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This is the new Redskins Youth Report. After about 7 years of doing it the same way, times have come to change it a bit. It will now be done in a tiered ranking by different levels. Remember, our rankings are based on performance and contributions to the Redskins. The Tiers will not be separated by rookies and 2nd year players. They are all thrown in together.
Top Tier Rookies:
1. S Chris Horton : Horton is the top ranked Redskins rookie. As a seventh round draft pick, this likely would not have been predictable by any Redskins fan, analysts, or writer. Horton stays on the positive because he was one of the few that put in a rather impressive performance against the Giants. Horton is aggressive and very quick. He has improved his tackling and has a strong knack for being around the football. That’;s his charm as a newly position starter on this defense. That is precisely why S Reed Doughty won’t get his job back, Horton is just to, well, impactful (new word!) Horton finished with 8 tackles and 3 assists. A good, solid performance. (1)
2. S Laron Landry: Landry comes in second. As a second year player, this will be Landry’s last season on the Youth Report list. Landry has played very well, but at times shows lapses in judgment. He started out the season on fire, unable to be thrown at deep. There have been time since he has been beaten or doesn’t make the play to the ball well. BUT, overall, another solid season for Landry. This week, Landry had 5 tackles and 2 assists. There is no doubt, Landry is more effective the closer his is to the line of scrimmage. I wish the Redskins would send him on a few more blitzes and utilize his speed. (2)
3. DT Lorenzo Alexander : Alexander is a second year player who is making a bigger impact this year than he has any year, at his natural position, defensive tackle. If you remember, Alexander played a role last year at times on the offensive line. BUT, this year, given injuries to Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery, Alexander had had opportunities to play at defensive tackle and has performed well. Again this past week, Alexander got some penetration inside. He recorded 2 tackles and an assist. Not quite his performance of last week where he recorded a sack and penetrated the line at least 3 times, but Alexander may be a guy to keep an eye on. (3)
1. LB H.B. Blades : I like HB Blades. He is mall in size, much like his mention, Redskins MLB London Fletcher. But, he also has alot of common traits Fletcher does, in the fact he is quick, and a pretty good tackler. Blades has done a highly credible job filling in for Marcus Washington. I seriously doubt Washington returns next year, but you have to figure Blades would be in the mix to replace him. The Redskins may very well go outside to find a replacement and keep Blades backing up Fletcher. Either way, he is tough, scrappy, quick, and tackles well. He also is becoming a stalwart on special teams. Blades is the type of guy you need. His pedigree ain’;t hat bad either. Last week he started in place of Washington. He recorded 2 tackles and 2 assist. Not prepared at this point to move Blades up to Top Tier yet. BUT, he is ranked at the top of the Middle Tier. (4)
2. OT Stephon Heyer : Should be starting. Heyer played pretty well for the most part, got better as he played, until he got hurt and relinquished the job back to OT Jon Jansen. Jansen is clearly struggling and on the down side of his career. It is tot he point now where Jansen is costing the redskins. Jim Zorn and Joe Bugel need to turn that spot back over to the young Stephon Heyer. He did nothing to deserve losing the spot, except get injured, and Jansen has done nothing, but has done alot, to lose the job. Since he does ride the bench though, we keep him in Middle Tier. (5)
3. S Kareem Moore : Moore has played exceptionally well on special teams. The loss of guys like Ade Jimoh and Anthony Mix on special teams hurt, but Kareem Moore has helped fill at least one of those positions. The problem Moore faces is — Laron Landry is in his way. Landry isn’t going anywhere. Moore does make it at times into defensive packages, but not enough. This kid has impact written all over him. For now, that impact remains on special teams. (6)
4. WR Devin Thomas : Thomas got into the end zone for the second (thanks Stephon Heyer) first time on a nice looking reverse, catching the Giants defensive by surprise. Thomas has some nice speed. That’s not a question. The fact is, Thomas has to runt he right routes and learn the offense better. I am convinced the kid can be good, but he has to work hard at getting himself in a position of trust with HC Jim Zorn. Thomas touched the ball once, the 29 yard scamper for the TD, his first of hopefully many to come. But he still has no role in the passing game. (7)
5. DE Chris Wilson: Wilson is a pass rushing End. He was in a battle for a final roster spot and made it,. he has not had the time or impact he had last season, perhaps because of Jason Taylor. Wilson committed a costly penalty last week and recorded 2 assists. (8)
Bottom Tier :
1. WR Malcolm Kelly : Kelly ranks above Davis, because, well, he is at least on the field. Doesn’t mean he will catch anything, especially when it is throw to him. I fully suspect Kelly to be a legit receiver, just not in 2008. Unless there are trust issues with Kelly running the right routes and knowing the play book, given the fact that Redskins lack a true second receiver, go for it Zorn, throw Kelly in the mix. As for now, Kelly has done nothing but drop a pass, so he remains in the bottom tier. (9)
2. TE Fred Davis : Davis ranks number one here. I simply can not understand or ration in my mind how a guy could be as good as he was at USC, yet, does not even have a bottom line grasp of the Redskins play book? How is that possible? Many of us were excited about the two TE set role Davis could play to compliment Chris Cooley, yet, he has even regressed from barely playing to being inactive with HC Jim Zorn sighting trust issues. Just amazing. Davis is ranked dead last of the rookies and 2nd, because he was such a disappointment. Makes you wonder if he will even make the 2009 roster. (10)
Incomplete Tier :
1. OL Chad Rinehart : Rarely active. I am hoping Rinehart is good enough and is learning enough to become a new starter in 2009, because the offensive line needs rebuilt and a third round pick should be a prime target for the rebuild. As for now, give the fact I have not seen him plat at all, I can’t rank him.
2. QB Colt Brennan : The weekly clip board holder. Can’t judge that. Although, in all honestly, I have not witnessed him drop it at all.
3. CB Justin Tryon : Tryon plays special teams at times. I just have not seen enough of him, and quite frankly, given his pre-season performance, I would prefer to keep it that way, I won’t tier him either.
4. DE Rob Jackson : Jackson played in a few games, but since then, has been inactive. Not sure what that means, if anything. Given the fact that Chris Wilson is not that impressive, that likely does not bode well for Jackson. But, I have not seen enough to tier him.