In just over a month, Scot McCloughan will make his second set of draft pick selections for the Washington Redskins. Recently the general manager stated he wants a dozen picks for the occasion. On Tuesday from the NFL owners meetings in Florida, McCloughan explained why.
“Because I’m selfish," McCloughan cracked. "Next year it will be 14.”
Jokes are cool, but the thing is and unlike with previous regimes, the fan base is on board. McCloughan made his mark in this league evaluating talent and building rosters. "In Scot we trust" is a common line uttered by the Burgundy and Gold faithful and why ears perk up when the man who essentially replaced the likes of Mike Shanahan and Vinny Cerrato speaks.
"First, second, third rounders, they’re going to be good players no matter what," McCloughan said in the process of explaining his general approach. "Well, not no matter what, but solid football players. But the fourth through the seventh [rounds] and the college free agents, but that’s how you build the core of the team. Solid backups, possibly starters down the line, but really good special teams players. And that’s when you get things rolling, that’s when things are going the right way.”
And that's why one wants 12 draft picks. To get things rolling. To build the core. That's also why McCloughan is slow-walking free agency. Adding veterans helps with support, but collectively winners are formed by nurturing kids.
Last year McCloughan wanted 10 draft picks. He and team president worked their magic to get there. That's why all jokes aside, 12 for 2016 is a viable campaign slogan.
"With Bruce anything is possible," McCloughan said. "He’s got some magic to him. Last year, we went in with eight and ended up with 10. We’re going in with eight this year. There’s a chance. It’s a very solid draft, and there’s going to be chances up high that you can possibly move back.”
Expanding on the draft day work flow, McCloughan said, "Bruce does a really good job in talking with teams while I’m sitting there trying to go through the board and see where we’re going next."
The hope is that with another draft class, McCloughan has the Redskins going closer to the ultimate goal, the franchise's fourth Lombardi Trophy. In 2015 he landed guard Brandon Scherff, pass rusher Preston Smith, running back Matt Jones, wide receiver Jamison, safety Kyshoen Jarrett among others. If McCloughan can land a similar productive haul in 2016, then indeed the Redskins will move closer to that goal.
If that requires getting 12 picks, so be it. We've already seen McCloughan and Allen pull off similar magic before.
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