May 1, 2016, 11:15 AM EDT
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 for Scot McCloughan’s second draft with the team. Here’s my assessment, feel free to leave yours in the comments.
Scot McCloughan let the world know that he wanted to increase the number of picks he had to work with. He did not succeed in doing so. The Redskins went into the draft with eight picks and they ended up selecting seven players. He did get three additional picks for 2017 so there is a plus there. But McCloughan said he wanted “more swings” and he didn’t get them.
It appears that they were on the verge of swinging a significant deal in the first round. There really isn’t any other reason why they would take a 2017 6th-round pick from the Texans to move back one spot except to buy some time to try to complete a trade back. But there was no deal and the Redskins had to move on and pick Josh Doctson. I don’t think they’ll regret getting a receiver like Doctson but they didn’t get the additional picks they were looking for.
How the Redskins fared in that deal on the Jimmy Johnson draft trade chart is difficult to judge. By moving from 21st overall to 22nd the Redskins lost 20 points in chart value. Since picks for the next year are generally discounted by a round the 2017 sixth was only worth about 8 points, depending on how the Texans do next year. But since they accomplished what they wanted to and got a player they wanted anyway it’s hard to fret the dozen or so points they lost in the deal.
Let’s look at the other deals on the chart, for what it’s worth. On Saturday, the Redskins traded their fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall) to the New Orleans Saints for New Orleans’ fifth-round pick (No. 152 overall) and a 2017 fifth-round pick. The Redskins’ fourth is worth 54 points and the Saints’ fifth-rounder has a value of 31. That’s a difference of 23 points. That’s about the value of a mid sixth-round pick so again “deducting” a round because it’s a 2017 pick that’s an even swap. So was the Redskins deal with the jets where they sent their fifth-round pick (No. 158 overall) to the New York Jets for a 2017 fourth-round pick.
So the Saturday trades were reasonable deals if McCloughan wasn’t particularly happy the players on his draft board. But he still didn’t achieve his stated goal of adding to his stockpile of picks so the Redskins get a C+ in terms of strategy.
It think that it’s safe to say that just about all of the players they got fit what they are looking for in at some respect.
—They want players to have had to work for what they got. Josh Doctson came to TCU as a walk on and left holding most of the team receiving records. RB Keith Marshall was highly recruited but at Georgia, injuries and players like Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb limited his playing time. But he kept at it, stayed at Georgia, and got himself a chance to keep playing football by being drafted.
—They wanted versatility and Su’a Cravens almost defines that. He’ll play linebacker strong safety, cover backs and tight ends, make tackles and contribute on special teams. Matt Ioannidis could play anywhere along the defensive line, including nose tackle if he can bulk up from his current 299 pounds.
—Toughness was a major theme, with Gruden particularly citing Ioannidis, Cravens and inside linebacker Steven Daniels.
—Other intangibles such as love of football, hustling and not taking plays off, and leadership keep popping up while reviewing the various pre-draft scouting reports on the players the Redskins drafted.
When you can stick to your plan and get seven players who have the traits you’re looking for to one degree or another, that’s a pretty good draft.
If you haven’t figured it out after two drafts I don’t know if you can be helped. Scot McCloughan doesn’t care what you think, what I think, what Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock or any other draft analyst thinks, or what anyone else thinks. He is going to do things his way.
Immediate needs are not on his to-do list when he approaches the draft. Even though most viewed someone who can play nose tackle as their most pressing issue, he didn’t take a defensive lineman in the first round. Or in the second, third, or fourth rounds. The defensive lineman he took in the fifth may or may not play nose tackle.
It’s more important to him to get a good player who fits what they do not just in terms of scheme but also in terms of the culture the organization is trying to build than it is to plug a hole with a player who doesn’t really fit. If you make a habit out of that you will find yourself shopping for another player to fill that hole a couple of years later.
Again, if you haven’t figured this out by now you possibly never will and you’ll probably be perpetually disappointed in the Redskins’ drafts for as long as he’s here.
I could have gone with an A as the overall grade if McCloughan had not stated multiple times that he wanted to get more picks this year. He didn’t get them so I had to go with the B+.
The Redskins seem to be a better team today than they were last year and they could be much better in 2017 if this draft class and the group that McCloughan drafted last year start hitting their strides.
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