Welcome back Redskins Nation. I hope you enjoyed the first edition about the new coaches and now we get into the players edition. As Bruce Allen said at the end of last season " The team will have between 20 an 25 new players on the roster for the 2014 season in order for the Redskins to be better". With that being said, I'm gonna breakdown all these new editions down by rookies and free agents. This edition will be dedicated the rookies which were brought in to help bring youth and talent to a team that was lacking both. This will be the first time General Manager Bruce Allen has 100% control over teams draft picks and in my opinion he did a pretty decent job. Every GM has head scratcher draft moment and Bruce Allen had one for his first draft but I'll get into that later. Overall he drafted players of need and with a special teams background to help improve the weakest unit of the team. We all know that you truly can't judge a draft until three years after to see how the players develop and adapt to the advanced speed of the game. After saying that, I'm gonna give the new GM a B at first glance. Bruce Allen was able to turn six draft picks into eight and was still able to stick to his draft board and still got the players he wanted in the process. Well lets get to know these rookies:
|Trent Murphy led the nation in sacks and|
and the PAC 12 in tackles for loss in 2013
With their first pick in the second round the OLB from Stanford Trent Murphy was Washington's first selection. Some so called expert analyst say that he was a reach at pick 47 because his lack of explosiveness getting to the quarterback. I can understand their point but when you lead the nation in sacks you have to be doing something right. He has ideal size at 6 foot 6 inches and 261 pounds, hands the size of baseball mits and knows how to use them. Trent also loves to play special teams and wants to excel at every part of his game. Special teams included We all know in the NFL it's not how you start it's how you finish. With his high football I.Q and high motor I believe Trent will help get pressure on the QB. That will help this rebuilt secondary by making the QB get rid of the ball faster and sometimes that leads to mistakes and bad reads which most times results in turnovers.The coaches were trilled with Trent's progress during OTA's and mini camp saying "If he made a mistake one time he would get corrected and not make it again". Trent Murphy can be one of the missing pieces to this defense. Hopefully Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and Jason Hatcher can wreck enough havoc to help solidify this defense that's trying to rebuild after a inconsistent 2013.
|OT Morgan Moses was drafted in the third round to|
bring competition to the RT position.
As part of the trade with the division rival Cowboys the Redskins received an extra third round pick. With pick number 66 they drafted 6 foot 6 inch 325 pound OT Morgan Moses from the University of Virginia. His height sometimes is a detriment because of him not bending his knees, lunging forward and also sometimes taking plays off. He was able to make up for those flaws with his arm length and athleticism in college but in the NFL it will get him in trouble very quickly. It was noticeable during OTA's and mini camp but he did show improvement in the mini camp. During his impressive four year career in college, he started at left tackle and right tackle and missed only two games due to injury and in one of those games he still came in to play. In 2013 while playing LT he only yielded two sacks in 509 pass attempts. He was put up against three of the top four pass rushers during the season when he faced them and shut all of them out. You may have heard of them if you follow college football. Vic Beasley, Jeremiah Attaochu and Kyle Van Noy. He has the talent and skill but just has to perfect his craft and get consistent at staying low. With Tyler Polumbus under contract for one more year this allows Moses to not be thrown into the fire and have to learn on the job but to be able to develop and become more consistent. With Moses slipping to the third round he feels he has a lot to prove to himself and the league. We will see how much it motivates him to be better and possibly take his place on the offensive line at some point this season.
|After missing most of the 2013 season due to|
injury OG Spencer Long is ready to push for a starting job.
|Bashaun Breeland is a long, rangy, feisty defender who doesn't|
mind getting physical in coverage and in run support.
|Ryan Grant isn't explosive or have ideal size but he is a precise|
route runner and plays with a chip on his shoulder but might be
a practice squad player.
In the fifth round the Redskins made an unexpected draft choice of Ryan Grant a wide receiver out of Tulane. With the additions of DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts and the NFL League Leader in receptions Pierre Garcon this pick was a little of a head scratcher to me. Grant isn't a speedster or an elusive guy but what he lacks in explosiveness he makes up for with precise route running and playing with a determination to prove himself each and every play. One of his knocks is his lack of size, strength and physicality.To me that's what makes him a target for the practice squad. It will give him a chance to learn, develop and gain strength which he will need to do being a slot wide receiver. Grant has the ability to play inside or outside which is becoming a theme with this core of WRs and that ability will give the opposing defenses fits trying to match up.While at Tulane he had back to back 75+ receptions and 1000 yard receiving seasons. His career was shorten by a hernia surgery that ended his 2011 season early but came back with a vengeance with those back to back seasons and earned First Team All-CUSA honors. He has superb hands and catches almost anything thrown his way but he does has to improve his blocking especially in the run game since the Redskins ask their WRs to do a lot of down field blocking.
After another draft day swap of picks with Tennessee the Redskins moved back and gained a additional seventh round pick. With the pick in the sixth round the offense got another dose of game breaking speed and elusiveness when they selected Lache Seastrunk from Baylor. He is a very fast running back with break away speed, stop on a dime cutback move and has the ability to take it to the house from anywhere on the field at any given time. Unfortunately Lache has some developing to do because of the type of offense that Baylor runs. The running back position was not asked to pass protect or catch out of the backfield which is a must to be a third down back in the NFL. He can be the change of pace back that the team was looking for when they drafted Chris Thompson last year but because of durability issues Thompson never got a chance to show what he could do. That's one of the main reasons Seastrunk is here. Another reason is because Coach Gruden pretty much said during OTA's that he likes what Roy Helu Jr brings to the table but it would be good to have a back that has the game breaking speed to change the game and field position at any given time. One other issue with this speedy running back is sometimes he goes east and west too much trying to avoid would be tacklers instead of taking whats there and sometimes it cost him yards. He ended up at Baylor after transferring from Oregon and had to redshirt a year but in the two seasons after that setback he had a impressive 7.6 yards per carry for a career at Baylor. Another impressive stat from his college is that five of the 19 career touchdowns he has went for at least 68 yards. If this young talented running back wants to get on the field with the offense he will have to prove he can catch the ball out of the backfield, pick up blitzes and pass protect when needed. Lache has a inside track on a roster spot by trying out as a punt returner and kick returner on special teams. Just a side note but Lache Seatrunk is part Native American and he doesn't have a issue with the name of the team that drafted him when asked. It's a lot of competition for those return spots and he will definitely have to impress the coaches and show that he can step his game up to the NFL level in the pass protection and receiving game.
|Ted Bolser is a big target at 6-6 252 pounds |
but has a lotto learn in the blocking game.
|Zach Hocker is a kickoff specialist with a huge|
leg but the question is can his FG accuracy win
him the job as a rookie.
With the eighth and final draft pick K Zach Hocker out of Indiana University was the final selection in 2014 for the Redskins. Hocker has an impressive touchback percentage of around 60+ % with a average of 66.6 yards per kick. That alone would have Kai Forbath packing his bags but it's not only about kickoffs it's about field goal accuracy most importantly. Now we all know Kai doesn't have the strongest kickoff leg but he has been consistent and accurate at field goals since he signed with the team. The problem is starting opposing field position. With Kai's inability to consistently kick touchbacks the Redskins have been in the bottom third in opposing field position both of Kai's seasons here and that effects the offense and defense. There has been talk of keeping two kickers on the roster but I can't see that happening. If Zach can consistently get touchbacks and can hit a few 50 yarders in preseason games I believe he will unseat Forbath and make the starting roster. With the terrible special teams play last season it's a strong possibility. That's why there has been such an emphasis on special teams this season and hopefully we will see a much improved unit in 2014.
Redskins Nation stayed tuned for the free agent edition coming soon. Just one week until training camp be sure to keep checking for more Redskins news, information and articles. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and Porter III on Facebook for all Redskins news, info and on other local pro sports. Be sure to give my good friend and editor a follow @IIWIISkinsBlog for extensive breakdowns also. Thanks again for all your support,love.and feedback. As always #HTTR