Saturday, April 26, 2008

Drunken Savages Collect Some Good Scalps

You won't hear mention of the Drunken Savages in most media reports of Draft Day winners. You'll hear about Kansas City having a Good Draft (they did so by being awful last year and trading away their best player to Minnesota, and their Quarterback is still going to be Croyle or a Huard brother). You'll hear the Vikings did well by getting Allen in the trade, and picking up a safety--which they will need soon, but what they really need is real receivers, Sidney Rice notwithstanding. You'll hear about Atlanta "turning the page" grabbing Matt Ryan.

But the Washington Drunken Savages, who unlike all the teams above was a playoff team last year, did more to improve their offense than maybe any other team on Saturday.

Trading down was risky, but grabbing 2 additional second round picks worked in their favor, as they were able to take part on the run on big pass catchers.

Let's take a look at these guys. (all info from the Washington Post, and the Sporting News)

With the 34th pick overall, the Drunken Savages nabbed the guy most scouts had as the #1 receiver in the draft, Devin Thomas out of Michigan State (thanks in part to St. Louis taking Donnie Avery a pick before, instead of Thomas). It seems to me that one of the reasons this draft isn't being as touted as it should be is that the press in general thinks more of Randle-El than I do.

Thomas, physical, 6' 2", and quick, seems to me to be a very likely starter ahead of Randle-El. Randle-El goes back into the slot, where he truly belongs, and the Skins have their first Big, Fast capable reciever since maybe Art Monk.

With the 48th pick, the Savages picked up USC Tight End Fred Davis, who Sporting News expert Russ Lande says, "might have been a first-round pick if there were no questions about his maturity and work ethic. He has the athleticism and hands to be a versatile receiver and could team with Chris Cooley to give the Redskins two dangerous receiving tight ends." It is a West Coast offense based on Mike Holmgren's version of the West Coast Offense, and Holmgren has his biggest success in Green Bay when he had two pass-catching tight ends. Also, Fred Davis is simply a huge man. When ESPN rolled his highlight tape, I was shocked to realize that the lineman coming off the line was in fact a Tight End. He's a fucking giant, he is, with good hands. Another big target, to going along with Cooley and Thomas, and smaller speedsters of Randle-El & Santana Moss.

With the 51st pick, The DSavages pick up a receiver with the best hands in the draft--Malcolm Kelly of Oklahoma, where he got his name in the record book--like 7th all time in the Big 12 for Touchdown receptions. His speed in the combine is a bit of an issue (4.69), but having a 6' 4" receiver with burners like Moss and Randle-El should work just fine.

Apparently, there is some thought that the Skins have disregarded their needs on the line by grabbing 3 pass-catchers. But the Savages are well aware of their needs on the line, and if they took 3 big men who can catch the ball, they did so because they are aware of lineman who would be available after the big names came off the board. They were Zagging, when the rest of the league was Zigging, if you will. They got quality receivers, with some question marks.

I saw mock drafts where the Skins took Kelly with their original first round pick. Those drafts assumed that Thomas would already be off the board. The Skins got 2 first round quality WRs in a draft that focused heavily on O Linemen. Picking up the Tight End named the best TE in College Football is just a bonus. It was a fantastic first day for the Drunken Savages, and I'll bet that at least 2 of these guys play themselves into being important parts of the offense by week 5 of the next season. It will come down to how well the QB's of the Skins run the West Coast Offense, because all 3 were meant to play that system. They have certainly been given the weapons needed.


Andrew Wice said...

Miami also had an excellent draft (obviously aided by being the big SUCK last year). But good idea to draft the OT and the QB who played well together the last couple years. They will be simpatico.

Regarding the Redskins draft, I have mixed feelings. Trading down for Thomas was brilliant, and incidentally won't bungle our salary cap the way a 1st rounder would. Well done, Vinnie C. I think the TE pick is excellent. But I'm still waiting for an OL, a DL or a safety. They picked another high-upside WR, before finally addressing the issues in later rounds.

WRs might be the highest-risk draftees for expensive busts. Relying on youngsters in a brand new offense might result in the Redskins taking a step back next year. And we didn't do a goddamn thing to help our pass rush.

But this is a new era and I am not going to poo-poo anything. I hope the Skins braintrust is right. Trust me, you'll hear about it either way. From me. But right now it looks like a high-value draft, with a lot of bang for the buck and some interesting possiblities (Best College Punter and Colt Brennan!).

Muumuuman said...

Drafting WR's has really helped to solidify the Lions as a powerhouse NFL team in the past, it should work great for the Skins I think.