Mike Shanahan selected 21 players in the 2011 and 2012 drafts, and the seventeen who remain on the roster are set to enter a critical stage in their development. In the coming weeks, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a look at what those players have accomplished thus far and what they still must do in order to solidify their status in the NFL.
Who: Josh LeRibeus
Draft year/round/pick: 2012/3/71st
Career to date: As a rookie, LeRibeus didn’t find his way onto the field on offense until Week 17, when he took 22 snaps as an injury replacement for Kory Lichtensteiger. Then, when Lichtensteiger aggravated his ankle injury early in the playoff game against the Seahawks, LeRibeus again stepped in, this time playing nearly the entire game.
Despite his slow start, LeRibeus played well enough the last two weeks of the season for coaches to believe there was a chance he would battle for a starting job in 2013.
That didn’t happen.
LeRibeus returned to Redskins Park overweight and spent much of the offseason working his way into shape, rather than practicing with his teammates and polishing his technique. What followed was even more disappointing for the Redskins: The Southern Methodist didn’t suit up for a single game during his sophomore season.
Outlook for 2014: The player picked right after LeRibeus, Olivier Vernon, started 14 games at defensive end for the Dolphins last season and recorded 11.5 sacks. Later in the same round, the Seahawks picked Russell Wilson, the Eagles took Nick Foles and the Colts chose T.Y. Hilton.
So, yeah, the LeRibeus selection isn’t looking very shrewd at the moment, particularly when one considers that weight was a problem for him in college, too.
The Redskins have given no indication that they’re giving up on LeRibeus—yet. But this is obviously a critical offseason for him. With a new head coach and the offensive line coming off a subpar season, changes will be made. But the question remains: Will LeRibeus be part of that change?