The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
Welcome to the Poll Rewind series!
As you probably know already, each 5 o’clock club post ends with a poll question. Usually, the results are forgotten within a day or two, but no longer!
For the next couple of weeks, we will be re-visiting some (not all) of the results of polls that were published from June to December 2017.
We go back to 2 September 2017, when the Redskins had finished their final pre-season game and roster cuts were about to be announced.
The polls that day asked:
Question 1: How many of the Redskins 2017 draft picks will be on the 53-man roster at 4:01 p.m. today?
- 7 24%
- 6 18%
- 5 17%
- 8 15%
Question 2: How many college UDFAs will be on the Redskins roster at 4:01 p.m. today?
- 1 41%
- 2 34%
- 0 14%
- 3 or more 10%
Question 3: What will happen to Nate Sudfeld?
- He’ll be on the Practice Squad unless Kirk or Colt gets injured 66%
- He’ll be on the 53 all season 22%
- He’ll be on another team’s roster in 2017 8%
- His career is finished, he just doesn’t know it yet... dead man walking 4%
The Draft Picks
The fans expected a lot of draft picks to make the team (7 was the most popular choice in the poll), but not many people expected the level of success that the draft picks had last year in terms of making the final roster and sticking with the Redskins franchise.
Astonishingly, of the 10 Redskin draft picks in 2017, all but one made the final roster for the first game of the regular season. The one who didn’t make it to start the season, Robert Davis, one of two 6th round picks, spent the first 13 weeks of the regular season on the practice squad before being promoted to the 53-man roster in early December. He played in just one game, and actually only managed a few snaps before being concussed and ending his rookie season.
Jonathan Allen played extremely well for the first 5 games, before suffering a Lisfranc injury that sent him to IR. The Redskins defense — in particular, the run defense — never looked the same without him.
Ryan Anderson, a draft selection that left many people scratching their heads, had an unimpressive rookie season, but escaped major injury that felled his former Alabama teammate. There are many people who feel that Anderson is more suited to playing middle linebacker, but Anderson was in a crowded house at OLB last season. With Junior Galette and Trent Murphy both potentially leaving in free agency this month, Anderson may be called upon to do more at OLB in his sophomore campaign.
Fabian Moreau was considered a ‘value’ pick in the third round. Many people expected him to go in the first round, prior to suffering a torn pec at his pro day. He played sparingly on defense, but looked pretty good on special teams last season. In 2018, with Fuller being traded to Kansas City, and Breeland a potential loss in free agency, many people are expecting Moreau to step up and fulfill his pre-injury pedigree and expectations.
Samaje Perine may have created the most post-draft excitement among the fan base, who saw a potential run game upgrade with Perine’s punishing running style. He demonstrated some of the same ball security issues that had sent Matt Jones packing, and some of the inability to stay healthy that kept Rob Kelley off the field. The best that could probably be said for Perine’s rookie season would be “inconclusive”. He managed 603 rushing yards on 175 carries for a 3.4 average, though he added 22 receptions, 182 yards and a TD in the passing game. He will be in the mix for the expected running back by committee that Jay Gruden will likely try to assemble in 2018. The Redskins are loaded with mid-range RB talent, and possibly in the market for a single explosive back to lead the group.
Jeremy Sprinkle is a big TE, at 6’5” and 252 pounds. He played sparingly in 2017, but with the departure of Niles Paul in free agency, Sprinkle is likely to see quite a bit more playing time in ‘18, as the third TE behind Jordan Reed & Vernon Davis, but in a Jay Gruden offense that features multiple-TE sets.
Chase Roullier got fans excited during training camp, and when starting center Spencer Long went out for the season with injuries, the 6th round pick stepped up and took over as the starting center. Just 24 years old, Roullier has the potential to provide many years of reliable service as an interior offensive lineman.
Josh Harvey-Clemons was a surprise inclusion on the 53-man roster at the start of the season, and was inactive for several games. He ended up playing in 10 games, mostly on special teams, where he played very well, but he also did spot duty, primarily in nickle defense, where he played pretty well and laid the foundation for an expanded role in 2018 as a safety/hybrid linebacker.
Joshua Holsey was the last Redskin draft pick in 2017, and a bit of a dark-horse for the draft after not being invited to the Combine. He was active for 12 games in ‘17, mainly as a special teams player, which is likely where the reserve safety will see the field again in 2018.
Undrafted Free Agents
Forty-one percent of poll respondents said that only one UDFA would make the final roster, and they were right, though the particular player who made the team was a surprise to most observers.
The Redskins had about a dozen UDFAs in camp, but, possibly because so many draft picks made the team, only one college free agent made the 53-man roster for Week 1. Tyler Catalina was retained by the Redskins, and Jay Gruden indicated that he made the team primarily for his positional flexibility. This was a surprise to many fans who felt that Kyle Kalis had acquitted himself better during the pre-season.
Some of the training camp UDFAs who didn’t survive the final cut-down at the beginning of September found their way to the 53 man roster later in the season when injuries put 21 Redskins on IR. Fish Smithson and Kyle Kalis both spent time on the roster in December.
With the current expanded roster, and the use of future contracts, a number of familiar names are back on the roster now. Kyle Kalis, John Kling, Stephen Morris, Ondre Pipkins, A.J. Francis, Otha Peters, and Pete Robertson are among some of the players whose names may be familiar to Redskin fans, and who will be competing for spots at the bottom of the roster.
After Nate Sudfeld was waived, with the intention of putting him on the practice squad, he was enticed to join the Eagles practice squad instead by an offer from the Eagles to pay him the $550,000 salary that he would have earned as a member of the 53-man roster. The move to the Eagles turned out well for Nate, as he was on the sideline as the backup to Nick Foles throughout the playoffs, and now has a superbowl ring.
Many Redskin fans later pointed to the foolishness of the front office in exposing the 2016 draft pick and Redskin 3rd string QB to being poached by trying to move him to the practice squad, but as usual, hindsight is 20:20. In the September 2nd poll, 66% of respondents predicted that Nate Sudfeld would be on the Practice Squad, and only 22% of people thought he would be on the ‘Skins 53-man squad. His value to other teams wasn’t apparent at that time, as only 8% of respondents thought another team would poach him.
Four percent of respondents declared Sudfeld to be ‘dead man walking’ whose career was already finished. I guess Nate got the last laugh.
Free agent frenzy has been underway all week. How many veteran free agents from other teams, in total, will the Redskins sign this off-season?
This poll is closed
5 or more
How many of the Redskins 10 draft picks from 2017 — all of whom are currently under contract with the ‘Skins — will be on the 53-man roster for opening day 2018?
This poll is closed
5 or fewer