<
>

Eyeing the Redskins draft: Offensive tackles

Taking a look at various positions of need for the Washington Redskins entering the draft -- and also checking it against general manager Scot McCloughan’s draft history, mostly in San Francisco but he also had a big say with Seattle as well.

Why they need to draft one: Because they need much better pass protection than they have received from this position. Tom Compton is best used as a backup and Morgan Moses is coming off a Lisfranc injury and was not as comfortable on the right side as he was on the left in his limited action. Though he was a third-round pick who needed to be developed, the problem is that Washington needs a quality starter in 2015, and at this point the Redskins lack one.

McCloughan’s history: He drafted Adam Snyder in the third round in 2005. Scouting reports before that draft said Snyder would be best used inside, but the 49ers kept him at tackle where he struggled. In 2007, San Francisco picked tackle Joe Staley in the first round. After a few years of inconsistencies he developed into a Pro Bowl player. In McCloughan's three drafts as a key figure in Seattle, the Seahawks did not draft a tackle (though it selected Justin Britt in 2014 a few weeks after McCloughan resigned).

The blueprint: Staley had (still has) a quality McCloughan prized say those who know his drafting tendencies: speed. Staley ran the 40-yard dash in 4.76 seconds. If you’re drafting a left tackle, they had best have some quickness and be considered fast for their position. The description of Staley coming out of college fits a couple linemen in this draft should the Redskins trade to the middle or back end of the first round -- Miami's Ereck Flowers and Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi (good knee bender). Snyder, though, ran it in only 5.37 seconds, but had quickness and was considered nasty and able to drive defenders. In San Francisco, Snyder played mostly right tackle (his best year came in 2011 at guard). The negatives on Staley and Snyder coming out of college focused mostly on technique issues, areas correctable through coaching or strength training. On the left side the focus was speed; on the right side it was disposition (Iowa's Brandon Scherff, Flowers and LSU's La'el Collins fit this). Neither Staley nor Snyder weighed more than 316 pounds; both were taller than 6-foot-5 (Scherff is not, for what it’s worth).

Round 1 talent: Scherff is viewed by many as someone who could play right tackle (my take is that he’s best suited for guard). Scherff’s attitude and demeanor are tough not to like. In my opinion he was too inconsistent against some weaker rushers at left tackle. But he has good enough speed (5.05 in the 40) and the makeup McCloughan has favored in the past. If he wants a tone-setter, Scherff is the guy (but only if they trade out of No. 5, in my opinion). Flowers, too, has a nasty streak and, though slightly slower, he has good strength and long arms. He’s a tackle only. Stanford’s Andrus Peat looks like he could play either tackle. He has good speed for a lineman and shows solid technique in pass protection, with the occasional setting too upright. Strong run blocker, too.

Pitt’s T.J. Clemmings is raw in pass protection and if you want an instant starter, I’d look elsewhere. Ogbuehi has excellent feet, but needs work on his hands in protection. He was nasty only on occasion. Collins blocked to the whistle and consistently tried to drive his man downfield. His issues were often in technique when it came to protection. He might be best suited as a guard. Florida’s D.J. Humphries moves well, especially in protection, but some analysts peg him as more of a zone blocker.

Rounds 2-4: Another long list, so it’s tough to mention them all. Oregon’s Jake Fisher might be best for a scheme heavier on zone blocking; doesn’t show a ton of leg power, but is a good player and he could contribute immediately. Oklahoma’s Daryl Williams is projected in this area, but I wasn’t a big fan after watching him. Not a power guy. Same is true of his teammate Tyrus Thompson. Wisconsin’s Rob Havenstein is another perhaps best suited for a mostly zone-based scheme. Penn State’s Donovan Smith rates low on intangibles and shows inconsistencies in protection, but is considered a good drive blocker. He weighed 338 pounds at the combine, so that could be an issue.

Late: The Redskins already have players they are trying to develop at this position. They need instant help. South Carolina’s Corey Robinson has intriguing traits -- size, speed, etc. -- but analysts say he needs a lot more maturing as a player. Iowa’s Andrew Donnal needs work, but has the right disposition and size (6-foot-5, 313 pounds). Kentucky’s Darrian Miller has a similar disposition, but isn’t considered quick, so any zone plays would be questionable and protection an issue.