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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Sizing up the rookies: Morgan Moses

By John Keim

The Redskins knew they couldn't count on a draft pick starting immediately, not without a first-round pick. If it happened? Great. So they filled their perceived immediate needs in free agency and hoped several in the draft class could fill roles, some more prominent.

Coach Jay Gruden said the Redskins' free-agency signings should allow the rookies to develop without needing to start immediately. I'll take a look at how the rookies fit in and when they might be needed to play bigger roles. It's third-round pick Morgan Moses' turn:

Why he doesn't need to start: First of all, he’s not ready. For the anti-Tyler Polumbus crowd, there’s a big difference between these two right now. Can it be closed in one summer? It would take some work. You can sometimes tell when guys are capable of playing immediately. Moses did not come across that way this past weekend -- and it does not seem like the Redskins anticipated he would be. He will have to get used to the speed and stop over-relying on his long arms. Polumbus is not a Pro Bowler, but he can certainly get the Redskins through this season while Moses matures as a player.

Future role: Starter. People can call him a first-round talent all they want, but he was drafted in the third round for a reason. Still it’s reasonable to expect a player picked here to develop into a starter. If you’re going to try to develop a tackle, it might as well be one who is 6-foot-6 with 35-inch arms.

When he might need to be ready: 2015. Polumbus is a free agent after this season and, while he would not be expensive to re-sign, there’s no need for him if Moses develops.

What he needs to work on: His overall technique. While Trent Williams also used his long arms to bail himself out of bad situations, he’s a far superior and more fluid athlete who could also recover with his feet. Moses is not that guy and will have to be more technically sound to handle speed rushers. That means he must work on staying low. He also needs to show he can be effective getting to the linebackers in the run game; he was inconsistent with that  in college.