We have already touched on the GIANTS and their Draft effort, now how about the rest of the NFC East?! I’ll resume this tour with the WASHINGTON REDSKINS, who many feel had a Draft worthy of high praise. Not only did they end up with 10 overall Picks, but in my rating system, they got two of the Top 10 athletes in the entire Draft. As you will see below, they did a solid job of getting players who should fit nicely in their system, and fill some depth issues.
Round 1, Pick 15
DWAYNE HASKINS QB OHIO STATE
6’3/231 5.03/40 PP#9
I actually had HASKINS as my top rated QB prospect in this Draft. Yes, he had a loaded BUCKEYES receiving corps, but he had only 3 career starts coming into the 2018 season. During the 2018 season, the short resume’ QB broke multiple BUCKEYES season passing records. How about a 70% completion rate, which included 50 TD passes and only 8 INT’s. He is not the athlete you might expect at first glance. He has a thick body, and his slow timing at the Combine cost him in some teams’ eyes. However, he is reasonably mobile in the pocket and can extend most plays. He has above average arm strength, but does NOT throw rockets, (52 mph ball speed). If JAY GRUDEN can’t nurture this man along, and develop him into their Franchise QB, then he has no right to lay claim to being a QB Whisperer.
Round 1, Pick 26
MONTEZ SWEAT DE/OB MISSISSIPPI STATE
6’6/260 4.41/40 PP#7
This young man blew personnel people away with his speed and overall athleticism. He was outstanding during Senior Bowl week, and at the Combine. When Ourlads was done feeding workout numbers into their computer program, they had SWEAT as the most athletic DE out of 31 at the Combine. He showed energy and skill all week in Mobile. All of his measurements came home as exceptional in the post season. He has 10 1/2″ hands at the end of vine-like 35 3/4″ arms, and he has the bend and explosion to defeat most OT’s, on most plays. I applaud the ‘SKINS for trading back into Round 1, (affordably), to grab this guy. I believe he will more than make up for the loss of PRESTON SMITH to GREEN BAY in VFA. Word on the street is that a heart issue from the Combine medicals is not a red flag, at least to most teams. It should be noted that he began his college career at MICHIGAN STATE, but moved on after some off-field issues. Word is, that he matured during a year in JC ball, and has been “clean” in Starkville. He has serious Pro Bowl potential, IMO.
Round 3, Pick 76
TERRY McLAURIN WR OHIO STATE
6’0/208. 4.32/40 PP#105
The depth in the OHIO STATE WR group the past few years has been ridiculously good. Having so many talented wideouts has taken away playing time from some very good athletes. McLAURIN would be considered one of those guys. While PARRIS CAMPBELL declined a Senior Bowl invite and stayed at his Performance Camp, it could be said that McLAURIN took his spot, and was outstanding in Mobile. In his 35 catches last season, Terry averaged 20-yards/catch. He needs some sophistication as a route runner, but the tools are undeniable. His 4.32/40 at the Combine was stunning, but not surprising after watching him run away from everyone at the Senior Bowl venue. He has bulked up a bit without losing any speed during his college career. He is also an accomplished Special Teams performer! I like this Pick a lot, and with their mediocre wideout group, he has a chance to stand out early, especially working with his college teammate QB/HASKINS.
Round 4, Pick 112
BRYCE LOVE RB STANFORD
5’9/200 4.45/40 PP#148
A clever Pick by the ‘SKINS here. It might be claimed a high-risk, high-reward pick. When CHRIS McCAFFREY left STANFORD many folks thought LOVE would pick up the mantle he left behind. And he did… at first. He gained over 2,000 yards in 2017 and won the Doak Walker Award. Many expected him to follow up with the Heisman in 2018, but it was not to be because of injuries. He limped thru the early campaign with nagging ankle pain, proving his toughness and team spirit playing through it, but then he tore his right ACL late in the year. This Pick is a risk that may not bear any fruit until the 2019 season. If he regains his speed and agility, he could make a very nice swiss army knife player, with limited touches to preserve his small frame. He sees the field well, and can operate in the open field. He has a small boned frame and will surely need limited touches, even if he regains his health. Let’s talk in 2020, if he’s healthy again.
Round 4, Pick 131
WES MARTIN OG INDIANA
6’3/311 5.35/40 PP#NR
Without a doubt, this was my biggest cry of “Who?” in Round 4. I had not one note on this young man in my scouting notebook, so it was time to go digging here to figure out what the ‘SKINS saw in this guy. So I sent a quick text to my ‘go-to teammate’ LP, in order to have him check on his Pro Day records. As I expected, it was indeed sundial time for his 40. But then LP gave the magic number of 38 reps in his Bench Press! MARTIN put in a solid career at IU, and fits under the category of ‘country strong’. He also had some impressive numbers the past two seasons when it came to NOT allowing sacks in hundreds of snaps. I will still say it is a reach, but given the recent injury epidemic along their OL, getting a big, tough Interior Lineman is not totally out of line at all. It has been rumored that the ‘Skins coaching staff will give MARTIN every chance to win a starting OG spot in Camp.
Round 5, Pick 153
ROSS PIERSCHBACHER OC/G ALABAMA
6’4/307 5.22/40 PP#139
This is another mid-round attempt to reinforce that Interior. And in this case, we have another not “great” athlete, but someone good enough to start for 4 seasons for the elite CRIMSON TIDE program. He played OG primarily in his first 3 seasons, then switched to OC as a senior. He is a very disciplined player, with a high FBI, and strong hands, which help him push defenders around. He is a natural knee-bender, and is solid in both run and pass-pro situations. His best chance to win some early playing time might be back at OG this coming season. ROSS has a clear chance to win someone else’s starting job inside, but could also make his mark as a 3-spot backup.
Round 5, Pick 173
COLE HOLCOMB IB NORTH CAROLINA
6’1/231 4.48/40 PP#NR
If not for my week at the Shrine venue, I would have missed out on this young man. Although I did not have him ranked in my Top 300, I saw enough of him in St.Pete to see that his coverage instincts and hustle would get him to an NFL Training Camp roster. His frame is light, but he flies around after the ball. He reads plays very well, and has the speed to excel in coverage, which he did at the Shrine. He started 3 years at UNC, recording over 100 tackles each and every season. 10″ hands come in handy in fighting with receivers for the ball in the air. This guy will surprise people with his football skills once the pads go on. He should also make a very useful and productive Special Teams player. Believe it or not, this Pick could look really good by September.
Round 6, Pick 206
KELVIN HARMON WR NC STATE
6’3 221 4.61/40 PP#67
Lack of speed, and too many dropped balls took HARMON from a Top 100 prospect, (where I still had him), to a late round guy. Receivers Coach IKE HILLIARD has been on the coaching staff in D.C. for 7 years now, and it’s about time he took a guy like this and turned him into an NFL receiving threat who will challenge opponent’s secondaries. HARMON’s 9 1/2″ hand size would seem to indicate that his “drops” problem has more to do with concentration lapses, and/or needing some better separation downfield from defenders. He has been productive, with 81 catches for 1,186 yards and 7 TD’s last season, but seems to tease, with even more potential to be developed.
Round 7, Pick 227
JIMMY MORELAND DC JAMES MADISON
5’10 180 4.52/40 PP#133
This small school standout created quite a buzz for himself with his outstanding work at the Shrine venue back in January. Things went so well in St. Pete, that by week’s end, he had himself a much coveted call-up invite to the Senior Bowl the following week. The consensus after both venues seemed to be that there were some concerns about his slight frame and less than elite speed. But there was no denying his high FBI, strong desire to excel, and basic cover skills and instinct. Other than turns as a Nickel-Corner, I don’t see him starting in an old standard 4-player secondary. However, given that 5/6-man secondaries are more and more common every season, there should be very little problem finding MORELAND playing time. His 2018 stats, even at the FCS level play, which included 10 PBU’s and 5 INT’s, speaks for his ball skills and awareness in coverage. The ‘SKINS are not deep at DC, and MORELAND may just help fill a big depth void among those spots. Luv the value here!
Round 7, Pick 253
JORDAN BRAILFORD ER/OB OKLAHOMA STATE
6’3 252 4.66/40 PP#175
BRAILFORD will have to prove that he can be just as effective coming off the edge as a pro as he was as a collegian. He is a smart, seasoned vet who must use his learned skills to make up for physical limitations. He displays very good effort and energy.I always feel I should mention when a player wears a “C” on his jersey, which this guy did. He needs to find a spot or two on Special Teams, and show enough edge-rush acumen to earn a roster spot near the bottom of an NFL team.
With a couple of “who’s he” surprises thrown in, this was a most productive draft for the ‘SKINS. Whether it is this season, or a couple down the road, it clearly looks like the team landed its Franchise QB in HASKINS. They also got some nice looking developmental prospects to play with in Training Camp. I especially like the Picks of McLAURIN & HARMON to shake up the competition in their underperforming WR group. Several of the Picks in the middle their Draft must step up as Rookies for the team to be able to challenge the COWBOYS and EAGLES for the division title. I like this as a very good draft effort, certainly in the top quadrant of the League’s overall efforts.