nfldraft-1

Hog Heaven’s first thoughts on round one Draft selections by NFC East and NFC West rivals

Dallas Cowboys: OL Zach Martin (Notre Dame)

Jerry Jones couldn’t sell that snow job of picking Johnny Manziel. Here’s why. Nobody believed him, either because nobody believed he would draft a sure fire QB controversy in Manziel while locked into a long-term deal with Tony Romo, or nobody believed Manziel was worth the 16th pick. That “breaking news” stuff was Jerry’s attempt to lure some team, Cleveland perhaps, to move up to their slot in exchange for more picks.

Cleveland did move up from No. 26 to No. 22 and got their man. (The Redskins will see Manziel in preseason.) The Cowboys would still have picked Martin or someone like him in a lower slot. Optimum Scouting ranked Martin fourth best among linemen. Martin might have been a reach, but then, GMs don’t see things the way fans do. Martin is called a nasty player, in a good way, with good hand placement. He may be a better guard than tackle and that’s why this selection may be a reach.

The Cowboys invested its first-round pick on a lineman for the second straight year. Last year, they selected C Travis Frederick (Wisconsin).

New York Giants: WR Odell Beckham (LSU)

Twenty-four hours before the Draft, we heard stories that the Giants would not pass on Johnny Football if he were available at No. 12. Jerry Reese was playing the same game as Jerry Jones, trying to snooker another team into trading up for their slot for fear of losing a player the Giants didn’t really want. Your “stuff” has to be believable if you are playing that game. The Manziel rumor would have been credible only if you believed Eli Manning is more hurt than the Giants are letting on. I don’t think he is.

What the giants actually did was snatch the best wide receiver in the Draft in Odell Beckham, a top 10 pick on most Draft boards. He is what Hog Heaven likes to see in first round picks – a three-year starter. He has elite speed, big hands and demonstrated skills in yards after the catch. In other words, everything we don’t want to see in Beast rivals.

Philadelphia Eagles: DE Marcus Smith (Louisville)

The Eagles swapped places with the Browns and did not immediately replace DeSean Jackson with a first round player. Jackson was not a first round pick either. This Draft is supposed to be a rich in receiver talent and Chip Kelly shows much less urgency about the position and Jackson’s role in it than everyone else. But hey, I’m not complaining.

To hear Kelly tell it, Smith was his man all along. I don’t know what that means because I’m not sure if Kelly was lucky or good last season. Kelly did well with Andy Reid’s talent while the Giants and Redskins imploded. Now he is stocking the team with guys who are right for his system. Smith is the third DE taken in this Draft. He played the position for two years and was a linebacker as a soph. He is raw according to scouting reports.

Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III (Baylor)

Oh yes, the Redskins did have a 2014 Draft pick. We spent it three years ago on RGIII. RG is far from the bust the Twitterverse has him to be. Slamming the Redskins for … everything … seems to be a “thing” now.

Robert has five things he did not have last year:

  1. full recovery of his bionic knee;
  2. a full off-season;
  3. a new coaching staff;
  4. a genuine deep threat in DeSean Jackson and
  5. no excuse for failure.

I’m projecting a good year for Washington because I’m projecting a good year for RG. I’m not guaranteeing the division, but the ‘Skins will challenge for it, yes, even with that defense. It was good enough to take the Beast in 2012 because RG was and is the straw that stirs the pot.

Arizona Cardinals: S Deone Bucannon (Washington State)

For fans who see the Draft for filling needs, Bucannon is a safety they might have wanted for the Redskins’ 34th pick. His scouting report reminds me of what we saw in LaRon Landry. He is a punishing tackler, but needs work to cover as an NFL safety. That level of development is in line with his selection as the 27th overall pick. The Cardinals have a credible defense and won’t need Bucannon to reach his potential until next year. The Redskins visit the Cardinals October 12 when Bucannon will still be on a learning curve.

Saint Louis Rams: #2 OL Greg Robinson (Auburn), #13 DT Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh)

Jeff Fisher made a pair of inside-out moves in selecting Robinson, the consensus best O-lineman in the Draft, and Donald, Optimum Scouting’s top rated defensive tackle. Both players flash the dominance you expect to see in a top end first rounder.

The Redskins should see both players when they meet the Rams in December. By then, both players will have a grasp of the playbook and the Redskins will have to game plan them.

The Rams turned the last installment of the RGIII trade into a premier offensive lineman the Redskins would love to have. Few fans would give up Griffin to get Robinson, though. There is more to it than that, however. The Rams parlayed the 2012 swap and three picks received from Washington into eight players through moves reminiscent of Jimmy Johnson’s Herschel Walker trade. Robinson was the final piece.

San Francisco 49ers: S Jimmie Ward (No. Illinois)

This one felt like a sneak attack. Hog Heaven expected the ‘Niners to go for a receiver, leaving the Redskins positioned to pick Ward if they were selecting for need over best available talent. The 49ers need safety help, too. I didn’t think it was as much as the Redskins do.

Optimum Scouting rated Ward the No. 2 safety in this Draft. The Redskins could look at Deion Bailey if they want safety help. They haven’t shown the angst about the position that fans have. If the team goes by best available talent, they are more likely to look at players in other positions.

Seattle Seahawks: Traded out of the first round

Minnesota acquired Seattle’s 32nd overall pick and used it to select QB Teddy Bridgewater. Seattle received Minnesota’s second round pick, No. 40 overall, and its fourth round pick, No. 108 overall. By the Draft Value Chart, the Vikings swapped two picks worth 578 points for Seattle’s one pick worth 590 points. Seems like a fair trade.

The Seahawks are the one team outside the division that the Redskins most want to play. Mike Shanahan mismanaged that playoff game in January 2013 and it sticks in everyone’s craw. Redemption is coming (maybe) this October.

Best still available

If the Redskins are selecting by best talent regardless of position, here are a few prospects they might be consider this evening.

Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Jeremiah Atttaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

London Fletcher will announce the Redskins selection. He has become queasy about the team name. Will he say, “The Washington REDSKINS select…?” Yes, because he still counts as $2 million against the Redskins salary cap.

Optimum Scouting’s 2014 NFL Draft Guide is available for download for $3.99. To order, click HERE.

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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