We knew the Redskins were serious about upgrading their defensive secondary when they used three picks on big name collegiate players in this year’s draft. What we didn’t know was how quickly they would see results.
According to the Washington Post, rookie cornerback David Amerson and safety Bacarri Rambo are already running with the first-team defense and making an impression on the coaches and teammates. In fact, Amerson has already earned a reputation as being the most talented corner on the team, something that should come as no surprise after what we saw him do at NC State.
Fourth round pick Phillip Thomas–the player who led the nation in 2012 in interceptions–started out very low on the depth chart per the report, but is now climbing his way up.
“We’ve got to rely on them,” Redskins CB Josh Wilson said. “We relied on two rookies last year to lead our team on offense, and now we’ve got to rely on these two on defense. They have to be ready to step in play. Nobody’s a rookie when you step on the field. Everybody’s just another man on the field.”
Backup QB Rex Grossman also had good things to say about the rookie DBs he is facing in camp.
“They are talented. That just sticks out,” quarterback Rex Grossman said. “I think Amerson is going to be a great, great corner. You can just tell by the way he reacts to certain routes. His closing speed, you’ve got to be aware of him. In organized team activities, I was more aware of him than some other players. . . . The two safeties are very aggressive, and they’ve made some plays. Our defense is looking pretty legit. Our defense has youth and experience, and everyone is talented.”
When the Redskins capped off their draft, we came away really impressed. The addition of Amerson was a good value, especially for a team that didn’t have a first round selection. While Amerson had some problems in 2012 being over-aggressive and it cost him probably a round of draft status. After his sophomore season in 2011 when he had 13 interceptions, it looked like Amerson could be a first rounder with his size, speed, and ball skills.
Of course, his numbers regressed in 2012 but he still remains a very nice prospect. He might get burned at times but his speed and length will make up for quite a bit.
Phillip Thomas was an All-American safety at Fresno State that I fully expect to be starting for the Redskins sooner rather than later. For whatever reason, he’s been unable to climb up the depth chart as quickly as Amerson and fellow rookie safety Bacarri Rambo, who was vastly under-drafted.
Rambo was an All-SEC performer and leader of a Georgia defense that was, at times, one of the most dominant in the country. At no point in my pre-draft evaluation was Rambo considered anything lower than a third or borderline late third round prospect, and that’s just because the value of the position seemed diminished a bit this year.
“I feel like I’m ready. I feel prepared,” Rambo said. “I’ve got a great group of guys in front of me that are going to help me stay on track, and I’m going to be back there to make plays for them.”
The Redskins were led last year by rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris offensively, and this year it will be the young defenders who try to change the culture of a unit that ranked 28th last season.