- The Washington Times - Friday, May 9, 2014

Jay Gruden’s first NFL draft as head coach of the Redskins did not go as expected. That is because no draft ever does. He was ready for it.

Washington traded the No. 34 overall pick – the second of the second round and it’s first in this year’s draft – to the Dallas Cowboys. In return, the Redskins grabbed Dallas’ second-round pick, No. 48, and third-round selection, No. 77. With those picks Washington chose Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy, Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses and Nebraska offensive guard Spencer Long.

“There’s a lot of opinions out there, a lot of information that you have to go through,” Gruden said. “Positions, who is the best player, your rankings. You have a lot of different opinions and have to go through a lot of information and medicals. It’s a grind and it’s been a grind for a long time and sometimes you get disappointed when a guy’s not there. But the main thing is when you do make that pick, everybody’s on board and everybody’s happy with what happened.”

The Redskins will start Saturday with picks in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

Gruden acknowledged that the team thought about taking Moses with its first pick, but decided Murphy’s resume was too impressive to pass up. He will serve an apprenticeship under outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo.

“There’s a lot of people that are close, there’s a lot of good college football players,” Gruden said. “And when you’re making a decision I think the overriding factor has to be what kind of person he is, what kind of work ethic he has, accountability. All that good stuff.”

SEE ALSO: NFL draft: Redskins draft Virginia offensive lineman Morgan Moses 66th overall

Washington then hoped that Moses would fall, according to Gruden, and he did – all the way to No. 66. He and Long are both big bodies, but Gruden stopped short of guaranteeing anyone a starting spot next season. The Redskins have veterans like guard Chris Chester and tackle Tyler Polumbus under contract and neither will be ready to step aside.

Gruden said after watching film this offseason he “wasn’t as disappointed” with the offensive line as he read about after a 3-13 season where that unit struggled. But they needed to add options, too. They’ve done that. 

“Size is important. They’ve got some big defensive lineman nowadays,” Gruden said. “We want to protect out quarterback the best way we can…it’s been as very successful zone-running team here with athletic offensive lineman. But there’s gonna come a time we’re gonna have to throw the ball a little bit and we need some size in there. These guys will compete.”


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