Story contributed by Scott Hirsch.
In what has become an annual ritual, a lot of Redskins fans are freaking out about the draft. Several picks were indeed head scratchers at first. Will they be guaranteed successes or failures? We don’t know yet. But this type of thinking misses a main point of this draft.
A major point of this draft is to instill a new mentality and culture amongst the Redskins team. The Redskins need to become Jay Gruden’s team with his stamp.
And a word about Gruden — whether he takes home the Lombardi or not — the guy is obviously a football genius. He just gets it.
He deftly identified that the Redskins must become a tough, physical football team. This is a key to unlock the draft.
He also realizes the major impediments to RG3’s success from the Shanahan era, no screen pass game (putting all of that back on RG3 to run himself in situations that should be screens), no size on the offensive line, no super-reliable WR hands with wide catching radius outside of Jordan Reed (Garcon is good to very good).
Now let’s look at the draft picks. Trent Murphy – Gruden realizes the main cause of the horrific secondary was really a poor pass rush. A more distant cause of the defensive (and offensive) problems was the worst Special Teams in the NFL. Now find someone with a bloody nose, Dick Butkus type of mentality, and voilà, you have Trent Murphy (who also will contribute presumably on Special Teams).
Morgan Moses – Right Tackles need long arms and size. He’s got them. He does need to work on the attitude, which brings us to Spencer Long. A fiercely tough lineman with attitude. He can start at Center or Right Guard.
Next Bashaud Breeland – yeah, someone the secondary that likes to tackle! Also playing to the strengths of the coaching staff, Morris has done an outstanding job grooming Amerson. Breeland is basically another long armed CB that’s a bit shorter, slower and less experienced than Amerson.
Ryan Grant – the guy has a great catching radius, great hands, very good route running for his stage. Something the Redskins desperately needed and the lack of which made RG3 look bad.
Lache Seastrunk – a potential DeSean LeCoy. People are trying to make a big deal that RG3 wanted him — well, let’s see, he also wanted Terrance Williams last year — credible enough for me. This guy could be a major change of pace weapon for this offense.
Ted Bolser — a cheaper Paulsen with better hands a fierce Special Teams player. He’ll learn how to block as good as Paulsen within no time (that’s not a Herculean task).
Zach Hocker — again a Special Teams focus. Forbath is great at field goals when healthy but not good enough for kickoffs. Maybe they are thinking Hocker can be the punter and kickoff man. I wouldn’t mess with Forbath on field goals; he’s the Redskin that will score the most points next year.
For UFDAs, keep your eye on tall WR Cody Hoffman and huge DL Robert Thomas (by half season before his broken leg had 3.5 sacks – that blows away Redskins Nose Tackle production). Both have a great shot to make at least the Practice Squad if not more.