With their first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Washington set a tone similar to that found in the previous two offseasons under former GM Scot McCloughan. And given the gradual improvement of the talent and success of the team, it was a wise decision.
Taking DE Jonathan Allen (Alabama) at pick 17, may seem like a no-brainer to many. But leading up to the draft there was talk, serious or not, of the team making a play for the versatile RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford). Or possibly trading back to target one of the other highly regarded ILB prospects not named Reuben Foster.
Due in part to the lengthy evaluation process during and following the combine however– too much information, may have worked to the team’s benefit. Call it luck, destiny or fear of past shoulder issues, but Washington landed a top-3 talent at a position of need in the back half of the draft on Thursday night.
In rounds two and three on Friday, the team added two more defensive pieces, selecting OLB Ryan Anderson (Alabama) and CB Fabian Moreau (UCLA). Anderson is a living, breathing quotable in addition to his being described as an aggressive and tenacious player, that plays with an edge. While Moreau is a big corner at 6’0″ 206lbs, with turn and run ability as well as the strength to battle with bigger receivers.
Washington Redskins 2017 Draft Selections
- Round 1 – Jonathan Allen, DE – Alabama
- Round 2 – Ryan Anderson, OLB – Alabama
- Round 3 – Fabian Moreau, CB – UCLA
- Round 4 – Samaje Perine, RB – Oklahoma
- Round 4 – Montae Nicholson, S – Michigan State
- Round 5 – Jeremy Sprinkle, TE – Arkansas
- Round 6 – Chase Roullier, C – Wyoming
- Round 6 – Robert Davis, WR – Georgia State
- Round 7 – Josh Harvey-Clemons, S – Louisville
- Round 7 – Joshua Holsey, CB – Auburn
In looking at the draft haul, the team put a premium on bringing in big, athletic, football players that love to compete. Addressing both team needs and furthering the mindset cultivated during McCloughan’s brief tenure. On the heels of the Allen, Anderson and Moreau picks, the team’s 1st fourth round selection Perine, tilts the scales at 233 pounds (30 reps on bench at the combine). And both safety selections are 6’2+ and over 210 pounds. But it’s not just about measurables with this group. As the Skins 2017 draft class graded well.
Washington Redskins 2017 Draft Grades
- NFL.com – A-
- Sports Illustrated – A-
- Washington Post – B+
- CSN Mid-Atlantic – B+
Picks 1-3 were all viewed favorably by pundits. But the addition of Perine, is just as big of a reason for the positive outlook. As Samaje left Norman following his junior season as the all-time leading rusher in program history. Breaking the record held by the great Billy Sims. Another notable Sooner back, some guy named Adrian Peterson.
As for the remaining picks, Montae Nicholson oozes potential but lacked consistency at the collegiate level. Sprinkle is an interesting addition to a crowded TE room. Roullier could provide depth or a potential solution on the interior for the future. Davis could surprise as a draft steal for the team. Harvey-Clemons, made the most of a change in scenery (Georgia to Louisville following a dismissal) but has plenty of room to grow. And Holsey provides added competition at nickle.
Though the new additions have not put on pads and actually begun to show their value against pro competition, on paper, the team got better with this draft. Following a season where the defense proved to be in dire need of an infusion of talent, Washington used six of their ten choices on that side of the ball (4 of their first 5).
With Allen, Anderson and Perine being viewed as possible starters or heavy rotation guys at the least in their rookie seasons, it’s hard not to like the group as a whole. But what do I know? I’m just projecting like the rest. With maybe a bit less of a proven background to do so.
Here’s hoping the team hits on far more with this class, than they miss. HAIL!