I got in touch with several writers on the college football blogs. I wanted to get their thoughts on the Redskins newest draft picks and ask a few more revealing questions about how these players fit on the team and their chances of making an impact either immediately or down the line. Reo Radford of Mountain West Connection gave us some great information regarding Redskins new OL Chase Roullier.
Cadillactica: Could you give us your impression of what the Wyoming coaches thought of Roullier?
Reo Radford: Head coach Craig Bohl thought very highly of Chase. In April 2016, he told the Casper Star-Tribune that Roullier was on par with some of the other guys he's coached to go to the NFL Bohl praised his footwork and his leverage. OL coach Scott Fuchs also said that Chase is one of the better guards that he's had a privilege of coaching, saying that he's very intelligent and he's the type of guy you'd love to be around and to coach. Fuchs wishes he had ten more like him.
As for Chase, he stepped up big time as a leader in his last couple of years. He's helped guys who've had to fill in for injuries, or guys switching roles on the line. He's a really humble guy who's got a major drive to learn something new about the game, no matter who it's from.
Cadillactica: Coach Jay Gruden has said he likes Roullier's versatility in that he can play both guard and center. Roullier may not see a lot of offensive snaps this year due to Spencer Long and Brandon Scherff being entrenched as the starting center and right guard but there is room for improvement at the left guard position do you see any chance this year or a few years down the road in which Roullier can be a starting guard?
Reo Radford: I think there's definitely a shot at him being a starter. One of the bigger concerns people will have is the fact that he's from a smaller school where he didn't regularly line up against NFL-caliber talent, but knowing Chase, he'll try to make the transition as quickly as possible.
Cadillactica: Recently there has been a trend where the Redskins are looking to select big, tough, and nasty offensive lineman that are versatile and can contribute to the team's power running scheme. Does Roullier have that edge to him and can you talk about how he was a key factor in clearing the way for Brian Hill at Wyoming?
Reo Radford: Chase is absolutely the kind of lineman Washington is looking for. He was one of the best in the conference at creating space and separation on the line. That was incredibly helpful when it came to Brian Hill, whose skill set was more geared to plowing through guys rather than juking around them.
Chase was one of the best in the country when it came to protecting the quarterback as well, allowing eight pressures all season as a center and six as a guard (per PFF).
Cadillactica: What would describe as his biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Reo Radford: Chase is a big physical guy who's great at moving defensive linemen where he wants and rarely loses blocks. He was an excellent pulling guard in 2015, as well. One of his biggest strengths, as I mentioned before, is his mind. He's been praised multiple times about how quickly he learns and how willing he is to learn.
However, he doesn't necessarily have the length most front offices look for in an offensive lineman and isn't the most athletic guy on the planet. Despite this, he manages to make his job look easy.
Cadillactica: Could you sum up his play in a single word or phrase?
Reo Radford: He plays like his job is on the line every down. He's not the kind of guy to play for milestones, meaning he doesn't go to the line thinking "oh man, I haven't given up a sack yet, I can't give up a sack now." The man plain works his tail off.
A big thanks to Reo for answering questions about Chase Roullier and helping round out the coverage of the A Closer Look series regarding drafted players. Roullier sounds like he has the heart and work ethic of a true lunch pail type player. He no doubt will have his hands full improving his technique at the guard position and also presumably cross-training to become the Redskins backup center. What's most encouraging is his willingness to learn and ability to learn as Reo pointed out. If he can maintain a steady upward trajectory Reo might be correct in that he could compete for a starting gaurd spot as early as next year.