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A Final Grade For the Redskins!

April 30, 2018
The Washington Redskins completed their 2018 draft and while beauty might be in the eye of the beholder – it says here they did well for themselves.

Not great. It wasn’t a sure-fire slam-dunk three-day savage beatdown of the rest of the NFL, but it was more than solid and less than very good. How about that?

We profiled first-round pick Da’Ron Payne on Friday in this space. He’s a potential stud if he continues to develop and gets more consistent. That’s of course, a big if. 

In our final installment in this space (more on that below), we look at the rest of the Redskins haul, starting with a controversial pick in the second round.

Derrius Guice from LSU, a first-round talent in many evaluators’ eyes fell all the way to # 59 because of many concerns about his immaturity, character and potential stories that have not surfaced yet and have been alleged by NFL Network’s Mike Mayock and other different reports. I've heard plenty of things from some people I trust and quite honestly, they do not paint a pretty picture of the young Redskins running back. I would say buyer beware and think really hard about buying that jersey. 

Who knows what is true and what is not. I am very concerned. You should be too. He seems like a very likeable kid who had a tough journey to Washington and perhaps his angry running style translates to how he carries himself in meetings, film sessions and in life.

That can rub people the wrong way and it probably has.

Here’s what I know: Anybody that dismisses these stories as pure nonsense is fooling themselves. If Jay Gruden, Bruce Allen, Kyle Smith and Doug Williams feel they really know the kid, they’re wrong. They don’t. Not yet. It’s going to take a while. Yet they want you to believe they do.

Only time will tell, of course. I don’t worry so much about what has happened in the past. I worry about what will happen in the future, once he gets his money and when he has free time and NFL players have a LOT of free time.

They act like they don’t but trust me, they do.

From a football perspective, it’s a perfect fit. Guice probably won’t have a long shelf-life in the NFL because of his bruising style. Everything he does is full-force and damaging to the body, but nobody is going to question Guice’s effort. Not when he runs, not when he catches the football and not when he’s in pass protection.

Guice is the first running back the Redskins have drafted in the first two rounds since 2002. It’s been far too long, and it is a huge part of the reason why Washington has struggled to run the ball. Finally, they are starting to figure it out.

In the third round – the Redskins selected Louisville OT Geron Christian. He has insanely long arms (35 inches) and is athletic. He can play both tackle positions and played in front of a mobile quarterback at Louisville. You might have heard of him. You know. Lamar Jackson. The former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.

That’s important because it suggests that Christian is comfortable protecting for a improvisational quarterback and that describes Alex Smith.

In the fourth round, the Redskins went for speed and special teams over the more polished and NFL ready safety right now. They took Penn State safety Troy Apke.

A lot of pundits had an issue with this selection and while I can’t tell you that I know what is going to happen, I can tell you that I feel confident Apke will be given time to learn and develop as a safety while contributing right away as a special teams gunner and contributor.

Quite simply, the Redskins special teams’ units were brutal in too many ways last year and have been consistently bad over the years. It’s an are they have not helped enough. Speed, youth and defensive picks always help.

The Redskins 5 th round selection was a local product from the Manassas, Virginia area – Tim Settle – a big nose tackle who went to Virginia Tech. Many thought Settle would go in the third-round, so this represents a draft-day value pick especially if Settle helps Washington stop the run.

Shaun Dion Hamilton, a linebacker from (go figure) Alabama, was the Redskins sixth-round pick and fourth member of the Crimson Tide drafted in the last two years. According to Matt Zenitz of AL.com, a guest of Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The FAN on Monday afternoon, the Redskins new linebacker is viewed as one of the smartest players Nick Saban ever coached and before injuries started over Rueben Foster and other first-round picks.

With their two seventh-round picks, the Redskins took defensive back Greg Stroman from Virginia Tech and crafty wide receiver and returner , Trey Quinn out of SMU, who many have high hopes for, even outside of the organization. 

**A couple of parting shots – I give this Redskins draft a B + as a preliminary grade. Obviously, no draft class can be fully evaluated for years. I don’t have years to wait. I don’t even have days.

I could add a lot more but in the interest of everyone, I’ll wrap up now. This will be the last post for DCHotRead.com, MonumentalSportsNetwork.com and Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE). I want to thank all of you that took the time to read my often very long, rambling thoughts on anything and everything Redskins related over the last nearly four years. Sincere thanks, even if you didn’t like what you read.

Thank you to Kim Rose for managing this space and providing support along with Brad as well. I appreciate it. Thank you to Zach and Ted Leonsis for allowing me to contribute to MSE over the last four years.

Thank you as well to Kurt Kehl for providing me with the opportunity to first start writing for MSE and creating DCHotRead.com in September of 2014. Thank you to all of you for giving me the chance to have this forum. Also, thanks to Chuck Sapienza who was running ESPN 980 at the time and didn't have to allow me the ability to write on the side. Thank you to Chris Kinard at 106.7 for allowing me to promote this space on radio as well and all of my colleagues who also helped. 

I am always available on twitter at https://www.twitter.com/russellmania621  or russellmania09@Gmail.com for any inquiries or just to talk sports.

Thank you!

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com).  Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN 



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