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  1. #1

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    Marine Corps Virginia

    B Same As It Ever Was...: Post-Draft Assessment


    So, if you don't feel like reading a long article on the draft, here's a quick summary via anecdote:
    I had to call my former employers the other day for some information and wound up talking to a former co-worker who follows the 'Skins. He asked me what I thought of the draft (back then I was doing the Redskins media/blogging thing for my own site IIWII and Son of Washington) and I told him "They knocked it out of the Park!"

    I'm not going to do a standard draft evaluation like you see on most sites. I for one don't feel that grades work for players post draft. Yes, I am being a bit of a hypocrite here since I run to various sites at the end of each day and look for a grade on the players the Redskins just drafted, just like most of my readers. That said I don't think you can have a full rating on a player until they've played 3 seasons in the league. So basically, initial grades are just views on if a player fills a need, looks good on tape or was picked up at a higher or lower value based on that person/sites big board (which may be significantly different than the team picking that player). Initial grades just seem to be skewed without having any idea if the player will fit in with the team schemes or if they will succeed on the team.

    My evaluation will look at the player, see what role he'll play on the team, why the team selected him and if where he was selected fits with the general opinions of fans and media projections. I'll be using some of the grades from Ourlads 2018 Draft Guide to show where the player stood value-wise and what approximate round the player may land. My commentary on why the team drafted the player and how he fits the team are my own opinion unless noted in the text.

    Before we get to the players however, I have to write about the current decision makers in the front office and look at their strategy on this year's draft.

    2018 introduced two new role players in the Redskins evaluation of college talent. First is Doug Williams, Senior VP of Player Personnel. This title should be familiar to you as Vinny Cerrato and others in the organization have previously used that title. More or less, this person usually has many of the regular general manager duties but without the final say. The second new person is Kyle Smith, who was promoted to Director of College Personnel, replacing Scott Campbell who has been moved to another executive role within the organization. Williams and Smith join Jay Gruden and Bruce Allen as the team who developed the team's big board and the group that made a consensus decision on the player picked. I still believe that in the end it is Bruce that has final say over a pick and trades.

    The Strategy

    The team's strategy seemed to be two fold. First, the team was looking for versatility. This means that the team wanted players who could play in either multiple positions, multiple roles (ie. play special teams) or be able to do multiple things at one position (Best example is with Darrius Guice who can be a three down back that can run, catch and block). This makes sense especially after last year when 21 players were sent to IR. The team wants players who can fill in if another player goes down. The second part of the strategy was physicality. The team was clearly looking for players who could be tough and pound the opposition. Also, it's worth noting that the team was looking in the draft for players who could contribute early and address needs. With exception to Christian, who will be expected to contribute more in 2019, the draft goal was to have players immediately be able to contribute at a position or on special teams.

    My only issue with the draft was the failure of the team to address the Guard position. Part of me is convinced that the team was going to take Va. Tech's Wyatt Teller in the 5th round but went with another Hokie in Tim Settle because the value of nabbing Settle late in the 5th was just too much to overlook to address a need. Taking Settle was when BPA actually overrode need. Post-draft the Redskins have addressed the need for a starting LG and depth at the position by re-signing Shawn Lauvao. The problem with this move is that Lauvao has been incredibly unreliable health-wise. When healthy, Lauvao has been a good run blocker and an average pass blocker. As John Keim mentioned in his post, Lauvao has missed 22 games in the last three season with the 'Skins. Now the Redskins will have to determine who starts at LG from the following players: Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio, Kyle Kalis, Tyler Catalina and UDFA Sean Welsh.

    The Trades

    The Redskins only made two trades in this draft. The Redskins over the last few seasons generally trade back in days 1 & 2 to accumulate more picks. On day three, they are more aggressive and generally trade up to get players that they desire. This philosophy was again used in this year's draft.

    The 1st was an attempt to get back the 3rd round pick they lost in the Alex Smith trade
    Redskins Get: #59 , #74
    49ers Get: #4 4 , #142

    According to the standard draft value trade chart, the Redskins got a good value in this deal. For the value to be even, the Redskins should've had to give up #4 4 and #109 (their 4th round pick) to get the third round pick at #74 .

    The 2nd trade happened in the 6th round as the team traded with the Rams to move up and select Shaun Dion Hamilton at pick #197
    Redskins Get: #197 , #256
    Rams Get: #205 , #231

    This trade is a bit trickier to determine how much value the Redskins gained since many standard trade charts don't account for very late compensatory picks. That said, the Redskins were able to move up 8 spots to get the player they wanted in the sixth with only having to drop back 25 spots in the seventh and not lose a draft pick. So, the strategy and the dealings by the war room seem to be sound. Now it's time to look at the most important element of the draft: The Players

    The Players

    1st Round: Da'Ron Payne, NT/DL (#13 Selection)
    Ourlads Grade: 9.61/1st Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: The Redskins had the worst run defense last year. While the season started well with 2017 draft pick Jon Allen, once Allen and Matt Ioanndis were injured things went down hill and it was clear that the team finally needed to address the position of nose tackle (something that really hasn't been addressed since 2010 when the team switched from 4-3 to 3-4 base) and improve upon the depth of the D-line. Ziggy Hood shouldn't be playing NT as he is much better suited to be a 3-4 DE. Last year's starting NT Phil Taylor again succumbed to injury, which has been an issue during his entire NFL career. Terrell McCain and Stacy McGee struggled during the season and Anthony Lanier improved upon his skills from the previous season, but is still more of a pass rusher than run stopper.
    How Does He Fit? Da'Ron Payne can immediately start at NT, but he may provide versatility as a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT/NT. Payne is known to be a dominating run stopper where teams would be smart to run the ball away from him. He has a nice initial penetration and the ability to shed multiple blockers to either make the play himself or allow the linebackers to get to their man. The one question on Payne is whether he can be a three down player and help the team on the pass rush? I personally think he can based on what I've seen in multiple games, especially the National Championship game against Georgia. This doesn't mean that Payne will be a 5 or more sack a year player, but I would expect him to have a high amount of pressures and help collapse the pocket for Kerrigan and Smith. Where Payne will eventually start will be one of the fun things to watch during training camp. The Redskins line right now looks like Payne at NT with Ioanndis and Allen as the DEs in a 3-4 base. However, if Tim Settle or Phil Taylor wow during camp we could see Payne and Allen be the starting DEs. Either way, the Redskins defensive line is going to be much better and much different in 2018 with the addition of Payne.


    2nd Round: Derrius Guice, RB (#59 Selection)

    Ourlads Grade: 9.45/1st-2nd Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: They just weren't getting enough from the players they had on the roster. Rob Kelley has done a good job for a undrafted player but injuries knocked him out for most of 2017. Rookie Samaje Perine had a slow 2017 and the team would like to use Chris Thompson as a 3rd down back compared to an every down player. The concern is with Thompson's durability and his ability as a pass catcher and change of pace back is hindered if he is used frequently. The Redskins wanted to find a three down back who can be explosive, can have homerun speed, yet pound out a yard on 3rd and short, catch passes and be able to pass block. Surprisingly Guice fell into round 2 as other RBs were quickly drafted starting late in round 1 and early into round 2. Guice continued to fall because of rumors of maturity issues and some issues that may (emphasis on MAY - at least one of the stories have been debunked) have occurred during the pre-draft process. These rumors and concerns gave the Redskins the opportunity to trade back with the 49ers, get a 3rd round pick and then select Guice at #59 .
    How Does He Fit? Guice will be the day one starter at RB for the 'Skins. He is an explosive force that runs angry and reminds you of a combination of Marshawn Lynch and Clinton Portis. Guice is excellent at breaking tackles while holding onto the ball (according to Ourlads, he only had 2 fumbles in 534 carries). Guice can be used as a pass catcher but may stay in to block of Alex Smith or chip and sneak into the flat which is a classic Jay Gruden M.O. in his scheme. Guice has shown that he blocks like the way he runs. During the Draft, I was watching highlights of the LSU quarterback and saw Guice take out two Florida defenders with a cut block during a pass play.

    3rd Round: Geron Christian, OT (#74 Selection)
    Ourlads Grade: 6.36/4th-5th Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: The Redskins already have a great offensive tackle tandem in Trent Williams and Morgan Moses. The problem is that both are currently recovering from injuries. Their backups are Ty Nsekhe and TJ Clemmings, who are also coming off of injuries. Nsehke, who has been a reliable swing tackle for the team for the last few years, is under a one year deal and is getting older. Clemmings may not make the final 53 man roster. The Redskins are looking to find a player who can be the team's next swing tackle and possibly develop into a starting tackle in the future. Christian is a raw prospect. He played both LT and RT while at Louisville and some draft experts think Christian could potentially play every position on the O-line. The Redskins want to develop him to be a tackle, so don't expect him to be in competition for the LG position. This pick is a pick for 2019 a beyond. Give Bill Callahan a year to work with Christian and I think the Redskins will have another player that will make the fans feel okay if Williams or Moses have to miss a game or two.
    How Does He Fit? Expect Christian to be on the inactive list for most of the 2018 season unless there are injuries. In 2019 however, I would expect Christian to be the Redskins 6th man on the O-line. That means to say that Christian will be used as an extra blocker in Jumbo or Goal Line packages and the primary backup to Williams and Moses. The reason I say this is b/c I expect Nsekhe to look for a starting job with another team next year and also be 33 years old by the end of October 2018.

    4th Round: Troy Apke, S (#109 Selection)
    Ourlads Grade: 4.99/6th-7th Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: Speed kills. For the second year in a row the Redskins chose a highly athletic but slightly questionable pick in the 4th round. Apke's athleticism is off charts according to many. Even NFLN's Mike Mayock called him a "athletic freak". Apke is only a one year starter at Penn St. and appears to need time to develop more as a Free Safety, but he shows the passion to play the game, the ability to hit and the tangibles to match speed and agility with any WR or TE. Mark Bullock does a nice breakdown of what Apke has to offer for the Redskins in the secondary.
    How Does He Fit? In 2018 Apke will immediately have a job as a gunner on special teams. His speed will serve as a great asset as he tries to get to the punt returner. Apke will most likely be on every aspect of special teams while he refines his game under the tutelage of DB coach Torrian Gray. The long term plan would be for Apke to start next to Monte Nicholson which would give the Redskins a very fast safety tandem that could cover the entire field and make WRs regret catching balls over the middle as both players can level an opponent.

    5th Round: Tim Settle, NT/DL (#163 Selection)
    Ourlads Grade: 8.35/2nd-3rd Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: Settle is a steal falling to the 5th round. So why did he fall? Settle is probably considered a traditional NT based on his size and weight (6'2" 329 lbs.) and was only a one year starter. That said Settle is a dominating force and actually is known to be a scary pass rusher, despite the size making you think he'd be more useful as a dominant run stopper. As said before, the Redskins had the worst run defense in the league last year. The team has finally addressed the NT position in 2018 by drafting two NTs. Settle could also play as a DT in a 4-3 and could be useful to the team when they switch into their nickle and dime packages.
    How Does He Fit? At worst, Settle will be a reserve NT/DL who will back up Da'Ron Payne and rotate in when needed. Settle will also be used in various goal line and short yardage packages. Best case scenario will be that Settle wows during training camp and beats out Phil Taylor at NT. If he plays well enough, Settle could start at NT moving Payne to DE along with Allen. This could be a very scary threesome when the 'Skins are in their 3-4 base. Settle may also be used in some situations as a 4-3 DT and possibly even a 3-4 DE. If Settle lives up to his draft value he should provide some immediate impact against the run and make the 'Skins happy they took him when they did.

    6th Round: Shaun Dion Hamilton, ILB (#197 Selection)

    Ourlads Grade: 4.85/6th-7th Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: Fast player who could push for depth as an inside linebacker. If not for significant injuries, many think that Hamilton could have been a day one or day two draft pick. With Mason Foster only under contract through 2019, the team may be looking towards the future as Hamilton could be the future defensive play caller for the 'Skins. This of course depends on if Hamilton can stay healthy and regain the speed, power and agility he had before being injured.
    How Does He Fit? Hamilton will play a role on special teams immediately as his speed and tackling skills will help the unit. Beyond that he will look to move up the depth chart and try to be a backup to Mason Foster or Zach Brown.

    7th Round: Greg Stroman, CB (#241 Selection)
    Ourlads Grade: 5.24/5th-6th Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: There are a decent amount of reasons why Stroman was drafted by the Redskins. First, he played for current DB coach Torrian Gray when he was a Va. Tech and we have seen how well former Hokies have done in DC (examples: DeAngelo Hall, Kyshoen Jarrett and Kendall Fuller). Second, he has ball hawking skills, something the team desperately needs as their top INT guy (Fuller) was traded to the Chiefs in the Alex Smith deal. Third, he could be a possible solution to looking for a slot corner on the roster (although Josh Holsey is likely the first candidate who will get the opportunity to win the job). Fourth, he could be a potential option to replace Jamison Crowder as the team's punt returner. Also it doesn't hurt to have the second lowest QB rating when he is targeted of all the drafted DBs
    How Does He Fit? Stroman will automatically have a role on special teams. He may become the team's punt returner but will have competition with Crowder, Trey Quinn and possibly a few UDFAs for the job. Stroman will provide depth as probably the number six CB on the depth chart. However, with so many injuries that have occurred on the roster, there is a good chance Stroman could see some playing time as either a nickle corner or in various dime packages.

    7th Round: Trey Quinn, WR (#256 Selection)
    Ourlads Grade: 4.90/6th-7th Round
    Why the Redskins Selected Him: Quinn led college football with 114 catches last year. The Redskins like his speed and ability to run option routes well. This could be key to him seeing playing time with Alex Smith's skill set. The team needed depth at the WR position to replace the departed Ryan Grant. Now the team has at least six WR on the roster who could make the 53 man roster. As a bonus, Quinn can serve as a punt returner which would help as last year's team only had Jamison Crowder and DeAngelo Hall as punt returner options.
    How Does He Fit? Initially, Quinn will provide depth on the roster. He will play on special teams, probably as a gunner along with Troy Apke. Quinn will also compete for a chance to be the team's punt returner.

    UDFAs

    Here is a list of the 14 players who were signed as UDFAs. I really don't have the time to break down each player but I will list all the players, their Ourlads grades and maybe a comment on the player if I know anything relevant about them.

    Quinn Blanding, S
    Ourlads Grade: 5.73/5th-6th Round
    - 4 year starter, all time Cavalier tackler, 2 time 1st team ACC honors. Slow speed at combine hurt draft status

    Martez Carter, RB

    Ourlads Grade: 3.49/Priority Free Agent
    - The word on Twitter is that this player is very impressive. Could be the 2018 Training Camp favorite.

    Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR

    Ourlads Grade: 5.27/ 5th Round
    - Known for beating #4 overall pick Denzel Ward on a big pass play. Could be a Red Zone threat.

    Jerod Fernandez, LB

    Ourlads Grade: 3.49/Priority Free Agent

    Shay Fields, WR
    Ourlads Grade: 3.49/Priority Free Agent

    Matt Flanagan, TE
    Ourlads Grade: 3.45/Priority Free Agent

    Mikah Holder, WR
    Ourlads Grade: 3.49/Priority Free Agent

    Danny Johnson, CB
    Ourlads Grade: 3.49/Priority Free Agent

    Timon Parris, OT
    Ourlads Grade: 5.20/5th-6th Round

    De'Mornay Pierson-El, WR
    Ourlads Grade: 3.49/Priority Free Agent

    Cam Sims, WR
    Ourlads Grade:
    NOT LISTED

    Ranthony Texada, CB
    Ourlads Grade:
    3.45/Priority Free Agent

    Elijah Wellman, FB
    Ourlads Grade:
    3.45/Priority Free Agent

    Sean Welsh, C/G
    Ourlads Grade:
    3.99/ 7th Round - Priority Free Agent
    - 4 year starter as RT and OG, projects to be a OG or C at NFL level.
    Last edited by Boone; 05-07-18 at 10:12 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Same As It Ever Was...: Post-Draft Assessment

    Great read, thanks.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Same As It Ever Was...: Post-Draft Assessment

    So, that's 4 undrafted free agents that had legitimate draft grades.

    Not at all bad.

    Overall, good value at the time of selection for most if not all of the picks.

    Looks like Apke is the one outlier where we took a chance on a guy without a lot of experience simply on measurables alone.

    We will see if we can turn an athlete into a football player.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Same As It Ever Was...: Post-Draft Assessment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog's Twin View Post
    So, that's 4 undrafted free agents that had legitimate draft grades.

    Not at all bad.

    Overall, good value at the time of selection for most if not all of the picks.

    Looks like Apke is the one outlier where we took a chance on a guy without a lot of experience simply on measurables alone.

    We will see if we can turn an athlete into a football player.
    Hopefully he can be the same type of special teams player we got out of Niles Paul for 5 years. Raw talent who could not crack lineup as a WR, so they asked him to bulk up, become a backup TE, and saw him dominate on ST for years.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

 

 

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