Mel Kiper says good fortune, timing can help Scot McCloughan's draft

Scott McCloughan's track record is strong, both with his drafts in San Francisco and his recommendations in Seattle. What does that mean for McCloughan in Washington? ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper says … he’s not sure.

That’s because other factors will help determine McCloughan’s success or failure as the Redskins’ general manager.

“All these guys have the ability to evaluate players,” Kiper said. “It’s all about timing. Some great evaluators in one organization did a phenomenal job and they go elsewhere and don’t get it done and they get fired. They know how to evaluate players, but because of the timing of the draft and the way it worked out with their needs against the way they draft went … a lot of it is who makes the final call – is it the head coach or the GM or does the owner get involved? There’s a lot of factors, a lot of good fortune.”

Kiper’s point on timing and fortune: Russell Wilson. In Seattle, McCloughan wrote a glowing report on the ex-Wisconsin quarterback, saying he had “it.” But the Seahawks did not draft him until the third round; had someone taken him in the second round, they would have been stuck with Matt Flynn and perhaps no playoff run.

“But Wilson dropped to the third round and now all of a sudden here’s Seattle,” Kiper said. “Those things can make you look really good or not so good and when you have good luck and a 5-foot-10, three-quarter-inch quarterback does things no other 5-10, three-quarter-inch quarterback has ever done."

For Washington, Kiper said, McCloughan’s priority list should include these three areas: Offensive line, secondary and pass rusher. In his first mock draft, he placed Nebraska end/linebacker Randy Gregory with the Redskins at No. 5. He debated about putting Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff in that spot.

“Offensive line has to be front and center or a pass rusher,” Kiper said. “I thought about Scherff, but went with Gregory opposite Ryan Kerrigan with [Brian] Orakpo moving on and now you have something.”