Morning Manny: Washington Redskins Passing On Leonard Williams Proving To Be A Mistake?

Manny Benton wonders if the Washington Redskins will regret not drafting former USC DL Leonard Williams in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now from Monday through Thursday at around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations! 

Are the Redskins feeling the ramifications of passing on Former USC DE/DT Leonard Williams?

It's been over a year now since the Redskins passed on Leonard Williams with the 5th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Washington opted to draft then Iowa Offensive Tackle Brandon Scherff, allowing Williams to fall in the New York Jets's lap at 6th overall. Many draft evaluators listed Williams as the top overall player in that class. His free fall had more to do with what teams needed ahead of Washington than his overall status of a player. Although, as a pass rusher, he was raw. The two-time All American had inconsistencies in that regard at USC. Williams never recorded a double digit sack total in college, but he was productive and flashed rare traits. 

One draft trend that some general managers, including Washington's Scot McCloughan, emphasizes is taking a senior over a junior if those players are closely ranked in the first round. It's a trend that I often have a hard time agreeing with. I believe in taking the better player regardless of seniority. It's understandable that general managers tend to trust the senior over a junior. It's viewed as a safer pick. But sometimes drafting "safer" makes you lose out on the better overall player. I wonder if that will be the case with the Redskins and Leonard Williams.

When it comes to comparing Brandon Scherff and Williams' respective careers thus far, it would be unfair to crown a winner. Scherff had a solid first season and looks to improve upon that in 2015. But I tell you what, Leonard Williams is looking pretty dominant these days. He led the league in sacks (2.5) week one, which is a half sack less than his total in 2015. Although Williams didn't record many sacks last season, his presence was felt against both the pass and run game for the Jets. The Redskins could certainly use that these days.

Leonard Williams was only 21 when the draft occurred last season. It's safe to believe that he's just scratching the surface of his potential. For the Redskins, they drafted Scherff as a right tackle and ended up moving him to right guard. Both positions are generally viewed as reaches in the top-five picks of a draft. It will be interesting to see how each player develops in the next few years. The Redskins have lacked a dominant presence on their defensive line for a while now and it's an extremely weak group this season. I think the overall consensus is that if Scherff becomes another Zach Martin type, a perennial pro bowler and All-Pro, then that's a win. So far Scheff has been good but not nearly as dominant as Zach Martin has been early in his career. 

You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.

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