Grading the Washington Redskins’ 2015 NFL Draft

WASHINGTON — Redskins general manager Scott McCloughan came into his first Redskins draft wanting at least 10 picks and big, physical football players.  He succeeded on both accounts.

When the fifth overall selection came up on Thursday night, with perhaps the best defensive player in the draft still around, the Redskins opted to fulfill a need and draft Brandon Scherff from Iowa. Initially, I thought that was too high, but when Jay Gruden said they would pencil him in at right tackle, I thought it wasn’t too high after all. If Scherff is able to play right tackle for the foreseeable future, I think they got a good one at five.

Jay Gruden and the coaches love the fact that he’s a big, physical player who can play center, guard or tackle. Not to mention, he’s 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 320 pounds. The Redskins obviously had him high on their board, because it sounds as if there wasn’t much hesitation when their spot came up and he was available.

McCloughan worked out a trade with Seattle on the second day of the draft, netting three additional picks to give them 10 throughout the three days.

In the second round, they selected outside linebacker Preston Smith out of Mississippi State, who can play linebacker or defensive end. At 6 feet, 5 inches, and 271 pounds, he’s another big, physical guy.

The third round saw them select running back Matt Jones out of Florida. The 6-foot, 3-inch, physical running back could help with the departure of Roy Helu Jr.

The team selected two players in the fourth round — wide receiver Jamison Crowder out of Duke and their second offensive lineman of the draft, Arie Kouandjio from Alabama.

The Redskins used one fifth-round pick to acquire Arkansas linebacker Martrell Spaight and traded their second fifth-round pick (167th overall) to the New Orleans Saints for a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft and a sixth-rounder in 2016.

With three selections in the sixth round, the team went for both offense and defense. At pick 181, they selected safety Kyshoen Jarrett out of Virginia Tech and, at pick 182, cornerback Tevin Michael from Arkansas. At selection 187, the team took a second wide receiver in Evan Spencer out of Ohio State.

The team’s final selection in round seven saw them take a third offensive lineman, center Austin Reiter out of South Florida.

When all is said and done, I think the Redskins did pretty well in their first draft with Scott McCloughan at the helm. There is obviously a lot to be learned over the next couple of months, but this is a good start. They accomplished what they wanted in terms of quantity and player type, and addressed needs without deviating from the plan.

I give them a solid B.

George Wallace

George Wallace is the WTOP sports director. He began at WTOP on Christmas Day of 2000.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up