The Washington Redskins board fell the way many fans wanted it to with USC DE Leonard Williams still on the board. The Redskins reportedly had one of their top 3 picks still available and they took him, but to the surprise of a lot of people, that player was Brandon Scherff. Offensive line was obviously a big need, and the Redskins could have been one of the teams that reportedly flagged Williams for his multiple shoulder injuries.
Brandon Scherff was considered the best offensive player in this year's draft by many people, and should have an immediate impact. Chris Chester(and his $4 million in cap savings) was spared the ax when other vets were cut before free agency, and he will probably be kept for training camp as a vet presence/injury contingency. The Redskins plan to try Scherff at right tackle first, but most people expect an eventual move inside to guard. Scherff's competition at RT? An average at best Tom Compton, an inexperienced, recently cut Xavier Nixon, and an injured Morgan Moses.
Now to the grades. Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar has given the Redskins a B- for the pick citing an issue with drafting a projected guard this high.
5. Washington Redskins - Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
Scherff is one of the biggest and meanest players in this year's draft. Putting him on a line with Trent Williams is scary, whether Scherff is playing guard or offensive tackle. But do you take a guard with the fifth overall pick in the draft? If Scherff can't stick on the outside, it's hard to be totally enamored with this selection. Still, it's hard to knock a player who will help keep Robert Griffin III upright.
Scherff will probably be a fine player. He was widely regarded as the draft's top offensive lineman. But his best position might end up being guard, not tackle. This is about maximizing the value of the pick, and if Scherff ends up being a guard, that's not worth the fifth overall selection. It's a case of liking the player a lot but not necessarily loving the spot at which he was taken. The Redskins let Leonard Williams go by and didn't manage to trade back for additional picks.
The Redskins probably surprised a lot of people by passing on USC's Leonard Williams for Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff, but anyone who watched Jay Gruden's team play football last year knew that offensive line help was desperately needed. Scherff is a very nice combination of mauler and technician—he has a good kick-step, is tougher than some may think in the run game and can get to the second level with great speed and skill. There have been a lot of over-hyped Iowa linemen over the years, but Scherff isn't one of them. Scherff can either kick over to right tackle, or perhaps move to left guard next to Trent Williams. And if Williams gets hurt, Gruden now has a guy who can maintain that spot quite credibly.
In summary: Yes, Brandon Scherff is a safe pick in the "chip off Kirk Ferentz's block" sort of way. As for criticism of his ability to play left tackle: Scherff is not Munoz or Walter Jones. The Redskins are set at left tackle with Trent Williams, one of the few players who fits that classic prototype anymore. They need help at right tackle, where Tyler Polumbus and Tom Compton split time last season. Polumbus and Compton combined to allow 14 sacks last season, according to ProFootballFocus. Scherff is an immediate upgrade, no matter what it says on the splash page of The Blind Side.
Washington has a big need on the line so I get this pick. This is a nice, solid selection - but not a "wow" pick which they needed.
GM Scot McCloughan is one of the best evaluators in the league, but Scherff was a big reach, even if he lives up to his potential. Failing to trade down and passing on the best player in the draft (Leonard Williams) is going to be something the team might regret, even if Scherff becomes a top-flight tackle or guard.
Wow... with Leonard Williams available? I know Williams was slightly overrated by the media, but he should be the fifth-overall pick. Not a guard. I like Brandon Scherff a lot, and I think he'll be a solid player for the Redskins, but guards just don't have the same impact as a dominant defensive lineman. I'm not going to give the Redskins a "Millen," or anything, because they had to upgrade Robert Griffin's pass protection. However, spending the fifth-overall selection on a guard just doesn't seem like a smart idea. If anything, Washington should've moved down a couple of spots and snagged Scherff at No. 7 or 8.