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Need to Know: Ranking the Redskins' draft picks

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Need to Know: Ranking the Redskins' draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 5, 42 days before the Washington Redskins hold their mandatory minicamp.

Ranking the Redskins’ draft picks

Here is my ranking of the Redskins’ 10 draft picks as determined by factors such as needs, value, opportunity cost, how much the player will help the team in 2015 and beyond, and other such criteria. It is highly non-scientific, just my gut feeling before any of them puts on a Redskins helmet.

Also I like the group in general so a low ranking does not make me a hater; it’s all in relation to the rest of the players picked.

10. C Austin Reiter—Perhaps a better designation would have been N/A because I really know so little about him. I’m just not sure what a team that’s looking for big, power blockers and players from big-time conferences like the SEC is doing drafting a 296-lb. center from a non-power conference college.

9. G Arie Kouandjio—The knees, both of which have had surgery, are a concern. Perhaps they should have taken TE Blake Bell out of Oklahoma, who was still on the board. With Jordan Reed’s injury issues some insurance at the position is needed.

8. CB Tevin Mitchell—A few weeks into the 2014 season the Razorbacks were considering redshirting him because he had some troublesome hamstrings. And that was after he was benched in 2013. Had his best season as a sophomore and his career went downhill from there. Mitchel will need to reverse his career track if he is going to make it.

7. WR Evan Spencer—There’s a lot about Spencer to like but it might be hard to squeeze him on the 53-man roster. The four holdover wide receivers don’t appear to be going anywhere and fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder is sure to make it.

6. RB Matt Jones—I get the whole reach thing with him but that’s not a big deal. McCloughan said he was the best player on their board and I’m in no position to argue. He just doesn’t seem to be a potential every down back who could replace Alfred Morris should he get injured or leave as a free agent.

5. OL Brandon Scherff—I like the player a lot. But if you keep on taking low value positions with high draft picks you will continually have high draft picks. Perhaps on a side-by-side comparison edge rusher Vic Beasley doesn’t grade as high as Scherff but the value of a player who can get to the quarterback is much higher. Bottom line, Scherff had better be very, very good whether he plays tackle or guard, especially if Beasley and/or Leonard Williams become Pro Bowl regulars. We will see how it turns out.

4. ILB Martrell Spaight—He could be strong on special teams and he’s a sure tackler. But the Redskins have plenty of inside backers who struggle in coverage and that is not a strength of Spaight’s.

3. SS Kyshoen Jarrett—Anyone who watches Virginia Tech football knows that Beamerball, the tradition of the Hokies having great special teams, has not existed for a while. But the emphasis is still there and the decline of the Tech special teams isn’t Jarrett’s fault. He spoke very enthusiastically about playing teams for Washington during his conference call after he was drafted.

2. OLB Preston Smith—There are plenty of questions about new defensive coordinator Joe Barry but Smith could make him look like a genius in a hurry. I really like his versatility; McCloughan even talked about the possibility of him lining up at nose tackle in nickel situations. It will take him a year or two to learn all of the roles but when he does he could become a great weapon on defense. He was an under-the-radar pick that makes a ton of sense in retrospect.

1. WR Jamison Crowder—If he can do nothing besides break an occasional punt return for a long gain he will be worth the fourth-round pick. But he could do much more as a legitimate deep threat out of the slot. It might take him some time to learn the passing game but he could have impact as a returner right off the bat.

Timeline

—It’s been 128 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 131 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 42; Redskins training camp starts 86; Redskins @ Giants 142

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Scot McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league draft

Scot McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league draft

Scot McCloughan helped the Redskins with their draft picks as the General Manager of the team for almost two years. He's considered to be one of the best in the league at evaluating talent.

Prior to the Redskins, he was the GM of the San Francisco 49ers and a senior personnel executive for the Seattle Seahawks. He's helped draft the likes of Russell Wilson, Frank Gore, Golden Tate, Richard Sherman and Jamison Crowder.

RELATED: REDSKINS OUSTED GM TAKES TO TWITTER

But one draft McCloughan doesn't expect to be good at is his wife's fantasy league draft.

"My wife is [in a league] this year and I'm going to try to help her with the draft but I'll probably screw it up, I'm sure. But I'm going to try," McCloughan told ESPN's Adam Schefter during his 'Know Them From Adam' podcast. 

Schefter warned McCloughan that being apart of a fantasy league changes the way you watch the game, how you follow the game and how you root for a team.

Anyone who's been apart of one can understand the stress it brings on game days.

"I can believe it because some teams you've played against for a long time and never really liked them because they're better than you or whatever. Now you're pulling for one guy so you're pulling for them to win. I can only imagine. It will be very interesting."

McCloughan said he didn't even have a successful track record with helping his son pick college games. 

"When I was an area scout I'd help my son out with picking college games each week, not for betting but just like little club, and I was awful on it. I'd do a school call that week and I'd know exactly the team. They're playing well or not playing well or who's playing or not playing, and I was awful at it. You stick yourself, I'm done." 

Luckily for McCloughan, who is running his own scouting service after being fired by the Redskins in March, is really good at drafting when it matters.

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Redskins 2017 position outlook: Offensive line

Redskins 2017 position outlook: Offensive line

With the season opener fast approaching, it’s time to put the Redskins’ depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming days, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Offensive line

Starters: Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Other roster locks: Ty Nsekhe, Chase Roullier
On the bubble: Vinston Painter, Arie Kouandjio, Kyle Kalis,

How the offensive line compares:

To the 2016 Redskins: Over the course of 16 games they should be better because Williams is unlikely to get his with another four-game suspension. He may miss a game or two with an injury as he did in 2014 and 2015 but they can manage that. With all five starters returning, they may be only marginally better on a game-to-game basis. Lauvao was hampered by injuries last year and he looks healthier. Long will be going into his second season at center so he could learn more and improve. Still, the improvements will be marginal. They were a top 5-10 unit last year and they should be this year. Marginally better

To the rest of the NFL: As noted, it’s a top 10 unit easily and you could make the case that it’s in the top five. Yes, even though the Redskins were 21st in the league in rushing last year. The thing is, they were eighth in the league with 4.5 yards per rushing attempt. When they ran the ball, they ran it well. And their sack percentage was fourth in the league. They should set aside the "Hogs 2.0" nickname until the accomplish more as a team but they are very good right now.  Top five

RELATED: 2017 REDSKINS--5 REASONS FOR CONCERN

2017 outlook

Biggest upside: Scherff was the fifth pick of the 2015 draft. He nominally was taken as a tackle although many analysts, including some at Redskins Park, figured he would end up as a guard. He is off to a good start in his career, playing nearly every snap over his two seasons and making the Pro Bowl last year. But he can get better and he has the mindset to do it.

Most to prove: Long is injured right now and that has been a minor issue with him since he became a starter. Last year he played well after taking over at center when Kory Lichtensteiger was injured but he still has a lot to learn. His contract is up after this year and if he is going to earn a solid contract from the Redskins or from any other team he must take a couple of steps up and show that he is worth a significant financial investment.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS-PACKERS MUST-SEE PHOTOS

Rookie watch: With Long sidelined until the season opener, the focus turns to Roullier. Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan have shown extraordinary confidence in the sixth-round pick, not shopping for a veteran backup center after seeing Roullier in the offseason program and in training camp. They have a better idea of what they have in him after he starts against the Bengals’ first-team defense on Sunday.

Bottom line: The offensive line is one of the strengths of the team. Williams and Scherff could go back to the Pro Bowl. Moses won’t but that’s primarily because right tackles don’t get Pro Bowl invitations. They will keep Kirk Cousins upright and on what is likely to continue to be a pass-first team, that is critical. Run blocking could be better but that top-10 average of 4.5 yards per carry last year points to issues in the run game beyond the O-line.

Quote-unquote

Jay Gruden on Trent Williams:

I think he’s going to get better. He’s lost a little bit of weight and I think he might even be a vegan, whatever that means. The things that he can do with his body and athleticism is incredible. He’s by far I think the best tackle in the league and we’re glad we have him. But it’s also good to see a guy with that type of talent and skill set work as hard as he does. That rubs off on the younger guys, the guys that are up and coming young players. They see a guy like that with much talent, that much production over the years – and Pro Bowls – work that hard, you know, it makes the other guys say, ‘Hey, I better work harder because I’m not as talented as him.’

2017 Redskins position outlook series: Wide receiver | Defensive line |

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.