It happens every year in the National Football League. Preseason games are played and young players look fantastic. “It’s only preseason.” “It’s against scrubs.” “It doesn’t count.”
Well, while the above is true for the most part, looking great in the preseason sure beats looking like total garbage. Also, one needs to remember, that while it is true, the rookies largely played against the Colts’ third stringers, they also played WITH the Redskins’ third stringers. So the talent level was even.
But enough of that, let’s get on to how they did:
Fred Davis, TE, USC, 2nd round pick
Fred appeared to be blocking in this game fairly well. This is an area where Chris Cooley needs to work because if Davis can block better, then he might be a better fit in certain packages. Davis also had 2 catches for 23 yards.
Chad Rinehart, OG, Northern Iowa, 3rd round pick
Well, there are no stats for offensive linemen of note so when it comes to grading them or giving an opinion on them, you just have to go with what you see. What I saw was a lot of potential and a guy that gets low and blocks and is nasty. This kid could wind up challenging Jon Jansen for the starting Right Tackle spot.
Justin Tryon, DB, Arizona State, 4th round pick
Just looked to be a bit lost at times on the field. He improved a bit as the game wore on, but on some plays, it appeared as if the Wide Receiver just got by him. Of course, on some of the plays, if the defense was in a zone, then he was where he was supposed to be. If that is the case, he needs to learn to react better to the ball in the air.
Durant Brooks, P, Georgia Tech, 6th round pick
Derrick Frost, pack your bags. Durant had a great game pinning the Colts inside the 20 twice. One of those times he punted the ball 54 yards without a roll.
Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii, 6th round pick
Okay, everyone knows it is preseason and it is only one game and it was against 3rd stringers. So I am not ready to get out the anointing oil just yet and call for an open competition or anything.
But let’s face the facts. While it was against third stringers and bench players, it was also WITH third stringers and bench players. Maurice Mann and Billy McMullen (Yes, the WR that the WR starved Eagles thought was no good.) are not exactly world beaters either.
All that being said, Colt Brennan was crisp, on the money and deadly accurate the entire night. He completed nine of ten passes for one hundred and twenty three yards and two touchdowns. He also threw no interceptions on the night and finished with a 157.5 Quarterback Rating. Just a stellar debut for the kid who many thought had no chance at an NFL career.
Rob Jackson, DE, Kansas State, 7th round pick
Rob Jackson had a decent night as well. He got a few pressures as well as two sacks, though, one of them was negated by an off sides penalty by himself. I also noticed on a few other plays that he was very close to the line. This is not a big deal as long as he doesn’t cross the line and it is something that a lot of speed rush defensive ends do. From some camera angles, you would think they are over the line they are so close. Overall, a decent night.
Chris Horton, S, UCLA, 7th round pick
Okay, while Chris appears that he could be a slight liability in pure pass coverage, as a close to the line Safety, he really played well. He was in on a lot of plays and recorded four tackles and two sacks. He also recovered the Colts’ onside kick attempt to start the game. Overall a great rookie debut for him considering his draft status.
I know the title of the article is “Draft Picks Shine….” but I would feel bad if I left out one other rookie that stood out a bit.
Matteral Richardson, CB, Arkansas, Undrafted RFA
Okay, his stat sheet might not impress some folks. But the fact is, it appeared as though a fate that seems to become the Redskins quite a bit here recently was about to unfold again. Having a lead get taken away at the last minute only to lose a game in the 4th quarter is something Redskins fans are kind of used to.
But then, in the blink of an eye, the prospects of the game changed quickly. Rookie Matteral Richardson stepped in front of a Jared Lorenzen pass and sprinted 38 yards for a touchdown with less than two minutes to go. The “pick six” gave the Redskins a two touchdown lead inside the two minute mark.
So I would say that overall, especially given that Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Kareem Moore all did not play, this draft class has some potential to be a very good one.