The Redskins did not make a huge splash in the 2014 NFL draft. They did not have a first-round draft pick, they did not select huge college stars or even choose anyone likely to start next season.
Whether they did well or not is a question for years down the road. But Washington concluded its work on Saturday with five more picks, including a cornerback, a running back, a wide receiver, a tight end and a kicker.
“We addressed some positions that we needed to address with depth,” new coach Jay Gruden said. “There are some good, solid character guys, some good solid players. We’re happy with where we ended with the draft and moving forward with this football team we feel like we have some good strong competition at every spot. We’ll add some free agents also, fill out our 90-man roster and go from there.”
In all, the Redskins selected eight players, trading down twice to net extra picks. On Thursday they sat out the festivities with their first-round pick sent to the St. Louis Rams in the Robert Griffin III trade two years ago.
On Friday they chose linebacker Trent Murphy, offensive tackle Morgan Moses and offensive guard Spencer Long.
Saturday the organization started with Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland, a player Gruden noted came out early and was a potential first or second round pick in 2015 if he stayed in school another year.
Tulane wide receiver Ryan Grant was the team’s fifth-round pick. Gruden said the team
In the sixth round Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk was the choice. He’ll provide immediate competition for third-down back Roy Helu – though Gruden admitted that the question is whether Seastrunk, a home-run threat, can catch the ball effectively. Baylor’s coaching staff simply doesn’t target its backs that way.
Indiana tight end Ted Bolser and Arkansas kicker Zach Hocker were both seventh round selections. Bolser and Breeland will be contributors on special teams, Gruden said. That’s a must for a team that was the NFL’s worst unit.
Gruden wouldn’t rule out using two roster spots on kickers if Hocker, one of the country’s best on kickoffs, proves valuable enough in that role. The incumbent is Kai Forbath. That, of course, isn’t an ideal scenario.
As for Michael Sam, the openly gay football player from Missouri, he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round at No. 249. The Redskins did not seriously consider selecting Sam, who was the SEC defensive player of the year for the Tigers, but projected as a sixth or seventh round draft pick.
“We drafted Trent Murphy, obviously. We still have [linebackers] Brandon Jenkins here and Rob Jackson here at that spot,” Gruden said. “[Adrian] Robinson came on and had a good three days [at minicamp] also so we have some guys at that spot that we feel good about.”