Redskins report excerpt: Russ Lande analyzes draft picks

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

The draft happened two weeks ago, but there will be questions about each player until we see them on the field – in pads – and in games. Lande, as usual, helped out with his insight. He’s a former NFL scout turned draft expert who now runs the Montreal Alouettes college scouting department. I did a Q&A with him for the email report that will be sent out Friday morning. Lande discusses every draft pick. Here’s a sampling:

Q: In general, what did you think of the Redskins’ draft?

A: I like it. I really like it. David Amerson is a really talented kid. If he plays like he did in 2011 they will have the steal of the draft. In 2011 this guy looked like a first-round pick. He’s a long kid, he’s athletic. There were questions about his speed and he ran well at the combine, but he plays like a 4.5 guy. As a senior guys beat him consistently for touchdowns deep. But it’s hard to find tall kids who will play physical and are athletic. He’s more athletic than [Seattle’s] Brandon Browner. He’s not as athletic or as fast as Richard Sherman. But he’s not horribly different. He’s intriguing. He’s willing to hit. He could play corner or safety.

Q: Do you like Phillip Thomas?

A: He’s a smart kid and he has a great feel for what goes on around him. He can be a violent blow-up hitter. There are a lot of positives. But there are inconsistencies when it comes down to breaking down in tackling. That’s common for safeties. But he has to improve on that if he’s going to become a starter. Right now if you’re a coach, you’re nervous making him the back end of your defense because that’s your last guy. A miss and it’s over. … That can be fixed, but it’s not easy. It’s not simple to all of a sudden do it better. But he could definitely [become a] starter in the NFL. With Shanahan it makes sense why he was chosen because when you take his 20 best snaps, he’s big leagues. That will jump out and grab your attention and you say, ‘This kid could be special.’

Q: Next one: Chris Thompson. Do you like him?

A: He’s a hard one. You talk about a guy that on film you would have guessed is a third- or fourth-rounder, but when you add in size and add in the injuries I say, ‘How can you draft this guy?’ The guy is broken in half once with his back and then once with the knee. There are so many red flags to him that I just don’t know. I was surprised they took him. Not that I don’t like him; I love him on film but I didn’t see a team taking a gamble on him. Most short running backs have failed and then his health. I mean, at some point you have to say how is this guy going to survive?

Q: Last one – Jawan Jamison, another shorter guy but productive. What do you think?

A: I like Jamison. He’s a perfect fit for the system there. He’s not an elusive guy, he’s not a guy who runs a 4.4 but he sticks that foot in the ground and he attacks the hole. He runs strong. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s the No. 2 back behind Alfred Morris and plays more than people think.

 

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