|(If you blinked, you may have missed this. Great job NFL Network! Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via)|
I will say that I thought the Redskins got some very good talent in this draft, even if we don't see an immediate impact in 2016.
So here are some quick thoughts on the Redskins, the 2016 and 2017 draft and the coverage of this team.
1. Casual Fans Will Not Like The 2016 Draft Choices Compared To The 2015 Class
This is no slight to the players drafted recently, if anything it shows how talent depleted the team was before Scot came on as team GM. In 2015, with the Redskins drafting so high, Brandon Scherff needed to be a day 1 starter. In fact, the Redskins could have used him to start either at guard or tackle. Preston Smith was called into play sooner than later with the injury to Junior Gallette. Matt Jones was used frequently because Alfred Morris struggled with pass catching in a scheme that requires the RB to be better pass catchers than pass blockers. Jamison Crowder outplayed an injured and ineffective Andre Roberts and helped fill in for an injured Desean Jackson. Jarrett and Dunbar (UDFA) stepped up into significant roles with multiple injuries and suspensions to the starting secondary.
So, more or less, the 2015 class had to be more ready step up than what may be expected of the 2016 class.
I expect that we'll see a lot of Josh Doctson and Su'a Cravens early because they bring skill sets and versatility that currently isn't on the roster. The other players however, barring injury, will have a bit more time to develop.
Also, fans will be upset that the Redskins didn't address the DL and C positions early or at all. This was a deep draft for both positions and fans wanted to see upgrades. The irony to this is that it may be likely that the Redskins didn't see these positions as critical issues and went for the BPA over need. The Redskins did have issues in the secondary and did address those needs by drafting a CB and a hybrid S/OLB.
They did finally address DL depth by drafting Matt Ioannidis in the 5th round, but Ioannidis will likely joining the depth chart as the #2 NT and probably on the 3rd rotation as a DE/DT.
So why do I like this draft class? Simple, the Redskins looked at future needs along with some lingering current ones and tried to address them.
Doctson: Has the height and vertical to be a factor in the Red Zone now. Remember the Redskins O was at it's weakest once it got inside the 20. Will be at worst the #2 WR (probably #1) starting 2017 as it is likely that at least Garcon or Jackson or both won't be back.
Cravens: Can be a factor on special teams now as well as in various sub packages. Could be a future starting SS who will be moved all over the field.
Fuller: May not have high 2016 impact as the 'Skins will be very cautious with his knee. Has the potential to be the starting nickel back in future and have the 'Skins need to rely less on Culliver.
Ioannidis: Provides depth now. Maybe a future starter or significant depth player to replace aging veterans.
Sudefeld: Developmental prospect, has 1-2 year before he has to prove anything.
Daniels: Immediate impact on special teams. May eventually push for playing time and will allow Perry Riley to leave without having to pay a big contract extension.
Marshall: Could help special teams now, may develop to be a player who pushes Matt Jones for starting time.
So as you can tell the Redskins tried to address some issues with Red Zone, nickel/dime passing issues and special teams in this draft. The long term hope is that 2-3 of these players turn into starters with at least a few more being significant contributors in the next couple of years.
2. Scot Likes 2017 Draft Class
GM Scot McCloughan loves to accumulate picks. He told the media he would love to get 12 players out of the 2016 draft. In the end he drafted 7 players this year and traded back multiple times to accumulate 3 more picks for the 2017 draft. So why didn't McCloughan stay with 2016?
Well, without knowing who offered up deals it is hard to tell who were potential trade partners and whether or not anything was offered now vs. future years.
It is rumored (via Rich Tandler) that the Redskins were trying to work a major deal in the 1st round to trade back and accumulate multiple picks, but the trade fell through and the Redskins didn't want to lose Doctson, so they traded back one spot and picked up a 2017 6th round pick from the Texans.
This trend continued with a trade back with the Saints for a 2017 5th rounder and the Jets for a 2017 4th rounder.
After talking to a few people and doing some reading, the early word is that the 2017 class has a higher level of talent coming out than the 2016 class.
McCloughan and his scouts seem to be ahead of the curve when it comes to future years, so it seems that Scot is prepping for a potentially big 2017 while still getting seven players this year.
3. The Experts Like The 2016 Draft
The next few days you'll be hearing and reading about the great drafts of the Jaguars, Bears, Ravens and a few other teams. You probably won't hear too much about the Redskins. That said almost every draftnik and draft expert has given the Redskins high praise. I tend to have seen B- to A grades. Kiper seemed to put it best as he mentioned that McCloughan found talent almost a round higher than they were supposed to go. John Keim also applauded McCloughan to sticking to his philosophy of Best Player Available and sticking to his board.
4. The Redskins Salary Cap Likes The 2016 Draft
Pretty simple, there are some veterans on the team that cost the Redskins some cap room. This draft just gave the team the opportunity to release the pricier players to open up some cap room for 2016 and beyond.
Andre Roberts, Perry Riley, Chris Culliver may be three in particular that the 'Skins could release and save close to $15 million on the cap. That opens up room for Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed extensions. It also helps future years when Chris Baker and Baushad Breeland will need new deals.
5. Redskins Draft Coverage Was Pretty Lousy
Would somebody explain to me what the NFL Network was doing with the 'Skins on Thursday? I generally watch NFLN over ESPN coverage because I like Rich Eisen and if they let Mike Mayock talk, he's a master of X's and O's.
What happened Thursday annoyed the living hell out of me and I'd like to know why. First, when the Redskins came up to pick at #21, the NFL Network went to commercial. Okay, I thought, that happens from time to time and while I'd rather have them talk about my team, I can deal and understand the need for commercials. The Redskins then traded that pick to Houston. So they announce Will Fuller as the pick. Mayock slobbers all over this guy because he announces Notre Dame games and Deion gives him an interview.
Now the Redskins are on the clock......here we go. What is Rich, Mooch, Mike, Charles and the rest going to say about my team???
Nothing. Cut to commercial.
Okay, now I'm starting to get annoyed. The Redskins have picked.
Josh Doctson announced, NFLN shows one dinky clip of him making a great catch. Mayock sounds kind of lukewarm talking about him.
Onto Minnesota pick. No Deion interview, we barely get to see a shot of him holding a jersey.
Minnesota picks....Laquon Treadwell!!!!!!
Huge package of highlight film, announcer booth is rocking. Then we get Treadwell coming out with his daughter for a five minute interview with Deion. How cute.
What the hell just happened? Doctson wasn't interviewed by ESPN so what gives NFL Network?
So I switched to ESPN on Day 2-3. Now it tended that every time the 'Skins came up to pick, The Worldwide Leader also went to commercial. That said, at least Kiper, McShay, Riddick and Wingo talked about my team and the players drafted to my team.
Until I get an actual answer about the NFL Network, I'll be watching ESPN coverage.
So what did you think of the draft and it's coverage of the Redskins. Please let me know in the comments. Also, am I going overboard about Thursday night's coverage by the NFL Network?
I will be doing write ups on the players drafted and the UDFAs so keep reading.
You can follow me on Twitter @IIWIISkinsBlog and check out our never updated Facebook page as well. Thanks for reading and HTTR.