While the offseason has another two and a half weeks to go, its safe to say that offseason personnel and coaching moves are pretty much over. There might be a minor trade or a waiver wire pickup here or there but the cake is mostly baked.So before training camp starts, lets take a look back at the five biggest moves of the offseason. Well count them down in order of how important they were. Earlier, we looked at the hiring of Raheem Morris and the roster decisions made at the start of free agency, the signings of wide receivers Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan, and the re-signing of London Fletcher. Today we wrap up the series examining the biggest move the Redskins made not only this year but one of the biggest in their history, the decision to trade for the draft pick that became Robert Griffin III.By the time the 2011 season ended it was apparent that the Redskins were, once again, in need of a quarterback. The decision to go with Rex Grossman and John Beck at the position was a disaster.Grossman started 13 games and while he had some good moments he turned the ball over at least once in every game. In all, he threw 20 interceptions and lost five fumbles. The Redskins were 5-8 in the games he started.They were 0-3 in Becks starts. The middle game of the three was the worst, a 23-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Bills. It was the first shutout of Mike Shanahans career as a head coach.Not only did the Redskins have issues at quarterback but they also play in a division where the other teams were rolling out top-notch quarterbacks every week. The Giants Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP, Tony Romo of Dallas is the king of the fourth-quarter comeback, and Phillys Mike Vick has the deadly combination of a rifle arm and blinding speed.Washingtons 5-11 record earned them the sixth pick of the draft. That was too far back to get either one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. There were some safe options out there, such as staying put in the draft and taking Ryan Tannehill or Brandon Weeden. Free agents like ex-Packers backup Matt Flynn were on the market.But without a bold move, the Redskins again would go into 2012 with the worst quarterback situation in the division and they would be stuck in that position for the foreseeable future.They had two bold moves in mind. One was to make a run at Peyton Manning if, as everyone expected, the Colts released him rather than pay him a 28 million option bonus. For a while in late January and early February many had Manning in burgundy and gold.But he was not the only option. During the NFL Combine in late February, Griffin allayed concerns about his height as he was officially measured 6 2-38 and blazed through the 40 with a time of 4.38. Along with his impressive film from his Heisman Trophy season at Baylor, the combine propelled him to the second pick in the draft behind Luck.The question became, who would draft him? The Rams had the second pick but they were committed to Sam Bradford as their QB. A number of quarterback-needy teams in the top half of the draft were said to be interested in moving up. Along with the Redskins, the Browns, Dolphins and others were mentioned as possible trade partners with the Rams.On March 7, the Colts released Manning and other teams quickly jumped ahead of the Redskins in the competition for the 36-year-old future Hall of Fame QBs services.With all parties wanting to get a deal done before free agency started on March 13, the Rams told any interested parties to make their best offer for the No. 2 pick. There would be no counteroffers; one big, the best one wins.The Redskins won by putting up their first round picks in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and their second round pick in 12. An organization desperate to find a franchise quarterback gambled a good chunk of its future that RG3 was the guy.
Scot McCloughan says that he loves “football players”. He just drafted one for the Redskins in the second round.
Su’a Cravens is a 6-1, 225-lb. linebacker/strong safety out of USC. He should be very useful in nickel and dime situations and it’s possible that defensive coordinator Joe Barry will have a lot of fun moving him around in the defensive scheme.
Cravens possess the traits that McCloughan likes in his players; he’s smart, tough, and instinctive. He’s obviously a student of the game, anticipating plays and acting as a highly disruptive force.
The Redskins told Cravens that they see him as a dime linebacker, which will put him in a position to make plays in passing situations. They currently don’t have a specialist for that position so he will be a new dimension added to the offense.
His addition to the roster almost assuredly means that Trent Murphy, the team’s second-round pick as an outside linebacker two years ago, will make a permanent move to the defensive line.
So details on just what Cravens’ role will be won’t be sorted out until training camp, the preseason games and probably into the regular season.
With their second round pick (No. 53 overall), the Redskins selected linebacker-safety Su’a Cravens out of USC.
Cravens, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 226-pounds, recorded a combined 10.5 sacks and 32 tackles for the loss the past two seasons for the Trojans.
The Los Angeles native is expected to speak to the media via conference call soon. Coach Jay Gruden, meantime, is scheduled meet with reporters at Redskins Park following the completion of the third round, where the Redskins pick 84th.
Stay tuned for more coverage.
And we thought the Cowboys were taking a chance with their first-round pick. They really rolled the dice tonight.
After taking a running back in the first round last night the Cowboys took a player who won’t play in 2016 with their second-round pick.
Last night it was Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth pick in the draft, generally considered to be way too high to draft a running back. Tonight it was Jaylon Smith, the Notre Dame linebacker who won’t play in 2016.
Smith was on his way to being a top-10 pick in the draft until he suffered a serious knee injury in the Fighting Irish’s bowl game. He was diagnosed with nerve damage as a result of the injury. That scared teams off until the Cowboys took him with the 34th overall pick in the draft.
If he can play in 2017 he could be quite a boost to the Dallas defense. Smith was an excellent all-around defender at Notre Dame and he could give the Redskins problems in both the running and passing game.
But if there is a lingering issue with the knee, Smith could either not play or have the quality of his play diminished. That’s a gamble that the Cowboys are willing to take.
One reason that the Cowboys may be confident in their wager is that the doctor who performed the surgery on Smith is one of their team physicians so they may have had better information than most of the other teams out there.