- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 30, 2011

ASHBURN, Va. | On the final day of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Redskins continued their massive roster overhaul by utilizing the draft in a way the organization has not in years past. With free agency effectively on hold due to the lockout, the Redskins picked up nine players in the last four rounds of the draft to fill a roster with a multitude of needs.

The one position the Redskins did not address was quarterback, but during his post-draft news conference, coach Mike Shanahan praised the team’s current back up John Beck, who the Redskins traded for last season. Beck was the fourth quarterback taken during the 2007 draft, but Shanahan said he had Beck rated much higher, fueling speculation that Beck could be the team’s next starting quarterback.

“He was the top rated quarterback on my board [in 2007],” Shanahan said of Beck, who was chosen behind JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn and Kevin Kolb.

“I have a lot of confidence in him,” Shanahan said of Beck.

In all, the Redskins made 12 selections in this draft.

“We addressed a lot of needs. We got depth at a lot of positions. You can’t address every need in the draft, but every team needs depth and we feel like we stuck to our game plan,” Shanahan said.

The team started the third and final day of the draft with three straight selections from the University of Nebraska, taking running back Roy Helu Jr. in the fourth round, cornerback/safety DeJon Gomes in the fifth round, and wide receiver Niles Paul in the fifth round.

Helu’s selection follows Shanahan’s pattern of drafting running backs in later rounds, which Helu views as a good sign.

“From what I’ve heard, it’s legendary, them picking up a running back in the middle of the draft, from what I’ve heard with Terrell Davis and so on,” Helu said.

“The history is proof for itself of all the running backs and offensive lineman that worked under him and the success that they’ve had.”

Gomes called it “amazing and surreal” to be drafted, and expects to be used in similar fashion as he was at Nebraska, in dime and nickel coverage.

“I’ll be playing a little free safety also, just to show my versatility,” Gomes said.

Gomes finished his college career with 99 tackles, 51 solo tackles, and had four games with double figure totals in tackles made.

“I think my strengths are being able to cover in the flats. This league is moving towards more of a passing league and they need safeties that can cover. I think I got a lot of that experience at Nebraska and my corner background.”

Paul said he’s happy to be coming to the Redskins with his [Nebraska] teammates Helu and Gomes.

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