With the 141st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Redskins selected Martrell Spaight, ILB, Arkansas. With the DL additions in FA and the focus on defense in the latter half of the draft, the Redskins are clearly placing a new-found emphasis on defense and STs. Here are my scenarios for the 6', 236-lb. ILB out of Arkansas:
Martrell Spaight turns into London Fletcher 2.0 almost immediately. After coming into camp and exhibiting his skills in the preseason, he's able to beat out Adam Hayward, Will Compton, and Perry Riley for the starting ILB spot beside Keenan Robinson. Over the course of 13 very productive games last season at Arkansas, Spaight led the entire SEC in tackles with 128. Sounds very London-esque to me! Spaight continues in the NFL right where he left off in the SEC and goes on to lead the Redskins in tackles playing behind our newly improved defensive front. McCloughan has found Patrick Willis... again.
Not only does Spaight prove to be inadequate on defense (especially in coverage), but his lack of speed prevents him from even being able to contribute on STs... despite his productive tackling at the college level. Spaight doesn't make the team and is passed up for a PS spot, too. He's out of the league before he even really got into it and makes his way back hometown of North Little Rock, Arkansas... which is about the only place that isn't completely humiliated by/for him. He's able to make it onto the coaching staff at a local middle school as an Assistant LB Coach. He serves there for two years and is fired. Spaight goes on to the world of construction and is known as "Little Guy."
Most Likely Case:
The most likely scenario is that Spaight is given a chance to compete for a backup ILB spot right away and becomes an immediate contributor on STs with his great tackling ability. He'll compete with Riley, Compton, and Hayward for one of a probably three spots at ILB (aside from the one manned by Robinson). Given Spaight's draft status and the fact that he is one of a few people on this roster actually picked by the current GM, I believe it's likely that he makes the 53. Spaight will have to earn his keep as a STs demon/ace and I believe he can... and will do that. At the same time, he gains valuable learning experience and practice at the ILB position hopefully enabling him to contribute at that spot in the coming years. His tackling should translate to the NFL level immediately and his toughness, mentality, and energy should lead to a productive career. He'll not likely be able to start this year, but he should see plenty of action on teams (while also being insurance at the ILB spot).
Martrell Spaight has a lot of potential. His tackling is way impressive and he should immediately step in and be one of the better STs players on the roster. He will make contributions there for the Redskins for years and has the upside to develop into an ILB that could see some time on defense.