The Redskins Youth Report is a weekly article we do mid-week after each game. This edition looks at the prospects role and what we may expect in week ONE.
Rumor has it that Bernstein made the final 53 instead of the practice squad because a few teams scouted Bernstein closely and the Redskins did not think he would make it to the practice squad without being claimed. That speaks volumes on the talent of Bernstein. The rookie out of Iowa is listed three deep on the Redskins depth chart at strong safety behind starter Brandon Merriweather and veteran Reed Doughty. I suspect this coming Sunday Bernstein may be one of the Redskins healthy scratches.
QB Kirk Cousins, 4th round draft pick
The Redskins raised eyebrows when they traded up a boat load to number two to select Robert Griffin III to be the franchise quarterback, then plucked Cousins in the fourth round. Usually teams that are knee deep in talent with hardly any holes to fill can afford a luxury pick like that. Mike Shanahan thought different. Shanahan drafted Cousins because he was so high on their draft board, he felt they could not possibly pass him up. Trade target later? Possibly. However, the Redskins have assurance of another touted rookie at the premier spot on offense. Cousins did not disappoint Redskins fans in preseason, passing for 560 yards, completing 57.5% of his passes, and tossing 3 TD passes. Cousin reassured the staff that they are pretty solid at QB for the first time in years. Fact is, if we see Cousins in week one, things have gone dramatically wrong for Washington.
OG Adam Gettis, 5th round draft pick
Redskins fans sang gleefully when Gettis was nabbed in the fifth round. Why? He became the second offensive lineman taken in the first five rounds. Unheard of under the previous administration. Gettis adds young depth to the offensive line, a key goal by the Washington front office. Gettis had mixed reviews during preseason. He is listed second on the depth chart behind starting right guard Chris Chester. He will watch and learn the Shanahan zone blocking scheme. Much like Cousins, if we see Gettis in week one, something has gone very wrong.
QB Robert Griffin III! 1st round draft pick
The Redskins gave up a boat load to the Rams to acquire the second overall pick. They were
more than willing. Mike Shanahan found his franchise quarterback in the Heismann Trophy winner out of Baylor. Shanahan and staff also spent time, money, Nd effort to upgrade the Redskins wide receiving corp, to compliment the young quarterback. The critical component for this season, for both Griffin and Redskins, is managing expectations. They are incredibly high for Griffin. He made
a strong preseason showing, accumulating an impressive 103.3 passer rating in three games. He completed 20 of 31 passes for 197 yards with 2 TD passes. Griffin did not play all that much, but was impressive at times, while other times, he showed what he is, a rookie quarterback. Redskins fans will have to endure some rookie mistakes. It's natural. But, it is rare to find an informed analyst out there that doesn't think Griffin will be a top quarterback in this league In a few seasons. What he gives Redskins fans immediately is something lacking at quarterback for years, hope. The offense is Griffin's, it was retooled for his skills and revamped with talent to compliment his development. Now we just sit back and watch.
G Josh LeRibeus, 3rd round draft pick
LeRibeus was the first offensive lineman the Redskins took in the 2012 draft in the third round. The rookie out of SMU is second on the depth chart behind Kory Litchensteiger. Litchensteiger is ready and set to play against New Orleans after suffering a season ending knee injury early last season. LeRibeus did not have an overly impressive preseason, but he also did not look lost in the system. He has to control over-aggressiveness. LeRibeus is a valuable pick because of his versatility to play both guard and center. The Redskins hope 2012 will be a learning year on the bench.
RB Alfred Morris, 6th round draft pick
Morris stunned Redskins fans with an impressive preseason, but likely not Mike Shanahan. Shanahan has that golden eye for spotting running back talent and the fact he drafted Morris should have been a clue that he is a prototypical Shanahan back. He is a solid north-south runner that showed the ability to gain yards after initial contact. He made a helluva run for the starting job and will more than likely factor into Washington's offense. In preseason, Morris gained 195 yards on 31 carries, an impressive 5.0 yards per carry. Even more so, he put up an even more impressive 107 yards on 14 carries with a TD starting against the Colts starting defense, a whopping 7.6 yards per carry. That performance gave the Redskins the confidence to release Tim Hightower, who is not yet healthy with his knee. The key for Morris will be to continue improving his pass blocking skills, critical in this offensive system. Even though Evan Royster is first on the depth chart, I would be surprised if the Redskins did not give some touches to Morris week one. He is listed third on the depth chart behind Royster and Roy Helu. he is a rookie to keep an eye on.
LB Keenan Robinson, 4th round draft pick
Robinson was drafted to learn behind the great London Fletcher. He was possibly drafted to be the heir to Fletcher at inside linebacker. The greatest asset for Robinson is the role mode he has in Fletcher. He played well in preseason and showed speed and solid tackling ability. he led the Redskins defense in preseason with 17 tackles and had a half a sack. Starter Perry Riley was draft similarly in the fourth round and Robinson may very well prove to be another solid find for the Redskins defense. He is a solid tackler and also pretty solid in pass coverage.