 'Skins have extensively explored utilizing Orakpo at LB on first and second rounds, and then having him in the three-technique on third-down passing situation. Orakpo has already spent significant time with Redskins linebacking coaches, getting an initial idea of the diverse assignments he will be learning in the upcoming months. It is going to be very interesting to see what kind of havoc the 'Skins  D-Line will wreak with newly acquired big man Albert Haynesworth rushing from the inside and Orakpo and Andre Carter firing off the edge. The Redskins  should not finish in the bottom-half of the league in sacks again this season - there is simply no excuse now considering the D-Line personnel that has been added to an already sturdy defense.

RD 3: Kevin Barnes [CB] from Maryland -- GRADE: B

Comments: Its always nice to see the hometown team picking a kid from a local school. Barnes is a gifted athlete with plenty of speed and a nice 6'1" frame. He has fluid hips and ideal acceleration. Barnes was known as one of the ACC's most vicious tacklers -- he is already a Youtube legend for hitting Cal's Jahvid Best so hard that the RB vomited after being layed out and fumbling the ball. In a spring game last year, Barnes hit teammate Morgan Green, a RB who outweighs Barnes by 30 lbs., so hard that Green left the field in a stretcher. These run support instincts are a nice bonus. Further, Barnes had the highest Wonderlic score of any prospect in the entire combine, scoring an amazing 41 on the critical thinking test used to evaluate prospect's mental acumen. Barnes needs to work on his balance and body control. He also needs to increase his ability to come down with the pigskin in jump-ball situations. Possible health concerns stem from a season-ending shoulder injury last year, although the 'Skins are confident he is fine. He is not there yet, but Barnes has the potential to blossom into a starting CB. For now though, he will likely battle Smoot for the nickel corner job. This pick makes me wonder if the 'Skins may be looking to deal Carlos Rogers somewhere down the road; he is the current starting CB but it seems the 'Skins may have lost faith in him, largely bc of his tendency to squander potential interceptions. Personally, I would have liked to see them package this pick with maybe a fourth from next year in order to move up to the second round and grab Oklahoma OT Phil Loadholt. He is a monster at 6'8" 330 lbs, and his raw skills would have been perfect for Joe Bugel to polish.

RD 5: Cody Glenn [OLB] from Nebraska -- GRADE: C-

Comments: Pretty athletic , physical playmaker. Doesn't have the requisite acceleration and burst, and must improve his decisionmaking. Character issue are a concern: he was suspended in his senior season because of involvement in a ticket-scalping scandal. Needs all-around development.  

RD 6: Robert Henson [ILB] from TCU -- GRADE: C

Comments: Tough, gritty player who makes good decisions and picks ideal lines of pursuit. Doesn't have ideal agility, slower than you'd like for his position. Sideline-to-sideline abilities are hampered by inability to shed blockers. Henson will primarily contribute on special teams and otherwise provide depth to the interior of the linebacking corps.

RD 7: Eddie Williams [TE/FB] from Idaho -- GRADE: C

Comments: A natural receiver with soft hands and high football IQ. Can consistently catch less-than-perfect passes and is a willing blocker. Only real knock on him is that he needs to bulk up and work on his separation technique against opposing LBs. Uniquely suited to the West Coast system that Zorn is a disciple of, Williams brings versatility that you wouldn't expect in the seventh-round. I also like that this pick may give Fred Davis a much-needed kick in the butt, and could be just the motivation that he sorely needs to mature and develop into a player that actually contributes on the field.

RD 7: Marko Mitchell [WR] from Nevada -- GRADE: B-

Comments: Dominant size for a WR at nearly 6'3" 220 lbs. Scouts describe him as a graceful and reliable target with a knack for extending well and keeping his balance. Needs to work on his release off the line and his overall route-running needs refinement. Has the hands and body-type to become a viable NFL receiver, but needs to get stronger. Nice upside potential for such a late pick. Good insurance policy for Malcolm Kelly, who has undergone yet another surgery and is currently not able to practice with the team.


Comments: Redskins Nation can take a collective sigh of relief: the Washington Redskins didn't do anything too dramatic or controversial in the '09 draft. Instead, they opted to address positions of need and build depth. Working without second or fourth rounders, I like how the Skins stuck to a needs-based approach, starkly contrasting with last year's best-available-player philosophy. However, these are the Redskins and of course, this draft, like all 'Skins drafts, leaves something to be desired. The 'Skins FO failed to draft a single O-lineman, and such neglect is unacceptable considering the 'Skins had one of the poorest O-lines in the NFL last year. Starting QB Jason Campbell desperately needs protection to save his job. Further, the mileage on Clinton Portis' body is getting higher every season, and given that he is a smaller back who plays a physical brand of ball, he needs more help from the big boys up front as well. At OT, the health and skills of Jon Jansen, once a stalwart RT, have been rapidly declining, and LT Chris Samuels, while still capable of playing at a Pro-Bowl level, is in the twilight of his career. At guard, we have Derrick Dockery, who Buffalo didn't want anymore and Washington recently took back, and Randy Thomas, who is recovering from recent neck surgery. Center Casey Rabach is penalty-prone and serviceable at best; he was embarrassed several times last year when he was utterly incapable of executing his blocking duties. With these realities firmly apparent, it is inconceivable that Snyder and Cerrato did nothing to remedy them. Nevertheless, 2009 must be declared an overall success for the 'Skins, they made a solid first-round pick, and while they didn't plug all of their holes, they infused several key roster slots with new blood in the later rounds.



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