The Washington Redskins haven’t gotten a lot of praise for their 2014 NFL Draft class, but it’s one of the more underrated classes in the NFL. The value of their first and third picks weren’t tremendous, but the rest were. Here’s a closer look.
Trent Murphy (DE/OLB, Stanford) wasn’t the best value at 47 overall, largely because it’s about a round earlier than most were expecting he’d land. Even still, it’s not that much of a reach, certainly not compared to the reach their divisional rivals from PA pulled off in round one. Murphy is a productive pass rusher with a ton of experience playing throughout an odd front, and will help Washington at DE and at OLB. No doubt Murphy was brought in as insurance in case Brian Orakpo departs via free agency after this season, though he isn’t anywhere near the same level as a pass rusher.
Morgan Moses (OT, Virginia) falling to the third round was a shock as most had pegged him in the second half of round one. He’s a heck of an athlete at 6-foot 6, 315-pounds, and has the ability to play either left or right side depending on need/injuries. He’ll form a tremendous bookend tackle set with LT Trent Williams to help protect QB Bob Griffin moving forward. One of the best picks in the draft in my humble opinion.
The ‘Skins other third round pick, Spencer Long (G, Nebraska) was the other poor value selection in this class, though again, it wasn’t a drastic reach. Long has tremendous size for an interior player and is strong in the run game. He’s a high character guy with a good football IQ and decent mobility in the trenches. His overall ceiling isn’t that high but his floor isn’t that low either.
I was a big fan of the Bashaud Breeland (CB, Clemson) pick at 102 overall, not only because it was a solid value but a good fit schematically. He’s not the fastest straight-line guy but has the fluid hips to turn and run and is very strong in press coverage, something the Redskins figure to do more of this season. I could see him pushing David Amerson and Tracy Porter for playing time right off the bat.
Ryan Grant (WR, Tulane) isn’t a size/speed guy but he does everything well. He’s a very mature route runner who can read coverages find the holes. He reminds me a lot of Marvin Jones, another late round pick who excelled last year in Gruden’s offense.
The last three picks for the Redskins were Lache Seastrunk (RB, Baylor) in the 6th, and Ted Bolser (TE, Indiana) and Zach Hocker (K, Arkansas) in the seventh. I was a fan of each pick. Seastrunk was a steal in the sixth round, and I think he could make Roy Helu and Evan Royster expendable early on. Bolser wasn’t a ‘need’ pick but he offers good upside as an in-line blocker. He actually reminds me somewhat of Logan Paulsen, a guy limited athletically but has a high motor and good football IQ. Hocker also wasn’t a major need pick, considering Kai Forbath was a respectable 18-22 last year, but has a much stronger leg. That will be an interesting camp battle to watch.
Overall, I think it was a solid class that took advantage of the board. It was a very good blend of hitting for both need and value, and added some key depth. Don’t be surprised if two of these guys (Moses and Breeland) wind up starting this year.