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    • Looking Back: Assessing the 2015 Draft

      I know, I know...it's all about THIS YEAR'S draft

      But I think most of us would acknowledge, you can't really assess how good a given draft was for several years. So I'm going to take us back to 2015 and take an honest look at McLovin's first opportunity to shape our draft selections.

      I'll warn you - contrary to McCloughan's reputation as a draft demi-god and talent-spotting savant - it's not particularly pretty.

      Our 2015 NFL Draft acquisitions were as follows:

      Round 1 - Brandon Scherff, T
      Facing a fanbase screaming bloody murder for a rebuild in the trenches, Scherff fit the bill. He's a big, cornfed mover of men and he has not disappointed. Solid starter, perhaps a future pro bowler. No argument here. He was the safest pick of the draft.

      Round 2 - Preston Smith, OLB
      Physically gifted, motivationally challenged - Smith's been a major disappointment. A 2nd rounder should reasonably be expected to step right in and challenge for a starting spot. Smith, so far, is at best an underperforming backup. Some say Ryan Anderson will come in and light a fire under his ass - but color me skeptical. As it stands right now, I'd characterize this as a blown pick.

      Round 3 - Matt Jones, RB
      Although I've previously stated that I think the Redskins are giving up on him too quickly, Jones has undermined his career with a propensity for fumbling at the worst possible time, and also has durability questions due to his upright running style. Given that Jones appears to be in the doghouse permanently and will likely be cut in favor of UDFA starter Rob Kelley, you'd have to characterize this as another blown pick.

      Round 4 - Jamison Crowder, WR/PR
      Inarguably the gem of the 2015 draft, Crowder has overachieved at every level. This was the most critical pickup of 2015 given the eventual loss of Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Nothing but love for Crowder who still has lots of room to grow.

      Round 4 - Arie Kouandjio, G
      The verdict on Arie may still be out, but so far he's just an 'ok' player. He lacks versatility, with guard so far being the only position he appears capable of playing. He had only 2 starts in 2016, one a pretty disastrous one with 2 key penalties. At best, he's a decent backup at this point. Skins likely could've done better with this 4th round pick.

      Round 5 - Martrell Spaight, ILB
      I like Spaight. Although his concussion history is a concern, he has shown some promise and is a solid backup. Spaight stepped into the starting role several times as defensive signal caller when Will Compton was out and did a serviceable job. I think he was a pretty good find for a 5th round selection.

      Round 6 - Kysheon Jarrett, S
      Jarrett was placed on injured reserve in January of 2016 following a collision which left him with nerve issues in his arm. Redskins made the tough decision to waive him after he failed a physical. Can't characterize drafting the VT safety as a bad pick, he was just the victim of bad luck.

      Round 6 - Tevin Mitchel, CB
      More bad luck. Spaight's college teammate Mitchel tore his labrum and was waived by the Skins and picked up by the Colts. Mitchel had additional injuries and his future with the Colts as questionable.

      Round 6 - Evan Spencer, WR
      Other than his family ties to Redskins scouting staff, no idea why the Redskins selected Spencer. Little chance he would make an NFL roster and he has not. Wasted pick.

      Round 7 - Austin Reiter, C
      Drafted, released, became a Brown, tore his ACL. Any questions?

      So, what's the overall assessment of McCloughan's first draft in DC? Not great. With 10 total picks, we managed just 2 starters (Scherff and Crowder) and 3 serviceable backups (Smith, Kouandjio, and Spaight). With 6 picks in the first 5 rounds, that's a sub-par draft. Of our first 4 picks, 2 may well turn out to be total busts (Jones and Smith). And we found no hidden gems in the 6th or 7th rounds despite having two extra picks there (although Jarrett showed promise before his unfortunate injury).

      I don't know if the current rave reviews for the 2017 Redskins draft will prove warranted, and if/so, whether the credit should go to McCloughan or Bruce Allen and his front office. I am, however, quite confident this was a much better draft than 2015 turned out to be, regardless of McCloughan's sterling reputation.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Looking Back: Assessing the 2015 Draft started by Boone View original post
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