by Justin Byram, special to Breaking Burgundy
As we approach the 2016 NFL draft, you will hear a lot of talk about “Scot McCloughan” type players referring to possible prospects the Redskins could target come April 28-30th. But what does that phrase mean exactly?
Well, if you look at McCloughan’s first three picks as General Manager of the Washington Redskins, it would appear that big, strong, fast prospects who played big time college football (two SEC and one Big 10 prospects selected. Those three selections of course are: Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith, and Matt Jones. All three prospects enjoyed successful rookie seasons and played a big role on the Skins late season push for the post season.
So which prospects of the 2016 NFL draft class fit the “McCloughan mold” the best? We take a look at every position to find out.
NOTE: these players are the prospects we believe fit what McCloughan looks for in a future Redskin, not who we believe the Redskins will select (many of these prospects are projected to be drafted near the same time).
[RELATED: Finding Scot McCloughan's safety type]
Quarterback: Jared Goff, California
This was a tough one for me, I’m not blown away by any quarterbacks in this class, and the top three are sure to be over-drafted. However, as tempting as it was to put Carson Wentz who possesses ideal size, arm strength, and was a flat out winner in college here instead of Goff; Wentz’s limited sample size and level of competition is too much for me to be completely sold on the North Dakota State product. With that being said, I think Goff is the most pro-ready QB in this class and he can be a very successful NFL quarterback. I love the Matt Ryan comparison, Goff is never going to put a team on his back and carry you to a Super Bowl, but if you surround him with talent he can play at an extremely high level.
Running Back: Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
It’s tempting to put a big name SEC back like Derrick Henry, Jordan Howard, or Jonathan Williams here; but ultimately I opt for the small school bell cow Dixon. Dixon has an impressive frame, possessing ideal size at 5-10 215 pounds. Dixon does just about everything well, being strong enough to run up the gut as well as being shifty and fast enough to bounce it outside and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Oh yeah, and Dixon makes amazing adjustments to make tough catches out of the backfield like a wide out. The former bulldog was one of the most productive backs (second all-time in FBS history in rushing and receiving touchdowns with 87). Dixon fits the McCloughan mold to a T, and would form a great one-two punch alongside Matt Jones.
Wide Receiver: Josh Doctson, TCU
This was also a very difficult decision for me. I really think McCloughan would love to add Laquon Treadwell, or Michael Thomas to the Redskins roster. However, I love the skillset Doctson brings to the table, and I bet McCloughan does too. Doctson would add size to a receiving core that desperately needs it, as well as phenomenal body control and hands, consistently winning jump balls and catching balls he has no business catching. However, Doctson isn’t just a possession receiver, he has enough juice to be a threat to burn you deep too. Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, and Doctson would be extremely difficult for defenses to handle for years to come.
Tight End: Jerrell Adams, South Carolina
This is a weak tight end class, and considering the Redskins have Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, and Vernon Davis on the roster, I’d be surprised if they took a tight end anywhere but on day 3. However, if there is one guy I think could be a Scot McCloughan guy, it’s South Carolina’s Jerell Adams. Adams doesn’t do anything extraordinarily well, but he has a well-rounded skill set and can be used in multiple ways. Adams is big enough (6’5) to be a red zone threat, and is quick enough to be a threat down the seam as well. However, Adams is a solid traditional “in-line” blocker as well. Bottom line: Adams is a tough nosed football player who will do whatever you ask him to do to help the team win football games.
Tackle: Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Ifedi is a versatile tackle prospect who also had experience playing guard with the Aggies. Ifedi is well built at 6’5 324 pounds with a 36 inch wingspan. Ifedi may never be a left tackle in the NFL (has the talent to develop into a left tackle, but played right tackle in college) but luckily for McCloughan, he has a stud left tackle in Trent Williams. Ifedi is a prospect with a high ceiling who can play multiple positions at a high level. This wouldn’t be a “sexy” pick early, but it would add talent and depth to an already improved offensive line unit.
Guard: Cody Whitehair Kansas State
Whitehair is a versatile prospect who has experience playing at tackle, guard, and center. The Kansas State product has started since 2012, and he fits the McCloughan mold as a player who absolutely loves the game of football, being a senior who is also among the hardest workers on the team as well as a leader doesn’t hurt his case either. Whitehair will likely hear his name called in the first two rounds of this April’s draft, and if the Redskins do grab the former Wildcat it will certainly give the Redskins some identity and a ton of youth and talent across the offensive line.
Center: Evan Boehm, Missouri
This pick came down to two prospects, Alabama’s Ryan Kelly and Boehm. Although both players are great prospects and certainly make sense for McCloughan, Boehm ultimately played with a bit of a nastier streak to me, and his 53 straight starts in the SEC is extremely impressive. Boehm fits the classic mauler, old-school bully type offensive lineman who will hit you from the snap until the whistle blows, and maybe even a second or two after the whistle. Boehm features the attitude and nastiness McCloughan is sure to like, similar to last year’s first round pick, Brandon Scherff.
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