The pick: Spencer Long, G, Nebraska
My take: The Redskins clearly wanted more size and muscle inside. They added more of it in Long, but this one feels like a reach late in the third round. He missed half the season with torn ligaments in his knee and, though he said he feels fine and is “ready to go” I do wonder if they could have waited another round and picked him up.
If you’ll recall, they made a similar curious pick at guard in 2012 when they made Josh LeRibeus a third-round choice. That hasn’t worked out. Whether or not Long does remains to be seen. But the big difference between the two is Long’s passion for the game. Coach Jay Gruden stressed this point. No one has ever said the same about LeRibeus and I don’t think that sits well with the staff.
Long’s ability to seal openings should help in the zone scheme. But I have no idea if this move will pay off. I understood picking Trent Murphy at 47. Whatever anyone else thinks, he was the best pass rusher left on the board in their minds. I understood taking Morgan Moses earlier in the third. But this one is a more curious pick.
Young guards: The Redskins continue to say the line wasn’t as bad as everyone said. Yet not only is the starting five turning over, by next year Trent Williams could be the only player at the same spot he was in the 2013 finale. A big question now is what happens at right guard. The Redskins still have Chris Chester there, but if they wanted cap relief they could cut him and save $2.7 million against the cap.
Do they have his replacement ready? And who is it? If Morgan isn’t ready, then could it be LeRibeus? There’s always Mo Hurt, but I’d pass. The player I always liked better is Adam Gettis, but he was only around 295 pounds and needs to get bigger. If he does, then he could be one to watch this summer. Regardless, the changes along the line will continue.
What’s next: The Redskins own all their picks in each of the final four rounds Saturday. The Redskins definitely need more young help defensively, but the value in this round could be found at running back and tight end. If they go defense, this is also a good time to look for corner help where they need depth. And they should give serious consideration to some safeties.