Monday, April 29, 2013

Washington Redskins 2013 Draft Review

"I'll be the steal of the draft." That is what Phillip Thomas said. Many Skins fans the team did a great job of collecting many steals throughout the draft.Coming into the draft the biggest question mark or weakness was the secondary. Even though the team already re-signed Hall and signed EJ Biggers, I expected the team to focus heavily on the secondary.

Three of the seven picks were used to address the secondary, two safeties and a corner. Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo are the safeties; David Amerson is the corner.The thing that each of these guys have is a history of making plays. Since Amerson was taken first I will start with him.

David Amerson is a 6'1" corner that has a history of making plays. He had 19 college ints, 13 in his sophomore year. Phillip Thomas is a 6'1 safety that led the nation in int this season with 8. Barcarri Rambo is 6'0 and has 16 career ints. Each of these guys can be considered steals and they were all ranked to go higher than the Skins got them. These guys provide something that the Skins need more of, playmakers. The safety position should be 100% better than last year as guys either get healthy, off suspension, or earn roll as rookies.

Another thing that happened last year was how the offense fell off once Fred Davis was injured. In the third round they picked Jordan Reed. He needs to improve his blocking, but he is a weapon that can help the offense. John Keim had this quote.

“He’s a real athletic kid,” said Russ Lande, the college scouting director of the Montreal Alouettes and the NFL Draft analyst for the National Football Post. “He’s not a big kid, but he’s quick and very quick at getting to full speed. He has deceptive speed. He has soft natural hands. He’s a real intriguing guy as a receiving option and you can use him around in different alignments. But he’s so little if he tries to block he’ll get knocked on his [butt] a lot. But he’s so natural catching the ball and moving in space. He does good things.”

They also added to running backs in Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison. I won't even second guess these two as Shanahan has so much success with RB's taking in late rounds. If he thinks these two have a chance, I doubt anyone will really question it.

That leaves us with Brandon Jenkins. He is an olb that rushes the passer. This team can't get too many guys like that. With Orakpo down last year the defense really suffered. Kerrigan got doubled relentlessly and it wasn't good for anyone. Jenkins is another value pick as he was projected to go in the second round and the Skins got him in the third. With 33.5 sacks in two of his seasons, he has the ability to get after the QB. He does have injury questions, but he should be healthy and the extra quality pass rusher is only a benefit.

Shanahan believes the Redskins are a better team now after the draft than they were before. It is hard for me to disagree with him. Now I can't wait for training camp to see how this secondary shakes out. As far as I am concerned, the draft couldn't have gone better.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Anthony Bennett NBA Draft Prospect 2013

Note: I wrote this before the Wizards moved up in the draft. 

This is a series on NBA Draft Prospects that the Washington Wizards might be interested in. This will be a very important off season for the Wizards as next year heads will roll if the team doesn't meet expectations.the first can be found here and the second here.. Up next Anthony Bennett.

Position: PF

Height: 6'7
Weight: 239
School: UNLV
Age: 20 (3/14/93)
Year: Freshman

One of the things that Wall abd Beal say the Wizards need is a stretch 4. The best guy in the draft for that is Anthony Bennett. Even though he is from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, he may be an offensive part that turn the Wizards into a humming machine. 

Where do I start. There is a lot to like about Bennett, but also plenty to worry about. Offensively he could bring a whole new dimension. He is great finishing in the paint and he has a good shot that has range out to the 3 line. He might be a bit of a shot jacker, but if he stay in the confines of the team he could be a huge piece. One part of his offensive game that is missing is his lack of a post game. That wouldn't be the worst think of the Wizards though as he could be match up with NeNe or Seraphin. His range would help spacing and make everyone else better. He also has a wide variety of ways to score. He could really benefit from playing with Wall, Beal, and NeNe.  Another big Plus in his favor is his offensive rebounding. One the the things that caries over best from college to NBA is  rebounding. 

Fear the Sword's Sam Vecenie had this to say about him.

"But really, Bennett's offensive game is extremely strong for a freshman. His touch around the rim is very strong (73% there), plus he's got range out to about 22 feet. From beyond the three-point line, Bennett shot 38% on about 100 attempts, so his range is very legitimate. Along with that, he gets a lot of put-back points on offensive rebounding, where his long arms and strong sense of positioning gives him a chance to get easy points around the basket. This will be an effective tool that he needs to carry over to the NBA. He's can throw down dunks with the best of them, showing off power that few prospects can match. Finally, he gets to the line at an excellent rate, taking the fifth-most free throws in the Mountain West..."

"His overall rebounding acumen is solid overall, too. He shows excellent box-out technique for a young player, and he uses his low center of gravity to push players out of the way. Also, he has excellent hands to snatch all of the balls that come his way. This is the skill that he should be able to hang his hat in the NBA and continue to be an effective player as his career progresses."
I know many will have problems with his height, but I think his 7'1 wingspan  makes up for that. The main red flag I have with this guy is his defense. Defense is about effort and taking pride in stopping your opponent. I don't see that and it worries me. I am not sure his offense is enough to make up for this. Obviously I think he has the tools to be a good defender I just don't know that he wants it.

It isn't up to me but if Bennett is available I would go for him. I have to think he would buy in to the culture of the team and defend. At least I would hope so. If he plays defense with pride and intelligence, he could be the steal of the draft.

Edit: After moving up in the draft. I don't think it would be wise for the Wizards to go for Bennett. I am so afraid of things that look like red flags to me. He wants to be more of a 3, doesn't give a care to defense, and loves to jack up shots. If the front office can real him in ok, but to me he is a huge gamble that can set the franchise back.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jamelle Hagins NBA Draft Prospect 2013

This is a series on NBA Draft Prospects that the Washington Wizards might be interested in. This will be a very important off season for the Wizards as next year heads will roll if the team doesn't meet expectations. The first in this series can be found here. Up next second round prospect, Jamelle Hagins.

Position: PF

Height: 6'9
Weight: 230
School: Delaware
Age October 19,1990
Year: Senior

Yes, another hometown guy. He is from Roanoke, VA and went to Delaware. Jamelle is climbing up the draft boards. His defense and rebounding is what got my attention. But he also seems to be a high character guy as well. There is a video here where he talks about his Delaware team and you can see a little about how he is. 

This is a video of his highlights from a year ago.

He is the 2013 CAA Defensive player of the year. If will be crucial for the Wizards to add a big man in this draft. Hopefully someone that will be a defensive presence and hopefully add something on offense. in an article about Hagins explains his progression.

"Hagins got over-powered physically at times as a freshman, but showed signs that better things would come.  He hauled down 5.3 rebounds and blocked a shot in 22 minutes a game as a freshman, starting 25 of the team’s 30 games... 
"As a sophomore, Hagins broke out, leading the CAA in blocked shots and hauling down 7.3 boards a game, making the conference’s All-Defensive team.  He improved his offensive numbers as well, but that was still far from his strong suit.  He embraced the fact that he could impact the game defensively while he went to work on improving his offense.  He has always had a great feel for playing defense, and not just blocking shots; he understands rotations and positioning, and those are big reasons for his success...
"Hagins made steady progress offensively as a junior, and now as a senior is a bona fide offensive threat.  He makes post moves to score that he didn’t make earlier in his career and has surpassed 1,000 career points.  Now Delaware’s all-time leading rebounder, he also recently surpassed 1,000 career rebounds.  While the offense is better and he continues to work on it, he freely admits that he still likes playing defense more."
I don't know if Jamelle is the guy, but i am intrigued. I would like to see him get a look when the Wizards are doing theri workouts and interviews. Seniors get overlooked these days, Maybe he could be a diamond in the rough.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Victor Oladipo NBA Draft Prospect 2013

This is a series on NBA Draft Prospects that the Washington Wizards might be interested in. This will be a very important off season for the Wizards as next year heads will roll if the team doesn't meet expectations. The first prospect to examine is Victor Oladipo.

Position: SG/SF
Height: 6'5
Weight: 210
School: Indiana
Age: 20 (5/4/1992)
Year: Junior

The first thing you are thinking is, "You only want this guy because he is from Upper Marlboro and went to DeMatha". Everyone knows I like hometown guys. That is not the reason I chose to make him the first prospect in my series. While it didn't hurt. I chose him because today he announced that he will be entering the NBA 2013 Draft.

Take a look at his stats for his career. I am not sure what happened during his sophomore year but he really rose his stock this year. Terry Hutchins quoted a scout in an article earlier today.

"He's ready for the NBA right now," a scout said. "I think he can help teams because he has a motor. He can defend, and his offense has gotten drastically better, He plays bigger than his size."
"...His style of play is better suited for the NBA because of the way the game is officiated with limited touching. His speed gives him the clear advantage."
I am going to start first with the things I like about him. Victor is very athletic and and he loves to run the floor. That would play right into how the Wizards like to play. John Wall loves to run the break. A large part of his offense comes in transition since he runs the floor so well and also fills the lane correctly on the break.

He is very efficient because is is very hard to keep him out of the paint. He doesn't need to dominate the ball in order to drive to the hoop, If he gets the ball in the right spot he just takes off past his defender. We have seen how difficult the Wizards can be to defend with Wall and Beal. The dimension he add could be like the missing link.

His defense is what I like about him the most. The Wizards are better because they have been good on the defensive side of the ball. For them to succeed, that must not change. Anyone that comes in must contribute to that good defense. Oladipo is a difference maker on defense. He can guard multiple positions, and comes away with a lot of steals. He plays with intensity and has a non stop motor. He uses his athleticism on defense and is a disruptive force.

He also rebounds the ball well for his position. That is a stat that translates well into the NBA. With him and Beal helping rebound, if our big men do their part the Wizards can be a top defensive and rebounding team.

His offense has improved this year. He is good at catch and shoot and has improved from the 3. If he can get his 3 to stay consistent. The other parts of his offensive game  should do him and his team just well.

He has to have some weaknesses, I don't want to gloss them over. He is not good at handling the ball, he can't create his own offense, and no one knows if his improved shooting will hold up. That is it. For me those are things I can live with if he runs the floor well, finishes well, and plays defense as advertised.  If he can play the SF spot his ball handling won't be as important. He also should have to isolate much with how this team is constructed.

Overall I like this guy as a prospect. I am not saying we should get rid of Martell Webster (please no), but I think someone that can be a difference maker has to be a prospect to look out for.While it is still early in this series, If this guy is available when the Wizards pick, he has to be considered.