- The Washington Times - Friday, May 9, 2014

The Redskins selected Nebraska offensive lineman Spencer Long on Friday with the 78th pick in the NFL draft.

Long is a right guard who has had injury issues throughout his college career. He is 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds. After starting all 13 games as a sophomore for the Cornhuskers, Long played through a torn meniscus as a junior, making all 14 starts.

His senior year was cut short after six games after tearing the medial collateral (MCL) and posterior collateral (PCL) ligament in his left knee. Long even underwent an appendectomy and didn’t lift at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Long, who was Washington’s second third-round pick of the day after adding the pick in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys. “Your heart’s racing the whole time watching the picks go by. I’m so thankful for this moment and so happy.”

Long said he’s familiar with zone blocking schemes. Under two different offensive coordinators, Nebraska ran zone during his time there. He was one of two linemen taken by the Redskins. Virginia’s Morgan Moses is the other. 

An NFL.com scouting report lists athleticism as a weakness for Long, which means he didn’t always show well on pulling and trapping plays. But he has good strength and a nasty side, battling hard for position on the interior. He is also credited with being solid in pass protection. Long is versatile, too, with the ability to play either guard spot.

The Redskins feel that long is okay physically and will be ready to play right away and compete for playing time.

“Tough, tenacious offensive linemen are hard to find,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said.  “Big, physical guys that love football. And that’s kind of the motto. All three of these guys that we drafted has football as one of their top priorities in life. They’re going to come in here and battle and compete every day…and will contribute sooner than later.” 

 

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