Saturday, April 28, 2012

Redskins select G Josh LeRibeus in third round

Unquestionably, the Redskins' biggest move of this draft was the trade up for and subsequent selection of Robert Griffin III. The future of the Redskins is basically in his hands, and his development over the next couple of seasons will be the deciding factor in how far this team can truly go. But the Redskins still have several other holes on the roster, and they tried to take a small step last night by filling an area of weakness in the third round.

Originally, the Redskins had the sixth choice in the third round, No. 69 overall, but they swapped picks with the Bills and moved down two spots. By doing so, they also picked up a seventh-round pick (No. 217). Then with pick No. 71, the Redskins picked guard Josh LeRibeus from SMU.

Whenever the Redskins pick an offensive lineman with the Shanahans around, his fit into the team's zone-blocking scheme is important. Predictably, LeRibeus should fit that scheme well. Here's John Keim, writing for Sporting News:
How he fits: Leribeus adds depth inside, something the Redskins desperately need. He started two seasons at left guard, but also played right guard and worked out at center for teams before the draft. Leribeus played in a man-blocking scheme at SMU, but will play in a zone scheme with Washington. However, he said he felt more comfortable in the zone scheme he played in during the East-West Shrine Game. He’s not considered a great athlete, but has good footwork.
Next, here's ESPN's Dan Graziano on the pick:
Not among the highest-ranked guards on the Scouts Inc. draft list, LeRibeus appears to be a pick the Redskins took for scheme-specific reasons rather than because of particularly good measurables. He's had some issues with his weight and has had to lose dozens of pounds to get down to his current 312. And he didn't [grade] out especially well as a blocker. But the Redskins look for specific characteristics in their offensive linemen because their running game relies on a zone-blocking scheme. And LeRibeus' strengths, according to the scouting reports, are his initial quickness, his awareness of what's going on around him and his ability to pick up and direct scheme changes. He was a team captain at SMU and, given the right amount of time to develop in and learn the scheme, could be the kind of guy who's a leader on the offensive line.
Here's a quick scouting report via CBS Sports:
Strengths: Understands body positioning and angles. Quick-footed with the ability to pull and cover a large area. Gritty attitude and competitive drive. Brute strength and raw power. Strong hands to take defenders where he wants. Stayed football-focused as a senior and had very good senior year. Nice job sinking his butt to anchor. Weaknesses: Missed all of 2010 (academics). Weight needs to be monitored after dropping over 75 pounds prior to senior season. Stiff hips and body movements. Lacks burst off the snap and is more of a one-speed player. Doesn't show the lateral quickness to shuffle in a flash. Needs to be more aggressive at the point of attack.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock also had this to say about LeRibeus: "He's a tough guy. Short arms, but he's got a nasty disposition."

The Redskins arguably reached for LeRibeus, but they must believe he's an ideal fit to what they're doing offensively. And because of what they ask their linemen to do in the running game, it's harder to accurately judge how a player will fit on their offensive line. Some places had LeRibeus as a third- or fourth-round prospect, while others had him as a fifth-rounder or later. It's also not great news to find out that he was academically ineligible in 2010 and that he's had some weight issues. But he also seems like a funny, good-natured guy, so as long as he works hard and picks up the Redskins' schemes relatively quickly, it's at least possible that he finds himself starting by the end of the season.