Is Jawan Jamison the next Mike Shanahan running back discovery?
My assumption of the meaning of "steal of the draft" means a player that comes in and starts and performs far above his draft selection number his ROOKIE year. Last year's 'steal' was clearly Alfred Morris. But we should note that the improvement of Morris from the first half of the season to the second half was remarkable. So that even a 'steal' is going to change quite a bit over the season.
I believe the top candidates for steal of the 2013 draft are (note only ONE or TWO of these will possibly break out):
1) Jawan Jamison, RB
2) Marvin Burdette, LB
3) Philip Thomas, S
4) Bacarri Rambo, S
5) Jason Thompson, WR
6) Brandon Jenkins, LB
7) Chris Thompson, RB
I think Xavier Nixon has potential 2-3 years from now, but he will not ace it his rookie year in the pros as a practice squad member or inactive bench warmer. Jordan Reed and David Amerson I see as potentially breaking out their 2nd or 3rd years.
Let's go through the rationale.
Jawan – watch out Royster and Helu. This guy is a nightmare in the open field and can catch and block. He's very young and coachable (talking to you Helu and your lousy health upkeep). He ran well with bad blocking, just the kind of guy that can succeed with our overrated offensive line. Had he stayed in school a full 4 years he would have been a first or second-round pick. He has something to offer now and his motivation and character are at Morris/Griffin levels.
Burdette – This guy is a tackling monster. Number one in the nation. Great character, motivation, chip on his shoulder for being 4 inches too short. 4 inches taller and a true 40 time (was hurt due to an injury) and he is a top 20 pick of the draft. He is our answer to Alexander on special teams. Watch out Kehl – this guy will take your roster spot. We need someone that can tackle Marshawn Lynch alone and he is an answer. The great thing about a UDFA is that, if they make the team, that alone makes them a steal of the draft.
Thomas – Prepare not to freak out when he gives up a few blown plays. He will get better and he will shine. Gomes had has chance and he blew it.
Rambo – he makes the team but will hardly see the field the first half of the season unless Meriweather's knees buckle again. He has great size, good speed, and a nose for the ball. Can't wait to hear 'Rambo' chants at FedEx Field and see the new number 2 selling football jersey in the nation after RG3…
Lance Lewis – a long shot to make the team. His college numbers are off the charts. It's sink or swim time for the (Dezmon) Briscoe kid. I think he chases women better than the ball at this point and he's a goner. Lewis is a big target who could take Briscoe's spot. If he can keep his speed and add 12 pounds of muscle, he can do some serious damage. We need receivers that can do well against the big Seahawks secondary. Our receiver corps looked horrendous against the Seahawks for three out of the four quarters, and I hope we see some big improvements this year.
Jenkins – I think it's easy to have him come in and just bull rush Romo. A few Romo cracked ribs roasted on Astroturf and this kid is a rookie legend. (This is meant to be a joke. Next to greed, hypocrisy and Salary CapGate, injuries are the most distasteful part of the NFL.)
Chris Thompson – The Shanahan's want a 4.3 speed down the sidelines threat to help open up the middle of the field. Since they are too conservative to give Robinson the ball (one attempt all year, 15 yards – duh Kyle try it twice) and they blew out RG3's knee, Thompson can fill that role. If he makes the team and breaks 4 40 yard plus runs this year, he's a steal.
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