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Need to Know: Retooling the Redskins’ identity and other NFL draft thoughts

May 13, 2014, 5:12 AM EST

Trent Murphy

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 13, three days before the Redskins’ hold their rookie minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five final thoughts on the 2014 NFL Draft (just don’t hold me to the “final” part).

—The selection of Trent Murphy was all about leverage in 2015. Rewind to the owners meetings when Gruden said that he would be fine with letting Brian Orakpo play out the season on the franchise tag. “At the time we did it we weren’t sure who would be available” in free agency. In other words, if they had an alternative they might not have tagged Orakpo. Enter Trent “Alternative” Murphy. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

—“Tough, high-character guys, high motor guy are what you want to add to your football team and we feel like we’ve done a good job,” said Gruden about the team’s top three draft picks. But that description fits almost the whole group. We’ve heard the Redskins called a talented team. But have you ever heard someone say that they are the toughest group you’ll face all year, won’t quit, will scrap and fight until the clock reads 0:00? Anyone? Didn’t think so. This is something that they are trying to change.

—The selection of a kicker always draws some snickers and that’s understandable. But while I have no particular inclination to run Kai Forbath out of town, the 2013 numbers are what they are—24th in field goal percentage, 30th in touchbacks, and 32nd in net kickoff average. That performance warrants a strong challenge and if you have to burn your second 7th-round pick to do so I can’t work up much disagreement with it.

—It will be interesting to compare the career tracks of Cyrus Kouandjio and Morgan Moses over the next few years. Kouandjio, the offensive tackle out of Alabama, was gone before the Redskins actually picked, taken by the Bills just a couple of selections before Washington took Murphy with the second-round pick they acquired from Dallas. I always thought that Kouandjio would be the better player if his knee stayed stable and perhaps the better way to proceed would have been to keep the 34th pick, take Kouandjio, and then perhaps Murphy at 66. According to reports he was off of the Redskins’ board due to the knee so it wasn’t going to happen. But teams are sometimes wrong about medicals, we’ll see how it plays out.

—Since it’s never too early to look ahead, the Redskins finally have a first-round pick in 2015. They have all of their own picks so one selection each in rounds 1-7. Washington is unlikely to get any compensatory picks since more free agents were signed than lost.

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Timeline

—It’s been 135 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 117 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 3; Training camp starts 71; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 86

In case you missed it

  1. samhuff96 - May 13, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    I suppose we can’t be too harsh on *anything* the “Skins do to improve the special teams. My gut feeling is special team cost them 3 or 4 games last year maybe more if the team like it appeared to quit in the final games. I have to say that at least some didn’t quit, but enough. More scrappy is good. Players should realize that losing games gives the team better draft position and hence puts their jobs at risk.

    Better to plan on Orakpo to leave, someone is going to pay too much and some pundits think he has too high an estimate of his worth. IIUC, they can put him on option where they can match any offer. Then they can match or not depending.

    Thing is these days just drafting well can get you into releasing players you want to keep. Once the 4 years is up, the price will go up for anyone you want to keep.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Let’s include the career track of Joel Bitonio, too.

    I realize that he’s not a Jay Gruden type at “only” 307 pounds, but I think he was the best O.L. prospect on the board at pick 34.
    ~

  3. kenlinkins - May 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Rich, I see where the Redskins released David Gettis (6’3″ 220 WR) on Monday. Many Redskins fans had him being around for finial cuts after the preseason games. His size was what the Redskins have been looking for, could this be part of the new mind set at Redskins Park (made a mistake, admit mistake, correct mistake without concerns for managements / coaching egos)? Any inside information on why the Redskins released him so early?

    • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      No inside info; the fans simply severely overrated him. When you’re in the league for 7 years and play in only 17 games, only 2 since your rookie year, you’re usually not a hot prospect.

      But don’t call it part of a new mindset. He had zero guaranteed $$ in his contract. They brought him in, took a look, and didn’t like what they saw. Every NFL team does that many times a year.

      > >

  4. everyoneholdsorakpo - May 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Hey Rich, I know it’s early, but do you see McGlynn or Long playing center, seeing how Gruden is trending towards a big body OL. Lichtensteiger was a Shanahan man, and seems too small to fit the new OL vision.

    • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      If I have to predict right now, put me down for Long as the starting center in 2015.

      > >

      • alextwrs - May 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        If long starts this year and breeland finds his way on the field in situations this draft was a success. I’d really like to see Gettis get a fair shot at center as well.

        • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM

          Why does Long have to start this year for the draft to be a success? A third-round pick? Maybe by 2015 but that’s too high a standard, IMO.

          > >

        • alextwrs - May 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

          I don’t I’m used to having an opinion rich, not gonna apologize for that. Pick it apart all u want but we need picks that we trade down for to pan out. Esp when we are trading out of a starter in ck. U said long would start not me.

        • Rich Tandler - May 13, 2014 at 4:49 PM

          All well and good. I’ll just say that if Redskins fans have unrealistic expectations of the draft the will continue to be disappointed in them.

        • alextwrs - May 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

          I am not one of those fans. This was the deepest draft in the last fve years or so and we didnt have a round one pick which is usually a starter. Usually. When we pass on a starting RT that fell to us and pass in order to pick a backup OLB is where I have a problem finding the success of this draft. Plain and simple. Multiple picks does not always mean success.

  5. abanig - May 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Same old skins, every 4 or 5 years they are totally retooling their identity and they wonder why they haven’t been a consistent winner in 23 years?

  6. abanig - May 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I think Polumbus, Chester, Gettis and Kory L will come into camp weighing 15 to 20 pounds more than they did last July and the OL will look like this:

    Lt: TWill, Compton (315 lbs)
    LG: Chester, LeRibeus (320 lbs)
    C: Kory L (305 Lbs) Gettis (310 lbs)
    RG: Lauvao, Long
    RT: Polumbus, (320 lbs) Moses

    2015:

    LT: TWill, Compton
    LG: Long, LeRibeus
    C: Kory L, Gettis
    RG: Lauvao
    RT: Moses

  7. Rich Tandler - May 14, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    I removed a couple of comments here. Sorry, but this comment section is for civil discussion of on-field football matter. What was develop here was not related and not civil. If you would like to exchange mail addresses to continue the discussion, feel free.

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