Washington Redskins Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford – Round 2
There were a lot of critics of the Murphy pick, but I think anyone who watched a lot of college football over the past two seasons wouldn’t be very negative regarding the selection. Murphy was a productive pass-rusher for Stanford and produced a ton of big plays as a leader on one of the best defenses in college football. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder isn’t the biggest or fastest defender, but he is a pure football player who is a tough and physical presence.

In 2013, Murphy totaled 15 sacks, 24.5 tackles for a loss, 62 tackles, six passes batted, one forced fumble and an interception returned 30 yards for a touchdown. He led the nation in sacks. Murphy recorded 10 sacks a year earlier, and as a sophomore, he had 6.5 sacks. One doesn’t lead the nation in sacks by luck. Murphy has good instincts with the strength to shed blocks and the quickness to chase down the quarterback.

It looks like the Redskins could let Brian Orakpo leave in free agency after the 2014 season. Washington can groom Murphy for a year behind Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan before having Murphy take Orakpo’s place. Murphy may not be an elite NFL pass-rusher, but he should be a solid contributor and develop into a quality starter for the Redskins. Murphy could easily be an overachiever in the NFL.

Most Likely To Bust

Spencer Long, G, Nebraska – Round 3
A year ago, many believed that Long would contend to be a second-round pick and could be one of the first guards selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. The former walk-on became an All-Big Ten performer for the Cornhuskers and did a great job of opening up holes in their ground game. Long also proved to be a reliable pass-protector. Not far into the 2013 season though, Long went down with a torn ACL. He was unable to work out at the Combine.

At 6-foot-5, 320-pounds, Long has ideal size for an NFL interior lineman, but how well he can come back from his injury is an unknown. If Long can come back to full strength, he could be a good competitor to be the long-term right guard for the Redskins. Veteran Chris Chester could be replaced, but Washington will continue to bring in guard competition, so Long will have to earn the job. If Long doesn’t return to his old form, he could be a bust for the Redskins.

Potential Boom Pick

Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – Round 3
Many thought that Moses would end up being a first-round pick. A number of league sources said they could see him being selected in the first round. Staff from a few teams said that Moses was one of the best character individuals in the 2014 NFL Draft and will be an asset in the locker room. With his physical stature, athleticism and character, it wouldn’t be surprising if Moses causes a lot of teams to regret passing on him.

The 6-foot-6, 314-pounder was an excellent tackle for Virginia. He was a road-grading right tackle for a few years before showing improved pass protection as a left tackle in his senior year. For the NFL, Moses could possibly play on the blind side, but he would be the most effective as a right tackle.

Moses doesn’t have the pressure to come and start immediately with veteran Tyler Polumbus in house, but the veteran will probably leave in free agency in a year and Moses will take over. Moses is a great fit for Jay Gruden’s offense as a downhill run-blocker and edge pass-protector. On the other side from Trent Williams, Moses could turn into one of the better right tackles in the NFL. Landing him in the third round was a steal by Bruce Allen.

Future Depth Player

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor – Round 6
Before getting injured, Seastrunk was having an electric 2013 season and dominating the competition. Early in the year, he was only playing until halftime as he usually had around 150 yards rushing and was leading a rout for Baylor. Midway through the year, the junior was injured against Oklahoma and missed the games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. When Seastrunk came back, he wasn’t as explosive as he was early in the season. Seastrunk ran for 1,117 yards and 11 touchdowns on only 158 carries (7.4 average).

Seastrunk (5-9, 201) is a speed back who should offer a nice change of pace from Alfred Morris. In time, Seastrunk could also develop in the receiving back for the Redskins as he showed some natural receiving skills at the Combine. Seastrunk doesn’t have the size and durability to be an every-down starter, but he could be a nice situational back for Washington.

Walt’s 2014 NFL Draft Grades:

47. Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford: C+ Grade
I like that the Redskins traded down for Trent Murphy, but that’s what’s keeping this from being a C- or a D. The Redskins have tons of needs and a limited amount of picks, so it’s strange that they went with such a luxury pick. Murphy will provide depth for now, but he could eventually start if the team can’t re-sign Brian Orakpo. That’s fine, and I’d understand it if Washington was obtaining this great value, but that’s not the case with Murphy.

66. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia: A Grade
Morgan Moses has his flaws, but he could have easily been chosen as high as No. 28 to Carolina (or No. 19 to Miami because the Dolphins like to reach). I actually had Moses going to the Redskins – in the second round. Washington had to find an upgrade at right tackle, as the offensive linemen will have to be more talented with Mike Shanahan gone.

78. Spencer Long, G, Nebraska: D Grade
The good news is that the Redskins are filling yet another need on the defensive line, as Spencer Long can eventually take over for the pedestrian Chris Chester. The bad news is that Washington reached for him. Long was a Round 5-7 prospect, so taking him at this juncture, especially with someone like David Yankey on the board, is a bit crazy.

102. Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson: A- Grade
Bashaud Breeland is a slightly better cornerback prospect than Jaylen Watkins. If it weren’t for some character concerns, he may have been chosen in the second round. Washington, of course, needs secondary help, so this is a very good selection.

142. Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane: C Grade
The Redskins are stacked at receiver, so I would have liked to have seen the Redskins continue to address their abysmal defense. Ryan Grant fits this range – I had him at the bottom of the fourth round – but I don’t really see where he fits in.

186. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor: A Grade
Running back is not a need, but I’m giving the Redskins an “A” for value. Lache Seastrunk could have easily been chosen in the third round. He fell because of the perception that he can’t catch passes, but the Baylor offense didn’t ask him to do that. He looked good in the receiving drills at the Combine, so it’s ridiculous that he slipped this far.

228. Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas: C- Grade
It’s hard to get excited over a kicker, especially when a team doesn’t need one. Kai Forbath is fine. There was no need for this pick.

2014 NFL Draft Team Grade: C+ . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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