Redskins Draft 2015: Review & Grades

Redskins Draft 2015: Review & Grades

Draft Review & Grades

With the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, it’s time to take a look at how well the Washington Redskins drafted. New Redskins GM Scot McCloughan stated before the draft he wanted to increase his total of picks, which is just what he did. McCloughan traded the Redskins third-rounder (69 overall) to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for their 3-6 round picks. The move gave the Redskins 10 total picks in the draft, which just so happened to be the number McCloughan mentioned in his pre-draft press conference.

When looking to fully grade a draft one must wait at least three years to see how each player pans out on the field. In this case, we’re going to look at how each pick fits a need the team had and grade accordingly.

Heading into the draft, the Redskins had the following needs:

– Right Tackle

– Edge Rusher

– Safety

– Third-Down Runningback

– Guard

– Center

– Special Teams

The emphasis of this draft was put on getting tougher in the trenches, and McC did just that while filling needs as well.

1st Round – The first pick made complete sense even though it left some wondering if the Redskins could have moved back a few spots before selecting Brandon Scherff. In the end, McC was able to get his guy without chancing it, odds are no one wanted to deal once the Redskins were on the clock. I myself was all but sure that Leonard Williams was about to be a Redskin.

Scherff (6-5, 319 lbs) should be a starter on the Redskins offensive line for years to come and fills a HUGE need the franchise has dealt with since Jon Jansen retired. Scherff is a big mauler (he will lay many people on their back-side) who showed surprising agility at the NFL combine a few weeks back. His selection shows the Redskins are heading in a direction towards bigger, stronger offensive lineman, and away from the zone-blocking scheme, Mike Shanahan brought to town in 2010.

Grade (A-) – Would have been A+ had McC been able to maneuver a trade back and still obtain him. Fits number one need the team had.

2nd Round – The Redskins second-round pick could end up being one of the bigger steals of the draft. Preston Smith (6-5, 271 lbs) is a big, bad/nasty (in a good way) and smart DE/LB who had first-round potential. Smith looks to be the perfect fit to line up at linebacker in the Redskins 3-4 defensive set opposite of Ryan Kerrigan. If his transition is smooth, Smith will likely be a starter in DC for years.

Grade (A+) – Filled a need with an All-SEC first-teamer with first-round talent, can’t ask for much more.

The third round brought the trade with Seattle that netted three extra picks….bonus points on the grade of each extra pick.

3rd Round – The Redskins decided to draft running back Matt Jones out of Florida with the third-round pick they received from the Seahawks.

Jones (6-2, 231 lbs) is a big, downhill type-of-runner that has good hands, and is a perfect third-down back. Jones can list pass protection as a strength on his resume’ as well. He’s a big guy who can move the pile in a “north-south” type of way, something the Redskins haven’t had in a while.

Grade (B-) – I like Jones, but I believe that Washington could have drafted another player here and still been able to get him in the fourth.

4th Round – The Redskins decided to draft Jamison Crowder with their first pick in the fourth. Crowder will have an immediate impact on special teams, and even though he doesn’t have size (5-8, 185 lbs) or speed, he does have one nice set of hands. Former GM Bill Polian said that Crowder reminded him of Wes Welker.

Grade (B+) – Filled a need for special teams as Crowder will likely return punts and kicks next year. The future could hold a starting spot for Crowder at slot receiver if Andre Roberts doesn’t pan out.

4th Round – The Redskins used their second pick of the fourth-round to continue to add bigger, tougher and stronger offensive lineman as the team selected Alabama guard Arie Kouandjio.

Kouandjio (6-5, 310 lbs) started 14 games for the Crimson Tide last year and was first-team All-SEC. He’ll add much-needed depth and will push several current players on the roster for playing time.

Grade (A-) – This was an extra pick the Redskins got from the Seahawks, so I’m grading on a slight curve. Kouandjio will likely push for a starter spot in the future which makes this pick a wait-and-see situation. The depth was needed, and the pick means Josh LeRibeus’ days are likely numbered in DC.

5th Round – The Redskins decided to add another linebacker in the fifth round with Martrell Spaight. Spaight (6-0, 236 lbs) started 13 games in 2014 and was named first-team All-SEC while leading his team in tackles (128). He’ll likely be called on to help on special teams at first. Grade (B)

The Redskins traded their second pick in the 5th round (from Seattle) for the New Orleans 6 round pick this year and in 2016. Bonus points.

6th Round – First pick; Safety Kyshoen Jarrett (5-10, 200 lbs), Virginia Tech – Grade (B-)

Second pick; Cornerback Tevin Mitchel (6-0, 190 lbs), Arkansas – Grade (B-)

Third pick; Receiver Evan Spencer (6-2, 208 lbs), Ohio State – Grade (B-)

7th Round – Center Austin Reiter (6-3, 305 lbs),  USF – Grade (C)

Overall Grade

The Redskins started the draft with seven picks and finished with ten players and an extra 6th-rounder in 2016. Scot McCloughan is off to a great start in his new position as Redskins GM. McC accomplished everything he set out to, including adding some well-needed depth that should make a major difference on special teams.

As noted above, bonus points for the trade downs that netted extra picks. This grade deserves even more of a bonus when you consider all needs were filled. Grade (A-) …..Best Washington Redskins draft in years!

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