In the lead up to the May 8-10 NFL draft, The Insider is looking at Washington’s positions of need, spotlighting players who might fit what Jay Gruden and staff are looking for. On Wednesdays and Fridays, Mark Bullock checks in with screengrab-based examinations of players who could be available early, mid-draft and late. On Mondays and Thursdays, Mike Jones reports on players at the positions the Redskins need most, and provides top 10s.
We’re back with another in our series looking at draft prospects by position. Earlier this week, Mike Jones took a look at his top 10 offensive tackles, so I thought today would be a good time to look at some potential fits at right tackle for the Redskins.
High round: Morgan Moses
At 6 feet 6, 314 pounds, Moses is everything the Washington Redskins are looking for in a tackle. He has imposing size combined with athleticism and quickness that make him a good fit in the Redskins’ offense. Coming out of Virginia, Moses played in the Redskins’ back yard, so they have had plenty of opportunity to scout him. He spent time at both right and left tackle during his college career, excelling as a pass protector.
Here we can see Moses against a speed rush.
Moses shows off his quick feet, kick-sliding efficiently to match the speed of the pass rusher. (Ed. note: The rusher is Jeremiah Attaochu, a high-round draft prospect at outside linebacker)
After Moses is able to match the speed, the rusher attempts to work back inside.
But Moses is able to stonewall the move back inside, giving his quarterback plenty of time and space to make his throw.
Moses is capable of adjusting to the inside counter moves that speed rushers use to keep tackles honest.
On this play, the rusher takes a fake step up the field to sell a speed rush around the edge before cutting back inside.
Moses reacts quickly to the inside move and manages to hook the rusher.
Moses guides the rusher inside down the line and safely past the quarterback, who is able to get this throw off without any trouble.
Moses’s athleticism allows him to be able to block effectively on the move. With Robert Griffin III at quarterback, Jay Gruden might try to move the pocket around to make the most of Griffin’s mobility. Moses showed he was able to do this in college.
Virginia is going to roll the quarterback and the pocket to the left.
Moses does a good job absorbing the momentum of the rusher while on the move before he begins to drive him back.
Moses gives the rusher one final shove before he looks to get out and block at the second level. Like before, the quarterback is given plenty of time to read the defense, set and throw.
Moses has the potential to be a solid blind-side protector at the NFL level thanks to his size and quickness. That might tempt teams at the end of the first round to consider him, meaning he might not fall to the Redskins at pick No. 34. If he’s on the board when the Redskins are on the clock, I’d imagine he’d be high on their wish list. He would be a guy they could plug in at right tackle from Day 1 and be comfortable with.
Projection: Late first/early second.
Middle Round: Ja’Wuan James
James is much more of a prototypical right tackle than Moses. He has similar measurements, standing at 6-6, 311, but he’s more of a run blocker than a finesse pass protector. He uses his strength and size well to drive back defenders in the run game.
Here, James is asked to leave the edge defender unblocked and focus inside on the defensive tackle.
James keeps low out of his stance, allowing him to get under the pad level of the defensive tackle. He uses his strength to begin driving the defender back.
James finds himself three yards past the line of scrimmage, having driven the defensive tackle backwards and completely out of the play.
This isn’t to say James is a poor pass protector; he isn’t. He’s capable of being left to block on an island and displays a good mirror ability.
James lines up at right tackle with a defensive end in front of him.
James lands a strong initial punch that keeps the defender at arm’s length and stops him getting any sort of hand positioning.
The defender responds by faking a move back inside to try and get space around the edge.
But James mirrors the movement of the defender excellently and cuts him off from the quarterback.
James isn’t as accomplished in pass protection as someone like Moses. He can struggle with quicker rushers coming off the edge. But he’s capable and has room to grow on the right side.
Projection: Third round
Late Round: Seantrel Henderson
Henderson is one of the biggest players in this draft. He measures in at a massive 6-7, 331, but he’s another guy that has good movement skills for his size. As you’d expect from a man his size, he’s a mauler in the run game, but is raw in pass protection. One of Henderson’s best attributes is his ability to reach the second level and block in space and on the move.
Here, Henderson is assigned with getting past the line of scrimmage and blocking the linebacker on the second level.
Henderson fights through traffic and reaches the second level without any troubles. He identifies his man earlier and aggressively pursues the block.
The linebacker does his best to get to the outside to avoid Henderson, but once Henderson engages, it’s over. Henderson uses his power to drive the defender towards the sideline, clearing a big running lane behind him. Unfortunately, another offensive lineman misses his block, but that shouldn’t take away from Henderson on this play.
You don’t expect a player his size to be capable of reaching some of the blocks he manages to get to.
This is just a simple bubble screen to the wide receiver. Henderson is asked to get from the middle of the field to outside quickly to pick up the second block on the screen pass.
He works quickly out of his stance and again aggressively pursues his block.
He’s able to get to the block in time, quickly moving from the middle of the field to the numbers. The receiver is able to cut inside behind Henderson and ends up breaking this simple screen for an 80-yard touchdown.
Where Henderson falls short is in pass protection. He has the athleticism needed to improve, but he’s very raw. His size works against him as defenders are able to get underneath his pad level easily.
Here’s Henderson at right tackle.
Henderson doesn’t make the best use of his long arms, allowing the defender to get too close. That enables the defender to get underneath Henderson’s pads and drive him backwards.
As the rest of the pocket begins to collapse, the defender attempts to disengage, forcing Henderson to reach for him, losing his technique. While Henderson doesn’t end up surrendering the sack, it’s still not a good block.
Henderson has a lot of upside because of his size and movement skills, but he will take time to develop.
Projection: Fifth/sixth round
More Redskins and NFL from The Post: