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Need to Know: Ranking the Redskins’ draft picks

May 5, 2015, 5:14 AM EDT

Matt Jones Florida-2

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 5, 42 days before the Washington Redskins hold their mandatory minicamp.

Ranking the Redskins’ draft picks

Here is my ranking of the Redskins’ 10 draft picks as determined by factors such as needs, value, opportunity cost, how much the player will help the team in 2015 and beyond, and other such criteria. It is highly non-scientific, just my gut feeling before any of them puts on a Redskins helmet.

Also I like the group in general so a low ranking does not make me a hater; it’s all in relation to the rest of the players picked.

10. C Austin Reiter—Perhaps a better designation would have been N/A because I really know so little about him. I’m just not sure what a team that’s looking for big, power blockers and players from big-time conferences like the SEC is doing drafting a 296-lb. center from a non-power conference college.

9. G Arie Kouandjio—The knees, both of which have had surgery, are a concern. Perhaps they should have taken TE Blake Bell out of Oklahoma, who was still on the board. With Jordan Reed’s injury issues some insurance at the position is needed.

8. CB Tevin Mitchell—A few weeks into the 2014 season the Razorbacks were considering redshirting him because he had some troublesome hamstrings. And that was after he was benched in 2013. Had his best season as a sophomore and his career went downhill from there. Mitchel will need to reverse his career track if he is going to make it.

7. WR Evan Spencer—There’s a lot about Spencer to like but it might be hard to squeeze him on the 53-man roster. The four holdover wide receivers don’t appear to be going anywhere and fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder is sure to make it.

6. RB Matt Jones—I get the whole reach thing with him but that’s not a big deal. McCloughan said he was the best player on their board and I’m in no position to argue. He just doesn’t seem to be a potential every down back who could replace Alfred Morris should he get injured or leave as a free agent.

5. OL Brandon Scherff—I like the player a lot. But if you keep on taking low value positions with high draft picks you will continually have high draft picks. Perhaps on a side-by-side comparison edge rusher Vic Beasley doesn’t grade as high as Scherff but the value of a player who can get to the quarterback is much higher. Bottom line, Scherff had better be very, very good whether he plays tackle or guard, especially if Beasley and/or Leonard Williams become Pro Bowl regulars. We will see how it turns out.

4. ILB Martrell Spaight—He could be strong on special teams and he’s a sure tackler. But the Redskins have plenty of inside backers who struggle in coverage and that is not a strength of Spaight’s.

3. SS Kyshoen Jarrett—Anyone who watches Virginia Tech football knows that Beamerball, the tradition of the Hokies having great special teams, has not existed for a while. But the emphasis is still there and the decline of the Tech special teams isn’t Jarrett’s fault. He spoke very enthusiastically about playing teams for Washington during his conference call after he was drafted.

2. OLB Preston Smith—There are plenty of questions about new defensive coordinator Joe Barry but Smith could make him look like a genius in a hurry. I really like his versatility; McCloughan even talked about the possibility of him lining up at nose tackle in nickel situations. It will take him a year or two to learn all of the roles but when he does he could become a great weapon on defense. He was an under-the-radar pick that makes a ton of sense in retrospect.

1. WR Jamison Crowder—If he can do nothing besides break an occasional punt return for a long gain he will be worth the fourth-round pick. But he could do much more as a legitimate deep threat out of the slot. It might take him some time to learn the passing game but he could have impact as a returner right off the bat.


—It’s been 128 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 131 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 42; Redskins training camp starts 86; Redskins @ Giants 142

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. sidepull - May 5, 2015 at 6:32 AM

    Agree. I think the TE over that banged up G was the way to go. Two bad knees, and that is BPA? I guess it must be. Once you get down to that part of the draft they all have something that prevented them from being evaluated and picked higher. They need a all around TE one of the days, one that can block. And I still prefer Silas Redd if AM gets hurt or replaced which just saying pisses me off. AM is a quality player and in spite of horrific QB play, a terrible O line and coaches who said they would call a running game to establish a team identity and didn’t, he still got yards and never complained once.

  2. troylok - May 5, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    Regarding the Matt Jones pick, I found a site that listed UFA’s the Redskins have contacted and it seems they have kicked the tires on a few other bigger-than-usual running backs. Maybe Gruden has an idea to replace Young with a fullback that is essentially another runner in the backfield – a two headed monster backfield. However, I also note that they are bringing in other big running backs so maybe there is some doubt as to whether they really did get the man they wanted…

    • ET - May 5, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      Why would they replace Young? He can block, run, and catch dependably. He’s a hard-charging “character guy” in the mold that Scot keeps trumpeting.

      If anything, Young is underutilized.

      • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 10:14 AM

        This (DY and Alf getting replaced) has yet to happen but this is what happens when there is a changing of the guard. As much as we needed to get rid of Shanahan and get McC in, change happens everywhere not just the obvious places. Guys like DY and Alf have more than maximized their talents – consider where they were drafted. Talent evaluators then have to determine what type of player they need moving forward. Often the overachiever is let go. I hope it doesn’t happen and I hope that Alf and DY continue to prove themselves to the new boss.

        • ET - May 5, 2015 at 11:59 AM

          Young was an undrafted linebacker (!)—Shanahan converted him in 2010. Hand it to Shanny, he’s great at identifying and maximizing backfield talent.

          While I expect plenty of roster churn this year—even some big names or surprises—I think Darrel has a place in the new regime.

        • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 12:29 PM

          Yeah. I should have said, “Consider where they WEREN’T drafted. And say what I will about Shanny (not a fan), he did/does know running backs.

      • troylok - May 5, 2015 at 12:12 PM

        Young can run dependably? He averaged 2.4 yards a carry on 9 attempts last year. With those numbers, no defense considers him a running threat, so guess who they focus on when it comes to short yardage?

        I like Young as a blocker. He’s a beast. And you are right. He can sneak out into the flat and surprise teams with a reception in space.
        -The other side of the coin is he is a great blocker in a zone blocking running attack and the team is getting away from that.
        -If he was more of a threat to catch the ball I think defenses would start to put someone on him at all times.
        -He takes up a position on a team that could go to carrying an extra running back. If Matt Jones is a sometime fullback, then this gives them the ability to carry Thompson, Morris, Redd and Jones.
        -Some teams aren’t even carrying a fullback on their roster anymore. I think Young was used more than some teams’ fullbacks, but the Redskins have the luxury of putting a tightend in the backfield or a big running back…

        You may be too young to remember, but before Ernest Byner was rushing for touchdowns for the Redskins, he was part of a lethal tandem of running backs in Cleveland along with Kevin Mack. Both blocked like fullbacks and both ran like running backs. Take that to today’s football style that depends so much on little swing passes to running backs and you start to see where something like that could possibly work.

        • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 12:42 PM

          Your trying to make an analysis on nine attempts? What was the success rate on those attempts? How many touchdown on those attempts? THREE! If you say 2.4 yards, I say he scored on 33% of his carries. Both are ridiculous arguments. He was successful in what he was asked to do and the question is why didn’t they ask him to do more? Sure, this offense may be less likely to use a fullback but get that 2.4 out of here. When you score from one yard out or make a first down on third and inches you get ONE yard.

        • redskinscaio - May 6, 2015 at 11:27 AM

          Fullback is an important position to the running game. Those teams that dont carry a running back, probably didn’t even make the playoffs.

  3. Jim Collins - May 5, 2015 at 6:51 AM

    I agree! TE was grossly overlooked. I am not a Jason Reed fan. The TE position is supposed to be more work hardened than your running backs. He is as frail as a punter. Has great speed and hands but neither do you any good from the bench. I fear the next hangnail that puts him out for another season. If he does not play all 16 games this year I say we give him the big boot.

    • jonevans511 - May 5, 2015 at 9:45 AM

      I don’t like Jason Reid either, he’s a hack journalist. But I do like the Man Cave on 980! Jordan Reed, on the other hand, is a talented kid who just can’t stay healthy. I too agree we could have used another TE, but if Niles improves his blocking (which I think is more than feasible considering we’re entering a new era in Washington) I won’t be as worried. I am not sure why so many folks are down on Niles as the backup TE, he brings it every Sunday on both ST and offense.

      • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 10:19 AM

        Agreed. I think what this team needs is Logan Paulsen to revert to his 2012 form. He needs to get back to being a reliable blocker and occasional pass catcher. Jordan Reed needs to be that big wide receiver this team needs. Call him a TE if you want but keep him away from the trench.

  4. cuchip - May 5, 2015 at 6:56 AM

    i think you ranked Scherff way too low. You watch our games over the last two years with “Turnstyle” Polumbus letting player after player destroy whatever QB we had in here Scherff should be a steady force for a decade. You can’t put such a low value on that.

    • obxskins - May 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM


    • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 11:11 AM

      I agree! Even when valuing the selection by round should no way have Schreff 5th. He was a destined top 10 draft selection and we take him a few rounds lower than most projected and suddenly he is a reach/low-grade choice? This seems especially flawed because Leonard Williams was over hyped by the media. Below is a nice article that brings valid questions about Williams’ ability to be a dominant NFL pass rusher. We may have gotten the same player in Williams in round 2. Preston is a true interior pass rusher and run stopper. I don’t think he’ll play OLB in the 3-4.

  5. Jim Collins - May 5, 2015 at 7:04 AM

    Agree. Polumbo the great matador, ole! Schreff should be rated higher. Especially after our strong FA with the front 7 of our D. We did not need the best D edge rusher over Schreff.

    • mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:48 AM


  6. skinsgame - May 5, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Not sure what the big deal with Spaight is. Seems to have a lot of heart but in the 2 “highlight” reels I watched of him were average. I think he struggles to make the team as much as any of the players picked and I wish him luck. Maybe he’s London Fletcher 2.0.

    The article you posted 2 days ago had “Talent/Fit” rated at an A- and the overall draft rated a B+. Today, you rate their 1st pick as their 5th best pick and picks 7-10 are not making the team and you’re not sure why they even drafted a couple of them. My impression of the draft was that it was a weak draft class and if the team picked 4 players to displace a few underperforming veterans it was a success. He anded up adding those extra late picks and those are the “cross your fingers” types, typically. Time will tell.

  7. Jim Collins - May 5, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    The right side of our line had to be the worst in the history of the NFL. That is bad. We needed major intervention on that right side. The only thing I would like to see is Chester with either walking papers or a completely restructured contract to pay him waterboy wages.

    • mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:46 AM

      Lmao that was funny….I agree

  8. babyteal1 - May 5, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    By the sounds of this review, our draft sucked. Thanks Rich!!!

    • Rich Tandler - May 5, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      If I may quote the second paragraph of this very post:

      Also I like the group in general so a low ranking does not make me a hater; it’s all in relation to the rest of the players picked.

      • babyteal1 - May 5, 2015 at 10:10 AM

        No one said you were a hater. But your comments basically say the draft was not good.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 11:21 AM

        Rich the you must really like players Kyshoen Jarrett and Jamison Crowder. I’m not sure either will ever be a consistent starter. Jamison Crowder should be a serviceable punt returner but I much prefer Ryan Grant over him as a slot receiver. I just think we are reaching for a Wes Welker in the 4th that really isn’t there.

        • Rich Tandler - May 5, 2015 at 12:11 PM

          Didn’t ranked them where I did because I thought they would be consistent starters. I think you’re wrong about Grant being better the Crowder in the slot but we will see. Grant can play outside as well.

  9. cowboyhater - May 5, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Thanks for all of the comments from all of you internet GM’s……let’s all remember the people that made these picks are getting paid to do so, and have put many hours on the road and in the film room evaluating the players they drafted. Granted not all of these players will stick, but I would not be surprised to see at least 60% on this roster, or on the practice squad. I would chill out on the TE……..Jordan Reed is a great pass catcher, Niles Paul is a great ST player, and when filling in last year was very serviceable plus we have a decent blocking TE in Paulson. That was not and should not have been a priority in the draft. Ranking Scherff in the middle of the pack made no sense to me, and speaking about an undersized OLB in Beasly, and DL Williams that was not a priority after our FA pick ups before the draft makes no sense either. I have said repeatedly on here that who makes that decision to rank Scherff in the middle of the first round, when in fact he was the best OL in the draft. The other OL in this draft are not considered instant starters, and our most pressing need was the OL. I think our GM got it right……and time will tell how these players pan out. Everything else commented on here is just guessing and opinions just as mine are.

    • skinsgame - May 5, 2015 at 8:54 AM

      A few of my favorites… ” Jones was not even on most teams draft boards.” “They passed on the best player in the entire draft.” and the article here rating Jamison Crowder as the best player taken by the Redskins.

    • mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:44 AM

      I dont think they resign Logan paulsen I herd he was a free agent…

  10. jscx3 - May 5, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    The draft was good, all the players picked played against nfl caliber players. Big games big crowds. Everybody ranking the draft picks should keep quiet for 2 years. They are finally picking tough nasty players. If they did not pick them it was because they did not meet what they wanted. The Redskins are tired of being plunked! Cute and flashy works until you get punched in the mouth, time to fight you going to punch back or keep tap dancing ? I want fighters competitors!

  11. bowlregard - May 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    I’ve been thinking about ILB and how many of them are less than stellar defending the pass. Slot receivers are making a living beating them. But teams are playing nickel a lot these days. I’m thinking defenses might play three safeties a lot in their nickel packages. The Skins already had two serviceable strong safeties, and here drafted another. Usually one thinks of bringing in a third corner in the nickel, but strong safeties who are better at playing the run might be the better option some of the time. If it is hard to find ILBs who can defend the pass, the natural thing to do is go to nickel and dime packages more often, but using more strong safety types rather than extra corners might be a way to hedge your bets. We might see Jarrett on the field more than expected.

  12. Raz - May 5, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    I think reporters in general really under values the importance of a good offensiven line. Just look at the patriots and cowboys 4 example, their o lines are vital for their QB to excel.

    • Rich Tandler - May 5, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      Actually, no. Those of us who are at Redskins Park every day and know the history of the team certainly appreciate a good offensive line and know what the lines do for the team. We also look around and see that it’s possible to build one without spending the No. 4 and No. 5 picks.

      • babyteal1 - May 5, 2015 at 9:45 AM

        Tell that to the Cowboys who used all 1st round picks on OL. Not necessarily at # 5 but you have to pick at your position.

        • Rich Tandler - May 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM

          Did I miss a Cowboys Super Bowl win or something?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 11:31 AM

          No Superbowl yet Rich but that Cowboys line gives them SB contention!

        • alextwrs - May 5, 2015 at 11:46 AM

          I think what Rich is hinting at, is the fact that other teams have had success with building an oline without premium picks being used. It has happened before and can happen again. I dont know the original picks from the HOGS but I believe it was a mixture of mid rounders and the earlypick of Mark May who moved to guard. I would love to see moses road grading at G as well. Good fit with his less than stellar foot work.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 11:51 AM

          alex, what you are hinting is EXACTLY what we’ve been doing after we drafted Trent Williams within the top 10. How has that worked out for us in the past? Now since that top 10 selection, who is the best O-Lineman we have? Trent Williams!

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 11:51 AM

          alex, what you are hinting is EXACTLY what we’ve been doing after we drafted Trent Williams within the top 10. How has that worked out for us in the past? Now since that top 10 selection, who is the best O-Lineman we have? Trent Williams!

        • alextwrs - May 5, 2015 at 12:00 PM

          I never said it has worked out for us lately and I definitely questioned the “unknowns” w the Leribus and Long as third round picks, but you can pick the league apart and find plenty of lines without top five picks on oline that are more than serviceable. I agree w Rich that the cowboys had one successful playoff run and I believe they have to do it multiple years before we annoint them. Lets see what they do without Callahn as well. I truly do not mind the Sherff pick but at the moment it seemed a little on the safe side and says, “hey Bob, no more excuses now”!

  13. redskinscaio - May 5, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    “Perhaps on a side-by-side comparison edge rusher Vic Beasley doesn’t grade as high as Scherff but the value of getting to the quarterback is much higher.”

    I disagree 100%. I’m glad you wrote the words “perhaps” though. lol

    If the value to get to the qb is great, then the offensive lineman that blocks the rusher from getting to the qb should be higher right? Isn’t that more logical? It is to me. If the qb is the most valued position on the field, then it’s only logical that the guy protecting your best asset is your next best asset. Stay with me here…

    I’ve heard football minds greater than mine state that the only way to truly beat the Peyton Mannings and Aaron Rogers of the world is to keep them off the field. In other words, keep their defense on the field. How do you do that? By having a great running game that eats up the clock. In order to have a great running game you need a great offensive line. So drafting Sherff was the best move, the Skins could have made. I’m so glad they did. You give RGIII time to throw the ball, and you create holes for Alfred Morris to run the ball, and the Redskins are going to win.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 5, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      I look forward to next year’s draft, when all the top players picked will be guards.

    • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      You want logic, see if you can follow this. The guy who is paid the most is therefore worth the most – at least to the guy writing the checks. Below are the guys whose 2015 cap hit is seven figures. Extrapolate what you will but it is clear what positions owners and GMs consider worth paying a premium on.

      Quarterbacks 16
      Drew Brees Saints $26,400,000
      Eli Manning Giants $19,750,000
      Matt Ryan Falcons $19,500,000
      Aaron RodgersPackers $18,250,000
      Matt Stafford Lions $17,721,250
      Peyton ManningBroncos $17,500,000
      Philip Rivers Chargers $17,416,668
      Ben RoethlisbeSteelers $17,245,000
      Jay Cutler Bears $16,500,000
      Alex Smith Chiefs $15,600,000
      Colin Kaepernic49ers $15,265,753
      Tony Romo Cowboys $14,973,000
      Cam Newton Panthers $14,666,000
      Joe Flacco Ravens $14,550,000
      Tom Brady Patriots $14,000,000
      Sam Bradford Eagles $12,985,000

      Running-backs 1
      Adrian PetersonVikings $15,400,000

      Wide Receivers 7
      Calvin JohnsonLions $20,558,000
      Dez Bryant Cowboys $12,823,000
      Demaryius ThoBroncos $12,823,000
      Vincent JacksoBuccaneers $12,209,777
      Larry FitzgeraldCardinals $10,850,000
      AJ Green Bengals $10,176,000
      Julio Jones Falcons $10,176,000

      Tight Ends 1
      Julius Thomas Jaguars $10,300,000

      Left Tackles 5
      Trent Williams Redskins $13,730,393
      D’Brickashaw FergJets $11,698,670
      Branden AlbertDolphins $10,725,000
      Ryan Clady Broncos $10,600,000
      Joe Thomas Browns $10,200,000

      Left Guards 0

      Centers 3
      Rodney HudsonRaiders $13,000,000
      Ryan Kalil Panthers $11,795,000
      Nick Mangold Jets $10,407,100

      Right Guards 0

      Right Tackles 0

      Edge Rushers 12 [3-4 end (3), 4-3 end (6), 3-4 OLB (3) 4-3 OLB (0)]
      Calais Campbell Cardinals $14,750,000
      JJ Watt Texans $13,969,000
      Charles Johnson Panthers $20,020,000
      Mario Williams Bills $19,400,000
      Robert Quinn Rams $16,744,110
      Jason Pierre Paul Giants $14,813,000
      Chris Long Rams $12,500,000
      Jared Allen Bears $12,500,000
      Cameron Wake Dolphins $10,450,000
      Justin Houston Chiefs $13,195,000
      Clay Matthews Packers $12,700,000
      Julius Peppers Packers $12,000,000

      Defensive Tackles 0*
      *N. Suh’s cap hit this year is less than $7M; next year it is $28M

      Inside Linebackers 1
      Lawrence Timmons Steelers $12,566,250

      Cornerbacks 8
      Darrelle Revis Jets $16,000,000
      Patrick Peterson Cardinals $14,791,491
      Brandon Carr Cowboys $12,717,000
      Johnathan Joseph Texans $12,250,000
      Richard Sherman Seahawks$12,200,000
      Joe Haden Browns $11,700,000
      Vontae Davis Colts $11,250,000
      Brent Grimes Dolphins $10,000,000

      Safeties 1
      Eric Weddle Chargers $10,100,000

      Kickers/Punters 0

      • ceetown22 - May 5, 2015 at 4:19 PM

        I think you meant 8 figures

        • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 7:26 PM

          Yes. Yes, I did.

      • skinsgame - May 5, 2015 at 5:47 PM

        The fact that T Williams headlines that bunch at left tackle proves only that many players are overcompensated. Not a chance he’s a top 5 left tackle. Not long ago the center position would have been at zero and running backs would have been one of the longest lists. Pretending guards are as valued as punters doesn’t make it so.

        • ajbus1 - May 5, 2015 at 6:03 PM

          Who’s your top 5 LTs?

        • captblood3000 - May 5, 2015 at 7:22 PM

          Actually, Skins, it proves Ben’s point, not yours. Some positions are in high demand, some aren’t. The positions in high demand require better skills than the ones that don’t. That’s the supply part of the equation. It’s a shame that Ben would do that much research for people like you and Caio who think that the Law of Supply and Demand doesn’t apply to football.

        • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 7:24 PM

          Trent Williams is most definitely a top ten left tackle and definitely in the conversation of top 5. He’s a three time pro-bowler and even though the pro-bowl is undoubtedly a popularity contest, he made if from a loser franchise. When your 3-13 and 4-12 and still getting voted first team that says you’re probably top five at your position. He is also in his final year of his pre-CBA rookie contract (6-years; $60M). So he got paid what number four overall picks used to get before sense was instituted. (Sense being that a rookie is no longer entering the league the highest paid at his position.)

          The center position is a bit of an outlier. The Raiders need to pay more cash in order to reach the league minimum. So Rodney Harrison has a 2015 only roster bonus of $6.9M. Next year his cap hit goes down from $13M to $7.7M. Ryan Kalil’s and Nick Manigold’s cap hits also decrease next year. Kalil’s is the only one that will stay in eight figures but he will then be joined by the Pouncey brothers.

          Lastly, insisting that guards are as valuable as left tackles or even centers let alone edge rushers, #1 wide receivers, and shut-down corners is patently false.

        • skinsgame - May 5, 2015 at 11:48 PM

          Pro bowls. Please. He got at least one of those because the other tackles were injured or in the Super Bowl. Pro Bowl accolades can be misleading. He’s a good tackle. He is not a dominant tackle and there are times when he is not even a good tackle. Hopefully Callahan gets him dialed in.

        • skinsgame - May 6, 2015 at 12:19 AM

          …and you’re right, Captblood. It is a shame he did that research. Not a single player on that left tackle list has a Super Bowl ring and in fact, their salaries likely are an impediment to the teams they play for. Left tackle is either overvalued or the rest of the offensive line is undervalued, however you want to say it. That list of expenses is further proof that only the really good teams have figured that out.

          The line is a unit and no one part of that unit is more important than the other. The list he posted proves only that if you have a highly paid left tackle, your probably a lousy team.

        • captblood3000 - May 6, 2015 at 8:43 AM

          Skins, you are immune to logic.

        • skinsgame - May 6, 2015 at 7:37 PM

          Show me where I’m wrong.

        • captblood3000 - May 7, 2015 at 12:22 AM

          Let me see:

          “many players are overcompensated.” Most of those salaries Ben gave were set by supply and demand. The offensive linemen who can play left tackle are in short supply and great demand. You can contend that left tackles in general and Trent Williams in particular are overpaid relative to the other offensive line positions. That is as good an opinion as any other. But the Law of Supply and Demand dictates that left tackles will be paid a premium. I suspect that Joe Theismann would agree with me, though it was Don Warren that Lawrence Taylor beat on October 18, 1985.

          “The line is a unit and no one part of that unit is more important than the other. ” Yes, everyone’s Coach says that. But it isn’t true, and anyone who’s had to choose a team in a pickup game knows it. The guy who can consistently block the Lawrence Taylors of the NFL, who does the most difficult job and does it well, is the most important part of the unit. You pick him first and pay him more. The other guys get paid accordingly less.

          “Pretending guards are as valued as punters doesn’t make it so.” This is a straw man. Ben doesn’t believe this. I don’t either. But understand, supply and demand rule. To be a good punter, you really only need one skill. Two, if you count tackling. So there’s a lot of supply. And demand is limited to 32 punters. No one carries backup punters on their roster. If your starting punter gets injured, you start calling other punters. So punters get paid less than guards and rarely get drafted. Guards play at least 3 times as many snaps as punters. So guards are more valued than punters.

          “That list of expenses is further proof that only the really good teams have figured that out.” Further proof? Figured out? The consistently good teams don’t get high enough draft picks to select top tackles. They make do in other ways with a “less expensive left tackle”. Eugene Monroe (Ravens’ left tackle) makes only $7.7M. Guard Marshall Yanda makes $8.45M, center Jeremy Zuttah, $3.7M. The other linemen make journeymen’s wages. The difference between Williams and Monroe (about $6M) may get you another free agent starter, but not at a premium position. In this case, it helps them pay Yanda.

          Until recently, the Giants had this same problem. This year the Giants took their future left tackle in Ereck Flowers. The Giants regularly draft linemen, but rarely have they been in position to take a left tackle. If Flowers works out there, the Giants will shuffle their line and get better at 4 of 5 offensive line positions.

          Finally, you are wrong to defend Caio. In his original comment, Caio doesn’t consider that offensive linemen need to be able to pass protect as well as run block. BTW, at his Monday presser, McCloughan was asked about Scherff’s issues with pass protection. McCloughan said, basically, that this was something for Scherff to work with Coach Callahan. As opposed to most of Scherff’s fans on this blog, who would answer “What issues?”.

        • skinsgame - May 7, 2015 at 1:31 AM

          Look, he’s the one that posted the price tags and included punters and kickers, not me. It seemed to me he was drawing comparisons.

          I am not arguing the “greatness” of Scherff, though I’m not sure you are saying I am. I am simply saying that the left tackle position is overrated by comparison. I am not saying that left tackles are unimportant either. But the position simply does not stack up to the lofty status you guys are giving it.

          You wrote, “Further proof? Figured out? The consistently good teams don’t get high enough draft picks to select top tackles. They make do in other ways with a “less expensive left tackle”. ” That is precisely my point. The really good teams don’t have really good or “great” left tackles. The have really good, consistent offensive lines. Across the board.

          Good football players make for winning teams. The Redskins had the 5th pick and admit to trying to trade down. When that wasn’t an option, they took what appears to be a damn good football player and who they say was the BPA. What were they supposed to do, forfeit the pick? Pick someone else they felt was inferior?

          The Ravens win a Super Bowl a couple years ago with Bryant McKinnie. Who? Exactly. The Giants won 2 with Diehl. Last year the Patriots started Nate Solder. The Steelers have had 3 different below-average tackles for their last 3 Super Bowl campaigns. There is plenty of evidence that serviceable left tackles are all that is needed and the myth of the left tackle is waning.

      • ajbus1 - May 5, 2015 at 6:02 PM

        Supply and Demand is the biggest factor with how positions are valued.

  14. redskinscaio - May 5, 2015 at 9:49 AM

    “If he can do nothing besides break an occasional punt return for a long gain he will be worth the fourth-round pick.”

    I don’t want to make any assumptions here, but you ranked Crowder higher than Sherff. And then you wrote what I pasted above.

    Rich, are you suggesting that a guy who can “break an occasional punt return for a long gain” makes him more valuable than the best offensive linemen in the 2015 draft? Do you think that the guard and right tackle positions are inferior in value to a wide receiver that can return punts? I’m confused. Or was the point of the article to grade the individual rounds separately, and then combine the final grades of each round in order? I don’t get it.

    Well I shouldn’t be surprised that your “gut feeling” was that half the picks were better than Sherff. I am part of the small minority that believes that the offensive line is the most important unit of the football team.

    The Redskins went out and got the best offensive lineman in the draft. The guy also filled a position of need. I rank Sherff number 1. In fact, out of the whole draft, I rank Sherff number 2 after Winston. But, of course I won’t know for sure until a few seasons down the road…. There’s a new Sherff in town boys!

    • Rich Tandler - May 5, 2015 at 9:59 AM

      No. I am saying I like the draft pick better, all things considered. Nowhere do I say that Crowder will be more valuable or have a better career than Scherff or any other player drafted.

      • ceetown22 - May 5, 2015 at 4:20 PM

        I don’t think anyone understands your article.

        • ajbus1 - May 5, 2015 at 6:04 PM

          It’s not that hard to understand if people would just read closely and not jump to conclusions. Plus, everybody just loves to hate.

        • captblood3000 - May 6, 2015 at 8:47 AM

          I would not extrapolate anything from Caio.

      • redskinscaio - May 6, 2015 at 11:41 AM

        “Here is my ranking of the Redskins’ 10 draft picks as determined by factors such as needs, value, opportunity cost, how much the player will help the team in 2015 and beyond, and other such criteria. It is highly non-scientific, just my gut feeling before any of them puts on a Redskins helmet.” – Rich

        Rich, the second factor you listed is value. You placed Crowder ahead of Sherff, so that means that according to the article, you value him higher than Sherff. Then you state that you also based your list on how much the player will help the team in 2015 and beyond, and you placed Crowder ahead of Sherff. So it’s only logical for someone reading your article, that you believe that Crowder is more valuable and will have a better career than Sherff. Hey man, I’m not a hater, I’m just telling you how I see things. What you mean and what you write can be two different things.


        • ceetown22 - May 9, 2015 at 11:59 PM

          First off, when he says VALUE, I take it as the value of the pick, no? this isn’t Madden, Rich doesn’t know said player is a 93 OVR rating. He’s using the criteria mentioned and weighing the pros and cons.

          Here are the columns (and some clarity)

          NEED (at such position)
          VALUE (of the pick vs the location)
          OPPORTUNITY COST (think arrests and drug use but also sack master)
          HELP 2015 (how much he will be able to contribute in 2015 and how much potential going forward)
          OTHER CRITERIA (high motor, fast 40, dad ex player)

          Think of it like the poker chips analogy but the chips are allocated according to value in each category

          Now let’s pretend I know what I’m talking about…

          Lets say Schreff ranks way higher at NEED but much lower at VALUE but higher in OPP COST and HELP 2015; Maybe Crowder ranks high at NEED and way higher at VALUE but lower in HELP and somehow his chips add up to more. It doesn’t mean Crowder will be a HOF’er and Schreff a bust and out of the league in 4 years. His rank is according to the value of the pick combined with a bunch of intangibles and unmeasurables.

          Hail Skins!

  15. kenlinkins - May 5, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    Rich, Could Matt Jones replace both C. Thompson and D. Young? This would allow the Redskins to use the roster spot somewhere else. Thompson has yet to show much and Young’s rushing avg. has dropped like a stone over the pass 3 years. Coach Gruden’s system does not use a FB much and on passing downs the RB has had to stay in for “Max Protect” which is what Jones does well (and use the old “H” back). If the Redskins want to only carry 3 RB’s on the 53 man roster (and one on the Practice Squad) with no FB, then Thompson might find himself back on the PS and Young could become a FA! (or could Young be the H back?)

  16. renhoekk2 - May 5, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    Every pick is not made with one eye on them becoming a future starter. The team is going to draft guys who the GM knows do not have the skill set to be full-time NFL starters, but can fill-in for a half or a game or two. You need depth but not every backup or even most backups are starter material. I think that is the case with Spaight, Jarret, Mitchell, and Spencer. All will do well to make the roster or even practice squad. People are talking about Spaight as if he is competing for a starting job. My guess is McCloughan drafted him for special teams and to be a back-up. If he turns into something more then great you got a steal.

    • mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      So you really think they gonna just give the perry Riley his job …will compton out played perry Riley last year and will compton can cover Tight ends better…you must forgot the new memo nobody is given a job they gotta work for it specially if scot m. Didnt bring you in from free agency or if he didnt draft you…scot m. will watch from the side and when its time for cuts to be made if you not his type of player you gone or if he feels the team missing a good TE he will go search and pick up the best TE for the team…ppl just gotta chill and let scot m. Do this thing

    • ajbus1 - May 5, 2015 at 6:06 PM

      You’re both right.

  17. redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    For what it is worth: Reiter added 20 pounds from 2013 to 2014 season. Add another 20 pounds to the frame of a 6’3 C Austin Reiter and you have rather huge NFL Center. Mostly likely not a long term option as a full time C but I wonder if he’ll be worked out as a long snapper.

    • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 10:30 AM

      If he isn’t a long snapper by now, no.

    • captblood3000 - May 6, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      Have Reiter add another 20 pounds and he’ll be as big as Tyler Larsen! It’s hard for us to see how Reiter was at the top of the Redskins board.

  18. bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    If your building your team around guards – you’re the Washington Wizards.

  19. obxskins - May 5, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    Rich…with all due respect..I think you missed alittle here boss. If BS holds down ,whatever position {RG/RT} then he will be or deserves to be higher on this list…I do know the future will def make this discussion alot easier! Thanks for always having something for us to talk about! HTTR!!

  20. mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    I think they gonna try to help these rookies learn they play book as much as possible because all of them got good talent to just be playing special teams…I think tevin mitchel will be backing up some CBs but also play special teams….perry Riley job is up for competition hes not gonna be given that starting spot if somebody else goes out there and do his job better then him then he going to be on the bench….remember this tho keenan Robinson came out of college and in his first year when he got his first start he played well he might not have knew all the defense plays but he played fast and hard and thats all you can do…but I wont be surprised if we see new faces in key postions

    • mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:30 AM

      I think the third wide receiver spot will be like this….ryan grant win the starting spot jamison crowder win the backup spot and andre roberts will be third on the depth chart….now we see why Arizona cardinals let him go…he drop the easy passes I clearly seen him drop passes because he was scared to get hit and other time he let them go straight threw his hands

  21. Stephfan - May 5, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    The pick I like the most is Preston, I don’t know what it is about that guy but I feel like he could be a starter for us. I think Brandon was a good pick for us at 5 even though I think we reached a bit. But drafting a offensive linemen in the first round every year doesn’t mean your going to have a dominate line.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - May 5, 2015 at 11:33 AM

      Tell that to the guy who called Preston a Jenkins 2.0 which yeah was outrageous! I agree with you that at least Preston was our best value pick.

      • bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 12:49 PM

        He did. And enlighten me on what Preston has done in B&G. Nothing yet. The point is to temper your expectations about a guy you just heard about. We were saying the same things in 2011.

        • Stephfan - May 5, 2015 at 1:23 PM

          I don’t think Preston is Jenkins 2.0, he looked far better than Jenkins coming out if college. But Preston will be used I think more as a linebacker which I think his strength and size will be good. I also read he ran an ok 40 time. He isn’t the fastest but he can move

    • mr.moneylover - May 5, 2015 at 11:37 AM

      They got good options thats what makes ppl exciting…I herd morgan moses is also a option at playing right gaurd if arie kouandjio not ready but they also like arie kouandjio because hes a detail right guard witch means he pay attention to his detail and pickup things quick

    • brucefan1 - May 5, 2015 at 11:53 AM

      I’m intrigued by Preston Smith too; a GIANT guy lining up at OLB, but who can also play up and down the D-line! They’ll never know WHERE to find him!

      But he doesn’t seem to be those SPEED rusher who have wreaked havoc in the NFL the past several years. Guys like Freeney, Dumerville, Mathis & Abraham come to mind; not too big — but quicker than a waterbug! (THOSE were the kinda guys I used hate to having to block. And THAT’S sayin’ nuthin’!). And while there’s more than one way to skin a cat, this modus operandi seemed to be what the Skins were coveting, pre-draft. (IF the reports were reliable)

      But I gotta assume that Smith is a power-rusher at this point in time, no? Now, wasn’t that one of the knocks we frequently heard against Orakpo; strictly a bull-rusher, without great quickness and with very few moves? Hmm…

      But then I’m sure Scot & Co. know all of this much better than I do, and he’s staking the Skins’ future (and his rep) on the belief that he can get production from Smith that is something akin to that of the guys he passed up.

      Here’s hoping.

  22. alextwrs - May 5, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    Rich: do we have a timetable on M. Moses health/return to action? Its a nasty injury to come back from with full strength and more importantly for him, mobility.

    • captblood3000 - May 5, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      The Redskins web site had an article on Moses’ status about 2 weeks ago. Check it out. He’s doing as well as can expected.

      • alextwrs - May 6, 2015 at 11:55 AM

        Thanks Captain

  23. timwillhidetimwillhide - May 5, 2015 at 12:58 PM

    Everyone who is saying is a reach is wrong. He was considered 1 of 10 Blue Chip players in this Draft. Our GM a Proven Talent Evaluator took him there for a couple reasons. 1. He had everything he was looking for in a guy at that spot. 2. There were no trade offers that he could have taken that would ensure we would still get him. 3. The Giants were projected to get him only 5 spots bellow us. I don’t see picking a guy only 4 spots higher than another team as a reach. 4. This Guy fills one our Biggest needs. Whether he plays Guard or Right Tackle we have Huge Holes at Both.

    Everyone refers to Callahan as a Great Oline Coach because of the Jets and Cowboys Olines. Those Teams also had 3 first found Olinemen on those teams too. Protecting your Best asset and moving the Chains is something this team Desperately needed. ……………….Well Worth The Pick

  24. bangkokben - May 5, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    What is with all the La’el Collins love by ‘skin fans? We drafted both our tackles in the top five – unprecedented and you want more tackles? Wasn’t Morgan Moses a 1st round grade? (For what that’s worth.) Do these ‘skin fans even know how many tackles are on a roster, how many dress on game day, and how get on the field at the same time??!! Cowboy envy is the WORST trait of ‘skins fans. It is sickening. If you think they’re all that, root for them. They have their first winning season and first playoff appearance in five years and all of sudden there’s a bunch of chicken littles masquerading as Redskin fans.

  25. Mike - May 5, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    Re: Matt Jones

    I feel they see him as an elite pass protector and “power” 3rd down back that they can plug in now as opposed to trying to teach some scat back how to eventually pass block.

    He a mismatch on passing downs.

    At 6’2 231 with supposedly good hands he’s bigger than most of our receivers and is a huge target and potential beast catching passes of the backfield. Especially when teams try putting 5 or more DBs on the field.

    In the end, it’s all about his pass blocking skills.

    Protecting our QB was clearly our biggest problem last year and Jones could end up being as significant of a part of that solution as Scherff does.

    • skinsgame - May 6, 2015 at 7:29 AM

      Protecting our QB was not “clearly our biggest problem last year.” The Redskins finished in the middle of the pack where that was concerned. They were awful in many other areas.

  26. timwillhidetimwillhide - May 5, 2015 at 1:14 PM

    I feel the later Round Picks fall mostly on the Scouts. There is no way the Gm has enough time to evaluate more than the top couple rounds of picks. Especially when our GM had to also Evaluate our team and needs as well in the short amount of time from when he was hired till the Draft. I think when the season starts when he has more time he will go back and look at everything the Scouts did and then make changes off of that.

    • brucefan1 - May 5, 2015 at 2:08 PM

      Seems like a guy’s heart, his willingness to go the extra mile and really get after it, his love of being a football player and his need to compete were things that weighed heavily in Scot’s evals of these draftees.

      I also heard (in a Kirk Ferentz interview today) that Scot loves multi-sports athletes — which he sees as even further evidence of their love of competition. And beyond even competeing and loving to WIN, he reportedly was looking for guys that more so HATED to lose!

      These are all pretty heavy intangibles that must be so hard for many to perceive as genuine (cuz who doesn’t pay lip service to having these traits?) not to mention measure. But if McC has a found a bunch of players, thru both the draft and free agency, who can bring these attributes to the Redskins, the team just may start to develop an attitude that has been somewhat elusive during the last 20 years.

  27. Skulb - May 5, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    Every draft is a risk isn`t it? From the figures I can find there`s an average 75% chance that a first round pick will be a starter, 55% for a second rounder. Nothing seems to benefit more from hindsight than evaluating drafts. Williams could have broken his knee in training camp and been a bust and Scherff could become a HoFer. And it could be the other way round. I just don`t see how anyone can even pretend to tell yet. Archives

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