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McCloughan Plays the Field

Washington Redskins GM Scot McCloughan broke from the anticipated script and grabbed a WR with his first round pick, does this affect the draft strategy moving forward?

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Scot McCloughan stayed true to form and nabbed an extra pick and a productive senior with big production in college. The only surprise was that player was wide receiver Josh Doctson.

The pick speaks to McC's overall strategy and approach to the draft: pick the best available, regardless of position.

"You can't just say, 'OK, we're great there. Let's just forget about it.' No, I've been in situations like that. All of a sudden a guy gets hurt or two guys get hurt, and you're like, 'Son of a gun, we had that really good player that we passed on because of a need.' We're going to take a football player," McCloughan told reporters earlier this week.

Doctson is a solid pick, both in what he can contribute on and off the field. Both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are free agents after the upcoming season. If Doctson plays as well as expected, and Jamison Crowder continues to progress as a slot receiver, Washington's front office could let one of the two more established veterans walk in the offseason.

But even though we all expected McC to trade back and stack picks, Thursday night might still have been a little jarring for Redskins fans. The Eagles traded for the second overall pick to take QB Carson Wentz, a questionable decision after the departed Chip Kelly gutted Philadelphia’s roster. The Dallas Cowboys scorned the uber-talented CB Jalen Ramsey in favor of RB Ezekiel Elliot. The Giants chose CB Eli Apple over more polished defensive backs like Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves, III. Washington played day one of the NFL Draft the smartest.

This draft is exceptionally deep defensively, so expect McCloughan and the Redskins to stick to the script they’ve preached in the preceding days. Reaches by their NFC East rivals and others left plenty of defensive linemen and linebackers on the board. Top options such as Myles Jack, Reggie Ragland, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Andrew Billings and others are still available.