Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:16 AM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Chase Hellings, 3, runs through the obstacle course on Draft Day at FedEx Field.
Published on: Wednesday, May 01, 2013
By Daniel Kucin
The Washington Redskins had probably one of the least productive seasons on the defensive side of the ball last season. But that could turn around as the team acquired key additions over the weekend in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Despite losing a first round selection by trading with the St. Louis Rams to draft Robert Griffin III, the Redskins found later round gems to fill the holes in their roster. Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan’s impressive track record with low round picks started off strong Friday evening when the organization selected North Carolina State defensive back David Amerson.
Amerson is a versatile athlete who can play as a solid bookend or at the safety position with explosive speed and excellent coverage skills. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, the Atlantic Coast Conference standout had 13 interceptions his sophomore year, breaking and setting a record for most interceptions in a season. Amerson was also a finalist for the Thorpe Award, and he won the Jack Tatum Trophy in 2011.
Redskins tight end Fred Davis was coming off of a season ending injury, so the Redskins looked to add some depth offensively. With their next second round selection, the Redskins drafted Jordan Reed from the University of Florida. Reed has been compared to New England’s Aaron Hernandez at the tight end position, and he is also known for his blocking and pass catching abilities. Last season, the former Gator racked up 559 yards and three touchdowns.
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Redskins’ Niles Paul signs an autograph for a fan.
“We took a look at Reed, and he’s got a great ability to make people miss. When he’s got the ball in his hands, he can do things with the ball that is very athletic, something that a lot of tight ends can’t do,” Shanahan said.” We weren’t necessarily looking for a tight end, but when he was there, we couldn’t pass him up.”
The Redskins addressed their need for help in the secondary by signing two premier safeties: Baccari Rambo and Phillip Thomas. Rambo finished off his career at Georgia with 16 interceptions, and Thomas was an All-American last season for Fresno State, leading the NCAA in interceptions with eight.
Brandon Jenkins, Jawan Jaminson and Chris Thompson rounded off the seven selections the Redskins chose to suit up for the burgundy and gold next season.
On Saturday at FedEx Field in Landover, the Washington Redskins held their free admission Draft Day Party for fans to enjoy. Fans had the opportunity to tour the Redskins locker rooms and to meet some of their favorite players.
It was a family-fun atmosphere, where children participated in the NFL Play 60 events, such as running through an obstacle course and attempting to boot a kick through the uprights in the field goal challenge.
Current and former Redskins legends came out to support their team and held an autograph session in the tunnel.
Former linebacker Ken Harvey said,“It’s great to know that you have so many loyal fans, and it’s been such a long time since I’ve played, so to have many people know your name is great. ... It’s just a lot about the fans. It’s been a long time since the team has won, and to see that they are still supporting the them and they are still getting stronger — it’s very exciting.”