Special Edition: 2018 NFL Redskins Draft Wrap Up
Welcome back to The B&G Report. Day Two and Three of the NFL Draft were not only productive, but filled with value picks! That seemed to be the Redskins theme of the 2018 Draft. The glitz and glamour were certainly on display in Dallas. Extended film study would be necessary,considering all the Mid-Late Round steals. They also had an impressive list of UDFA’s that were signed. In the previous B&G Report Post, we examined the Redskins First Round selection of Da’ron Payne. Usually the First Round is the filled with excitement, the Redskins time to shine would come later though. Payne was the “Need Pick” Skins Fans clamored for and I was on board with it, considering Vita Vea was off the board. I was really excited to land Payne and feel the Alabama Connection can’t be understated!
As the Redskins Second Round pick approached, Redskins fans sat glued to the TV holding their breath. Why you ask? Well reports slowly started trickling down, that LSU RB Derrius Guice was slipping on teams boards based on rumored “Character Issues“. A supposed “bombshell video” involving Guice was rumored to be released the day after the NFL Draft concluded. Well that video never surfaced. The rumored entity was the popular gossip show TMZ. Over the weekend TMZ released a statement, in which they stated that they had no idea about a supposed Guice video. Then the story was Guice reportedly had a loud altercation with Philadelphia Eagles staff, during a planned visit. When asked of the supposed altercation, Eagles GM and staff reiterated that no such event took place. At this point multiple running backs were selected ahead of Guice, with three backs going in Round 1. This would ultimately end up being a huge gain for Washington. So without further ado, let’s go through the Redskins Draft Prospects and dive into their potential contribution to the team in 2018 and beyond.
Da’ron Payne 6’3 311 DT ALABAMA
“He’s an established run stopper, who’s just scratching the surface as a pass rusher. If Payne returned to school, he would have been a Top 10 pick in next years Draft”-Phil Savage Former Browns VP and GM
Derrius Guice RB 5’11 224 LSU
Derrius Guice slipped to the Redskins in the 2nd round 59th overall in a trade back from the 44th pick, based on the issues that were previously mentioned. As Redskins Fans, we need to celebrate after finally acquiring a top level running back.
“I know Guice, I’m from the same area where he grew up near Batonrouge. We know a lot of people he knows. We got a really good back”-Doug Williams at 4/30 Post Draft Presser
Guice finished his career at LSU, with a 6.62 per carry average. That mark was 2nd all time in SEC History, to only Bo Jackson. That’s pretty good company to keep. Statistics are nice, but when evaluating a prospects worth in the NFL, a look at the players he played with are key. In Guice’s case, his supporting cast was pretty dreadful. Other than teammate WR DJ Chark, no other offensive player of note comes to mind. Not only did LSU run a power run game, they had bad quarterback play. Also they never had a real threat of play action, built into their offense. Guice routinely faced 6-8 man fronts and still dominated with runs after contact, often dragging multiple defenders with him. Guice also has the SEC record, for the only running back to have 250 + yards in each of his three games vs SEC opponents
As previously mentioned, the Redskins traded back in the Second Round in return for a Third Round Selection. Many Skins fans celebrated, since the Skins previous 3rd Round Draft Pick was dealt to KC in the Alex Smith Trade. Not only did they get a 3rd Round pick back, they actually ended up picking higher in the 3rd round than before the Smith trade!
Louisville OT Gerard Christian would end up being the selection, it prompted mixed reviews among Redskins fans. Most fans thought the Louisville Offensive Tackle would be converted to LG, considering that was a major need. The B&G Report previously posted “Top 5 Roster Needs of the Redskins” and Offensive Guard was number two on that list. Well the Redskins went the entire Draft without selecting a Guard. Word is that the Guard prospects they liked, were off the board when they picked. Redskins VP Doug Williams previously mentioned that Guard Arie Kouandjio had looked good and improved, thus could be a candidate to start at LG in 2018. Personally I have faith in Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan and the job he’s done. The thought of Ari starting at LG, doesn’t excite me. Apparently Redskins Coaches are looking into other options, such as current Swing Tackle Ty Nsekhe possibly moving to LG. Let’s get back to Christian and what to expect this year and beyond. The more film I watch, the more I come away impressed with the Louisville Tackle. Christian protected former Heisman Trophy Winner and Ravens Second Round selection QB Lamar Jackson. Christian played on both the Left & Right side of Louisville’s Line. The fact that Jackson was so explosive when he left the pocket, made it even more important to have a blocker such as Christian. He needs to work on his technique and play recognition. The Louisville lineman is super athletic and has great size though. As the Redskins 3rd Round pick, Christian isn’t expected to start. With TrentWilliams and Morgan Moses still recovering from their respective surgical procedures, Christian be thrown into the fire during Training Camp until the Skins bookends are fully recovered. In a way this is a great for the youngster because he’ll probably get first teams reps, through Camp and the Pre Season. In the end I’m happy with this pick, considering that the current tackles are still recovering and Trent can’t play foerever. So look for Christianson to spend extra time with Coaches to work on Pass/Run Blocking techniques, he should bulk up in the offseason and get stronger in the Redskins Strength & Conditioning Program as well. I see a bright dirtier for the former Cardinal!
Now we start to get down to the Drafts nitty gritty! The Redskins surprised some with the selection of Penn State Safety Troy Apke. The former HS All State Wide Receiver and Track Star, converged to Safety when he committed to PSU. He was a Special Teams standout, but only played a reserve role as a sub package safety, until his Senior year. Apke played in 13 games his final year at PSU. He’s viewed as a quick twitch athlete and I’d have to agree. So what’s my take on Apke after watching his film? First and foremost, this kid has unbelievable strait line speed! He really needs to work on his angles h takes in coverage, play recognition and most importantly his tackling technique need work. In saying that, the PSU Safety was a Combine Workout Warrior! Apke led all Safeties with a blazing 4.34 sec Forty Yard Dash Time. He also showed his burst with a 41 inch vertical leap and a 131.0 inch Broad Jump. The former Nittnay Lion was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award for his performance in the NFLPA game.
Now the question is how does Apke fit in with Washington’s current Safety Group? As it stands DJ Swearinger and Montae Nicholson will be the starting Safeties, with Deshazor Everett and Fish Smithson as backups. The latter two are not locks to make the roster, but reports are team brass loves Everett’s progression on Special Teams and in spot duty at SS. I think Apke should have the inside track on Fish, based on his larger frame and speed alone. So look for the PSU safety to earn his stripes on Special Teams, as he bulks up and refines his technique. With the way the injury bug hit Washington last year, Apke could see the field sooner, rather than later as a Safety.
Tim Settle NT Va Tech
Shaun Dion Hamilton
Seventh Round (1st of Two)
Greg Stroman CB Va Tech
The former Hokie is a quick twitch DB, who has a nice backpedal and easily flips his hips while in coverage. Although Stroman has a smaller frame, he excels at press man coverage. He also has impressive recovery speed (4.48 Combine Forty). As previously mentioned, his ability as a Special Teams Returner gives him a great opportunity to make the Redskins roster. As far as the negatives go, I’m not as down on him as some are. Yes he has a small/lanky frame at only 182 lbs, but that shouldn’t have been enough to drop him to the 7th Round. At 5’11, he isn’t tiny, but he does have a very skinny frame/legs. His nearly 30 inch arms, curbed my reservations about his size though. At times the Va Tech corner gave up to much cushion on his receivers, but is ability to recover and get his long arms on the Football displayed his upside. In the end I see Stroman making this team and possibly beating out Josh Holsey for the 5th cornerback on the Skins depth chart, unless they keep six. Greg Stroman is a name Redskins fans will be hearing for years to come!
Seventh Round (2nd of Two)
Trey Quinn WR SMU 6’0 203 lbs
The Redskins had the final selection of the 2018 Draft at #256, which is playfully know as “Mr. Irrelevant“. The prospect is given the red carpet treatment all week and a trip to Disney usually follows. This year’s Mr. Irrelevant was SMU WR Trey Quinn. After the week long celebration ends, it will be time to get down to business for the former SMU Pass Catcher. Quinn is anything but irrelevant and his College production backed it up. The former LSU transfer registered 114 receptions 1,236 receivingyards with 13 TD’s. Keep in mind, the pass catcher on the other side of the field from Quinn was Courtland Sutton. Sutton was selected with the 40th overall pick in the Second Round by Denver. Sutton finished 2017 with 68 receptionsfor 1085 receiving yards. Quinn came close to doubling Sutton’s reception numbers! It speaks volumes to Quinn’s impact and potential ability as a slot receiver. At 6’0 203 with 30 3/4 inch arms, he’s not considered small. Compared to current Skins slot receiver Jamison Crowder (5’9 177 lbs). Quinn was an All American HS Receiver, who registered 357 rec for 6,566 receiving and 70 TD’s.
Interesting fact, Quinn is actually best friends with Sean Tuohy Jr, who’s the real life son of Leigh Ann Tuohy. Their story along with former NFL OT MichaelOher, was made into the critically acclaimed movie “The Blind Side“.
Anyway back to football! Quinn was also a really good HS Baseball and track athlete. Admittedly, Quinn was not on my radar and I’ve seen very little of his film until the week. I did watch all Quinn’s Punt/Kick returns while at SMU, it was difficult to gain a consensus, considering he only had 10 total. It was more about observing his anticipation while the ball was in the air. He should certainly get an opportunity with Washington to compete for a Returner role, considering how Crowder disappointed last season and with no firm Kick Returner currently in place for the Redskins. As a receiver, I think he has a bright future with the Redskins. A big knock on the former Mustang is that he’s a One Hit Wonder, with only one productive year in college. What I saw from Quinn’s tape is a player who doesn’t wait for the ball to get to him, but has great instincts to snatch balls out of the air in addition to having really good hands. He doesn’t really have much wiggle or burst, but he’s a Friggin Football Player! Although Quinn is probably limited to the slot as an NFL Receiver, that night might not be such a bad thing for his chances in Washington. Personally I’m not sold on Crowder as the Redskins long term solution at slot receiver. The former Duke wideout is in his final year of his rookie contract heading into the 2018 season. Anything above 700 receiving yards and 5 TD’s in the production category for JC, will most likely result in an average annual salary of around $10 million a year. That’s just the facts Redskins fans, I just don’t see Crowder as that type of player for Washington. Giving Quinn a legit shot to back up Crowder in the slot, should be a priority by Gruden. Per reports Jay Gruden apparently pounded the table in the Draft War Room for Quinn to be drafted in the Mid Rounds, only to be sleected with the final pick of the NFL Draft. My evaluation after watching all his 2017 film? Quinn might not be the most athletic or quickest athlete, but he’s a prototypical slot receiver who excels on choice routes. In the end I believe, Quinn makes this team and ends up being the eventual replacement for Crowder, who I believe walks in 2019 with no LTD.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
The Redskins hit gold again, with a dearth of talent from the UDRFA Pool!Prior to this Draft, I told many readers that I believed this to be the deepest Draft in years. With early Round Prospects such as Guice and Settle slipping in the Draft, it allowed Mid Round talent to go undrafted . Players like Indiana WR Simmie Cobbs Jr, Alabama WR Cam Simms,Grambling speedster RB Martez Carter just to name a few where part of the Redskins UDRFA signings. The aforementioned players, all had Mid Round Draft grades, but the UDRFA’s will be featured in an upcoming B&G Report. The complete list of the Redskins UDRFA are bellow.
Martez Carter RB Grambling
Shay Fields WR Colorado
Cam Sims WR Alabama
Simmie Cobbs Jr WR Indiana
De’Mornay Pierson WR Nebraska
Micah Holder WR San Diego St
Elijah Wellman FB WVU
Sean Welsh OG Iowa
Timon Parris OT Stoney Brook
Matt Flanagan TE Pitt
Quin Blanding S Virginia
Danny Johnson CB Southern
Jerod Fernandez LB NC State
Ranthony Texada CB TCU
The Redskins seemed to have an exceptional Draft and plan on paper, but getting these players to gel together is key. In my opinion, bringing on so many Alabama Prospects was well thought out. Having players that already have built up chemistry, should breed success. Let’s face it, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban has built an NFL Prospect Factory and continues to pump out NFL ready defenders every year. The competition in Training Camp should be FIERCE!
Thanks for checking out the Post Draft Wrap Up and Stay Tuned For a Special Edition Q&A!