When Scot McCloughan came to the Redskins as our pseudo General Manager, he was viewed by many to be the savior of this struggling franchise. Fans all over Redskins Nation lauded every move made by our new lead personnel guy as genius. For once in what felt like 100 years, we supposedly had an adult running the team.
A further look at the moves he made while running two offseasons in D.C. may tell a much different story however.
During his press conference in 2015, Scot talked about what type of football players he wanted for the Redskins:
- Values size, smarts and passion on both sides of the trenches.
- "We want smart guys and we want tough guys...we want big, tough, nasty, strong guys." "In Washington, we're going to draft these guys, and we are going to draft them and mold them as Redskins."
- Scot referred to the NFL as a "big man's game", and he values size, smarts and passion on both sides of the trenches.
Scot McCloughan's draft picks with Redskins (2015-2016) in rounds 1-4:
1st - Brandon Scherff (5th overall) OG: Pro Bowl OG...but is the 5th overall pick too high for an interior linemen?
2nd - Preston Smith DE/OLB: 12.5 sacks in two years.
3rd - Matt Jones RB: Cut from team.
4th - Jamison Crowder WR: Key cog in our receiving corps.
4th - Arie Kouandjio OG: Cut from team.
1st - Josh Doctson (22nd overall) WR: Spent more time injured than on the field.
2nd - Su'a Cravens LB: Looks to be retiring from NFL after threatening to retire as a rookie. Tried to quit team at USC.
3rd - Kendall Fuller CB: Should be starting Nickle corner.
Analysis of picks:
Scot made 8 picks over two years between rounds 1-4. Of these 8 picks, 3 are no longer on the team (a 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounder). One selection, receiver Josh Doctson, has played in just two games, catching two career passes. Preston Smith, who had a solid rookie campaign, fell into a sophomore slump, collecting just 4.5 sacks in 2016. His best selection was 4th round wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who is emerging to be a serious weapon in this offense. His biggest head-scratchers were Scherff at number 5 overall, Cravens (a player who really didn't fit our defensive system) in the second round, and Matt Jones in the 3rd.
As the lead personnel guy, McCloughan was also responsible for bringing in free agents. Here is a list of his key free agent signings between 2015-2016.
Jeron Johnson S: Free agent bust.
Terrance Knighton NT: Free agent bust.
Chris Culliver CB: Free agent bust (injured).
Stephen Paea DT: Free agent bust.
Ricky Jean-Francois DT: Solid reserve.
Dashon Goldson S: Washed-up, over-the-hill vet.
Duke Ihenacho S(re-signed): Free agent bust.
Kendall Reyes DT: Free agent bust.
David Bruton S: Free agent bust.
Terence Garvin LB: Reserve.
Greg Toler CB: Reserve.
Vernon Davis TE: Very solid reserve.
Josh Norman CB: All-Pro caliber corner.
Mason Foster LB(re-signed): Solid veteran LB.
Analysis of free agents:
Scot struck out big-time on his free agent signings. Of his 14 key signings, 8 of them were significant busts. Only three, Davis, Norman and Foster are still on the team, and only Norman is considered a key piece for the future.
For a guy who came here to save what many perceived as a sinking ship, Scot may have put more holes in that ship than he repaired. He ignored the defensive line, linebacking corps and safety position in the draft - something we are still paying for, instead trying to patch those positions with free agents, most of whom would all eventually bust.
In the draft, he tried to stick with his mentality of big, tough and nasty in the trenches, but people question if spending the 5th overall pick on an interior offensive linemen was the right move. Almost everyone will question his selection of wide receiver Josh Doctson with the 22nd overall pick in a draft loaded with defensive line talent, and although, in all fairness, Doctson's book has yet to have been written, it surly hasn't started off very well.
Matt Jones was a WTH moment when he was drafted in the 3rd round. He had played in just 28 games while at Florida (missed all but 5 games in 2013 with a knee injury), where he rushed for a career total of 1431 yards and 11 touchdowns. There were ball security issues while at Florida, where over his 16 final collegiate games, he fumbled 5 times, losing 3 of them. Yet despite his injury history, lack of production and ball security issues, he was still drafted in the 3rd round. Now he's on the Colts as part of their running-back-by-committee approach.
The selection of Cravens may have been the biggest head-scratcher of them all. He was drafted and played at linebacker in a 3-4 defense; a position that values some size and physicality. It was obvious from the start that he would not be able to hold up at that position, and a switch this offseason to safety, a position he hasn't played in years, was made. Now word comes out that Cravens has no desire to play the game any longer, and it appears retirement at the age of 22 is almost certain. As the head of the scouting department, could Scot have avoided this player if some more digging into his background while at USC was done, or was he simply duped by a cunning young man?
Overall, the results that McCloughan generated in his player selection for the Redskins over his two year tenure were not very good. He came in spewing fire and brimstone, and left coughing up hairballs. Will his time in Washington be a black mark on an otherwise solid scouting/personnel career? Only time will tell...