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The Scot McCloughan Not-So-Midas Touch

NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A few months after Redskins GM Scot McCloughan selected TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he injured his hand punching a wall.

This began what many now view as a tenuous relationship with the Redskins that ultimately led to him being fired by the team after just two years running the show from a player personnel standpoint.

In May of 2016, McCloughan was quoted as saying this about his new first round draft pick- “ He’s very, very talented,” and the pick “was a slam dunk.”

...well, it turned out to be more like a missed lay-up!

It was announced yesterday that the Redskins would not be picking up Doctson’s fifth year option, likely making him a free agent in 2020. And really, there is absolutely no surprise here.

After missing all but two games as a rookie, Doctson has a total of 79 receptions, 1034 yards, and eight touchdowns over the last two seasons. A pretty decent borderline number one would have put up those type of numbers in just one season. Unfortunately for Doctosn, he’s never really broke out, and after the team drafted Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon last week, the writing was on the wall.

Scot McCloughan implied in an interview a couple of weeks ago that Doctson is being misused in the Redskins offense, saying he should be running slants and crossing routes to better maximize his skill-set.

This is just a cowardly way of Scot trying to cover for his draft mistake.

What Scot SHOULD have done is come out and owned the pick. Just say he missed one here, instead of trying to put lipstick on a pig. We all know Doctson is not physical enough to beat a corner across his face with any consistency to get in a good position on slants. And those crossers - where the receiver is expected to make a catch and gain YAC...yeah, not his thing either. He was drafted because he was an air-ballerina - and he’s failed at that.

Let’s just call a spade a spade here!

But this isn’t the first draft debacle McCloughan has tried to worm his way out of.

In 2016, Matt Jones entered the season as the Redskins starting running back, but lost his starting spot after week seven to Rob Kelley when he fumbled on the goalline in a three point loss to the Detroit Lions. Jones did not get another carry that season. Entering the 2017 offseason, Jones was fifth on the team’s depth chart behind Kelley, Thompson, Perine and Mack Brown.

On a twitter Q&A in August of 2017, McCloughan told fans the Florida running back is still one of his proudest draft picks:

Just a few weeks later Jones was released by the Redskins...

Jones was claimed by the Colts, but was then waived a week later and signed to the team’s practice squad. He was promoted and waived a few times during 2017, and finished the season with five carries for 14 yards. He signed with the Eagles in May of 2018, but was released September first.

He is currently out of the NFL.

And how about Su’a Cravens?

Of Scot McCloughan’s 17 draft picks between 2015-2016, just three remain with the team - Brandon Scherff, Josh Doctson and Matt Ioannidis, and only Ioannidis has been given a contract extension. Unless he has a break-out year in 2019, it’s looking like Josh Doctson will be moving on to greener pastures in 2020.

...and then there were the leaks.

Between 2015 and 2016, a lot of information was being pumped out of Redskins Park. Over the last three years, it’s been like Fort Knox.

Coincidence? Just ask Dianna Russini!

The Redskins seem to have done much better in the past three drafts since McCloughan’s been gone. Fans try to say that the team still used Scot’s draft board in 2017 when they selected Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson, Fabian Moreau, Samaje Perine, Montae Nicholson, Jeremy Sprinkle, Chase Roullier, Robert Davis, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Joshua Holsey, but the fact is, outside of the staff at Redskins Park, no one knows that.

In the past three drafts, the Redskins have placed an emphasis on value vs need picks, and trying to fill holes on the roster by selecting guys who fit their system instead of playing “the smartest guy in the room” card - and this approach has seemed to work out very well.

Forcing a square peg into a round hole rarely works out, as we saw with some of the draft picks between 2015-2016.

Look, everyone misses on draft picks. Even the great Ozzie Newsome had some head-scratchers, but just own them and move on, instead of trying to cover up your mistakes in an attempt to make yourself look better.

I believe the Redskins are much better off under the current structure, than when they had just one cook running the kitchen.

Sometimes a collaborative approach, even though heads may sometimes butt, yields greater long-term results.