In Friday’s paper, we took a look back at the lack of contributions the Redskins from their 2016 draft class.
Injury completely robbed first-round pick Josh Doctson of his rookie campaign, and it has significantly limited second-round pick Su’a Cravens. Third-round pick Kendall Fuller, meanwhile, has played more than any other rookie, but is still going through growing pains. Fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis remains far down on the depth chart, and sixth-rounder Nate Sudfeld never plays as the third quarterback.
Injury cost linebacker Steven Daniels and fellow seventh-rounder Keith Marshall, a running back, their rookie seasons, as well.
But that doesn’t mean the Redskins’ 2016 draft class won’t wind up being successful.
As former Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly said in the story, “Tom Landry had a theory, and it was a three-year program. Year 1, they got them there. Year 2, we want to see improvement. Year 3, you want to see them play. If they’re not playing in Year 3, then we’re going to start the process all over again. That’s a good way to look at the thing. It’s an investment. It’s time. You have to be patient.”
Casserly does like the Redskins’ top three picks, although he admits there are some questions about some, and he wonders if others are being used in the proper positions.
Here’s Casserly’s breakdown of the top three picks:
On Josh Doctson:
“Well, they didn’t draft for guys to get injured. So that’s the tough one. . . . Doctson, there’s no way to evaluate him. So, you’ll just have to see what he does next year. They took him probably where he should have been taken. You can make the argument that he was the best receiver in the draft in a draft that lacked a No. 1 receiver. I think he’s more of a [No.] 2, but that’s fine. Twos play and they play a lot, so that’s valuable to have going into next year with Jackson and Garcon both free agents. So, the jury’s out, but at the time of the pick, although it might’ve been a surprise to some people, he’s worth that value.”
On Su’a Cravens:
“Su’a Cravens, again he couldn’t stay healthy. The little bit you saw of him, you saw what they saw: A guy that’s instinctive, that’s got athletic ability, a guy that can go cover a running back or a tight end. The debate of safety and linebacker; I kind of thought safety. But I don’t know that there’s an answer. I was concerned about his size at linebacker on first and second down. I think number one, you better the hope is that the downside is just that he can’t stay healthy. He could be a guy that at least is a hell of a nickel player. That’s what he possibly could be.”
On Kendall Fuller:
“Fuller, I like him, but I think you’ve got to figure him out a little bit. I was in favor of putting him in the slot just to get him on the field and since, to me, they didn’t have other good alternates. But I think he’s best suited for the outside. I think he’s more athletic and flexible than Breeland. But I think he’s best suited as a press corner who has some ability to change directions. I think he’s an excellent third-round pick. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t develop into a starter for them.”
The Redskins have three of last year’s draft picks starting (Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith and Jamison Crowder). Matt Jones was a starter, as well, before getting demoted. But every pick isn’t going to be a starter for you, Casserly reminded. It just doesn’t happen.
“The other thing you have to understand is there’s only a 30 percent chance of getting a starter in the draft once you put it all together. The first year is 75 percent. This is off of a 10-year study I did, and it has nothing to do with positions. The second round is only 50 percent, and that’s the shocker to people. Third round is 33 percent, fourth round is 25 percent, fifth round is 20 percent and the sixth and sevenths were nine percent. So, what you’re trying to do: if you can get two starters out of the draft, that’s the average. That’s what you’re trying to get done to be on par with everybody. If you do better than that, you’re good. The year before that, you had Scherff, Preston Smith, you had Crowder, you had Jones, but he’s kind of petered out, but maybe that story isn’t done yet.”
And so, when it comes to this year’s draft class, that story certainly isn’t done yet, either.