Senior Bowl has helped Redskins' drafts

The Senior Bowl provides a close-up view of the players, giving the teams more insight. Alfred Morris was a late invite to the game three years ago when the Redskins were coaching in the game and was nearly sent home. The Redskins’ staff had requested another fullback. Instead, the college running back volunteered to play the position, impressed the Redskins coaches and became an excellent draft choice.

Not every Senior Bowl story ends that way. But occasionally the Redskins have discovered good players in this game. The Senior Bowl practices begin Tuesday with the game Saturday.

In the last five years, the Redskins have drafted 15 players who appeared in the Senior Bowl; 13 are still with the team. Of the other 27 selections during this stretch, only nine remain with the Redskins.

Here’s a list of Redskins draft choices who played in this game the past five years:


OL Selvish Capers, seventh round: He never did anything in Washington and now plays for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League. Capers struggled at the Senior Bowl. It mattered.


LB Ryan Kerrigan, first round: He’s worked out rather nicely, posting a career-best 13.5 sacks this season. A keeper. Signed through 2015.

DE Jarvis Jenkins, second round: Got hurt his rookie season during training camp and never quite recaptured that early flash. Does not have great instincts as a pass-rusher. Pending free agent.

WR Leonard Hankerson, third round: Has suffered two significant injuries to a shoulder and then to an ACL. Hankerson was a non-factor this past season, starting off on the physically unable to perform list. Even when he returned, Hankerson didn’t do anything. Another pending free agent.

RB Roy Helu, fourth round: Has been fine as a receiver out of the backfield. Can help occasionally on the ground, too. Another pending free agent -- and anxious to test the market.

WR Niles Paul, fifth round: Paul switched to tight end after his rookie season and responded with a career-best 39 catches this year. He’s a third tight end and special teamer. Pending free agent.

NT Chris Neild, seventh round: Has missed two seasons because of injuries. The coaches love having him around, even if he only plays a handful of snaps a game. Few will outwork him. But he’s coming off an ACL injury; not a good way to enter free agency.


QB Kirk Cousins, fourth round: Has been a backup for most of his first three seasons. Lost the job this season after five games. Could be his last year in Washington.

LB Keenan Robinson, fifth round: He started at inside linebacker next to Perry Riley this past season, taking over for London Fletcher. Robinson’s speed and quickness were evident. Good skills to develop.

RB Alfred Morris, sixth round: He’s rushed for a combined 3,962 yards in his first three seasons and will be playing in his second Pro Bowl on Sunday. A smart pick.


SS Phillip Thomas, fourth round: He missed his rookie year because of a Lisfranc injury and because of a variety of injuries wasn’t quite healthy until midway through this past season. The coaches weren’t sold on him as a future starter. We’ll see.

FS Bacarri Rambo, sixth round: Started as a rookie, but was not ready. After looking better this past summer, he started out poorly and was cut. He played four games with Buffalo, recording two tackles and two interceptions.


LB Trent Murphy, second round: Became a starter when Brian Orakpo was injured for the season. Murphy did a solid job against the run, but still must prove he can rush the passer. He’s hard worker who, if nothing else, will be a solid starter.

OT Morgan Moses, third round: Looked more like a project this past summer, but he did improve. However, he started only one game and appeared in eight and ended the season with a Lisfranc injury, which needed surgery. Still doubt over whether he’ll be a future starter (and a quality one at that).

WR Ryan Grant, fifth round: Runs routes like a seasoned pro. But he’s not fast and he’s not big or particularly strong. But he at least looks like someone who can possibly develop into a fourth or fifth receiver.