ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins entered the draft hoping to add picks and continue finding good players -- even if they didn’t fill an immediate need. They did add picks (next year) and the other half of the equation will be answered in the future.
"We didn't have a lot of glaring needs like, 'Oh my gosh, we're totally incompetent at this position,' " Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "I feel really good about the depth on our football team already. Now the draft is about adding good football players that love to play and are tough and I think we did that. It's a great luxury to have is when you go by the board and Scot [McCloughan] preaches it all the time."
A wrap-up of the draft.
Best move: Going with the best-available-player theory. The Redskins had some other needs and in a deep defensive line draft they would have been applauded for taking one early. But they didn't force it and stuck to their board. That's how they ended up with receiver Josh Doctson in the first round and a guy who could be a big help in the second, linebacker/safety Su'a Cravens. Also, though this draft was considered deep with defensive linemen, and though the Redskins wanted to add picks, it was clear that they wanted them in the future and not this year. Washington picked up three draft choices in 2017 -- in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds -- to give it nine next season at a time when they have some big contracts due. This would enable the Redskins to perhaps add younger, cheaper depth.
Riskiest move: Drafting Kendall Fuller in the third round. It's not really about his ability, but it is about his durability. Fuller is coming off microfracture surgery last season, which is always a tough surgery for an athlete. That doesn't mean he can't come back, but it does make it tougher. The Redskins expect him back by training camp at the latest, and Fuller said he's doing defensive back movements already. This choice, though, could be more about getting a guy who, in 2017, is ready to take on a bigger role. The Redskins could have more of a pressing need for corners at that time, depending on how Chris Culliver recovers from his torn ACL. That doesn't mean Fuller can't help this year if healthy. Really, he's a solid pick but if you have to label one as the most risky? It's him.
Most surprising move: Taking a receiver in the first round. That's not to say it was a bad one because the Redskins really liked Doctson and they did not expect him to fall to where they were picking at No. 21. (They then traded back to No. 22.) So the Redskins themselves didn't think this is where they would go. It's not an immediate need, either. However, there is value in what they did. The Redskins could use what Doctson adds: A taller receiver at 6-foot-2 with great leaping ability. If nothing else, he can help in certain situations -- and he gives the Redskins the ability to use four-receiver sets. And with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both free agents after this season, it's good to have a talented young receiver in place who projects to a starter.
File it away: Seventh-round linebacker Steven Daniels will be a lower-round pick to watch in the future; he’s a good run defender. But perhaps one player who could come out of nowhere to help now is seventh-round running back Keith Marshall because of his blazing speed. It's real hard to see him as a starter, but his impact would be in a role where he's a backup who is capable of long gains.
Thumbs up: The Redskins did not necessarily find any impact day one starters, but they did add players who will help right away in Doctson and Cravens -- and some who will help down the road, such as Daniels. The Redskins stuck by their board and even acquired three picks for next season. A solid three days.