Shanahan has 'great feeling' about draft

Shanahan has 'great feeling' about draft
April 27, 2013, 8:15 pm
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The Redskins didn’t get everything they wanted in the 2013 NFL draft. But they came awfully close, according to Coach Mike Shanahan.

“At the end of the day, I had a great feeling about our draft,” he said Saturday evening. “You don’t have great feelings all the time because you just miss a guy here or there. But we were lucky enough in this draft to get the majority of the guys we wanted – and that doesn’t happen very often.”

Shanahan was particularly pleased to pluck a few players after they slipped a round or two. Both of the new safeties – Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas and Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo – dropped into the Redskins’ lap after being projected to go much earlier.

“Sometimes it’s not only one round, but it’s two or three, or three or four,” Shanahan said.

It’s possible Thomas could be the Redskins’ starter at free safety in September, Shanahan said, because he’s sharp and comes from a similar 3-4 scheme.

“That’s what you expect [and] that’s what you’re hoping for,” he said. “It doesn’t always happen that way. If they can’t start, then you hope they’ll eventually be ready if we do lose a player. Some guys can pick things up fairly quickly. He might be able to help us a little bit quicker.”

Rambo, meantime, can play both positions.

“I think he’s more comfortable with the free safety position,” Shanahan said. “I like the way he played the game. He has a lot of intangibles. He made plays all over the football field. I think his game will just get better and better.”

Asked if the Redskins had any character concerns about Rambo, who was suspended twice as a Bulldog for running afoul of the program’s drug policy, Shanahan said they were satisfied after an extensive background check.

“We feel very comfortable with him,” Shanahan added.

Although it’s unclear how exactly the safety position will shake out in the coming months, this much is now clear: at their most vulnerable spot, the Redskins are in a much better place than they were a few days ago.

Some other notes and quotes from Redskins Park:

The moment the last player was taken, the Redskins went to work signing players who did not get drafted.

  • “There are a number of guys that we had as draftable that we’ll try sign over the next hour or hour and a half,” Shanahan said. “A lot of the time those guys become a part of your football team. We have a number of guys targeted.”
  • So far, according to Internet reports, they’ve reportedly added undrafted free agents Will Compton (LB, Nebraska) and Xavier Nixon (OT, Florida).
  • In addition to getting Thomas and Rambo later than expected, Shanahan said he believes outside linebacker Brandon Jenkins and running back Jawan Jamison also fell to them.
  • About Chris Thompson, Shanahan said: “He could be that third down back. He’s got great hands. He’s got great elusiveness. He’s the type of guy who can do it all. 
  • On drafting three defensive backs who have a knack for intercepting passes, Shanahan said: “We’ve talked about turnovers since I’ve been here. Usually a team that excels in turnovers, they win championships. That will always be an emphasis on offense and defense. These guys have come up with a lot of turnovers and it’s one reason they were drafted where they were.”
  • David Amerson led the nation in interceptions in 2011 with 13; Rambo was second to his new teammate with eight that year. Thomas, meantime, led the nation last season with eight picks.