If the Redskins knew what they know now…

By Justin Byram

Call it a mixed bag.

The first draft class of the Jay Gruden and Bruce Allen collaboration produced some solid players. It also produced a few sales associates at your local sporting goods store.

The Redskins drafted two offensive lineman that they hoped would represent the future of the line; neither Spencer Long nor Morgan Moses have made an impact so far in this admittedly very small sample size.

Trent Murphy seems very solid yet thoroughly unspectacular. Bashaud Breeland and Ryan Grant were both great value picks, but Lache Seastrunk, Ted Bolser, and Zach Hocker are all gone less than a third of the way through 2014.

Let’s take a look at what could have been:


Round 2 Pick 34: Original pick was traded to the Dallas Cowboys

New Pick: Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada

BotinoThe Redskins traded their original second round pick, swapping picks with the Cowboys and gaining an additional third round selection. By doing so, the Redskins missed the chance to draft one of the best offensive lineman of this class.

Tackle Joel Bitonio played with the proverbial, prized mean streak in college; he is a physical lineman who dominates in the trenches. Bitonio also possesses the athletic ability to excel in a zone blocking scheme. He has started from game one at guard with the Browns. With the Redskins offensive line needing a boost at nearly every position, Bitonio would have been an immediate and long term upgrade.

Round 3 Pick 66: Original pick was Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

New Pick: Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State

gabeAlthough we were over the moon with the Morgan Moses pick at the time — and we still believe he is the Redskins’ future at right tackle — drafting Bitonio and Jackson would have given the Redskins two instant upgrades along the offensive line.

⇒Related Read: Making the call: Morgan Moses to the Redskins

Ideally, Jackson would have manned the right guard position with Bitonio manning the right tackle spot with free agent addition Shawn Lauvao playing left guard. Even if that did not work out, Bitonio and Jackson would be a better guard combo than anything the Redskins have put on the field this year.

Round 4 Pick 102: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson

New Pick: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson

The Redskins nailed this one, although Breeland has been forced into action far earlier than planned. Breeland is a physical corner who isn’t the fastest prospect, but he uses his long arms to make up for his speed. He also plays much faster than his 40 time would indicate.breeland

Breeland is also a willing special teams player, and has made an impact early in his Redskins career. There will be growing pains this season with Breeland, but he should develop into a solid slot corner for years to come.

Round 5 Pick 142: Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane

New Pick: Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane

It is tempting to go a different direction here, just because of how talented a group of wide outs the Redskins have under contract for the next few years. However, Grant is just too good of a prospect.grant

He has already demonstrated he belongs in this leagueeven if the Redskins have other holes to fill. Grant could turn out to be the steal — or one of them — in this draft; he runs great routes and plucks the ball out of the air with ease.

He’s is a great insurance policy if one of the Redskins top three receivers were to go down, and will see a bigger role as he develops. Even with all the talent the Redskins have at receiver, Grant is too polished even at this young age to keep off the field.

Round 6 Pick 186: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

New Pick: Antone Exum, CB/S, Virginia Tech

exumFor the record, everyone at Son of Washington liked the Lache Seastrunk pick, and liked what they saw of him in the preseason. It was mildly shocking to see him not even make the practice squad. Obviously, Jay Gruden saw flaws that we didn’t.

⇒Related Read: Seastrunk was impressing early, looked like a practice squad lock

At this point in the draft, GM’s look for players to stash for future years, or steals that can make an instant impact. Exum is an extremely talented player, with a high ceiling and an excellent and willing special teams player. However, a torn ACL caused Exum to fall down draft boards and he never really gained his 2012 form. At this point in the draft, why not take a chance on Exum, stash him on the practice squad, and see if he can return to pre-injury form.

Round 7 Pick 217: Ted Bolser, TE, Indiana

New Pick: Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami

miamiTo complete the overhaul of the offensive line, the Redskins could have selected Seantrel Henderson, a massive Tackle from Miami. Hindsight is a great thing, isn’t it?

At the time, Henderson graded out as an under-achieving tackle with character issues. However, Buffalo took a chance on Henderson and it has paid off in a big way. The Redskins could have added three young pieces to an offensive line that has needed an overhaul for some time now.

Someone give Bruce Allen a crystal ball for his birthday.

Washington Redskins Draft.  Washington Redskins Draft.  Washington Redskins Draft.  Washington Redskins Draft.  Washington Redskins Draft.  Washington Redskins Draft.

About The Author

Justin is a contributing writer at Sons of Washington. Justin joined the SOW staff in June of 2014. Feel free to contact him at jwbyram@email.msmary.edu, and follow him on twitter @Justin_Byram

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