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Best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Redskins’ 2014 draft picks

Jun 3, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT

Trent-Murphy-vs.-Az-St

As the Redskins’ eight draft picks take the first steps in their NFL careers there is plenty of optimism about the career prospects for each of them. But history tells us that some of them will work out and some of them will not. Here is how I see the best-case scenario for each draft pick and what the worst that could happen during their NFL careers (barring injury in both cases).

OLB Trent Murphy

Best—Murphy has a steady part-time role on defense, gets four sacks, and becomes a key special teams player. In 2015 Brian Orakpo moves on and Murphy becomes a starter, eventually becoming an eight to 10 sack per year player, making several other big plays each season.

Worst—He really can’t get a foothold on defense and plays just a few dozen snaps during the year. That’s not enough production for the organization and they spend big to bring Orakpo back. Murphy develops into a special teams demon but only gets a few sacks a year due to an irregular role on defense.

OT Morgan Moses

Best—Moses beats out Tyler Polumbus for the starting job at some point before the second half of the season. He becomes a very solid player and while fans annually wonder why he’s not picked for the Pro Bowl but the truth is that he’s not quite good enough. Moses and Trent Williams are bookends on the line for the next six seasons.

Worst—Polumbus holds on to the starting job and Moses plays very little. Polumbus leaves as a free agent after the season but the Redskins don’t quite feel that Moses is good enough to slide into the right tackle spot. They use their first-round pick on a “sure thing” at tackle and Moses is a reserve for his career.

OL Spencer Long

Best—One of the interior lineman misses a few weeks of training camp with an injury, Long steps in, and can’t be unseated. His relentless play and nasty streak makes him a fan favorite for the next 10 years.

Worst—Long doesn’t get an opportunity to get on the field this year and the interior of the line plays well. The starters are all under contract through 2015 and Long can’t crack the lineup.

DB Bashaud Breeland

Best—Tracy Porter can’t stay healthy and Breeland steps in to the nickel role. After a couple of years, DeAngelo Hall retired and Breeland takes over as the starter.

Worst—His physical style of play leads to him getting too many penalty flags thrown against him. Special teams play keeps him in the league for a while but he never earns a steady role on defense.

WR Ryan Grant

Best—He makes the 53-man roster and after being inactive for a few weeks his ability to get open during practice makes it impossible to keep him off the field. Grant lines up in some four-receiver sets. Throughout his career he’s one of those guys who doesn’t make very many catches but it seems that every catch either comes in a critical situation or is worthy of a SportsCenter highlight.

Worst—His smarts can’t overcome his lack of speed. He spends on 2014 season on the practice squad and he can never establish himself on the 53-man roster.

RG Lache Seastrunk

Best—He performs well enough in training camp and the preseason to warrant getting several carries per game. Between now and the 2015 season he learns pass protection and receiving well enough to become a solid third-down back for the next several years.

Worst—His big-play ability is negated by his inability to perform his role when he doesn’t get the football. Seastrunk spends his career as more of a novelty than a consistent weapon.

TE Ted Bolser

Best—He is, in the words of Jay Gruden, a true “war daddy” on kick coverage and that gets him a spot on the 53. He develops into a passable alternative to Jordan Reed for the occasional game that Reed might miss due to injuries.

Worst—Bolser spends the 2014 season on the practice squad. In the second round of next year’s draft the Redskins take a tight end that is just too good to pass up and Bolser rarely plays on offense.

K Zach Hocker

Best—He consistently booms kickoffs out of the end zone and the team has to carve out a spot on the 53-man roster for him. Kai Forbath sufferers another leg injury during the season and Hocker does well filling in for him. Next year, Hocker wins a full-out kicking competition.

Worst—His kickoffs are good but some injury situations at other roster spots make it impossible to keep him on the roster. He gets an occasional tryout and is in training camp with NFL teams for the next couple of years but he never really catches on.

  1. john - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    I normally agree with most if what you write but not here. Your best cases are not much more than expectations. Best case to me is what the player could do if he exceeds expectations, much like Morris in 2012. After all, by definition, a player can’t exceed his best-case scenario. For example, if the Redskins apply the type of pressure they want in an aggressive scheme, Murphy could get 8-10 sacks this year as teams focus on orakpo, kerrigan and hatcher. Moses could improve faster than we expect and start week 1. I’m not expecting that but with his size, I think that’s a reasonable best-case scenario. Hocker could replace forbath on the 53 completely. The list goes on. Again, these aren’t predictions but they are best-case scenarios. I would be shocked if all three happened but not if one did.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      Well, I suppose that I could have gone through and written “Best–Hall of Fame” and “Worst–Cut in training camp” on each of them and then I could have covered all of the bases. But I decided instead to go with what I thought were realistic scenarios. I don’t view your examples as realistic. I’m not saying that they’re impossible but they are very much pie in the sky.

  2. RussianBreadMaker - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    What in the world?????? The assessment of the best case scenario for Moses is just weird.

    • kenlinkins - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Why is that? IMO Moses is the real Boom or Bust player drafted by the Redskins when you figure in where he was picked. He does have a long list of positives (size, wing span, footwork, etc) that many had him as a top 5 pick at LT. It seems many scouts had him rated much lower than a 3rd round pick, while many mock draft agents had him higher. This tells me that there was a wide range on his assessment level, which points to “Boom or Bust”. Would it shock me to see him sitting on the bench for 2 to 3 years as a back up? (NO) but it would not shock me to see him starting around the Bye week in 2014 either. Many forget that Mark May came into the NFL as a hot shot can not miss OT who started early and was beat like a rented mule, so bad in fact the Redskins had to replace him at RT with Greoge (the hook) Starke and work to get his confidence back. Once he moved to G he became a pretty good O-Lineman. O-Linemen are much harder to come by than most positions if you want a player to start right away.

  3. rg3enoughsaid - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    The most pointless article written.. Best case for everyone-they play well and are starters…worst case-they were all a waste of draft picks. Theres your story.

  4. murphsman - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    So Breeland’s worst case scenario is he becomes Meriweather 2.0? Lol

  5. fastwb - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Damn, Rich. I’m almost wishing I didn’t have such a high opinion of your credibility. This has got to be one of the most exciting and at the same time heartbreaking posts you’ve ever written! The best case scenarios could be better, I guess, but that just the worst case scenarios scarier.

  6. shermanp79 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Without getting into what the production looks like, if we get 2 starters and 2 back ups that contribute, I consider the Draft a success. I think Long will start before the bye week and I think Polumbus holds off Moses but his athletic ability and size makes it hard for Gruden to leave him on the bench. Id Breeland and Murphy help in supporting roles that gives us the 2 and 2.

    The rest is gravy I don’t know if Grant and Bolser make the team. His size alone hurts and no speed I think he has trouble getting separation so no matter how good his hands are, he just is in a numbers crunch. Even though I think hands is a big thing with the issues this team has had with drops. I think the UDFA WR (name?) makes team over Grant due to size.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Seastrunk plays in that 3rd down back and big play role. This team needs that type of guy. I thought Helu could be a guy to give that but even though his speed was close coming out of College he hasn’t shown it. At least not since his Rookie year but I think part of it is he never got comfortable and needs tore touches to be productive and I expect much more out of him but I can see Seastrunk beating out Royster for a spot. I don’t know what to think about Thompson, but maybe he backs up as 3rd down speed back, hey maybe he is that guy RB s come out of nowhere

    . Maybe another UDFA ends up on the PS and I suppose Grant could be put there too. Having great hands and running great routes is what holds young WRs back, look at Robinson as an example. He is another guy I think breaks out this year. He showed too much talent and production at SMU. Had he got a real shot to play earlier, I’m not sure Roberts was even signed.. Since Jackson is her that really hurts him but If Jackson ends up with injury issues I think Robinson takes advantage of it and forces Grudens hand and he ends up on the field . Really any injury helps him. I think Hank struggles with his recovery, he had trouble getting separation and catching the ball to begin with, so WR competition should be fun.

    The kicking situation comes down too KO and their depth. I think Forbath has shown he can be relied on to make FGs. It would be nice to have more range and KO distance. I don’t see them keeping two K, that would make it easy but this situation will also come down too if Gruden feels comfortable enough to rely on Hocker to make game winning FGs. Along with the distance between the KO average. I think this will be a big decision at the final cuts. I think it will go down to the wire. I just don’t think they give up a S, LB, CB for the defense for that 2nd K.

  7. lakeshow028 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    LOL this made me laugh

  8. C.Cowboykilla - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    I liked this.. I seriously did. The main reason why I liked this because the Best Case Scenarios were actually realistic. Of course Rich could have made Breeland best case scenario to be the Greatest CB to ever play the game. Same for the others but that’s not “believable”.. Not only is it believable but the scenario for Long fits Josh LeRibreus perfectly.
    Great Read.

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