After having one of the NFL’s lowest-ranked pass defenses last season, the Washington Redskins looked for cures in the draft last spring. They used a second-round pick on cornerback David Amerson and added two safeties, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo, later on draft weekend.

The results have been mixed at best. The Redskins enter the final quarter of their season eliminated from playoff contention, and they’re ranked 27th in the NFL in pass defense, up a modest three spots from their ranking at the end of last season. They’re last in the league in passing yards allowed per attempt, and some observers say an offseason overhaul of the secondary will be required for the team to regain contender status.

Amerson has been in the playing rotation at cornerback, alongside veterans DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, all season. But Thomas, a fourth-round choice in April, has spent his entire rookie season on the injured reserve list after suffering a Lisfranc mid-foot injury during the preseason. Rambo, a sixth-round selection, began the season as a starter at safety but lost that job quickly and now is a part-time player.

Even so, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said this week he likes what he sees from Amerson and Rambo, and he remains convinced they have bright NFL futures.

“I think they’ve improved in all areas,” Haslett said. “To me it’s more of an understanding of what the league’s about, the formations and the shifts and who you’re getting and the matchups and all those combinations. They’re just young guys, and I think they’re gonna be good players down the road. That’s what I believe.”

Amerson has two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown during a September game at Oakland. He acknowledged this week that he’s made “some mistakes here and there” but said he’s pleased with his overall rookie-year progress.