Mike Shanahan selected 21 players in the 2011 and 2012 drafts, and the seventeen who remain on the roster are set to enter a critical stage in their development. In the coming weeks, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a look at what those players have accomplished thus far and what they still must do in order to solidify their status in the NFL.
Who: Tom Compton
Position: Offensive tackle
Draft year/round/pick: 2012/6/193rd
Career to date: Compton did not take a snap on offense as a rookie. During last offseason, he was asked by the coaching staff to improve his conditioning and boost his upper body strength, and he did that. As a result, the South Dakota product claimed the swing tackle job in training camp and served as the backup on the left and right side.
Compton, however, didn’t see the field much on offense as a sophomore, either. In fact, he only took the field for only 10 snaps on offense in 15 games because starters Trent Williams and Tyler Polumbus managed to remain (mostly) injury-free.
So, two years after Compton (6-5, 308) was drafted, he still remains an unproven quantity.
Outlook for 2014: It’s hard to know exactly what the immediate future holds for Compton because we don’t know what changes Jay Gruden will make along an offensive line that, with the exception of Williams, was underwhelming in 2013.
We can, however, be sure of this: Williams, who was named to his second straight Pro Bowl, will be the starting left tackle next season. But what about the right side? Will Gruden turn to incumbent Tyler Polumbus? Will Compton and Polumbus compete for the starting job? Will Gruden use the team’s influx of cap space to sign a top free agent, leaving Polumbus and Compton to battle for a backup role?
The man who drafted Compton—Mike Shanahan—is gone. But offensive line coach Chris Foerster remains on staff, and that should help the 24-year-old as he attempts to gain a foothold in what figures to be the most important offseason of his young career.