After all of the buildup and the waiting and the complaining, the NFL Draft has come and gone. In an indication that I'm already in mid-season Hump Day Pick'em form, I correctly predicted three of the 32 first round picks. I also correctly predicted zero Redskins picks. Now that all of the festivities are over, it's time to review what our Redskins did to improve themselves, and review the picks we liked and the one's we didn't. Also in the Hullabaloo, Jason La Canfora drummed up some controversy this week, Tanard Jackson took a one day vacation from the Redskins, and some prospects found out it's not a great time to be a running back entering the NFL. But first, our player spotlight:
Redskins Player Spotlight: Pierre Garcon has been a forgotten man this offseason. That is a pretty impressive feat considering he led the entire NFL in catches last season with 113 in his second season with Washington and his sixth in the league. Along with that, he had 1,346 receiving yards and five touchdowns. The problem was, after Jordan Reed went down near the mid-point of the season, Garcon was the only receiver the Redskins had. That problem hopefully has been remedied for the 2014 season with the additions of DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, plus the return of a healthy Reed. But back to Garcon. He is a big, strong and deceptively fast receiver who is capable of beating double teams and manages to get open in man-on-man and zone coverage. Now that he actually has some help, his number of catches may go down, but his production in yards and touchdowns has a great chance to go up. Oh, and maybe the team will have some more wins as well.
Redskins Hullabaloo of the Week:
- Redskins draft review:
o OLB Trent Murphy (2nd) - On its face, the Hump Day staff did not like this pick. However, after brooding for a while, we did some research and discovered there are some redeeming qualities here. That main expression used to describe Murphy is "country strong", which we think sounds cool. Then, when you look at his production in college (25 sacks in the last two years at Stanford), we have decided we will give him a chance to win us over as a pass rusher that the Redskins sorely need. Grade: B-
o T Morgan Moses (3rd) - All of the initial disappointment of the Murphy pick was wiped away when Moses fell to Washington in the third round. Bottles were popped, rain was made and there was much rejoicing in our offices as we watched. We love this pick and feel that Moses will eventually, if not very soon, be the stalwart right tackle the Redskins have been needing for some time. Grade: A
o G Spencer Long (3rd) - Amidst all of the celebrating of the Moses pick, the Long pick was made which immediately brought us crashing back to Earth as we listened to Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay destroy the choice. The overall consensus of the experts on ESPN was that Long could have been drafted later and was coming off a major injury. However, after again being disappointed, it was brought to our attention by Jay Gruden in his press conference that Long will be a "full go" for the offseason program and they have high hopes that he will be able to come in and compete right away. This raised our hopes quite a bit, and he joined the group of players we are reserving judgement on until we see him play. Grade: C
o CB Bashaud Breeland (4th) - This guy is another one we like. He plays physical and can be used at corner and safety. He also plays special teams, which we are fond of. He may not be a huge contributor right away, but we feel he has strong potential down to the line. Grade: B+
o WR Ryan Grant (5th) - Meh. Grant did not excite us too much. He is slow and not particularly tall. However, he practiced well at the Senior Bowl and apparently will catch anything thrown within five yards of him. Still, meh. Grade: D
o RB Lache Seastrunk (6th) - The choice of Seastrunk brought us back to the champagne again. He is a speed demon with moves that break ankles and tear ACL's and was available in the sixth round! The catch with him is that he did not have a catch last season, somehow. So, they will just need to work on that "issue" and then turn him loose on third downs. Grade: A
o TE Ted Bolser (7th) - Maybe it was all the champagne, but we weren't really paying attention much at this point. We read in a few publications that he is a tall receiving tight end with short arms and smallish hands, but is a beast on special teams. Sounds good in the seventh round, I guess. Grade: C
o K Zach Hocker (7th) - Whaaaaat??? The fact that we drafted a kicker in the seventh round was a fairly big downer as we believe we already have one in Kai Forbath, and also because we feel Hocker could probably be available as a free agent after the draft. No matter. Most seventh rounders don't stick around anyway, so why not waste it in style. On a side note however, Mel Kiper Jr. actually really liked this pick and said that Hocker can hit field goals from 65 yards and beyond and has a "big time leg". Whatever you say, Mel. Grade: F+
- Undrafted Free agents: Immediately following the draft, the Redskins went to work signing some college free agents and trying to find the next diamond in the rough. Some of the bigger names included Silas Redd (RB) from USC, Cody Hoffman (WR) from BYU and Tommy Reese (QB) from Notre Dame. The entire list is here.
- Jason La Canfora made some headlines on Tuesday when he broke the story that before they chose Johnny Manziel, the Browns had offered a fourth round pick in exchange for Kirk Cousins but were rejected by the Redskins. He also threw in that Robert Griffin III and Cousins were completely for the move but that Bruce Allen was not. Following that, Twitter and sports talk radio lost its mind talking about the matter. The bottom line is: Cousins is still here.
- One day after being cut, Tanard Jackson was re-signed to an even cap-friendlier deal than he had before. He joins a safety backfield filled with Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo, Jose Gumbs and Akeem Davis. However, if Tanard can stay clean and not get in anymore trouble, we feel he could make a contribution this season and may even get in a start or two at some point. Of course, the whole experiment could crash and burn, but nothing will be lost from a team perspective and we wholly endorse this move.
- In running back draft news, 2014 was not the best year. Teams are figuring out that running backs should be rotated and are no longer going with a one back system for the most part. With that in mind, no running back was selected in the first round for the second straight year. The earliest running back taken this year was Bishop Sankey, and he had to wait until the 54th overall choice. As sure as the sun rises in the east and makes my commute even worse, the NFL has become a true passing league.
Team Having the Best Week: The Houston Texans - With all of the pressure the Texans had on them being in possession of the number one overall pick, they went with the consensus number one prospect and took Jadaveon Clowney. Clowney has the potential to be a defensive powerhouse and game changer for years to come. They also got some quality players later in the draft with the additions of G Xavier Su'a-filo, TE C.J. Fiedorowics, DT Louis Nix III and a possible future starting quarterback in Tom Savage. Well played, Houston. Very well played, indeed.
Team Having the Worst Week: The Cleveland Browns - When the Browns chose cornerback Justin Gilbert and then later got quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round, Cleveland had a really good vibe and a renewed excitement about their football team heading into round two on Friday. However, that excitement was somewhat squashed when the NFL announced that star wide receiver Josh Gordon was facing a year-long drug suspension for next season. The team did not draft another receiver in the draft and could be in big trouble if Gordon does indeed get suspended. To make matters worse and really shove their face in it, former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who was drafted by the Vikings, went out of his way to say he was just glad he did not have to go Cleveland. OUCH.
Huge Redskins Fan Dale Jr. Report (Aka Why Junior is Awesome):
Our buddy Dale had a solid race on Saturday at the Kansas Speedway and finished fifth on the night. His 368 points for the season keeps him in fourth place overall, and he now heads to Charlotte for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, where $1 million is awarded to the winner but points are not affected. Also, as noted on the Charlotte Motor Speedway website, Junior will be attending the Hunt Brother's Pizza All-Star Pizza Party. This reminds me of our bi-annual Hump Day team building pizza parties that are thrown in the offices in DC in which our life-size cutout of Junior is often displayed prominently. If they have half as much fun as we usually do, it will be considered a success.
Random UnRedskins Item: Since we have used this section the last two weeks to highlight our favorite basketball team, we might as well keep going. Unfortunately, the Washington Wizards may not keep going for much longer. After crushing the Bulls in Round 1 of the playoffs and crushing the Pacers in Game 1 of the second round, we were seeing visions of John Wall and the crew hoisting an Eastern Conference Second Place Championship Banner next season. Then last week, things took a crazy (or was it?) turn for the worst and the Wizards lost three straight to put themselves behind 3-1 in the series. They got a victory on Tuesday night to extend their season, but we are not sure if they are capable of winning two more games against this Pacers squad. We will be there, along with our life-size cutout of Dale Jr, cheering them on as long as possible.
The video this week again has nothing to do with the Wizards, but involved a high school football player doing something amazing and it made the rounds on Twitter and even on the Tonight Show. This player is Gary Haynes of Manvel High School, and his special skill is throwing a football fifty yards in the air and then catching it on the fly. Please enjoy:
High School Football Player Throws 50 Yard Pass To Himself (via HitMrsEnglish)
Also, as a bonus, here is another video getting a lot of run this week. It's basically several seconds of rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z getting physically baraged in an elevator by his sister-in-law while his wife watches. If that's something you thought you'd always want to see, check it out:
Solange Attacks Jay Z | Solange knowles Attacks Jay Z In Elevator | VIDEO (via Ryan Maderi)
Next on the Redskins' schedule: Rookie Minicamp May 16-18
That's it for the Hullabaloo this week! We appreciate your feedback and as always, feel free to send us any news items or videos you run across that you think may be Hullabaloo-worthy. If we agree, we may include them in next week's post and send you a fantastic prize.*