...I like linebacker Rocky McIntosh, even though he had some injury situations in college. He's smart, aggressive and tough -- three qualities prized in any player. I think the Redskins will be pleased with him, though when he becomes a starter or key player, who knows. Linebackers coach Dale Lindsey will make absolutely certain the kid is ready before he plays; that's why they have Warrick Holdman.
...I also like players from the University of Miami. They're not all saints, but they are usually good players and they bring a camarederie that many schools can't match. They also seemingly know what it takes to stay in the NFL, even if some like to, um, have a little fun on the side. But most of the guys who come from that school have one thing in common: they win -- and they hate losing.
...The other pick that intrigues me is fifth-rounder Anthony Montgomery. Russ Lande, who will have a Q&A about the draft in the next issue of Warpath, is a contributor to NFLGMjr.com. He listed Montgomery among players he felt could be steals, considering him a raw player with good ability. He has size and, if he's matured, then he could be one to watch. If anyone can make a player out of him, it's Greg Blache. But Blache also can't work miracles so the kid will have to be dedicated. Early in his college career he was routinely late for meetings. That stuff can't happen here. Actually, it won't happen; if it does, he'll be gone.
...The safety from Northern Colorado, Reed Doughty, sounds like a slower version of Matt Bowen. He has a ton of passion and likes to hit. But he's slow. Seems like a lot of safeties are making more and more plays in the box on passing downs; perhaps Doughty can grow into that kind of a role. There, you need to be quick more than fast. And quickness stems from intelligence, which Doughty has in abundance.
...Some wanted the Redskins to address the hole at backup offensive tackle. But you can't just pick a tackle in the sixth round because you have a need there. Those guys typically don't make it; and what you have to ask is this: does the player have more of a chance to make the team than the guy we have already. If the answer is no, then don't draft him. So they went toward the defensive side. All I want from the bottom part of the draft are guys who can be groomed for a couple years down the road. Those picks aren't a time to fill needs; it's a chance to find guys who can play -- anywhere. Whether or not the Redskins did that remains to be seen.
...I'm not confident in their ability to land those late-round gems. Check the roster: they haven't done a good job of that in the last few years.
...In some ways, you have to consider Jason Campbell their first-round pick of this year. They didn't need him last year. In essence, it was his redshirt year.
...Looking back on last year's draft: By the end of the summer, there might be only two guys left from that draft: Carlos Rogers and Campbell. Manuel White looked shaky trying to play H-back and now he'll have to likely learn more tight end as well; Robert McCune could be replaced by the draft pick from Tennessee, Kevin Simon (whom Lindsey really likes); and that leaves Nehemiah Broughton, who looked good last summer but it's hard to tell where he stands. He has to improve his hands.
...I laugh when I read grades assigned to teams about the draft. The time to grade them is in a couple years when we know who can play and who can't. But there's such a rush to grade these things it's ridiculous. If the Redskins had a so-so draft, does it really matter? They've decided to put more emphasis on free agency, identifying young and talented players then signing them. I believe strongly in the draft and that teams that win typically draft well; it gives them the necessary depth to withstand the injuries that always occur. But I also think if you're going to try and spend money on a guy, do it on someone who has an NFL track record.
...Saturday was the least amount of time I've ever spent at Redskins Park on draft day. Here's the story: I went to two of my son's baseball games (one tied, the other one -- my 8-year-old pitched for the first time and had three strikeouts; my wife and I are now counting on him to help us retire early); cut the grass and hopped in the shower. When I was just ready to leave, the Redskins made a trade, moving up 18 spots. One expletive later, I was driving a bit fast to Ashburn. Fortunately, I made it just after they picked and before the press conferences started. A few hours later, I left. It almost felt like a night off.