SEABROOK – Although it has been a roller coaster offseason, the Washington Redskins filled voids at several positions and addressed many needs in the 2017 NFL Draft.
These are the selections made by the Redskins and my personal assessment of the impact they will potentially have on the team.
Round/Selection: 1/17th Pick
School/Position: Alabama, Defensive Tackle
Draft Grade: A
Quite arguably one of the best defensive players in the draft, Allen somehow slipped down to the Redskins, who have been in dire need of a pass rushing defender for some time now.
He is a plug-and-play monster who will make an instant impact by using his size and strength to stop the run and open up more opportunities for Ryan Kerrigan. As a senior, Allen racked up 69 tackles (career high) and 10.5 sacks.
Round/Selection: 2/49th Pick
School/Position: Alabama, Linebacker
Draft Grade: A
The Redskins followed a defensive trend by picking up Anderson to start the second round of the draft. The Alabama standout found a home in Washington and will fill a need for an outside linebacker who can penetrate double teams while blitzing in run support, but not become a liability in coverage either.
Anderson is a versatile player who fits the 3-4 defensive scheme well as an edge rusher or in space. He tallied 61 tackles, 8.5 sacks, an interception and four forced fumbles during his senior year.
Round/Selection: 3/81st Pick
School/Position: UCLA, Cornerback
Draft Grade: C-
Although I could be eating my words on this pick in the future, I'm not sold on Moreau as a consistent starting cornerback for the Redskins.
The secondary is in need of a facelift, but a former running back who transitioned to a cornerback with a small six-foot frame doesn't merit a third round selection in my opinion.
Moreau struggled at times covering the deep ball and only pulled down three interceptions during his tenure at UCLA. He even suffered a torn pectoral at his pro day workout, so this is just a wait-and-see selection.
Round/Selection: 4/114th Pick
School/Position: Oklahoma, Running Back
Draft Grade: C+
Robert Kelley emerged as the starting running back for Washington after Matt Jones couldn't seem to fix his fumbling issues, but competition at the running back spot isn't a bad thing for the Redskins to have.
Even though Kelley had a surprisingly good start to the year, he fell off dramatically, and that led to a running back selection this year. Perine is a tough-nosed runner who isn't afraid of contact, but he won't win any track records either.
However, his production at Oklahoma was undeniable; he piled up more than 4,000 yards and rushed for 49 touchdowns. He has a lot of upside and could push his way into the starting lineup if his attributes can translate to the NFL.
Round/Selection: 5/154th Pick
School/Position: Arkansas, Tight End
Draft Grade: C
Despite having some off the field issues, Sprinkle shows excellent quickness out of his breaks and makes no mistake – he is a pass catching tight end.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Sprinkle could potentially be a redzone nightmare if used correctly, but he might need to hit the weights a bit more to be NFL ready. Sprinkle hauled in 33 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.
Rounding out the rest
Washington shored up its offensive line depth with its sixth-round selection (No. 199) of Chase Roullier (Wyoming), who started all 24 games in his career, leading his team to the 2016 Mountain West Championship game.
With the second sixth-round pick (No. 209), the Redskins selected Georgia State wide receiver Robert Davis. The 6-foot-3 receiver showed explosion down the field and caught 67 balls for 968 yards and five touchdowns last year.
Washington snagged Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons with its first of two picks (No. 230) in the seventh round. Harvey-Clemons' draft stock plummeted a bit because of drug-related issues earlier in his career, but he has a nose for the ball on the field and a 6-foot-5 frame. He hauled in four interceptions during his collegiate career, and in my approximations, he could be a steal.
Finally, the Redskins selected defensive back Joshua Holsey out of Auburn (No. 235). Holsey had the best statistical season of his collegiate career last year after he accounted for 30 tackles and three interceptions.
All in all, Washington had a productive draft that should provide some real competition at nearly every position going into training camp.