…This make no sense.
…This make no sense.
Quarterbacks (2): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
There’s basically no way the Washington Redskins can keep RGIII on the roster, right? The fact is that Jay Gruden has declared this “Kirk’s team”, but it’s hard for it to be “Kirk’s team” when you have RGIII on the bench, especially in the event Cousins struggles.
The Redskins would do well to move RGIII for whatever value they can get, or to eat the loss and cut him, and roll with Cousins and McCoy as their guys. It opens up a roster space, it (hopefully) cuts down on potential drama, and let’s Gruden focus on trying to improve these two QBs without the strain of having to, ya know, actually do his job and come up with an offense that suits all players and not just a couple.
Offensive Line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichensteiger, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Josh LeRibeus, Spencer Long, Arie Koundijo, Tom Compton
How I yearn for the day when I never have to predict Shawn Lauvao being on the 53-man roster…
At any rate, the starting five has been set for most of training camp. Scherff and Moses form a young right side of the line, but should grow together with time. LeRib has looked solid if unspectacular at back-up center and can play boy guard spots in a pinch, Arie’s raw but has flashed. Long makes it onto the roster as he’s developing, those he’s looked uneven. Compton makes it to round out the back-up tackle situation, though that bares watching as the season wears on.
Tight Ends(3): Jordan Reed, Derek Carrier, Je’Ron Hamm
This list seems kind of like a gimme. Reed can be productive when he’s healthy; the problem is actually KEEPING him healthy. Derek Carrier was traded for and presents some upside, and in my brief glimpses is a solid blocker. Hamm makes it because he kind of has to at this point.
Running Backs(5): Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Darrel Young
First: There’s basically no way Alfred Morris gets traded. In spite of maybe not being the most physical talented back, he’s still the most experienced and most productive. On top of that, it’s even less likely that anyone wants to trade for a running back with 876 carries on his legs who’s also not known to be scheme diverse, who’s production has gone down each of the last three years, who’s also on the last year of his deal.
Jones provides a powerful thumper who has a little (okay, a lot) more wiggle than Morris does between the tackles. Thompson has shown out, averaging 5 yards a carry through preseason, while also being a surprisingly good pass blocker. Darrel Young is the NFL’s least appreciated fullback. (Feed. Young. More.) Trey Williams is the odd man out, this year’s Lache Seastrunk, only actually better and not kind of a jerk.
Wide Receivers(6): DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts, Jamieson Crowder, Rashad Ross, Ryan Grant
Here’s the part where you wished you could move on from some of these free agents and put the young guys in. Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts count big against the cap, and if you cut RGIII, you effectively can’t cut either of them. Crowder and Grant easily get spots, but Rashad Ross has reached up and grabbed the brass ring with his play. He might not get tons of touches, but he’s earned his way onto the roster moreso than his most immediate competition Evan Spencer, who may be a solid special teamer, but hasn’t made enough plays there or in the passing game to justify a roster spot just yet.
Defensive Line(6); Stephen Paea, Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean-Francois, Frank Kearse
One wonders if the fascination with keeping Kedric Golston around despite him not being productive will continue this season, but it shouldn’t. There’s clearly more talented players ahead of him, in what is a deep, deep defensive line rotation. Scot McCloughan set out to revamp the d-line and he did; all his free agents acquisitions are obviously going to make it, as will Big Swaggy Chris Baker and Frank Kearse, who provide more than adequate relief for all of them.
Outside Linebackers(5): Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Jackson Jeffcoat, Houston Bates
A lot of debate has been over whether Murphy or Smith should start, but for now, I’d relegate Smith to a third down pass rusher role and let Murphy handle the run game and edge setting duties. Jackson Jeffcoat and Houston Bates both made plays this preseason, providing solid depth, and Bates can have a really good role on special teams.
Inside Linebackers(5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Terrance Plummer, Martrell Spraight
The top three linebackers here shouldn’t shock anyone; Robinson is the future of the defense and Riley has looked solid, with defensive coordinator Joe Barry speaking highly of him. Will Compton was a solid back-up last season and plays teams. Plummer has been a better all-around player than Martrell Spraight, who’s still raw and needs time to be developed.
Cornerbacks(4): DeAngelo Hall, Chris Culliver, Bashuad Breeland, David Amerson
Going thin at corner for the second year in a row is a tricky proposition, but it also seems kind of unavoidable given the rest of the roster layout. D-Hall and Culliver are pencilled in as starters with Breeland and Amerson as back-ups. Maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention to the corner play, but the only corner that regularly stood out to me was Quinton Dunbar, who is nowhere near ready to be called upon in game action.
Safeties(5): Duke Inenacho, Dashon Goldson, Kyshoen Jarrett, Jeron Johnson, Trenton Robinson
Duke, Goldson and Johnson are freebies, even though Johnson didn’t make a preseason impression either way. Trenton Robinson has been a dependable back-up for a couple years now, and Kyshoen Jarrett has certainly flashed enough to justify his role as well.
Specialist(3): Nick Sundberg, Tress Way, Kai Forbath
Nick Sundberg is the toughest, “THE” Tress Way is the best, and Kobra Kai just makes kicks.
That’s where it’s all going, right?
The Washington Redskins are no strangers to dysfunction. Hell, at this point, their dysfunction is so dysfunctional, teams like the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders would be totally within their rights to point out how out wack they are.
I’m not sure the Redskins “win” versus the Detroit Lions could’ve gone any worse.
The fact that such a terrible game can be called a “win” is a crime in and of itself. The Redskins starting offense completely imploded in the face of the first solid defense it will see. Robert Griffin III had his peaks and valleys, but when he was given time, looked over-matched and overwhelmed. In the course of a half, everything wrong with the Redskins seemed to explode all at once, as if some deity on high decided “tonight is the night ALL the things will go wrong for the Redskins.”
That Robert Griffin III gets huge press when he speaks isn’t surprising. This has been the pattern for Griffin since his Heisman year at Baylor; RGIII is big business. He generates intense reactions and big media traffic and is a huge draw in a blogosphere that is competing with an ever increasing number of other sites. When you have to crank out content, an easy attention grabber like Griffin saying anything that be considered controversial is easy money.
1.) Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Head coach Jay Gruden stated straight out that Scherff will start out at right tackle. He projects as a Pro Bowl caliber guard, but the Redskins desperately need right tackle help.
So I get it. The 2015 NFL Draft is over, and that means that coverage of it is about to dry up. There’s a sizable gap in content between the start of the draft and the start of training camp, a hole that voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamps can only fill for so long.
And so you have to ring every last bit of content out of the waning days of the draft as possible because unless Jameis Winston “forgets” to pay for some seafood again there will basically be nothing to talk about until July.
But man are draft grades dumb. I mean dumb for real. Just asinine and totally dumb. And the worst bit is everyone knows it, and yet they keep pumping out columns about it.
It’s impossible to grade a draft 24 hours after it’s happened. No games have happened, training camp is a gleam in most coaches’ eyes, and what every article about draft grades boils down to is “how many big names did they take” and “how many positions that we projected they needed did they feel.” It’s almost entirely based on the author’s personal opinion, which is impossible, because no one analyst plays that much attention to every team in the league.
And so it becomes easier to fall on cliches about teams — popular hearsay and prejudiced ideals — to better accomodate having to fairly judged 32 teams who have mostly drafted players that you don’t know about. If you’re making a draft grade article half an hour after the draft ends, you’re not spending hours looking at tape and searching up combine resorts. You’re making snap judgments based on little information.
In 2011, the Washington Redskins had what appeared to be a great class. They traded down, gaining multiple picks. They filled several needs and looked to be rebuilding a thin team.
4 years later? Two of their 12 draft picks from that season are still on the team. That draft only produced one pro bowler (Ryan Kerrigan). 6 of those 12 players are currently free agents or out of the league. The draft only produced one full time starter on top of that, and again, that was the first round draft pick.
It’s almost comical to look at that draft and compare it to say, Seattle’s much maligned 2012 draft, or even their overlooked 11 class. All they did was fine a bunch of solid contribuitors that eventually produced a Super Bowl, and yet those drafts were mostly treated like jokes.
Every Redskins fan ever laughed at Dallas when they drafted a center in the first round and a projected guard the year after that. They completely revamped their offense and dominated the line of scrimmage with their offensive line and gave Tony Romo 300 years to throw the ball, while the Redskins quarterbacks were sacked a combined 58 times.
Picks that look like slam dunks now will inevitably bust, and picks that look dumb now will inevitably prove people wrong. It’s how it works.
The way to do it is as CSN Washington’s Rich Tandler did it; not assessing each and every individual pick, but examining a team’s overall strategy and the general talent and fit across the team. That way you limit bold proclamations about something being horrible or the best and keep a mostly neutral viewpoint about the overall direction of a draft.
Content over quality analysis is a plague in the NFL; hell, in sports in general. Pieces that seek to generate controversy over inform make everything worse. The only thing worse than that is 2016 Mock Drafts in May 2015.
Follow me @KenClyburn