Washington Redskins News: Can Mike Shanahan Turn Late-Round Picks Chris Thompson And Jawan Jamison Into 1,000-Yard NFL Running Backs?
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has a great history of turning late-round draft picks into 1,000-yard running backs in the NFL. However, can he do the same for 2013 rookies Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison?
The answer is yes. Both fit his famous zone scheme and are versatile enough to push for playing time as rookies.
Shanahan just loves to select a running back in the late rounds of the NFL draft. So it shouldn't have surprised anyone when he used the Redskins' fifth-round pick this year on Thompson. He followed that by using a seventh-round selection on Jamison.
This is despite the presence of Alfred Morris, Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. All three were taken in the late rounds of the last two drafts and all have shown considerable promise.
Shanahan traded up to select Helu Jr. in the fourth round in 2011 and still took Royster in the sixth round of the same draft.
Despite solid rookie outings, both were upstaged last season by 2012 sixth-rounder Morris. He won the starting job and finished second in the league in rushing.
The New York Giants are meeting with free agent running back Tim Hightower today, according to Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News. Big Blue would be smart to sign the veteran runner.
Hightower was out of football in 2012 and last played for the Giants' fierce NFC East rivals the Washington Redskins. Hightower was putting together a fine season for the Redskins in 2011.
He had carried the ball 84 times and gained 321 yards on the ground, before tearing his ACL during a Week 7 clash on the road against the Carolina Panthers. He tried to recover, but was deemed surplus to requirements in a crowded backfield rotation prior to the start of last season.
The Redskins decided to go with rookie Alfred Morris as their workhorse and penciled in youthful duo Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr as his primary backups. Washington didn't need Hightower, but the Giants do.
The 2013 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Chicago Bears’ choices over the weekend raised a lot of eyebrows. GM Phil Emery didn’t add the pass-catching tight end many analysts expected, and the first player he did bring in was one of the most unlikely choices of the first round.
Here’s a look at every pick the Bears made and how successful each move is likely to be (corrected for lower expectations in the later rounds):
Round 1 (Pick 20): OG Kyle Long, Oregon
The second son of former Raider Howie Long to wind up in the NFL, Kyle Long may wind up blocking older brother Chris when the Bears play the Rams in November.
Kyle is a phenomenal athlete at 6’6”, 313 lbs, and he can play multiple positions on the line (a major need for Chicago). However, he’s also immensely raw, with just one season of college experience, and the Bears had plenty of chances to address other needs with more proven players here.
Round 2 (Pick 50): LB Jon Bostic, Florida
I’m in the minority, both at home and abroad.
Quarterback, to me, is not THE ISSUE for the local football franchise that plays at Lincoln Financial Field just up the road, nor is it for the 2013 NFL Draft, which begins tonight in New York City.
Oh, it’s been talked about, near and far, to the umpteenth degree for weeks, heck, for months – how the Eagles need a new one, a surefire, can’t-miss guy to run the show in new coach Chip Kelly’s offense for years to come, and how this year’s available choices are lacking, not only in that regard, but just in general.
I just don’t buy it, on either count.
Put it this way, the view here is that Philly doesn’t necessarily need a quarterback. That it’s fine if GM Howie Roseman opts to fill another spot with the No. 4 pick tonight, or if the Kelly/Roseman braintrust opts to pick a QB, too – because the pickings are pretty darn good … for any team.
As the Chicago Bears look to rebuild their offense under new coach Marc Trestman, one obvious area of concern is depth at wide receiver. Brandon Marshall is a superstar and second-year man Alshon Jeffery shows great promise, but the pass-catching corps gets thin very quickly after those two.
Now, one of the biggest names (and loudest mouths) in NFL receiving history is expressing interest in joining Jay Cutler’s list of targets. As reported by CSN Chicago, Terrell Owens wants to get back into the NFL, and he wants to do it in a Bear uniform.
Owens’ affinity for the Bears (for whom he’s never played) stems from his past association with Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator and QB coach in San Francisco when T.O. was getting his start as a 49er. Additionally, the fact that the Bears have an obvious need at his position probably isn’t lost on a player who knows just how slim the market is for 39-year-old wideouts.