Recap of the Redskins 2nd and 3rd round picks:

Redskins Personnel Washington Commanders Washington Redskins Draft

Here are my quick reactions to the Redskins first day of picks. More indepth analysis will follow later this week:

2nd Round: DE/OLB Trent Murphy-

The Good:

  • Highly productive college pass rusher.
  • Comes from a 3-4 college defense that was one of the best in the country.
  • Smart player, who makes the most out of his athleticism and skill set.
  • Murphy is known as a leader and really hard worker.
  • Will help generate more of a pass rush as a situational pass rusher and in rotating in to keep the starters fresh.
  • Skins traded back to get him picking up an extra 3rd rounder

The Bad: 

  • Not an explosive edge rusher, who will win with speed or a quick first step
  • Not a big power rusher either
  • Doesn’t seem like a right side rusher capable of beating LT’s in the NFL
  • Doesn’t have an every down role as a rookie, will have limited snaps
  • Looks to be a downgrade to potentially replace Orakpo next season
  • Get’s handled too easily when linemen get their hands on him
  • Not a pressing need

Overall Thoughts:

-I like Trent Murphy as a prospect and think that he can be a productive pass rusher at the next level. I also like when teams add depth and the ability to rotate their front 7 players similar to the Seattle Seahawks approach last season. The problem is the Redskins took Murphy with a top 50 pick and that guy has to be able to be more than a situational guy for this club to be a successful selection. I don’t really see how that is going to happen. Murphy is like a Ryan Kerrigan lite, and brings a lot of the same things to the table. He’s not the fastest or strongest player, but he wins with smarts, motor, and a nose for the football. That can be a good productive player, but typically that skill set screams left side rusher, and that is what Ryan Kerrigan is. Kerrigan didn’t replace Brian Orakpo on the right side facing LT’s when Orakpo was injured in 2012, because if he did his production would have gone down. He’s not likely to make the switch if the Redskins let Orakpo walk next year in free agency, and Murphy doesn’t seem likely to be plugged in there as well. If either player takes over that role, they will likely offer a significant reduction in their pass rush production.

The other thing that is a concern is that while the Redskins may be in nickel 60% of the time, it’s not like you can play this potential 3 pass rusher package 60% of the time. If it’s not a 3rd and long situation and the Redskins come out in this package, smart teams will just audible to run play and catch the Redskins in a bad personnel fit and take advantage of the mismatches it creates. It’s tough to imagine that Murphy will play more than 35-40% of the snaps as a rookie (barring an injury), which is tough given more pressing needs at other positions.

3rd Round: OT Morgan Moses-

The Good:

  • Productive offensive tackle at Virginia with experience on both sides of the line
  • excels in pass protection, who generally keeps a very clean pocket
  • Shows good recovery skills if he loses the initial battle
  • Big lineman who is tough to beat with power
  • Very long arms that helps him protect the edge
  • Good character guy and teammate
  • Should be able to start early
  • Though better suited at RT, has the ability to play some LT in a pinch, offers a better option in case Trent Williams goes down
  • Great value pick, widely considered and early-to-mid 2nd rounder

The Bad:

  • Has slow feet and doesn’t display the best footwork, could be more of an issue at NFL level
  • Doesn’t play with the best leverage at times, needs to stay lower
  • Could play with a meaner steak at times and could get more physical in the run game
  • Though a highly rated recruit, had an up-and-down career until senior year

Overall Thoughts:

-This was just a great all-around pick for the Redskins. Though it would have been a bit high, had the Redskins taken him at 34 no one would have blinked an eye and if they selected him when they traded back with their 2nd round pick it would have been considered a smart pick at good value. So getting Moses in the 3rd round is a great value pick for the Redskins at a position of need. Right tackle has been an issue for the Redskins the last couple of years and Tyler Polumbus holds a $2.6 million cap number this season and is a free agent after the year. If Moses beats out Polumbus in camp (and the back-ups show promise) the Redskins could cut Polumbus to save money. Even if Polumbus wins the job to start the year, Moses could beat him out at some point in the year and looks like a great option for 2015 and beyond. Moses isn’t a perfect prospect, but a lot of the knocks on him are minor and suggest more that he shouldn’t be an option at LT. As a right tackle his skill set fits extremely well and there is no reason he can’t be a very productive RT at the NFL level

3rd Round: OG Spencer Long-

The Good:

  • Hard working kid with great character, walked on at Nebraska to follow in father’s footsteps
  • Leader and team captain
  • 33 game starter at guard for Nebraska
  • Has some experience at all the line positions
  • Physical lineman can bury linebackers if he gets to the 2nd level
  • Smart player, pre-med graduate
  • Solid run blocker
  • Decent in pass protection and plays to the whistle

The Bad:

  • Doesn’t have great quickness, can’t always get to his man when pulling or trying to get to the 2nd level
  • Slow getting into his anchor, has struggled versus quicker interior rushers
  • Though he has a solid base he still gets overpowered at times
  • Doesn’t do a great job picking up blitzers or stunts
  • Loses track of where the QB is when he’s scrambling behind him, has let his man go only to see him make a play
  • Tore MCL and PCL in October, missing the rest of the season and any potential All-Star game (i.e. Senior Bowl/East West Game), Combine and Pro Day

Overall Thoughts:

-This was a reach plain and simple. Yes everyone is going to have different grades an opinions on players, but there aren’t many pundits who considered Long a top 4 round pick (if not far lower). Now perhaps if he wasn’t injured and was able to play out the year, play in an All-Star game in front of scouts and have a nice Combine/Pro Day he could have risen up to a top 150 type of prospect, and been an option in the late 4th or the 5th round. The Skins though took him at 77 and it’s highly unlikely that even if Long did all those things he would have widely been considered that highly rated of a prospect. The fact of the matter is he was injured and it was a serious injury. Yes MCL and PCL injuries aren’t as serious as ACL injuries, but they are still significant injuries. Also, injuries to those ligaments put a greater strain on the ACL and put you at a higher risk for an ACL injury. Long wasn’t able to workout at the Combine or the Nebraska Pro Day (outside of the bench), he was scheduled for an individual workout, but it’s unknown how that went. Even the Redskins admitted that they were unsure of his status for the Rookie mini-camp/OTA’s. This is not the profile of a player that you take in the mid-3rd round and outside of him being selected at a position of need, this does very little for the Redskins as a team. There was too much talent still on the board at the time, including players at the guard position who were better in college and definitely healthy.

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