Safety DeJon Gomes has an excellent opportunity in front of him and it would help both him and the Redskins if he could take advantage of it.A fifth-round pick in last years draft, Gomes played enough to get his feet very wet in 2011. He appeared in 15 games, getting in on defense in eight of them. Gomes first start came in Week 11 against the Cowboys and he played 74 of the 77 defensive snaps, posting seven tackles, three assists, and two quarterback hurries.He started the last four games of the season, playing 122 of 249 snaps. Gomes never did match the solid performance he turned in during that Dallas debut but his play was passable for a rookie.This year, starting safeties LaRon Landry and O. J. Atogwe are gone. However, Gomes play was not good enough to cause the Redskins to immediately promote him to the starting job. The team brought in free agents Tanard Jackson, Brandon Meriweather, and Madieu Williams and drafted Jordan Bernstine in the seventh round. It will be a challenge for Gomes to make the team and to get as much playing time as he did last year.It seems a good bet that Jackson, who played for defensive backs coach Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay, will get one of the starting safety jobs. Meriweather might be penciled in for the other one at this point in time but Gomes, Williams, and Reid Doughty will all have an opportunity to knock him out of the job before training camp is over.Since the NFL lockout wiped out the offseason program last year, Gomes needs to take full advantage of it this year. He has looked fine during OTAs but, as Mike Shanahan always says, you cant judge running backs or safeties until they put the pads on. That wont happen until training camp starts in late July.He will be one to watch during training camp. If Gomes can build on what he learned last year during the offseason this year and put everything together in August he has a chance to get a lot of playing time and perhaps even start a lot of games.Even if Gomes cant nail down a starting job in 2012 he could prepare himself to get one next year. Williams, Meriweather, and Jackson all signed one-year contracts and none of them is necessarily considered to be a long-term solution. If Gomes can be a solid role player this year he could set himself up well for the future.That would be good not only for Gomes but for the team. They will be operating with a reduced salary cap next year and if they can fill a starting job with a player who is making around the third-year minimum salary of 630,000 they will have more money to work with elsewhere.
The Redskins have the 17th pick in tonight’s first round. Things get underway when the Browns go on the clock at about 8 p.m. There are 10 minutes allotted between picks. If each team takes the maximum time the Redskins will pick sometime after 11 p.m. However, picks are usually in with a few minutes to spare so Washington will go on the clock sometime between 10 and 10:30.
So, what is there to watch for until then? In what everything thinks will be one of the wildest and most unpredictable first rounds in recent memory, here are five places where the decisions made could have ripple effects back to pick No. 17.
No. 1, Browns—The steaming hot rumor that has popped up in the last 24 hours is that QB Mitchell Trubisky, not DE Myles Garret, will be the top pick in the draft. Of course, that talk could be a steaming pile of, well, what comes out of the south end of a bull. If the Browns do go with Trubisky, who was expected to remain on the board through the first five picks, there could be a run on quarterbacks in the top half of the draft, with teams maneuvering to get their guy. That could push a solid defensive player back to the Redskins.
No. 4, Jaguars—Nobody is quite sure what is going on here. Leonard Fournette is the chalk pick but this is the team that drafted Blake Bortles completely out of the blue in the top five a few years ago. They have spent a lot of draft capital and free agent money on defense. They may be ready to move on from Bortles so a QB is a possibility, a move that would start or, if Trubusky goes to the Browns at No. 1, continue a run on quarterbacks.
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No. 8, Panthers—In a draft that is supposedly unpredictable, the constant in mock drafts over the last 10 days or so has been Christian McCaffrey to Carolina. It almost seems to be too simple to be true, especially if the top seven picks are loaded with surprises. The Panthers have plenty of needs and if they have a top safety or linebacker fall into their laps they could well bypass McCaffrey. That would put him in play for the Redskins at 17.
No. 13, Cardinals—We go back to quarterbacks here. Will the Cardinals, who have plenty of needs, take a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech to groom to replace Carson Palmer? If they do, that could force the a QB-needy team picking later in the first such as the Texans to move up to make sure they aren’t left out. That could have them on the phone to Ashburn offering their second-round pick to entice the Redskins to move down to No. 25.
MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third
No. 16, Ravens—Picking immediately in front of the Redskins, the Ravens also have needs everywhere. Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster seem like the type of player the Ravens like so there is the possibility that the Redskins could see a very good player at a top area of need slide back towards them only to get snatched up one pick prior to them going on the clock. The good news may be that many analysts have Baltimore addressing wide receiver or offensive line at No. 16 and those positions are not likely to be of high interest to the Redskins in the first round.
A lot has changed since the end of the college football season, and that's obvious when you consider all of the names the Redskins might look at with the 17th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Some players have surged up draft boards on the strength of strong combine or pro day efforts. Other have dropped, due to unfortunate incidents, injuries or poor measurements.
Think about players like Teez Tabor or Zach Cunningham. Those guys play in the SEC and seemed like first-round locks two months ago. Now the 'Skins might be able to value shop for those players in the second round.
The flip side: A plyer like Haason Reddick. A star at the Senior Bowl who really busted out at the Combine, the Redskins might love to have him but he could be a Top 10 selection.
All sorts of legal trouble and diluted urine samples will also impact draft night. Injuries too, or even the thought of possible injuries.
Few sporting events are as wild as the first round of the NFL Draft. Stay tuned with CSN for all your Redskins coverage. Chick Hernandez and Rich Tandler will be in Ashburn with the team, JP Finlay will be live in Philadelphia as the chaos unfolds.
RELATED: A LOOK AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS
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