Washington Redskins found a draft formula that works

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images /
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With three consecutive strong drafts, the Washington Redskins have rebuilt their roster and given Jay Gruden the tools he needs to compete in a potentially ferocious NFC.

On the heels of another extremely impressive draft, it is easy to forget what the Washington Redskins have done the past two years. Three years ago, Scott McCloughan was abruptly and unceremoniously shown the door. With the dysfunction and drama we’ve come to expect from the Redskins front office fans had no reason to expect anything special from the 2017 draft.

However, we were pleasantly surprised when that year’s ten draft picks resulted in five starters. Jonathan Allen was the big prize that year but Ryan Anderson was also a solid pick who, whether he starts or not, will see considerable playing time.

On top of that, Fabian Moreau might as well be considered a starter as often Washington goes with five defensive backs, and depending on the health of Quinton Dunbar, he may get the nod regardless.

Montae Nicholson is currently holding down the free safety position and center Chase Roullier was the only offensive linemen to start all 16 games last year. Additionally, tight end Jeremy Sprinkle started 9 games last year despite Jordan Reed astonishingly missing only two games. Sprinkle has quickly established himself as one of the premier blocking tight ends in the league.

The three other picks remain question marks. Josh Holsey, a four-year starter at Auburn, and wide receiver Robert Davis both seemed destined to play major roles last year before injuries sidelined them for at least one year.

The other pick, fourth-round running back Samaje Perine, never really got a fair shake. Gruden acknowledged as much recently, via the team website. Gruden took responsibility for that and vowed to get Perine more carries. Depending on the status of Bryce Love, those increased carries may or may not be on the way. Nonetheless, five starters and two backups who should see a lot of snaps constituted one of Washington’s best draft in years.