Washington Redskins: Todd McShay

McShay likes Morgan Moses

May, 12, 2014
ESPN analyst Todd McShay pegged Morgan Moses as a first-round NFL draft prospect. But he lasted until the third round, where he was selected by the Washington Redskins, leading McShay to consider him great value.

As I’ve written a couple times since the Redskins picked him, Moses does represent good value. I've also written that I would not have taken him at 34 -- and certainly not in the first round. His performance did not match the talent; questions abound.

But McShay labeled Moses as the Redskins’ best pick in the draft -- because of his talent and where they picked him. Again, I disagree on the first-round part -- but in the third round? If Moses ever becomes consistent with knee bend and getting to the second level (among other things) then, yes, he could be the best pick -- and if he gains that consistency, he'll be an excellent starter. A lot of players have entered the NFL with talent and plenty of questions and, of course, the record is mixed. The Redskins do not need him to start right away, but with Tyler Polumbus unsigned for 2015, Moses needs to reach that level soon.

Regardless, here’s some of what McShay wrote on Moses, “He struggled for the first part of his career but really started to excel after moving over to left tackle this past season. Defensive players need to take a cab ride to get around his long arms.”

The problem in college: Moses relied too often on his length to bail him out of trouble. So, too, did Trent Williams once upon a time (but he’s also a lot more athletic than Moses) and was much more consistent in college. Williams was flagged for his work ethic, but that has not proven accurate.

McShay considered linebacker Trent Murphy a reach at 47. He’s not an explosive player and, if they re-sign Brian Orakpo, might not even be a starter for some time -- if ever. He needs to show he can rush the passer and help on special teams. A reach? Maybe. But the question is: Had they waited and not selected Murphy there, would he have been available at 66? I honestly don’t know and I’m guessing they didn’t either. But McShay is not the only analyst who considered him a reach.

But McShay does like Moses, and he says the Redskins have their right tackle of the future.
A little this and that about the NFL draft:
  • I really don’t know what direction the Redskins will go in the second round and nor do they. Too many factors involved at this point. But very few positions would surprise me if addressed with this pick.
  • The only spot defensively I’d rule out would be nose tackle. After that? It’s all up for grabs -- with an edge toward pass-rusher. Offensively, I can see right tackle first and foremost. But this also depends on who falls to this spot, of course.
  • I get the feeling that adding another pass-rusher would be highly desirable and there are several at 34 that they like, including Dee Ford, Kyle Van Noy and Jeremiah Attaochu. Van Noy’s versatility would be appealing; he can play all over and the Redskins do think he can play inside in a 3-4 as well. When he played outside, Van Noy did a good job disengaging from blockers. The belief is that skill would transfer inside.
  • But if a top corner or inside linebacker fell to 34, the Redskins would consider taking them, even though at corner they have their top three already. I know some, including ESPN’s Todd McShay, have projected inside linebacker Chris Borland to the Redskins but I would be surprised if that happened. Borland’s speed and inability to play in space would not be a good fit. My sense is they’d rather take Van Noy and move him inside. But, again, I think they go pass-rusher before these spots. They can also trade down a few picks and still find a pass-rusher they like, if that's truly the direction they want to go. Just keep in mind that they're intent on bolstering the pass rush.
  • Will quarterback Kirk Cousins be traded? I’ve always leaned toward no and that’s the sense I’ve gotten from others. But it’s still a legitimate question because it’s well-known what Cleveland offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan thinks of his former player. But it’s not known what sort of pull Shanahan has in the organization. There are a few layers above him. It also depends what the Browns truly think about Brian Hoyer – is there that big a difference between he and Cousins, enough to surrender a draft pick?
  • I know Bill Polian said on "NFL Insiders" that Cleveland should trade the No. 26 pick to Washington for Cousins. I think it would take the Redskins about one second to say yes. And I really can’t imagine the Browns making such an offer. That’s a steep price for a former fourth-round pick who still has a lot to prove. One NFL executive said he thought Cousins’ value was closer to the third round (maybe even the fourth; but it’s not as if this person had closely studied him).
  • What if the Redskins used Cousins to move up eight spots? The Redskins would have to get back more than just 26; they’d also need another pick in return. Last year, Atlanta moved up eight spots (from 30 to 22) and surrendered their first, third and sixth while also receiving St. Louis’ seventh.
  • By the way, I would not like that move for Washington. There are a handful of players they like in this draft and it’s hard to imagine them all being gone by the time the Redskins select Friday. While Bruce Allen and company might like Colt McCoy, they also like having three quality quarterbacks (potentially at least). With Robert Griffin III’s durability concerns, it’s wise to have excellent depth at this position. Very wise.
  • The bottom line is trading a guy you like at quarterback to move up eight spots is not worth it. Now, what if Cleveland offers its second pick (35th overall)? Again, that’s an awfully high pick to surrender for Cousins in my opinion (which no one involved in any deal would care about). Maybe Shanahan would do it, but would general manager Ray Farmer? They will take Shanahan’s advice on whether or not he thinks Cousins can play, but not on what pick they should give up.
  • Kansas City ended up trading two No. 2s to San Francisco for Alex Smith last offseason (one was a conditional third that turned into a second), but he had a deeper track record and was coming off a good season. Has Cousins really played himself into being worth a high No. 2? That still seems high, though we are talking just one pick compared to the two that Smith fetched. Arizona traded a sixth-rounder last year and a seventh-rounder this year for Carson Palmer.
  • Whether or not this trade happens I don’t know. But it has been discussed and does bear watching. The Browns can end the suspense by selecting a quarterback fourth overall.
Some thoughts from ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay on the Redskins' draft:
  1. In a conference call with NFL Nation reporters last week, I asked McShay about who would represent the best value at 34 as far as pass rushers go. I should have clarified that it could also apply to an interior rusher. It would not surprise me if the Redskins went in one of four directions with this pick (pass rusher, safety, right tackle, inside linebacker). But by pass rusher, that could mean an outside linebacker or someone inside to help more in the nickel. My thought has been more about finding additional interior help. The line has four players who will be 30 or older this season: Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen and Kedric Golston.
  2. If they took an outside linebacker, and they had several visits with them, then that player would obviously sit behind Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo for a year at least. Not sure how wild they are about Kyle Van Noy, but his versatility could help (though, personally, I've liked other players more than him).
  3. McShay said about pass rushers at 34: "That might be the sweet spot in this class in terms of outside guys. I don't know if they'd spend that pick on an outside linebacker. You have [Jeremiah] Attaochu, [Demarcus] Lawrence, who played a hybrid role, and Dee Ford. I've seen him play with his hand in the dirt and from a two-point stance. All could be around when the first round is done. If you're looking for value, it's a good spot."
  4. In their mock draft Thursday night, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay had the Redskins taking Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland at 34 and tackle Jack Mewhort in the third round. Not sure about Borland; there are definite parts of his game I like, but not sold that he's best for Washington. Mewhort is fine as a right tackle prospect.
  5. Here's what McShay said of Borland: "He wouldn't be a bad choice at all. I picture him more as a middle linebacker being protected. He can do a lot of the same things inside in a 3-4 scheme. After [C.J.] Mosley and Borland, there's a real drop-off at that inside linebacker position. You get down to the fourth round probably before you'd feel good about an inside linebacker."
  6. McShay said Preston Brown and Shayne Skov would be options starting at that point, though he said Skov is more a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

Todd McShay high on Jimmie Ward

April, 28, 2014
The Redskins addressed safety in the offseason. But they also haven’t solved the position for anything more than the short term. Which is why drafting one with their first pick in the second round remains possible.

There’s one player who stands out here in the eyes of ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay: Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. The top two safeties, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor will be long gone before this pick. McShay said safety Deone Bucannon, projects to a mid-second-round pick, making Ward a better value for Washington.

The 5-foot-11, 193-pound Ward starred for Northern Illinois, intercepting seven passes this past season. He didn’t work out at the scouting combine earlier this offseason because of a foot injury. He played strong safety in college, but analysts have raved about his versatility, in part because of his speed (4.47 in the 40-yard dash at the combine). The Redskins need their safeties to be versatile; the free safety could suddenly have strong safety responsibilities based on an offensive formation or a player going in motion.

“[Ward] has the coverage skills in both zone and man,” McShay said in a conference call with NFL Nation reporters. “But for a smaller safety he’s physical against the run. He’s a ball hawk. He’s a really good player. Not ideal size, but he plays bigger than his size and outside this freak injury he’s dealing with now, he was able to play every game. He’s a good value in the early to mid-second round.”

As for Bucannon, McShay said, “He’s a more physical in-the-box-safety. But he can be a versatile guy and play both spots and cover at least the deep half if not deep third in zone coverage.”

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Redskins 

April, 10, 2014
The Washington Redskins filled two big holes in free agency -- they hope -- when they landed defensive lineman and pass-rusher Jason Hatcher as well as big-time playmaking receiver DeSean Jackson. Next stop, the draft, where the Redskins don't pick until the second round (34th overall). Several positions would make sense in the second round: right tackle, safety or even inside linebacker.

Todd McShay's fourth mock Insider is now available on ESPN Insider's page and he projects a player to Washington who should make quarterback Robert Griffin III happy.