Jeff Risdon. 29th May, 2007 - 5:15 pm
1st round, #6 overall--Laron Landry, S, LSU
5th round, #143--Dallas Sartz, LB, USC
6th round, #179--H.B. Blades, LB, Pittsburgh
6th round, #205--Jordan Palmer, QB, UTEP
7th round, #216--Tyler Ecker, TE, Michigan
Best pick: Landry
Worst pick: See that gap between the 1st & 2nd picks?
The Ethnic Slurs had very little to work with and decided to stand pat, instead of trying to acquire more early picks. After looking at who they selected in the later rounds, that might not have been a bad decision. Landry is a no-risk, high-reward instant starter who will improve the pass defense with his range and his ability to read plays quickly. He?s the 2007 Draft version of AJ Hawk, a defensive stalwart that you won?t find one critic who doesn?t believe he won?t be a very good player right away. His drafting allows Sean Taylor to play more in the box and bolster the run defense, which suits his skill set much better.
The Skins needed depth and youth at LB, and they addressed that with a couple of guys who excelled in college yet never really excited most scouts. Sartz brings great size and coverage skills and is a natural SAM LB, but he whiffs on a lot of tackles, plays very upright and stiff, and has suffered numerous injuries.
Blades would have been a 1st or 2nd rounder if he were taller and faster than 5?10? and 4.8ish. Alas he is not, and his great instincts and excellent tackling ability are negated by his inability to shed blocks or fall back in coverage. He?s a good fit for Washington behind London Fletcher-Baker, another very undersized (though significantly faster) ILB.
Palmer is the younger brother of Bengals All Pro Carson Palmer, but other than name and height they have precious little in common on the field. He?ll get a year to prove himself worthy of being the #3 QB. If he figures out how to throw the ball where the receiver is going to be instead of where he currently is, he might stick.
Ecker is a worthwhile flier in the 7th round, a decent target with good hands and better elusiveness than expected. He reminds me of Justin Peelle, which would make the Skins happy.
Just strictly evaluating the few picks they made, I think Washington made smart choices. Landry was an excellent pick and they added big-school, experienced producers with high football IQs and pedigrees in the later rounds. They missed out on a lot of much-needed help and depth in those missing rounds though, and that will look even worse in 2009 than it does now.