Even though the first two nights of the NFL Draft each yielded one Redskins selection a piece, they couldn’t be more different in kind.
Last night brought Robert Griffin III, the much-ballyhooed, Heisman-winning quarterback from Baylor University. He received more attention in the lead up to the draft than the No. 1 overall pick, and instantly launches the Redskins into consideration as the most-improved team.
Offensive guard Josh LeRibeus did not inspire that kind of reaction, but then offensive guards rarely do. Not many boards highlighted his technique or physical prowess, but he’s clearly a guy that the Redskins coaches loved at No. 71.
We’ll get more explanation on that tomorrow when head coach Mike Shanahan addresses the media, but I wouldn’t write off the pick in the mean time. The Redskins needed help along the offensive line, and all reports indicate that LeRibeus excels in the zone-blocking system.
If you look up zone-blocking in the football dictionary, you’ll find Shanahan’s headshot grinning back at you.
So without further adieu, meet your second Redskins draft pick, Southern Methodist University Mustang Josh LeRibeus. If it puts your mind at ease, he and fellow Redskins teammate Aldrick Robinson were part of the 2009 Mustangs squad that broke the 25-year bowl game drought for the school:
· LeRibeus is the fourth pick selected all-time by the Redskins at No.71 overall, joining end Art Porter (1945), guard Gene Pepper (1950) and linebacker Rick Hamilton (1993).
· LeRibeus is the 417th selection made by the Redskins in the Common Draft era (since 1967) and the 19th third-round selection in that time frame. He is the 58th third-round selection by the Redskins all-time since the institution of the draft in 1936.
· LeRibeus’ selection is the highest the team has selected a guard since selecting Tré Johnson with the No. 31 overall pick in 1994. Before Johnson’s selection, the last time the Redskins had taken a guard that high was in 1981, when the Redskins drafted future Pro Football Hall of Famer Russ Grimm with the No. 69 overall pick.
· Including the Redskins’ selection of QB Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick, 2012 marks the first time the Redskins have selected a quarterback and an offensive lineman with the first two picks since selecting QB Heath Shuler and Johnson with the team’s first two selections of the 1994 NFL Draft.
· LeRibeus is the sixth SMU product to be drafted by the Redskins. The following is a list of SMU players selected by the Redskins in team history:
DRAFT ROUND OVERALL PLAYER
1945 21 216 T Sid Halliday
1945 23 236 E Gabby Martin
1952 4 43 C Dick Hightower
1952 27 319 E Ben White
2011 6 178 WR Aldrick Robinson
2012 3 71 G Josh LeRibeus
· Including receiver Aldrick Robinson’s selection in 2011, LeRibeus’ selection marks the first time the Redskins have drafted SMU products in consecutive years. However, the Redskins have picked two SMU players and a single draft on two occasions (1945 and 1952).
· LeRibeus is the highest-drafted SMU player by any NFL team since the Chicago Bears selected WR Ron Morris with the No. 54 overall pick of the 1987 draft.
· LeRibeus is the fifth Conference USA player selected by a Shanahan-coached team, joining WR Chad Plummer (1999 NFL Draft, University of Cincinnati), WR Adrian Madise (2003, TCU), WR Brandon Marshall (2006, Central Florida) and Robinson.