Scot McCloughan's Redskins drafts prove dismal

Rick Snider
October 12, 2018 - 12:06 pm
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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Give draft picks a few years before judging them, NFL personnel men always beg. OK, then it's finally time to judge former Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan's picks.

"Not very good," as old ball coach Steve Spurrier would say.

In the 2015-16 drafts, the Redskins only hit big on two picks – Jamison Crowder and Matt Ioannidis – while Kendall Fuller fared well before he was traded. Otherwise, Brandon Scherff has played well but not been the impact player the fifth pick overall should make and Preston Smith has been fair.

And after that, it's a whole lot of nothing.

Washington's biggest problem throughout Dan Snyder's 19-year tenure has been poor drafting. They've rarely grown their own talent. Snyder's early years favored overspending on free agents before flipping to the drafts beginning with McCloughan's 2015-16 tenure.

The main problem has always been little structure in the draft room. It's like the old saying, "When you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks." That the Redskins would always talk about group consensus was mostly a deflection of blame. Some years, Snyder was even too involved in picks. And other years, the wrong people were selecting players.

Even when developing players like Kirk Cousins, the team too often let them walk while chasing the next big thing.

Persistent poor drafting left the team with few quality young stars that also help the salary cap. It also forced Washington to spend its last two first-rounders on defensive linemen, and Scherff in 2015, to address neglected lines after the Redskins went star-chasing at skill positions for too long.

It was all supposed to stop with McCloughan. But given most of the picks aren't with the team anymore, it's time to assess.

The grade is a big fat D.

McCloughan admitted he overreached in selecting Scherff fifth overall. He wanted a sure-thing lineman with his first pick and Scherff has proven a solid player with one Pro Bowl. Supposedly, Scherff was a tackle to justify the pick, but it took five minutes and one bad practice against Houston's J.J. Watt to move Scherff inside. Top five linemen should only be left tackles. That leaves Scherff as a good pick, but not great.

Second-rounder Smith has been erratic. He produces sacks in bunches, then disappears. It was a fair pick at best. Third-rounder Matt Jones didn't last long. Fourth-rounder Crowder has been McCloughan's best pick as a dependable receiver. The last five selections are no longer with the team.

Josh Doctson as the 2016 first-rounder has proven a bust. Blame injuries if you want, but there has been virtually no production and no expectation for any. Second-rounder Su'a Cravens showed some flash as a rookie before leaving the team and ultimately getting traded. So that's a bust. Third-rounder Fuller was a solid pick who the Redskins used to overpay for Alex Smith in an offseason trade. Bet the team really wishes they had Fuller now in a troubled secondary.

Ioannidis has been a solid selection, especially for a fifth-rounder. The team can't seem to get him enough snaps, but for a fifth that's a good pick. Sixth-rounder Nate Sudfeld and seventh-rounder Steven Daniels are no longer with the team.

So when thinking about the good old days, don't bother with McCloughan, who was fired last year for disputed reasons that had nothing to do with the draft. Sadly, his picks were as mediocre as the team because mediocre drafts produce mediocre teams.