Two years have passed and I think it's safe for us to air our collective judgments about the successes and failures from the 2015 Redskins draft class. As many recall this was a highly anticipated draft as it was the first of Scot McCloughan's short tenure in Washington. The pre-draft excitement was at a high not just because of the players in the class but because for the first time in many years a well-known, well-respected, and proven talent evaluator was helping lead the team in what was the beginning of a rebuild for the team. McCloughan outlined a plan for the team and for the type of player and talent he wanted to fill the team with. By now we all know the what he was looking for. A football player. Size, talent, toughness, someone with innate instincts for their position and understands its not about the individual but about the sum of its parts.
Pick #1 (5th overall) Brandon Scherff
To the joy and also disdain of some Redskins fans nowhere was that description embodied more than in the selection of Brandon Scherff with the #5 overall pick in the first round. Scherff was a highly touted lineman coming out of Iowa and by far is the best lineman to be selected in the 2015 class at any OL position. He made his first Pro Bowl last season and has been a productive, consistent, and key part of the Redskins’ Hogs 2.0 rebuild. I have defended the Scherff pick from the beginning and was on his bandwagon as I had watched him at Iowa pancake foes with regularity as a LT. There are two main arguments against the selection of Scherff which I think are somewhat valid but at the end of the day inconsequential and recursive.
The first is the value argument. “You don't draft a guard at 5”. This argument presumes Pro Bowl Guards can be found outside of the first round and that the Redskins had no business taking a GUARD with the fifth overall pick - the value simply wasn't there. While I am not entirely opposed to this argument, for instance, I would throw a fit if a kicker or punter was drafted in the first. I really think the importance of draft value relative to position is becoming less and less important with the caveat still being QBs of course. I need time and consistency to further validate my opinion but take for instance two key offensive linemen that were selected in the first round of the 2016 draft: Laremy Tunsil (#13) and Germain Ifedi (#31). Both like Scherff were drafted as tackles but were moved to or played guard because of their versatility.
The second is the Leonard Williams (or insert defensive player I liked here) argument. This one I have a better time empathizing with. Before this draft, the Redskins were hurting on both sides of the trenches and the defensive line and offensive line had been ignored by past management for far too long. When the Redskins pick was due the Redskins had their pick between the two best players in the draft on either side of the ball. The Redskins simply chose offense. There are a variety of reasons why I think this happened:
- Scherff was the highest player on the board.
Ok. that's only one but its the only one that matters for a team that had recently changed its philosophy from drafting for need to drafting the highest rated player on the board especially in round one.
At the end of the day if you’re still sour about a Pro Bowler, team leader, and one of the most consistent and hard working players on the team being “over drafted”, not being Leonard Williams, or other then I would say you’re not giving enough credence to the real weaknesses and issues plaguing other positions of the team.
Scherff was a safe pick but he is still a home run pick. He will be a key part of the Redskins for the next decade and will be under appreciated but will still be a massive contributor for the Redskins.
Let me know your opinions on the Scherff pick now that some time has passed.
How would you grade the Brandon Scherff pick today?
This poll is closed
A (Excellent, Home run quality)
B (Good, but Leonard Williams)
C (Average, lots of better players available that would be more impactful)
D (Below average, ?)
F (Terrible pick, it might as well have been forfeited)
I have a new job now, and I’m much busier, so now I’m trying to write in much smaller chunks (if you haven't noticed), to maximize efficiency, time, and post consistency) let me know if you hate it or are ok with it.