There was no ‘wow factor’ to new Redskins GM Scot McCloughan’s first draft pick when he selected OT Brandon Scherff with the 5th overall pick. There was plenty of ‘wow’ coming from one DC franchise Thursday night – that was the Caps (:01.3 left WOW!). The Skins may not have wowed, but made what appears to be a sound football decision in solidifying the offensive line.
A couple of weeks ago former NFL GM and Hall of Fame class of 2015 Bill Polian weighed in on what to expect from a McCloughan draft via ESPN 980 Redskin Insider John Keim of ESPN.COM. “The foundation for San Francisco was laid when he was there, and it was sound and solid,” Polian said in a conference call. “It was meat and potatoes. Not a lot of flash and dash. Just good, solid football players who block and tackle and ran and were tough. You have to give him high marks for that.”
No flash and dash, just the best offensive lineman in the draft. Scherff played left tackle at Iowa and played it very well. That position with the Redskins is anchored by a Pro Bowler in Trent Williams. Scherff will be moving to right tackle, but some scouts have said he could project to be a really good guard as well. However, head coach Jay Gruden made it clear where he sees Scherff fitting in.
“That’s the exciting thing about Brandon. He’s very versatile. Heck, he could probably play center if he wanted to. But I think Day 1; we start him out at right tackle. Obviously we have a Pro Bowl left tackle. We’ll start him out at right tackle, see how he does and I’m sure he’ll pick it up quickly. The thing we liked about him also, he’s a very smart guy. He loves football, studies the game, knows a lot about it, has been well-coached in college. He has a lot of experience playing the position, so I think the transition will be smooth for him.”
He was the consensus #1 offensive lineman in the draft, and you better believe new offensive line coach Bill Callahan gave his stamp of approval on the selection. There will be plenty of second-guessing the selection since USC Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams was still on the board.
He was considered the #1 player by some scouts. and the most likely to be a star. His career will be watched against Scherff for years to come, but the decision needs context. The Redskins have addressed the defensive line this off season with the additions of Ricky Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton, and Stephen Paea. Plus they spent big $$ last off season on Jason Hatcher, who they hope will be healthy this season.
So in the end, maybe the Skins did not select the ‘best player’ available by mock drafts, but instead got the guy they felt was the best player available and at one of the “biggest need” areas. I can’t be mad that McCloughan added a bookend tackle to the mix. The right tackle has been a turnstile too many times over the past several seasons. It will be interesting to see what this means to last year’s 3rd round pick Morgan Moses, who is coming off a lisfranc injury? Could he be developed into a starting guard? We are about to find out.
I know some are spinning this is all about making things easier for Robert Griffin III. Sure, it helps RGIII — assuming he’s ready to hold onto his job this year. It also should help the running game and overall line depth, which has been thin for too long. I like the message the pick sends as much as the pick. The Skins want to get back to being road graters and playing physical, tough football. This is what McCloughan has talked about since taking the job. I like the fact that he is not just talking, but backing the talk up with his decisions thus far.