Cerrato Wants More Draft Picks
Yesterday was a busy day for draft pick talk, with Skins top football man Vinny Cerrato discussing the draft at length both on his radio show and in his sit-down with Jason Reid. Cerrato emphasized youth and depth and draft picks over and over again, and openly said he'd like to acquire more than the four picks he has for the 2009 draft. That's the kind of party line fans have been yearning after for years. Rough quotes, based on me typing as fast as I could:
"Unless there's something outstanding where we pick, we'll look to move down and pick up another pick."
"You're better off getting the young, healthy guys in the draft and continue to grow and build so you have a solid foundation that you can put together for a long time. What you want to do, you want to keep building with young guys, so then you can continue to grow for a long time, not just sign a band-aid, make the playoffs for one year....Let's continue to build so you can be solid for a long time, that's what we want to do, continue to grow, develop, build through the draft, add free agents when you have to. Developing the young guys is the main thing, especially with the salary cap."
["I wish we had that motto maybe about five years ago," said the next caller, in a lol moment. "Maybe we wouldn't be in this predicament."]
"What we're trying to do is to develop depth and develop young guys so they can step in."
"I think we see flashes in Fred Davis, so I think the future's bright there. I think Devin Thomas is playing with much more confidence, playing faster, showing up, making plays. Malcolm [Kelly] will play more next year....In training camp, the guy was outstanding, so expect a lot of things from him. J.T. Tryon has been outstanding on special teams, so he'll help us and provide depth in the secondary....Kareem Moore...is feeling comfortable back there. And I'm telling you what, usually when a guy is doing well on special teams then he transfers it and is ready to play well on the field....I think Rob Jackson will play more next year....They all need a good offseason, and usually guys make tremendous improvements between year one and year two, so I think the development of those 10 will infuse more talent, more speed and explosiveness at those positions....And right now we have four picks, if we can turn that into six or seven then we'll infuse [even more talent]."
It's all undeniably good news if you're a Redskins fan. But the verdict on this 2008 class, clearly, is still out, with some negative thoughts entering the minds of a few fans who see the rookies on the sidelines every week. Cerrato attempted to defend the picks to Jason Reid, saying "When we went into the draft, we said we weren't looking for a starter at any position. We were looking for young guys to add talent and depth that could learn, grow and develop into starters. How many guys on every team are starting as rookies? I don't know that."
Well, I don't know that either, but I tried to at least find out the starting stats for the early rounds. The caveats: I only had time to look at the first two rounds, "starting" is a kind of silly measurement since a guy can be on the field for the first play and then never again and earn a start, you can also be productive as a front-line reserve, starting statistics don't reflect injuries to either rookies or veterans, and receivers often take longer to break in than other players. All that being said....
* Of the 31 guys drafted in the first round last April, 16 have started at least eight games, and 25 have started at least two games.
* Of the 32 guys drafted in the second round last April,
nine eight have started at least eight games, and 19 18 have started at least two games.
* Twelve of the first 13 guys taken in the second round have started at least two games. Devin Thomas is the lone exception.
* The 32 second rounders have started a combined
152 143 games, an average of 4.8 4.5 per man.
* The Redskins three second-round picks have started one, one and zero games, an average of 0.7 per man.
But I'm just being tendentious, and by all means, stockpile draft picks. Your fans will love you for it.
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