Skins Happy With NFL Draft

Coming off a very successful 2017 draft, where all ten selections are still with the club, Washington was looking to build on their “youth movement” The Redskins started and ended with eight selections, but managed to wheel and deal and end up with a third round selection (which they were lacking) in exchange for one of their third round picks.

Before we breakdown an overview of the selections, let’s hear what Head Coach Jay Gruden has to say about his weekend in Dallas.

How do experts rate Washington’s take? For the most part, grades range between an A & B. We thought the best evaluation might come from someone who covers the team day in and day out, while also serving on the national stage. ESPN’s John Keim.

Lets take a look at the positions impacted by the draft. Three on offense and three on defense, with a pair at both defensive line and in the secondary.

Running Back

Were the Redskins interested in Kerryon Johnson, or was trading back a ploy? Detroit traded up to the spot just ahead of Washington for the SEC Player of the year, prompting the ‘Skins to trade back 15 spots and acquire the much sought after third round pick. The addition of Derrius Guice turns a position of weakness, into a strength. Since the Redskins do not deploy a full back, Rob Kelley’s job may be safe, if they again keep four running backs.

Wide Receiver

Mr. Irrelevant was anything but, coming off a monster season with 117 catches for more than 1250 yards and 13 touchdowns. The former LSU blue chip recruit also has more catches and touchdowns than any receiver in high school history. Trey Quinn gives Washington an excellent option behind Jamison Crowder and gives the team flexibility when number 80 comes asking for big bucks. Quinn is not your typical slot receiver, with both size 6’0″ 200 and speed- sub 4.5.

Offensive Tackle

With Washington likely needing a swing tackle after this season and preferably a long term option, Geron Christian was a bonus pick, selected with the third rounder acquired from San Francisco in the trade down of 2nd round picks. Quality offensive tackles, especially those that can man the left side are hard to come by and cost major capital, either in the form of draft pick(s) or free agency. Like the Quinn addition, the team is finally able to plan ahead.

Defensive Tackle

By adding Da’Ron Payne and Tim Settle, the Redskins now have major flexibility in what has long been a problem area. The Redskins can rotate the two at nose tackle, or even play Payne outside in a 3-4, or play them together in four man fronts. The possibilities are too numerous to mention. The team opened the season with six defensive lineman on the roster in 2017, even if they roll with seven, Terrell McClain figures to be the (eighth) odd man out.

Secondary

With the trade of Su’a Cravens and retirement of DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins are at least a man short at safety. Enter fourth round pick Troy Apke. From a numbers standpoint, the team is good to go, it’s experience than the former Penn State star is lacking. For now, he will join DeShazor Everrett as a backup safety. Greg Stroman has length and speed, only he’s too thin to last on the outside. So, the former Virginia Tech corner will join a group to compete for the slot corner position.

Immediately following the draft, teams began signing undrafted free agents (UDFA). So far, three players strike me as possibilities to compete for a roster spot.

– G/C Sean Welsh Iowa 6’3″ 295

A natural guard, Welsh also received reps at center with the Hawkeyes. Although smaller by today’s standards, Welsh is plenty strong and is a force in the run game. Sean needs to work on pass protection and isn’t a pulling type, but could compete for serious playing time in a power running game. Iowa offensive lineman are known for being advanced, coached up and Welsh is no exception. Was expected to be an early day 3 selection, if not higher.

– S Quin Blanding Virginia 6’2″ 210

One of the most celebrated recruits in Virginia football history, Blanding was ranked 5th overall in the class of 2014, the top player in the Commonwealth and the number one defensive back. The Virginia Beach native didn’t disappoint Cavaliers fans, earning first team All=ACC honors his final three seasons in Charlottesville. Blanding is as sure a tackler as you will find, tallying a ridiculous 495 over his four seasons. Some expected Quin to come off the board on day two.

– WR Simmie Cobbs Indiana 6’4″ 220

After missing most of the 2016 season with a severe ankle injury, Cobbs bounced back in a big way, earning first team All-B1G honors. Cobbs caught the eye of many in a national televised game to open the season where he had a field day vs. Ohio State All-American corner Denzel Ward. Simmie has long arms, lending to a giant catching radius and strong hands. One scout sees similarities between the former Indiana star and Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Like Blanding, some projected Cobbs as a day two pick.

The Redskins (and the rest of the NFL) aren’t done adding and subtracting players. In about a month, there will be some fairly substantial roster movement, after June 1st to be specific. When teams cut players after June 1st, it effects how they can split any potential salary cap loss. While we don’t know for sure who exactly will become available, or cut by the Skins, there are some interesting veteran free agents who remain available.

Here are a few, based on our needs, they may want to explore. Our short list features four offensive lineman, four edge rushers and four defensive backs Also included are three players who were with the Burgundy and Gold a season ago.

VETERAN FREE AGENTS

-OL Greg Robinson 6’5″ 335 (25) 2nd pick overall in 2014 draft, pick traded away by Redskins.

-OL Luke Joeckel 6’6″ 310 (26) 2nd pick overall in 2013 draft out of Texas A&M.

-OL Alex Boone 6’8″ 310 (30) Jumbo guard began career as an OT out of Ohio State.

-OG Shawn Lauvao 6’3″ 310 (30) Could the Redskins get one more year from LG?

-LB Junior Galette 6’2″ 255 (30) May come home after grass wasn’t greener…

-LB Courtney Upshaw 6’2″ 270 (28) He went to Alabama, so there’s that…

-LB Jelani Jenkins 6’0″ 240 (26) DC boy excels at coverage, a ‘Skins weakness.

-LB Akeem Ayers 6’3″ 250 (28) Power rusher spent last season with the NYG.

-DB Kenny Vacarro 6’0″ 215 (27) Still has skills to be a major contributor.

-DB Eric Reid 6’1″ 215 (26) Kneeling during anthem cost him millions?

-DB Tre Boston 6’1″ 205 (25) Solid safety had five picks lasts season.

-CB Bashaud Breeland 5’11” 195 (26) Why not? if the price is right..