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Need to Know: Should the Redskins draft a right tackle at No. 5?

Jan 5, 2015, 5:17 AM EDT

Brandon-Scherff-Iowa

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 5, 64 days before NFL free agency starts

Three and out—Why the Redskins won’t draft Scherff at five (and why they will)

1. Last week we put up a post about Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff before he played in his team’s bowl game. He is a popular pick for the Redskins in mock drafts and is rapidly becoming a fan favorite as well. Scherff could well be available when the Redskins’ pick at fifth overall. The question the Redskins will ask themselves is if fifth is too high to take a player destined to be a right tackle. That’s assuming that they will lock up Trent Williams after his contract expires. The right tackle position simply isn’t considered to be important enough to justify a pick that high.

2. But on the other hand, right tackle has been a position of need for the Redskins since Jon Jansen left after the 2008 season. Whether it’s been plugging in undrafted free agent Stephon Heyer, trading for Jamaal Brown, or moving street free agent Tyler Polumbus in there, it hasn’t worked. The weak link in the line has hurt the passing game and the running game. Why not get a quality player in there and be done with the position for the next decade? There’s a lot to be said for not overthinking the situation.

3. We have a long way to go until the draft and there is plenty of time for rankings to change and to sort out strategy. Oh, and don’t forget there’s free agency between now and then and that affects needs. Just something to start thinking about when as things develop.

Out: The important thing to remember about the draft is that it’s not like grocery shopping. You don’t go to Aisle 1 and get a tackle and then to Aisle 2 for a safety. You never know exactly what’s going to be there when it’s time to put something in your cart. And if you overpay for many of your items, it’s going to be a bad bag of groceries no matter how badly you needed the items in that bag.

Timeline

—It’s been 8 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 250 days until they play another one

Days until: NFL free agency starts 64; 2015 NFL Draft 115

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. Don - Jan 5, 2015 at 6:52 AM

    Since Snyder bought the Redskins, they have underestimated the value of an offensive line. Football is won in the trenches, a mediocre backfield can win superbowls behind an elite line. Improving the line would make Morris more dominant as well as improving the passing game. All the investments in the backfield won’t payout until they fix the line.

    Case and point, most people think Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls with 3 different quarterbacks. But he actually did it with one offensive line, the hogs.

  2. MC12 - Jan 5, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    BPA: Best Player Available. There are way too many homes on this team to worry about a specific position in the first few rounds. OL, DL, LB, S, TE. Just get guys that can fit and play with an attitude.

  3. sidepull - Jan 5, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Shane Ray

  4. Stephfan - Jan 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

    We need to shore up the d first then get Oline help

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 5, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    A right tackle who can play LT (if TWill is injured or when he eventually declines).

    I don’t think Scherff will be the first OT picked. And 5 is too high for him.
    ~

    • captblood3000 - Jan 6, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      His name is Morgan Moses.

  6. deepball1 - Jan 5, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    The dumbest argument you can make in football is that a particular position is “too high” to take in the draft. The idea that a LEFT tackle can be taken at number 4 like Trent Williams but a RIGHT tackle cannot be taken at number 5…is a MORON point of view.

    So you are telling me that it’s more important to block from the LEFT side than from the RIGHT. Let me give you a quick course in football 101: it doesn’t matter where the QB is hit from or sacked from because either way its an 8 yard loss and its 4th down and a punt. I mean…what’s the matter with you?

    There are FIVE spots on the offensive line and any one of them can end a drive. The Cowboys have proven that all positions on the offensive line are EQUALLY important. They have taken a left tackle, a center, and a guard in the FIRST ROUND and now have the best offensive line in football……so you just keep on believing that one spot is more important than another because you are a perfect fit to be a Redskins personnel director.

    • bangkokben - Jan 5, 2015 at 8:58 AM

      I’m wearing a t-shirt that says: I’M WITH STUPID.

      • bangkokben - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:02 AM

        Hell. Kickers score the most points on a team. Maybe we should draft one in first round that can kick 60 yard field goals???

        • bangkokben - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:05 AM

          I bet the Cardinals are wishing they drafted a punter in the 1st round after Saturday’s game.

    • deepball1 - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:07 AM

      with that said……The Skins need a pass rusher as much as an offensive tackle. Shane Ray or Vic Beasley would be a more appropriate choice at NUMBER 5.

    • skinsgame - Jan 5, 2015 at 12:42 PM

      He isn’t equating a specialist with an every down player. He happens to be right. The line is only as strong as it’s weakest link. A clever move would have them trade down, add a pick, and still add the best O lineman available.

    • kashmoneydollaz - Jan 5, 2015 at 1:35 PM

      Actually left tackles are more important than right tackles because they protect the qb’s blind side. that being said a weak right tackle leads to many hits and sacks off the edge as you can see by this horrible season the skins had

    • ajbus1 - Jan 5, 2015 at 2:02 PM

      You may have taken football 101 but clearly you didn’t take draft value 101.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:51 PM

      You really don’t understand the first thing about football if you think that’s the case. There are certain positions that are far more valuable than others. LT is several notches ahead of RT in importance. Stupid teams that perennially draft in the top 5-10 picks are the ones that are willing to take a RT that high in the draft.

  7. chris - Jan 5, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    Have you watched this guy’s highlight reals holy crap! Scherff is a beast!

    • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:52 PM

      No, he isn’t. He face two teams all year that had speed rushers, Maryland and Tennessee, and got eaten alive by both.

  8. VK - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    BPA is garbage. Fill the dang holes. For years we took BPA and what happened? We’ve floundered over and over. Fix the OL and Secondary. Good teams win with great lines. Anytime you draft a player its a risk Rich, but not drafting an elite RT because of fear is a losers mentality. Can things go wrong? Sure, but player we’ve spent enough time in the bargain basement and the results were as expected. Get studs for your holes OL and Safety.

    • captblood3000 - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:07 PM

      Elite right tackle is an oxymoron. All the elite tackles play on the left side unless they protect a left-handed QB.

  9. mr.moneylover - Jan 5, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Which ever player they think can come in and start right away and play at a high level…but its two many holes they need to make good picks with the first three picks

  10. mr.moneylover - Jan 5, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    The d-line need to be fix and the o-line…you look at the lions,texans they d-line is solid and they safeties are average but they look good cause of they front seven is solid…they need two o-linemen to start and they need 3 d-linemen

  11. shermanp79 - Jan 5, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    No way do you maximize the value of the 5th pick on a RT. The only way it makes sense is taking a LT if you are going to let Williams go when his contract expires. I think that weakens them and doesn’t solve the problem long term. It certainly wastes the pick. If we are thinking in that direction, I guess it gives Moses a year to heal. You then have a cheaper option. The problem is can Moses be a good starting tackle, right now he has struggled. A LT is a high money position, so paying Trent top dollar is in line with the salary structure. He has been banged up the past couple of years and hasn’t been as great but he still is a Pro Bowl player. I would not take a RT at 5 and would look to take a G or C later in the Draft. You then get value and add some talent to the OL. I don’t think Compton played that poorly, he could fill the spot until Moses could take over. I think they need more size at C, if they take a G later the OL will be addressed. I’m sure they hope Long can take over one G position with the R playing the other side. I don’t think the line was as bad as many others, if they get a TE and RB that can block, it will go a long way to helping the pass protection. With them replacing 2/5 of the line that is building. They can’t keep Drafting the same position over each year. They took Moses and Long last year, take another 2 OL this year while filling other areas. That makes the most sense to me. There are plenty of OL starting that were taken in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, even later. You can’t force a position just to fill a need. Our issue is Drafting the right players just because you take one at 5, doesn’t mean they are the right choice. Everyone talked about Mathews last year, he struggled in his R year. Taking an OL that high doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a star. Watching the Playoffs I heard R names and other young guys making plays all over the field. They were guys taken throughout the Draft. It actually made me sick.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:54 PM

      Trent has no business in the Pro Bowl, but it’s a popularity contest that is in no way based on actual play. Trent has never been a top 5 LT, isn’t really a top 10 LT, and usually performs around 12-15 for his position. He’s paid like a top 5 LT and that’s the problem.

  12. geekymba - Jan 5, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    Redskins probably trade down a few spots in the first round like they did in 2011 with Kerrigan. Redskins need OL more than anything, and I don’t see enough value at the 5th pick. Trade down and accumulate.

  13. ray - Jan 5, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Sherff or landon collins?? If you go safety first theres no guarantee we can have a starting OL like sherff.we most definitely need him.hes a solid safe pick.we can take safety in 2nd rd depending who’s available. Id like to pursue fa signings with DT dan williams/ ILB rey maulugga, because we need to address DL and improve ilb play.perry riley cant cover.

    • geekymba - Jan 5, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      Redskins desperately need cover LB’s. Perry Riley is terrible. I’ll never understand why Bruce Allen gave him such a lucrative deal.

      • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:57 PM

        Lucrative? He gave him 3 years and only $5 million of guaranteed money. He’s an easy cut after next season that would save $4 million in cap space for the 2016 season.

        BTW, Keenan Robinson became one of the best cover ILBs in the league late in the season. The biggest problem we had was Orakpo was the only OLB we had that could cover and obviously he was hurt. Will Compton should be starting ahead of Riley with Riley being brought in on running downs since he’s actually pretty good at playing the run.

  14. Brad - Jan 5, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Why not play the o lineman we drafted last year? Why the hell do we constantly draft players and never give them a chance in games until someone gets hurt? D’Angelo Hall gets hurt, Breeland gets an opportunity and wah lah! He’s the best corner on the damn team! Hell we may have 2 pro bowl lineman in Long and Mosses on the bench because they don’t show enough in practice. News flash coaching staff, some players are gamers! You think Michael Irving practiced well after a coke and alcohol binge? I think we should at least think about trading Morris to Indy for another 1st round pick. I love Alf but, we could really use a good safety and o lineman. That’s the kinda moves this team needs to make to fill these massive holes. You can’t be attached to anyone and being able to draft a player in the 7th round and three years later get a 1 for him, that’s good business.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 5, 2015 at 12:34 PM

      It’s going to be a looong, looong time before Indy trades a first for an RB again, I’ll guarantee you that.

      • Brad - Jan 5, 2015 at 12:47 PM

        They may not but, Alfred Morris is not Trent Richardson. Three straight years with over a thousand yards and behind this year’s line is impressive. The Colts may not give up a one but, I’ll bet a team out there would.

        • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:59 PM

          No way. Nobody is trading a 1st for a RB on the last year of his rookie deal.

  15. tigerdelt21 - Jan 5, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    Draft this kid. 1st Round and 2nd Rounders should both be a RT and a LG or RG. Then focus all you want on Dline, Safety, another corner, LB, and TE. Have to draft the Oline FIRST or whomever is QB is still gonna get killed. If they want RG to succeed, he needs a line NOW, they can’t draft D and then have to make a decision on RG3’s future without seeing what he can do with a friggin line to block for him. It would help decide if he’s gonna be our QB and will also help Alfred. The D is a mess, no question, but you have to take a page out of Dallas’s playbook and draft really good Olineman, then build from there.

    • tigerdelt21 - Jan 5, 2015 at 2:28 PM

      Also, this guy can be plugged in as a starter for the next 10 years and can play OT or G. He’s a solid yet unsexy pick that they need to make. May even be able to trade down a few sports pick up a few picks, and still get him or the OT from ND. Either way its gotta be an OL.

      • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 6:00 PM

        He’s not going to play OT in the NFL. He cannot handle speed rushers, he’s got short arms, and he’s not nearly as strong in the run game as you would expect. Maryland and Tennessee both ate him alive. He’s going to be a LG in the NFL and there’s no way that gets picked at #5 overall.

  16. Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    Scherff got obliterated in the bowl game. He cannot handle speed rushers at all. He’s got short arms and he’s not nearly as strong as he should be in the run game. He’s going to be a LG in the NFL and nothing more. Taking him 5th overall is criminally stupid.

  17. captblood3000 - Jan 6, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    No to Scherff at #5. Andrus Peat, maybe.

  18. wildbill1952 - Jan 8, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    If you only think of a right tackle as a guy who can only play on the right side of the OL, then 5th pick in the draft is a fairly high price. But if you think of the 5th pick in the draft as someone who could immediately step in as a left tackle if Trent Williams got hurt, or as the guy who protects the franchise QB from the speed rushers on the right side, and not as the guy who is expected to get help form a TE or a back on every play, then you start seeing how important that player could be, even if his first job is as a right tackle.

    The Redskins haven’t had a good right tackle since Jon Jansen. They spent a second round pick on him and he was solid until his last couple of years. Ogbuehi is the best in the draft at pass protection and is good in run protection. Overall I’d say he’s the best in the draft at right tackle and is ready to step into Williams shoes if he gets hurt again. If you pick at number 5 there, at number 5 in the second round you might find a second OL in either Erving from Florida State or Cann from SC. Two picks and you have two-fifths of your OL for 5 years. At the current rookie pay scale, you are way ahead on cap space.

    I realize Dan is going to pick a safety but what a dream.

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