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Grading the Washington Redskins draft

May 11, 2014, 10:11 AM EDT

Trent Murphy leaping

Since we don’t know how the careers of the players picked by the Redskins yesterday will turn out we have to dig in a little more to come up with a grade. Here’s my assessment, feel free to leave yours in the comments.

Strategy—C+

They came in with the handicap of not having a first-round pick, with that selection going to the Rams as the final payment in the deal to land the rights to Robert Griffin III. There is no way at the time that they thought the pick would be the second overall but it was what it was. We won’t know for a while if the trade will prove to be a good deal but in the short term the fact that the Redskins do have a quarterback in place obviated the need for Redskins Nation to spend the last four months debating the relative merits of Johnny Football and Blake Bortles was a positive.

Because of that deal the Redskins went in with six picks; they ended up with eight. They picked up an additional third by moving back in the second round from the 34th overall pick to the 47th. That deal was with the Cowboys and the Redskins did quite well in the deal. Looking at the draft value chart, such a move back should have netted Washington Dallas’ fourth-round pick. But they were able to take advantage of the Cowboys’ desperation for a pass rusher and they extracted a third-rounder from their division rivals.

A few players the Redskins could have used did go off of the board in between their original pick and the one they traded for. In particular, offensive tackle Joel Bitonio and defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt were players many had connected to the Redskins. It seemed that Washington liked the guy they ended up getting, outside linebacker Trent Murphy. Some saw that pick as a reach but not a crazy one. They took guard Spencer long with the additional third-rounder from the deal.

Late Saturday afternoon they pulled off a similar deal on a smaller scale, dealing with the Titans to move back eight spots in the sixth round, collecting Tennessee’s seventh-round pick in the process. They likely got the same player with the 186th pick as they would have with the 178th, running back Lache Seastrunk of Baylor.

You can debate how wisely the Redskins used that extra seventh as they took a kicker, Zach Hocker of Arkansas. Some say it’s dumb to ever draft a kicker, especially when you have a pretty good one in Kai Forbath. I disagree on the first part, if you like a kicker, take him rather than scramble through the chaotic undrafted free agent process. I do agree that Forbath is a quality kicker and that burning a draft pick to challenge him is not good strategy.

Many thought that the Redskins should have taken a safety somewhere along the line given that Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark are both on the wrong side of 30. Gruden said that they didn’t have the chance to take one who they thought could make the roster. It was generally thought that this was a very weak draft at the position and Gruden’s explanation is quite plausible. Still, it could come back to burn them if Bacarri Rambo and/or Phillip Thomas, the two safeties they drafted last year, can’t develop into starters or at least solid reserves.

Talent/Fit—B

Morgan Moses is the best fit on the Redskins’ board. The team clearly wants to move on from right tackle Tyler Polumbus at some point. Moses is a good candidate to unseat him, perhaps sooner rather than later.

Some question the Murphy fit but those people need to look at Brian Orakpo’s contract. He’s a free agent after this year and the Redskins will have to decide if they want to sign him, franchise him, or let him leave. The first two options will be expensive and the team will have more leverage if they have a replacement for Orakpo on the roster. For this year, Murphy will play a few hundred snaps on defense in addition to being a full special teams contributor.

Spencer Long, the Redskins’ third-round pick, will be a good fit if, as some believe, he can become the team’s starting center. Ryan Grant will have to work to overcome his shortcomings (mainly pedestrian speed) to become a productive receiver. Bashaud Breeland and Lache Seastrunk both left college a year early and could become assets if they mature. Seventh-round tight end Ted Bolser will have to justify the team carrying four tight ends.

Overall—B-

In the lead up to the draft, the Redskins let it be known that they were looking for hard-working, hungry, overachieving players who love playing the game more than they love what the game can get for them. And an ability to play special teams was a major resume enhancer as well.

The players they picked fit the criteria. Not all of them precisely fit, of course, but well enough to where you can say that the draft class has a reasonable chance of developing into a successful group.

In particular, scouting reports on Murphy and Long noted a “first on the field for practice, last one off” mentality. And Murphy, Grant, Breeland, and Bolser played special teams in college and spoke as though they expect to do the same thing in Washington.

They keys to this draft could end up being Breeland and Seastrunk. Breeland could be a starting corner in a year or two if he develops. If Seastrunk can learn to catch out of the backfield his home-run ability could make him a great asset.

If those two and, say, two of the top three picks pan out, this would be quite a successful draft. Anything else would be gravy.

But that’s easier said than done. This franchise has not done a very good job of developing mid- and late-round picks into starters or even key reserves. Bruce Allen noted this failure in last week’s press conference and said that the solution was to focus on high effort players with the belief that they will put in what it takes to grow as a player.

Will it work? We will have to wait and see. For now, we can give Allen and the organization some credit for recognizing the problem, having a plan to fix it, and sticking to that plan.

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 11, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    I had the same thoughts about Bitonio and Tuitt.

    I think Bitonio showed a lot of skill in college, and could easily have been a 1st round pick.

    But we’re going to have to face the fact that Gruden wants great big guys, and Bitonio (a lightweight at 307 pounds ??) doesn’t fit the bill.

    So we’ll just have to see how rebuilding the OL in the Gruden mold works out. Clearly, we have spent a lot of draft picks on the O.L. with little to show for them (save our 1st rounder for Trent Williams) over the past many years.
    ~

    • rhinochaserdesign - May 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Gruden did help Andy Dalton become a top 10 QB last year. I’m tending to give Gruden the benefit of the doubt for the OL. But some of those other picks? A kicker?? Come on.

      • propwash3 - May 11, 2014 at 11:10 PM

        The kicker drafted has a 65 yard leg

      • CavemanCatching - May 12, 2014 at 2:57 AM

        Actually, the kicker pick may be just what our ST’s need. Hocker has a big leg, and is accurate. I like Kai Forbath a lot, and I’m not saying Hocker will replace him. But, if the kid can give us the same accuracy as Forbath, but also add distance in his FG range AND up our touchback ratio on kickoffs (lack of which killed us last year), then this pick is going to look brilliant. Not a bad way to help up our ST play – which is a major goal of the new regime.

    • duncanthecat - May 11, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      I think Gruden not only wants bigger players, but he wants them to also play bigger. The kid from Nebraska, if you watch his tape does not have great movement, but he stops rushers in their tracks with a very powerful base.

      I agree if he can convert to a center, it will turn out to be a great pick.

  2. Dave - May 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I don’t agree with Gruden that no safeties were available. Several promising players were there for the taking when they went WR in the 5th. I’ll give you one, Exum of VT. Rambo can’t tackle and you can teach that to him this late in his development. C – is a more appropriate overall grade for this draft.

    • ET - May 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      I really like Exum as well, and he seemed like a great developmental pick. I was hoping the Skins would pick him up.

      But I think your draft grade is a little harsh.

      • thirdistheworrd - May 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Exum, Brooks, Loston (UDFA), Vereen, Boston, Reynolds, Bailey (UDFA)– all potential starters,all good fits in Haslett’s scheme, and all available when the Redskins picked. It’s unbelievable that Allen/Gruden/Snyder’s dart-throwing monkey, whoever is running the show, didn’t pick a safety during the draft, but what’s unforgiveable is our UDFA signings. 16 combine-invited safeties went undrafted, and we brought in 3 receivers, 2 RB’s, a QB, and a TE.

        Not to mention Max Bullough and Shayne Skov– ideal Haslett ILB’s, also UDFA’s– also not Redskins. Check all the mock drafts out there, it’s really difficult to find one that doesn’t have us taking Bailey, Loston, Skov, or Bullough. An undrafted LB was pretty much the only thing holding our team together for the last decade, but we seem to be aggressively trying not to improve our LB or safety corps.

        First four rounds: A (almost plus)
        Rounds 5-7-after: F (But It really feels like the franchise is telling us to go F ourselves)

        • Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM

          So an undrafted or even sixth-or seventh-round linebacker or safety is just going to walk in and save the day? Really? I don’t recall more than one or two examples of that happening, ever. If you want to bank in that, fine.

        • thirdistheworrd - May 11, 2014 at 5:31 PM

          I didn’t say “save the day”– a London Fletcher comes around once in a generation, and even finding a guy who could crack the 53 would be very unlikely. I just meant kick some tires around– make it look like we’re trying to find a potential backup (or even just a practice squad guy). My point isn’t that we “could” find someone, but that it’s just plain dumb to not even look. And it’s even dumber to kick the tires on RB’s and WR’s than defensive players. Our team needs the next Chris Baker a lot more than the next Arian Foster.

        • Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 5:57 PM

          And why do you assume that they’re not looking?

          I’m not in total disagreement with you and some other critics here. The majority of this draft did go to offense and that’s a legit concern. I would have liked to have seen a D-lineman. But you have to stick with your draft board and not take the shopping list approach.

          Of the top 4 picks, 2 went to O and 2 went to D. But don’t forget in free agency the biggest single investment was keeping Orakpo (you can like the move or not but it was to bolster the D) and the third largest was getting Hatcher. The situation at ILB is muddled to be sure but they did re-sign Riley, sign three who aren’t going to a Pro Bowl but will probably contribute more this year than anyone they could draft or sign as a UDFA. Do they like Keenan/trust him to stay healthy? We’ll see.

          But you don’t get better by “kicking tires”. Bring in the best players and let them compete.

        • Brandon - May 11, 2014 at 6:51 PM

          The thing I love is how people sitting at home seem to know Skov is an ideal fit when apparently the coaching staff doesn’t feel the same way. Just because the guy sitting on his couch feels a certain player is ideal, doesn’t mean he actually is.

        • ajbus1 - May 11, 2014 at 7:08 PM

          With this being a new, offensive minded coaching staff, I felt like another part of the draft strategy was to get legitimate depth on offense. Gruden needed to get a few of “his type” of guys while creating the depth and you also gotta allow a new coach to start doing things his way. You can’t just draft a bunch of D and expect Gruden to make magic outta Shanahan’s left overs on O. It’s been awhile since there was this much depth at WR and OL. Even though the D was pretty bad last year, they seem to think a few tweaks and “unleashing” Haz’s playbook will be enough this year. Heading to next year they’ll have a possible replacement for Orakpo and hopefully more developed young safeties. I would be willing to bet there will be an emphasis on the D next offseason. Get ready for some shootouts this year!

        • thirdistheworrd - May 11, 2014 at 9:09 PM

          Kicking tires isn’t the only way to get better, but it certainly can’t hurt. The reason I say this, and the reason I say it doesn’t seem like they’re looking is that the Redskins are bringing in 9 UDFA’s, the fewest of any team in the league (tied with Buffalo and NYG). Dallas is bringing in 24, Philly is bringing in 16. Atlanta tops the league with 26. On top of that, as you said, it was an offense-heavy draft, so if you’re only going to bring in nine undrafted players, shouldn’t there be more than defensive players?

          And yes, picking the best player available is unquestionably the best approach to the draft, and building a deep team, but when your team has a bunch of holes , and a bunch of logjams (WR, RB), maybe some caveats should be made.

          Anyway, it’s not like any of this matters, but the point is, if I’m at a buffet, I’m definitely going to try a little of everything before making my executive decisions.

        • Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

          The Redskins only have nine roster spots. 81 on the roster and the limit is 90. Not sure what you want them to do. If Dallas has room for 24 UDFA contracts, good for them.

          They will bring in the UDFA’s they signed this weekend along with a 2-3 dozen tryouts. They’ll sign some of them and release others.

          There are still guys on the roster like Doug Worthington, Will Compton, Jeremy Kimbrough, Trenton Robinson, a few others who were on the practice squad last year. They may stick around for training camp or they might find a tryout player they like better.

          If the numbers are important, here you go: There are currently 36 offensive players and 38 defensive players on the roster, including the draft picks. I think it’s fair too say that they are kicking tires on both the offensive and defensive sides of the car.

          > >

        • thirdistheworrd - May 11, 2014 at 9:24 PM

          On Skov, it’s not just “guys on couches”, both Kiper and McShay connected him with the Redskins, and spoke highly of him overall. Considering that not only did the Redskins not draft him, but nobody did, you gotta think that there’s something else going on there. If so, Allen’s totally forgiven and I cede my point. Still, it seems strange to not work out any ILB’s, Skov or otherwise.

    • internetcareer - May 11, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      the Skins signed 2 free agent veterans to start. They drafted 2 rookies last year. You just can’t draft safeties every single year to start like you can’t draft QB’s every single year. It takes a couple of years to see if there is talent there and if there were no starting safeties in the draft…then why draft a safety who can’t beat out Ryan Clark or Merriweather and who is as much of an unknown as Rambo and Thomas?

      That would make no sense to draft and then cut.

      • thirdistheworrd - May 11, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Not every rookie needs to start, and not every backup needs to be cut. Rambo has a lot of natural talent, but struggled last year– bringing in a rookie to challenge him for a starting spot could help both players develop faster. Having three promising young players developing behind a pair of older veterans is literally an ideal situation.

  3. rhinochaserdesign - May 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Rich-
    Good analysis of the draft. I’m biggest problem is the Murphy pick. Even with planning for the future in mind as far as Rak’s cost goes, OLB is one of our deepest positions. And to waste that on a back up for this year (and maybe implying to Rak that we don’t want him next year), just seems like bad business and a wasted pick. Hopefully Murphy ends up as productive as Dallas’ Sean Lee.

    I think they got a good value with Moseley. Some of folks had him going in the first round so I’m happy we got him in the third.

    I was really thinking since most legit ‘starting’ DBs were gone by the start of round 2, maybe they would just reinforce/upgrade the DL so the skill in the secondary isn’t quite as important. They sort of did that, but for a position we’re already strong in.

    And a drafting a kicker? Sheesh. There was enough talented UDFA this year post draft, that a kicker wasn’t a priority for other teams amongst the chaos. Which makes it doubly perplexing since there was SOO much undrafted talent. Get a guy a team will target to sign, and snatch him up with the added 7th.

    At the end of the day, I don’t hate our picks. I just think picking to patch bigger holes would have been wiser.

    • dirtyrottenscoundrels - May 12, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      OLB? Deepest?

      Seriously – Kerrigan, Orakpo, Jenkins and Jackson.

      4.

      Jenkins was, and I quote several Skins reporters here “a disappointment” last year.

      Jackson was so well thought of as a potential starter that he almost didn’t last 4 weeks in FA. 31 teams passed on him to start.

      Murphy may have to slide inside due to his lack of huge speed, but his skills are not challengeable, nor is his motor, desire or his vision. I’ll take him as an ILB if need be. He has a year or two to develop, and they’ll use him in the nickel for a couple hundred snaps this year. If he turns out to be a monster, I’ll take it :)

      • dirtyrottenscoundrels - May 12, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        oh – and the kicker? Kotwica targeted him as the one he wanted, period. They didn’t wanna chase him in UDFA according to Gruden.

        If he can push Forbath to even better results in the weight room to increase his length – works for me.

        I like the choices, especially their total commitment to special teams, which we all admit made us want to vomit last year.

        So we got offensive line, which most fans were clamoring for.
        We got a DB who can maybe switch to S, but be a help on ST.
        We got a LB who might have to switch to ILB due to speed but who has great ball skills.
        We got a WR who is very similar to Roberts and has hands that apparently catch most of what comes his way unlike some of the ppl we have right now (Moss, Robinson, Paul)
        We got a TE who might outperform Paul even if someone amputated his left leg. Paul caught 14 of 28 targets over 2 years and couldn’t block my dead gramma.
        We got a speedy jitterbug of a RB which Royster isn’t. Good change of pace.

        Sorry, I don’t see us doing all that much reaching or screwing up. Most were ST helps too. Don’t get all the kvetching out there, especially since most people haven’t played or coached and don’t examine people for hours like the staff does. I’ll wait til I see them play before I judge.

    • Brandon - May 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      I’m still trying to wrap my head around how adding depth at a very important position can be considered a bad business decision. If anything, adding depth and having a backup plan in case we can’t or won’t re-sign Rak is smart business.

  4. ET - May 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I think the Skins did a great job through the first four rounds. Breeland is an exciting pick, they got great value picking up Moses in the third, and the more I read about Murphy, the more I like him.

    The backend of the draft is more unclear to me. Then again, the lower half of the draft is a crapshoot. Seastrunk seems to have some outstanding potential, though.

  5. Chris - May 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    I YouTube Seastrunk and the kid is nice from what I seen so far….

  6. duncanthecat - May 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Let’s not forget that the kicker chosen has a stronger leg than Forbaith and whose majority of kick-offs where touch backs. This in itself will pay huge dividends to improving the coverage team, and field position.

    • TheFantasyGen - May 11, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      He will probably double as a punter, will probably be a kickoff specialist for touchbacks ( forbath is awful at kicking it out of the end zone), and could even be a placeholder

      • Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        We forgot to ask Gruden if they are thinking of him as a punter. I got the impression that he punted only in an emergency situation but I’ll make sure I ask him this weekend.

  7. Hart - May 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    So I guess that means Gettis, leribis, Compton, and Hurt sat on the bench for nothing the last 2 years. Another guard, coming off ACL tear, You add 2 defensive players out of 8 to an old terrible defense. Smh Haslett is pissed im sure. So Jenkins or Jackson will be cut for Murphy to be active on game days? And u draft paulsons twin and a kicker?? Not to mention a slow small receiver. Looks like Vinny snuck into the war room and dressed like Bruce Allen and made all of out picks.

    • rhinochaserdesign - May 11, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      Allen had a pretty awful draft record dating back to his time with the Bucs. At Redskins Park, the more things change, the more they stay the same

  8. renhoekk2 - May 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    So going forward we can expect a team full of hard working special teamers. Awesome. Just what a 3-13 team needs. Like special teams was the only thing holding this team back. Nothing like coming out of the draft without one single starter for next season. Because 3-13 teams are full of talent. Did I mention they went 3-13. I’m glad there were not any ILB available in the draft who could start. Oh I forgot. We have a bunch of perennial backups who are good at special teams to start there. Other than Seastrunk as a possible 3rd down option this draft netted nothing. If this is what Allen does running a draft we can expect a new GM and another HC after two more years of selecting marginally talented players who have experience playing special teams.

    • TheFantasyGen - May 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      They must have a degree of faith in guys like akeem jordan, Hayward, Keenan robinson, perry riley…

    • rhinochaserdesign - May 11, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      and its unknown if Seastrunk can even catch the ball – great for 3rd downs. I believe he had more dropped passes than caught balls the year before this (while this year he caught exactly ZERO balls)

  9. Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Maybe, just maybe, one day fans will realize that a draft is not about getting starters for that season. Sure, you might every once in a while get one or two. But if you draft with that in mind you will swing and miss far more often that you hit a home run. Yet the myth that teams turn over half a dozen starting spots that year somehow persists.

    I guess I’ll just continue to look at history and what actually happens when even good teams draft and try to let the readers here know. You can do what you will with the information.

    An one more tidbit–you don’t fix everything that’s wrong with a 3-13 team in one offseason. Holes will remain and things won’t get any better by going in with a mindset that says “Damn my draft board, I need an inside backer” or CB or S. It just doesn’t work.

    Back to your land of mythology, folks. Thanks for reading.

    • kenlinkins - May 11, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Rich, I too have to sometimes stop myself and remember I am a football fan first and a Redskins fan second. Sometimes the love of my team over rides my football IQ when my team is losing to often. Being a football fan is harder than being a Redskins fan! Thanks for the insight this off season, it did help to understand what go’s on behind the gates at Redskins Park. Keep trying to help, it is clear many of us need the coaching. Have a great Mothers day!

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      I agree about the short-term thinking, Rich:

      Use free agency to plug holes and try to make playoff runs; draft for the future.

      But this team that was 3-13 last year did win the division the year before.

      Gruden is rebuilding the team. He wants big people for the O.L., even by NFL standards. What will be the repercussions for the ZBS, and Alfred Morris?

      And he wants ‘high motor’ guys. So no Ra’Shede Hageman, instead a Trent Murphy.

      Maybe it will all work out great. But rebuilding is still rebuilding…and ‘fans’ is still short for ‘fanatics’.

      By the way, I’ve been watching this team since I was a kid, and the Sonny vs. Billy controversy raged. (We were all Sonny J. at my house.)
      ~

    • rhinochaserdesign - May 11, 2014 at 11:19 PM

      Rich,

      Maybe, just maybe, you need to remind Jay Gruden of that fact. Grudens reason for not selecting a safety “no one who could start”

      And lets not forget who is on our roster. 3 old veteran safeties and 2 developmental (Thomas and Rambo).

      We SHOULD have selected a safety with our future in mind.

  10. Hart - May 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Rich I hear what youre saying man. But im looking at OUR history of drafting. We getting kickers when we have a good one. We getting big slow tight ends who cant catch when we have a duplicate of him. Not one D lineman taken. We drafting slow wideouts who will be on practice squad. We haven’t drafted like a good team in over 20 years.

    • Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      I get what everyone is saying. But if you put unrealistic expectations on a draft, there is a 99.9% chance you will be disappointed.

      If you think Grant is going to wind up on the practice squad, I think you’ve got another thing coming. I don’t think Aldrick, Moss, and maybe even Hank slept too well last night. Especially because Grant plays special teams.

      I like Forbath but his kickoffs are atrocious, worst in the league. Either he needs to get better there or he’ll be replaced. It doesn’t do too much good to kick a field goal when you kick off and the other team is two first downs away from a FG of their own. And don’t forget he missed some games with an injury last year. Will he go through stages like that?

      • duncanthecat - May 11, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        Grant is solid in getting in and out of his cuts, which a side from Moss, I do not see in our other slot receivers. The kid produces, knows how to get open and will fight you tooth and nail for the ball.

        Redskins want tough players and this kid fits the bill. Last year aside from Pierre our wide-outs were soft.

        • internetcareer - May 11, 2014 at 6:35 PM

          on his film, Grant looks very QUICK. Quick is better than fast in the NFL because most of the time you work in limited space. D Jackson is both quick and fast but a slot receiver who is quick can catch a lot of passes. For more details…google Wes Welker.

    • ET - May 11, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Time will tell, but I think this was a strong draft, especially considering the Skins didn’t have a first round pick.

      I agree with those who think the Day Three picks were somewhat confusing. But even at 5-6-7, it’s clear there’s some big upside potential. This was not a thoughtless process—or, at least, Gruden and Allen have plausible explanations for each pick.

  11. kenlinkins - May 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Rich: IMO GM Allen and Coach Gruden sent a message with this draft. Gone are the days of “I don’t play Special Teams” and “You drafted me because you saw the talent, I do not require coaching to get better”. The line to sign up for Kick off and Punt duty now starts forming in front of GM Allen’s office door! If you are not willing to put in the extra work required to become better, you will not make the 53 man roster. Resting on your college highlight film will no longer cut it. Come the first week in Sept, the tie now go’s to the hardest worker and guy’s who stay late and put forth the extra effort. (Special Note to LeRubis, Hurt, Rambo, Jenkins, Minnifield and Kory L, cancel your early evening plans until further notice, you are going to be busy trying to make this team). While this was not the sexy draft a lot of Redskins fans wanted to see, I think it was a solid effort to get players who will not lay down. Going from 3-13 to 8-8 will be a good start to rebuilding this team and I didn’t see any picks that were left out there that would have produced a better than 500 club in 2014. A solid base is the first step to building a winning team over the long run and I see some solid players in this years draft. Let’s see who the UDFA’s are and start working. I grade this draft a solid B to B+. Throw rocks if you want, but I like most of what I saw!

    • Rich Tandler - May 11, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      What kenlinkins said.

  12. Shawn Jess - May 11, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I think it was a smart draft throughout. Brought in competition for all positions including kicker. I like that pick too. New special team coach liked his potential, and u can’t be certain as a free agent he signs with us. Only choice I’m not sold on is the TE. If what I read is true, he going to have a limited chance to make the roster, unless he’s really good at blocking on Special teams. It seemed like we drafted people with particular skill sets which I like. They must have liked something he offered.

  13. internetcareer - May 11, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    I think it is impossible and ridiculous to criticize the Trent Murphy pick until you know what they have in mind. Is he going to compete for the inside linebacker spot at some point? Are they going to run some version of the 4-3 on passing downs and utilize an extra pass rushing linebacker? Are they going to move Kerrigan inside on passing downs or even 1st down occasionally and bring in Murphy for more quickness?

    I mean who knows? Maybe it was a bad pick…who knows. I personally look at him as a more of a meaner looking tougher version of Ryan Kerrigan. Ya know…the guy did have 12 more sacks than Clowney. So maybe the sky isn’t falling folks. I have NEVER thought it was bad to draft the nations sack leader. So why don’t we give the Skins the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  14. internetcareer - May 11, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    keep an eye on Chris Davenport. This is a SUPER High Character guy. Don’t be confused by the mean look on his face or his HUGE size. He is a Man of the Year type candidate who lectures other athletes on developing themselves for the future now.

    However, he is super dedicated and hard working in football and I believe Scott (Campbell) has found a hidden gem down there in Tulane. There is a reason that the Skins signed him immediately after the draft was over. BINGO!

  15. Brandon - May 11, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Why do people keep saying Murphy was a reach? He was projected to go in rounds 2-3 and that’s precisely where he was drafted so he was not a reach. He led the nation in sacks last year, has decent athleticism and a good motor, and knows how to get after the QB. Pass rushers are like pitching in baseball: there is no such thing as too much. He also gives us insurance in case we can’t (or won’t) give Rak 12+ mil next year.

    • ET - May 11, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      I don’t think Murphy was a reach, either. They knew exactly what they were doing.

      At first, I was like, “Wha?” But Gruden made a point of saying that they thought Murphy is a better all-around prospect than, say, Jeremiah Attaochu, one of the more highly touted prospects in the same peer group.

      The more I’ve read about Murphy, the more I like him. Smart, hardworking, multi-dimensional, good skill set. He’ll work out.

    • duncanthecat - May 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      Agree. I attended all the Stanford home games, and they moved Murphy all over the place. The kid takes great angles to the ball and literally engulfs ball carriers with his long arms. Not to jinx him, but his movement reminds me of the mad stork in the short yardage area he can cover. Sure he doesn’t have elite speed and strength, but the upper body will be developed, and already a student of the game, it wil be hard to keep him off the field.

  16. internetcareer - May 11, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Rich I have a very logical question I would like you to ask coach. He said that the punter had the NINTH…that’s 9th best average for kickoffs…..if your goal is the get the ball out of the endzone and you are considering him as just a specialty player like that, which coach said he might……

    Then why not go and draft the NUMBER ONE best in kickoffs??? Or even number TWO or THREE?? I mean, why draft number 9?? Ninth best ? I mean even 4th best is better so why drop all the way down to the 9th best if you are going to draft a kicker. Why not shoot for more????????? I don’t understand.

    • rhinochaserdesign - May 11, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      I’m guessing it’s a balance of field goal accuracy as well. Can’t see how it’s feasible to keep two kickers on the roster. 53 spots go fast. Gruden was just being diplomatic

    • Rich Tandler - May 12, 2014 at 5:09 AM

      You want a guy with some field goal accuracy, too, and someone who has kicked pressure field goals. And factors like hang time and placement matter, too. You don’t just go by the numbers, especially considering that the difference between No. 1 and No. 9 is probably a fraction of a yard.

  17. timwillhidetimwillhide - May 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    I give this Draft a D They passed up allot of Good WRs, O-lineman, and other quality players for people that probably would have bin undrafted or 7th round picks

  18. shermanp79 - May 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Draft experts were talking about “steak and sizzle” and the Skins went for steak. I am not excited about the whole Draft and think they could of Drafted the positions different to get better projected value. The problem is “projected”, we have no clue who will develop. Since that has been a big problem under Shanahan and even prior, It makes sense the kind of guys they wanted.

    It is those type of guys who develop in this league. The problem is what is the ceiling on players? If your talent is only so high then you will only get so far. There are plenty of really talented hard workers too. Look at Dougherty, he was a hard worker but he is never going to be an All-Pro guy. I think they could have Drafted a bit different to get more talented guys.

    I guess they went for the type of guy they wanted and thought the value equaled where they selected each player. I think Long could of be had later, If they see him as a C, then I am happier with the pick. If G then I think they have brought guys in and have too many young G guys. The pick could of been a big WR, either Moncrief or someone else. They could of Grabbed Yankey or a C in 4th round. They then get their OL and WR. We need a WR to develop and Drafted another 6ft guy He has great hands and that is good and catches in traffic but has no speed and may have issues in NFL I liked Mathews and we weren’t getting him there but there were guys there with that 3rd round picks.

    The TE position needs a guy that can catch but a big guy too, their guy is a blocker that can’t run fast and isn’t much more than a blocker. We already have one on the team. We should have Drafted a guy that can catch, then develop blocking. I suppose they didn’t have TE position that high but then use the pick on another position. Look at all the guys undrafted. If we took Skov there nobody would have complained. Some might of said it was good value. He is a guy I think should be called along with S Bailey.

    The K is questionable but it is competition, another team may have taken him. So if that’s the guy they like, I can understand but think value was there at other positions.

    I was more excited with last years draft even though in the beginning this year they picked up an extra pick. They got a guy they could have selected first, that is good value. I think they got value throughout last years draft. They took guys who could have been their 2n-3rd picks later and got Reed too. They ended up with three guys Amerson, Thomas and Rambo instead of one or two of them with Reed. It doesn’t seem they did that as well this year. If we took Moncrief and Yankey and Drafted S Bailey and Skov, would we feel better about the Draft? We may have even had Long later rather than Yankey. I understand they like what they have at ILB but could Skov beat out a FA ILB they signed? IDK, he could go on practice squad. If they get a few UDFA I may feel better but right now I think they left talent on the board. I guess we will see, I suppose we can correct it in 4 years when they are FA I hope they are right and if we get 4-5 guys out of this Draft then I will be happy. It will be interesting watching how the guys mentioned develop.

  19. shermanp79 - May 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    One position I feel they didn’t address was the DL. I liked the DE Urban from Virginia. As I have said I’m not sure Hatcher can repeat last year. The have age and injuries there. Urban is a big guy and I think will be a pretty good player. The Ravens Draft well and they took him and Jernigan another guy I thought had value but I guess some see him in 4-3 so I understand passing on him but Urban is another guy over Long. Maybe Long due to injury dropped in value and him at C makes me feel different about him but how low could they have picked him. If we skipped the WR position would he have been there? Since they didn’t grab the type WR we need, I think it’s a wasted pick. He will at most beat out AR for the 4th spot. I really question some of the Draft strategy the more I look at the Draft. It may be something we use years later to judge Allen. I said in post prior to the Draft he really hasn’t been a Draft wizard.

    • dirtyrottenscoundrels - May 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      You do realize we are actually pretty far up on the league list in draft picks retained on their roster since Allen has been here?

      I wonder at every person who gets angry about the # of fails on a draft roster when most teams miss on most of their picks. There are very few that don’t miss on most picks.

      You did see that they brought in a few people in FA for the DL? Also, keep in mind that the lynch pin players for the 3-4 defense is the LB – not the DL who tend to be OL occupiers more that sack creators? They are switching that up now by moving more from 2 gap play to 1 gap according to what I’ve read, but the pressure will most likely come from the LB. The tackles will come from the LB.

      I agree they need to go younger, but one point many forget. If the offense is effective and the WCO that Gruden likes to play is a time eater, the defense will get better by proxy by simply not being on the field. Not to mention that we only had so much money and so many picks to get better this year – which is why many people are expecting a longer than 1 year period to turn this around.

      S and ILB especially were weak in depth in the draft, but people wanted us to take very big projects in order to satisfy that “need” list that ESPN provides. We need pass rush – they helped that this year. They needed WR and added 3 to help that. They brought in 2 CB – 1 in FA and 1 in draft. They added OL like crazy. They brought in 3 ILB, 2 of whom have started many games and played well and all three are ST aces.

      Personally, I expect this team to continue to get nothing but better if the draft strategy isn’t just win now, but win down the line as well, and that is what a lot of this years draft was about, IMO.

      • rhinochaserdesign - May 12, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Number of draft pick retained – we had MASSIVE cap penalties since Allen’s arrival. We had no choice but to keep our picks. And if you don’t remember, we went 3-13 last year. So, keeping all those picks isn’t really working out.

        • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 5:26 AM

          This team has never had a problem keeping its draft picks. The problem is in developing them into serviceable players.

  20. dirtyrottenscoundrels - May 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    “If G then I think they have brought guys in and have too many young G guys.”

    Most of the pressure, if you watch last year again, came right up the middle. Chester was a turnstile. Much of the pressure came right over Monty/Chester.

    G or C, I’m happy with 2 OL early so they can be contributors in the first year if possible. You want to take chances on picks after the 4th round and hope they turn out to be all pros? Not likely. You can point to a couple of late round success stories every year, but that is out of hundreds drafted. What you don’t hear about is the 150 guys who never survive their first camp.

    I would be happy if they brought in 20 guards to make sure we don’t have the wormholes to the quarterback we had last year. Much of the time Robert didn’t even have the ability to do 5 step drops and it got worse as time went along because teams keyed on it and neither of the Shanahans did much to adjust for it.

    Where most of our offense flowed to the boundaries in 2012 and didn’t leave the weak underbelly as exposed, the “turn Robert into a pocket passer no matter the cost” definitely shone a spotlight on the stupidity of the Shanahan system of smaller faster guards – hey they can handle the 330 pound guys and block that blitzer, right? Obviously not. Licht is bulking up, and so is Gettis. They want size so they can run not only the zone stretch, but up the middle too. They think that having a pocket that lasts longer than three seconds is as important as being able to pull 10 yards towards the far sideline to open RB holes.

    “their guy is a blocker that can’t run fast and isn’t much more than a blocker. ”

    Bolser was the leading TE receiver in Indiana history. He had not only the most yards, but the most receptions. He is a huge target at 6’5.5. He was used primarily as a joker type tight end (split out) or at full back, but in the few instances on film I saw him in line and blocking, he did well, though that is actually the knock on him – that he isn’t known for blocking.

    Gruden seems to run a lot of 2 TE sets with 2 joker types split out. Who do you want to catch for RGIII – stone hands Paul? Man can not only not block but can’t catch more than 1/2 the targets thrown at him. I’ve been calling for a TE upgrade all preseason.

    Yankey is a C only where if you notice, McGlynn and Long both are potential G/C which is important for line flexibility and depth where you only keep so many roster spots.

    Skov was passed on by every single team no less than 6 times. Most teams passed on him more than 8 times. Maybe all those scouts and coaches saw something you didn’t when they spent hours and hours reviewing tape. They took Murphy who may be a good edge rusher, or may, due to not having blinding speed, slide inside and IMO become a serious asset in the middle with his vision, blitzing and tackling abilities – something that even Fletcher seemed to have major problems with last year. Obviously Skov was NOT expected to be better than MOST ILB in the whole league. Neither were a few I was watching, but I don’t let it bring out the butthurt that they didn’t pick “my guy”. I was hoping they’d pick Exum because he played both S and CB – but played FS which we need more than SS. When they didn’t… I wasn’t offended. I later learned the CB they drafted had and could do the same thing as Exum. Read the article by Mike Jones where Gruden explains every pick one by one and realize they had logical reasons for each pick you might not be aware of because you had stars in your eyes for particular WR or LB.

    I like the prioritizing of the OLine in the draft. I think that anyone who thought we’d solve every problem and get 8 starters in this draft was kidding themselves. I have been calling for us to be 8-8 or 9-7 this year with the weapons we added before the draft, which would be a major improvement. But I never seriously entertained the “superbowl” chants because it was going to take us 2-3 years to fill major holes that were left due to Vinny Cerrato and his bad cap and personnel talents as well as the cap penalty Cerrato engineered on us with his cap mismanagement during the “capless” year.

    If you thought they would solve the glaring issues at EVERY position with 20 mil in cap space and 6-8 draft picks, I’d like to get a bottle of what you are drinking LOL

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