The Redskins had a lot of needs in their roster this off-season, especially on defense. Washington drafted eight players and even though they did not have a first round pick this year, they still managed to grab some talent. Here’s a look at who they drafted:
Round 2, Pick 47: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford – The 6’5″ and 250- pound pass rusher led the NCAA in sacks with 15. At first I was surprised at this pick, because Washington already has Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo as their sack artists. Then I realized what need they were addressing here: tackling. The Redskins’ defense had horrible tackling and with London Fletcher gone, this was something that had to be addressed early in the draft. Murphy is a tackling machine. He could basically play anywhere in the front seven. The Redskins will probably use him as a rotational pass rusher or maybe stick him somewhere in the middle with Perry Riley. He could also play on special teams, which is something that Redskins needed as well. When you really think about it, this was a good pick for Washington. I just don’t see where they will put him, but I’m sure Jim Haslett will utilize his abilities.
Round 3, Pick 66: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – I thought this guy would be taken in the first 50 picks of the draft, but he slid all the way to 66 and that was good news for Washington. They desperately needed an offensive tackle and they got one of the best in Moses. He played both right and left offensive tackle in college, but will most definitely play right tackle seeing that Trent Williams is holding down the left side already. At 6’6″ and 314 pounds, this guy is an immovable force that can both pass protect and run block. Moses will probably start on opening day after he gets some good coaching during training camp.
Round 3, Pick 78: Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska – The Redskins are officially stacked on offensive line. This was one of the biggest needs after last season and Jay Gruden has targeted the right guys to move forward. Gruden is known to prefer big lineman that take up space. That’s exactly what Long is. He’s 6’5″ and 320 pounds, but he’s faster than he looks. Like Moses, there’s a possibility he could start in week one, depending on how well he does in training camp. Good pick for the Redskins bulking up the depth on offensive lineman.
Round 4, Pick 102: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson – Secondary was a huge need for the Redskins after getting torched by receivers last year. With the addition of Tracy Porter during free agency, Breeland will probably be the third or fourth corner on the depth chart. The preseason games will definitely test the young kid, who can also play well against the run. This was a pretty good steal for Washington, knowing that this guy can mature into a great defensive back in the NFL.
Round 5, Pick 142: Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane – No this is not the former running back from Green Bay. Grant is a short receiver at 6’0″, but can run good routes and has great hands. It seems as if the Redskins don’t need any more receivers because of the free agency landing of DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. Grant will provide competition during training camp and could move up in the depth chart after the preseason. In the future, he might replace Santana Moss, who is getting up there in age and is losing productivity as he gets older.
Round 6, Pick 186: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor – The top running back coming out of high school, Seastrunk originally went to Oregon, but then transferred to Baylor after sharing the backfield with De’Anthony Thomas. His first name is pronounced “Lake” and he was known for his incredible speed. In college, he ran a 4.34 40-yard dash, but then at the NFL Combine, he only ran a 4.51. He’s probably the most athletic running back of this draft class, having the highest vertical jump (41.5 inches) and longest broad jump (11’2″). He was the semifinalist for the Doak Walker Running Back of the Year Award in college after leading the Big 12 with 107 rushing yards per game. He is also the first player in Baylor history to have back-to-back 1,000 yards rushing. With a backfield already occupied by Alfred Morris (who was also a 6th-round draft pick) Seastrunk will ease into the NFL and produce a few game-changing plays every once in a while.
Round 7, Pick 217: Ted Bolser, TE, Indiana – At first, this pick didn’t make any sense either. The Redskins already have Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen as their tight ends. However, Reed did have concussion issues and Paul has not played up to expectations so far. Bolser will primarily be used for special teams, but he did have six receiving touchdowns last season, which shows that he can be very productive. He was the semifinalist for the John Mackey award which is given to the nation’s best tight end and he set Indiana tight end records with 117 receptions, 1,337 yards and 15 touchdowns. He will be a big target for Robert Griffin III, standing tall at 6’5″ and 257 pounds. The only reason why he fell so far in the draft is because he is not a good blocker. It will be interesting to see how the Redskins will use this guy.
Round 7, Pick 228: Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas – I was upset with the Redskins drafting a kicker. They already have two kickers on the roster, including Kai Forbath who was the team’s starting kicker for the last two years. If you are getting a kicker though, you might as well get this one. Hocker connected on 16 of 19 field-goal attempts with a long of 51 and all 56 extra-point tries. He broke the school record for points by a kicker in 2011 with 118 after making 21 of 27 FGs with a long of 50 and 55 of 57 PATs. He will compete for the job in Washington.
Draft Grade: B-
I thought the Redskins did address some needs, but not all of them. I personally believed that they should have drafted a safety. They had many chances too, passing up on guys like Terrence Brooks from Florida State, Brock Vereen from Minnesota and they had multiple chances to grab Ahmad Dixon from Baylor. I guess with the signing of Ryan Clark and the resigning of Tanard Jackson and Brandon Merriweather, Washington felt like they were pretty strong at that position. I also thought that the drafting of Murphy was good, but not great and the drafting of wide receiver Ryan Grant was unnecessary and could have been used to draft a defensive back. Maybe next year, Gruden will have a much better draft with that 1st round pick in his pocket. Hopefully the Redskins will make good use of these players and make them useful for the Washington franchise.