Redskins add talent, depth with 10-player class in 2017 NFL Draft

Redskins bring in defensive talent early, snag offensive depth after 8-7-1 season

Bill Streicher—USA Today Sports
Jonathan Allen (Alabama) is selected as the number 17 overall pick to the Washington Redskins in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Redskins bring in defensive talent early, snag offensive depth after 8-7-1 seasonThe Washington Redskins are coming off a disappointing 8-7-1 season after going to the playoffs the year prior. In one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, grabbing a nearly perfect draft class was a necessity despite firing general manager Scot McCloughan less than two months prior.That left plenty of responsibility on head coach Jay Gruden’s shoulders heading into his fourth year as the Skins head coach. The team didn’t reach early, going after Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen, who fell from being a likely top-10 pick due to shoulder tendinitis discovered during the draft process.”It’s the way it worked out, really,” Gruden said. “We tried to follow our board. I think [Director of College Scouting] Scott Campbell and [President] Bruce Allen and the scouts really did a great job of getting the board set. The assistant coaches had a lot of say in it, did a very nice job. We feel like we did a good job.”Whether it was the picks of Allen or Ryan Anderson, two former members of the nasty Alabama front seven, or Samaje Perine in the fourth round, Washington got plenty of bang for its buck. Here’s a look at every pick and analysis following the 2017 NFL Draft.First round, 17th overall: Jonathan Allen, DE, AlabamaThe aforementioned drop down on draft day finally ended for Allen as the Redskins snagged the massive edge rusher with their top overall pick. At 6-foot-3, 286 pounds, Allen has ridiculous athleticism and, according to Gruden, will be expected to contribute on Day 1 after tallying 22.5 sacks over the past two seasons in Tuscaloosa — an expectation for most first-round picks.”Versatility is hard to find this day and age in defensive linemen, it really is,” Gruden said. “Big-bodied guys usually are just run stoppers, they’re not able to rush the passer as effectively as he is. And that’s a big need for us. … He’s the 17th pick of the draft. He’ll contribute tomorrow. Right now.” Grade: A-Second round, 49th: Ryan Anderson, OLB, AlabamaHow do you make a highly-touted rookie comfortable? Draft his teammate to possibly share the same side of the field with him. That’s exactly what the Skins did in drafting Anderson, a player who helped lead Alabama to being one of the top overall defenses in the country last season.While there were some questions about Anderson after his combine workout, Anderson quickly dispatched them by stating, “When I get on the field, [combine drills] has nothing to do with kicking a man’s ass in front of you.” Grade: BThird round, 81st: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLAThe Skins went to the other side of the country with the third-round pick, securing a talented corner for the future of the franchise. Fabian Moreau is coming off a torn pectoral and will add depth to a talented secondary when he’s able to return alongside Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Quinton Dunbar and Kendall Fuller. Grade: B-Fourth round, 114th: Samaje Perine, RB, OklahomaWell, this puts Rob Kelley on notice. Samaje Perine has a strikingly similar skill set to Kelley along with an almost identical frame. Perine was a steal for Washington, adding instant competition to share the backfield with Kirk Cousins. Grade: B+Fourth round, 123rd: Montae Nicholson, S, Michigan StateMontae Nicholson looks the part with an ideal frame at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, but came away with only four interceptions during his career at Michigan State. He’ll need some developing and to recover from a torn labrum, making decent pick in the fourth round. Grade: C+Fifth round, 154th: Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, ArkansasThis was purely a depth add for the Redskins with Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and Vernon Davis already on the depth chart. Given his size at 6-foot-5, 252 pounds, Jeremy Sprinkle is another developmental pick for Washington with a chance to get playing time considering Reed’s injury concerns. Grade: B-Sixth round, 199th: Chase Roullier, C, WyomingOnce teams enter the sixth round, every player is purely a depth addition. Chase Roullier is a versatile offensive lineman who played tackle and guard at Wyoming, but is considered a center at the NFL level. Measuring in at 6-foot-4, 312 pounds, Roullier could be plugged in as a backup in multiple roles. Grade: BSixth round, 209th: Robert Davis, WR, Georgia StateRobert Davis is a 6-foot-3, 219-pound wide receiver who ran a 4.44 40-yard dash. Yeah, that guy has a chance to make an NFL roster. He’ll likely be a solid backup in the future, but a potential home run hitter for the Skins with his size and speed. Grade: B+Seventh round, 230th: Josh Harvey-Clemons, S/LB, LouisvilleEveryone is looking for the next versatile safety/linebacker to plug into the defensive backfield. Josh Harvey-Clemons provides that, but serious development will be necessary after being kicked out of Georgia for multiple suspensions for marijuana use. Grade: C+Seventh round, 235th: Joshua Holsey, CB, AuburnInjury concerns cost Joshua Holsey a higher slot selection after tearing his left ACL twice during his college career. But with obvious talent as a safety and corner at Auburn, his 4.43 40-yard dash should help Washington in slot coverage if he can stay healthy and develop quickly. Grade: B-