Polian grades Redskins free agents

March, 8, 2014
Mar 8
2:00
PM ET
Bill Polian did not follow what others have done when it came to Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo. Most placed him among their top 10 free agents; Polian and his other analysts did not.

Yes, the Redskins named Orakpo their franchise player, but if another team wanted him it could sign him and trade two draft picks. That's a rather big longshot; it's one thing to shell out big money and it's another to do that and surrender picks. Still, technically, he's free. And he's not among Polian's best available free agents.

In fact, the former Indianapolis general manager, and current ESPN NFL Insider, gave 14 players a grade of at least a B-plus. No Redskins received higher than a B (Orakpo). Perry Riley received a B-minus while Reed Doughty was given a C-plus.

Those were the highest three grades Polian and a group of ESPN analysts, including Gary Horton, Matt Williamson and Field Yates, gave the Redskins players.

Pittsburgh's Jason Worilds was the highest-rated outside linebacker with a B-plus. Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett was the top player overall. Bennett and three others received an A: Indianapolis safety Antoine Bethea, Cleveland center Alex Mack and Houston nose tackle Earl Mitchell.
Here's what Polian had to say on some key Redskins:
  • "Orakpo has excellent size with good first-step quickness and good rush instincts. He is a power rusher more than a speed rusher. He is decent at the point of attack. All in all, a solid starting 3-4 OLB."
  • "Riley is instinctive, tough and skilled as an inside linebacker. He could have more punch at the point of attack."
  • "Doughty is a strong safety who is very smart and instinctive, which earns him the plus. He has excellent recognition and reaction against the run and pass. He is a productive tackler but lacks punch and does not have ideal range over the top."

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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