Washington Redskins 2014 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
The 2014 NFL draft is the first selection process for the Washington Redskins in the post-Mike Shanahan era. It will serve as an evaluation of how the new regime, led by rookie head coach Jay Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen, is rebuilding a franchise that went 3-13 last season.
Although Allen was with the team throughout Shanahan's torturous tenure, this is essentially his first chance to stamp his authority on the team-building process.
He has been in bullish form in the lead-up to this draft. In fact, Allen has already set one agenda, declaring Washington won't target need with its first pick.
Instead, Allen will plump for the proverbial "best player available," per Washington Post reporter Mike Jones. The Post scribe believes offensive tackle and secondary help will be Allen's main targets.
Of course, the new architect of Washington's fortunes will have to be selective, since the team is again without a first-round pick thanks to the trade to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III in 2012.
Despite that omission, Allen and Gruden remain in a strong position. They are armed with a pick at the top of the next six rounds, and Allen believes his roster contains "no gaping holes," per ESPN.com writer John Keim.
That confidence is not totally unjustified after a foray into free agency that yielded wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, along with premier interior pass-rusher Jason Hatcher.
However, one free-agency cycle does not remake a team and no franchise in the NFL should understand that better than Washington. Solidifying the protection in front of Griffin, as well as adding a couple of playmakers on defense, will represent a successful draft for Allen and Gruden.
As the picks come in, this slideshow will offer live analysis and grades for every member of Washington's 2014 draft haul.
Washington Trades with Arch Rival Dallas Cowboys
A strange start to the draft sees Washington make a trade with NFC East nemesis the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys offered a decent bounty for Washington's pick at the top of Round 2, the 34th overall selection.
That gives Redskins general manager Bruce Allen the Cowboys second-round pick, the 47th overall choice, as well as a third-rounder, the 78th pick, reported by Redskins.com writer Stephen Czarda.
Earlier today, Real Redskins blogger Rich Tandler mooted the possibility Washington would deal with its arch rival. The deal now gives Allen two third-round choices to work with and seven picks instead of six.
Given the depth of this year's class, particularly at positions of need for the Redskins, like offensive tackle, making a deal was a very smart play. Allen got an additional pick at great value.
Washington Selects Trent Murphy with the 47th Pick
Washington is clearly serious about planning for life without Brian Orakpo. The Redskins gave themselves insurance in case they can't agree a new lengthy deal with Orakpo, by drafting Trent Murphy with the 47th overall pick.
But the former Stanford rush end is more than just a willing deputy. He gives Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett a skilled and savvy pass-rusher with plenty of experience operating in a hybrid 3-4 scheme.
In several mock drafts I lobbied for the Redskins to add another outside pass-rusher to their rotation behind franchise tag recipient Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.
Now Haslett has a stable of weapons to unleash on quarterbacks.
Washington Picks Morgan Moses 66th Overall
After grabbing a prolific pass-rusher with their first pick, the Washington Redskins took care of their biggest need by selecting offensive tackle Morgan Moses.
The ex-Virginia mammoth is a capable right tackle. Moses should slot in ahead of uninspiring incumbent Tyler Polumbus.
The Washington O-line has needed an upgrade at that position for some time. If he stays healthy, Moses has the power to provide it.
Not only will the 6'6", 314-pounder add more thump to an already punishing running game, Moses will play a key role in protecting quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Moses answers an obvious need and although he fell down the board, still represents tremendous value at the top of Round 3.
Washington Selects Spencer Long with 78th Pick
Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden continued the theme of bolstering their team's feeble offensive line by adding guard Spencer Long with their second pick in Round 3.
Although he answers a need, Long rates as something of a reach as the 78th overall pick. He was rated as a seventh-rounder, or even and undrafted free agent, on the CBS Sports prospect rankings page.
That may have been a tough assessment for an interior lineman who is tough and resourceful in the trenches. But it remains to be seen if a player who is more of a short-area blocker will fit in Washington's mobility based zone scheme.
At least Allen and Gruden found a right guard to challenge porous starter Chris Chester. That need has been answered, but the fit and value are dubious.
Washington Takes Bashaud Breeland 102nd Overall
The Redskins finally addressed their need at cornerback with their fourth draft pick. Bruce Allen plucked ex-Clemson ball hawk Bashaud Breeland off the board with 102nd overall pick.
Breeland fits the bill as a bigger cornerback for a secondary needing additional size. The 5'11", 197-pounder also rates as good value, considering his CBS Sports profile had him projected as a third-rounder.
Breeland answers the need for a meaner, more physical cover man with the size to play the slot.
Washington Adds Ryan Grant to a Crowded Wide Receiver Corps
At some point, offensive coordinator turned head coach Jay Gruden was bound to indulge himself by drafting a skill player. He waited until Round 5 to snare former Tulane wide receiver Ryan Grant.
He joins a crowded position group that was boosted during free agency with the additions of Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson. There is also record-breaking incumbent Pierre Garcon, as well as greybeard Santana Moss and youngsters Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson.
Grant's arrival could mean the end for one of the latter duo. What Grant gives the Washington offense is a natural player for the slot.
At 6'0" and 199 pounds, he is not a physically imposing flanker, but Grant is resourceful and sure-handed. The passing game has lacked a roving, diminutive pass-catcher, but while Grant fits the bill, wide receiver was hardly a pressing need.
Robinson could've been groomed for the slot, while Moss is savvy enough to make that role his own, particularly in the red zone.
Washington Trades with Tennessee Titans
Bruce Allen made his second trade of this draft. This time he dealt the Washington Redskins sixth-round choice, the 178th pick overall, to the Tennessee Titans.
The reward is an extra choice in the seventh and final round. Allen has gained Tennessee's sixth-rounder, the 186th overall pick and 10th selection in Round 6.
Washington's general manager now also has the second and 13th picks in the seventh round, the 217th and 228th overall choices, per Redskins.com.
After entering this draft with only six picks, Allen has slyly manipulated the board to bump that number up to eight. Earning extra picks can prove vital to a rebuilding team, especially one woefully thin on depth a year ago.
Gruden Finds His Running Back with Lache Seastrunk
Jay Gruden took his time, but he finally added the change-of-pace rusher his offense was missing. Washington took fleet-footed running back Lache Seastrunk in Round 6.
A former Baylor teammate of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Seastrunk represents good value at this stage. He plays with good speed and possesses a devilish range of moves.
Seastrunk can stretch a defense on the perimeter, a quality Washington's ground game doesn't possess, even with brutish workhorse Alfred Morris pounding tacklers.
The only quibble with this pick concerns Seastrunk's lack of work as a pass-catcher. He didn't tally a single reception in 2013 per cfbstats.com.
The offense was missing a useful backfield receiver, and that remains an issue after this pick.
Washington Adds Ted Bolser to the Offense
Jay Gruden continues adding weapons to his revamped offense. This time it's Ted Bolser, a tight end drafted with the first of Washington's two seventh-round choices.
There was definitely a need for another tight end to backup last year's third-round pick Jordan Reed. He had trouble staying healthy as a rookie, missing seven games during his debut season.
Bolser can provide cover, but he is very different to Reed, who is a true "Joker-style" roving receiver. By contrast, Bolser is more of a classic bruiser at the position.
The 6'5", 257-pound former Indiana Hossier is very much a short-range pass-catcher. While that skill is always welcome, it would've been nice to see Washington target a player with similar skills to Reed.
No other tight end on the roster has his talent as a "move" weapon. If Reed is hit by the injury bug again, Bolser won't fill the void.
Washington Finishes the Draft by Selecting Zach Hocker, K
The Washington Redskins made a pretty uninspiring finish to their 2014 NFL draft haul. The team added former Arkansas kicker Zach Hocker with its final pick.
Granted, the franchise has had issues in the kicking game since Chip Lohmiller hung up his cleats. But taking Hocker meant the team passed on several talented prospects at areas of more pressing need.
For instance, an inside linebacker like Shayne Skov was still on the board, along with safety Dion Bailey and pass-rusher Jackson Jeffcoat.
Jay Gruden and Bruce Allen might want competition for incumbent Kai Forbath, but this still feels like a strange pick.