There are few things I hate more in this wide world than Washington doing good things. However, after ten picks in the deep 2017 NFL Draft class, it is hard not to be impressed with the crop of players they hauled in. Washington has seemingly put an emphasis on physicality the last few drafts and the returns have been noticeable in terms of the talent they accrue. Considering all the talent they lost this offseason, they needed to have a great draft to reload. Maybe this will be enough in the long term. Hopefully not.
Position: Edge Defender
Measurements: 6'3", 286
Key Stat: 20th most efficient pass rusher in the country when lined up at defensive end. Sixth most efficient pass rusher when line up at defensive tackle. (Pro Football Focus)
Jonathan Allen was always a player I was more skeptical on than most. While he certainly has a role in the NFL, the idea of an unathletic tweener being a top tier player never made sense to me. However, Allen has outstanding technique, a great motor and is super physical; somewhat offsetting his athletic limitations. Allen can move around a lot and I beet that is how Washington will use them. He can play from the edge in base and they'll probably kick him inside on passing downs. On a front that already has Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, Allen will complement nicely.
Measurements: 6'2", 253
Key Stat: Ranked fourth in the country in "clean up" or "pursuit" pressure. (Pro Football Focus)
With 22 sacks in the last three seasons, there is no doubt that Ryan Anderson was a productive pass rusher for the Crimson Tide. However, he was more of a high motor and very aware player who benefited from opportunities created by his teammates than he was a guy who created his own pressure. Anderson should move off the ball in the NFL due to his lack of length and burst to play on the edge. He could have a solid career at linebacker given his intelligence and physical style of play, but it is hard to see him be a dynamic and successful pass rusher at the NFL level.
Measurements: 6'0", 206
Key Stats: Allowed a 67.2 Passer rating into his coverage. (Pro Football Focus)
Similar to the Eagles taking a risk on Sidney Jones, Washington took a risk on Fabian Moreau after he tore his pectoral muscle at the UCLA pro-day. Many analysts had Moreau as a top forty player and some suggested he would have been a first round pick had he not been injured. One thing for sure is that Moreau is gifted. Not only does he have the seize and athletic ability for the cornerback position, he is also a steady player. He is not a flashy playmaking cornerback, but he will rarely give up big plays. Pectoral injuries aren't as severe as lower extremity injuries, so there is a good chance Moreau could see the field pretty early and there is no doubt he could give Washington a nice number two cornerback across from Josh Norman.
Position: Running Back
Measurements: 5'11", 233
Key Stats: Over half of his 4,130 career rushing yards came after the contact and he forced 157 tackles on only 684 career attempts. (Pro Football Focus)
Perine has been a star since day one, rushing for 1700 yards and 21 touchdowns his freshman year and breaking the NCAA single game rushing record. The following years, he lost carries to Joe Mixon but remained Oklahoma's most steady back. While his numbers dropped and injuries slowed him in his final year, he remained a consistent player who would almost always pick up positive yardage. Perine is built like a soup can and runs like an angsty bull in a china shop. He might not be the fastest, but good luck asking defenders to tackle him in the fourth quarter. He will bring some punch to Washington's running game and should see a big role early.
School: Michigan State
Measurements: 6'2", 212
Key Stats: 61st in the country last year in tackling efficiency. (Pro Football Focus)
Montae Nicholson mostly got drafted on potential. He has outstanding size and ran/jumped amazingly well at the combine. Bottom line is that he is a freak. However, he is a huge project. Nicholson, while aggressive, is all over the place in terms of tackling and coverage awareness. He had flashes in both regards, but his lack of consistency was troubling. I have no problem spending a day three pick on freak athletes, but he has a lot of work to do.
Position: Tight End
Measurements: 6'5", 252
Key Stats: In the last three seasons, Sprinkle has dropped five passes. (Pro Football Focus)
Jeremy Sprinkle finished his career on an embarrassing note after getting in trouble for shoplifting from a store he received a gift card for from his bowl game and that poor decision making probably hurt his draft stock. The reality is that Sprinkle is a very solid player. He has a huge frame with long arms and smooth athletic ability. He is a natural receiver with good hands and crisp routes. He is not a traditional blocker and struggles to play in line, but he has improved every season in that regard. Sprinkle makes for a good complement to Jordan Reed and the two of them on the field at the same time will be a problem for a lot of defenses.
Measurements: 6'4", 312
Key Stats: Was the most efficient pass protector in the country on third downs. (Pro Football Focus)
Chase Roullier was a very underrated player in this class. While he was not a flashy athlete and came from a smaller conference, he was constant for the Cowboys in his pass protection and run blocking. With experience at guard and center, Roullier can be a versatile depth piece for Washington, but I bet he works his way ingot he starting lineup at some point during his rookie contract.
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Georgia State
Measurements: 6'3", 219
Key Stats: SPARQ Score puts him in the 98.8th percentile for NFL wide receivers.
Robert Davis comes from an unorthodox offense but was still able to produce consecutive 900 yard seasons in the last two years. Davis has everything you would want from an NFL wide receiver, physically. However, due to GSU's offense, Davis has a lot of work to do in terms of learning the technical aspects of the position to truly utilize his gifts. Luckily, Davis is already a physical player who is willing to go up and get the ball and if he can improve his technique, he could be a dangerous player for Washington down the line.
Josh Harvey Clemons
Measurements: 6'4", 217
Key Stats: Among safeties, Harvey Clemons had the sixth best run stop percentage in the class. (Pro Football Focus)
Josh Harvey Clemons had a ton of promise as a highly touted recruit before getting dismissed from UGA due to failed drug tests. The well built safety found a home on the Louisville defense where he acted as an intimidator in the run game. Harvey Clemons definitely does his best work in the box and as a run defender and flashes ability in coverage. He still needs to improve his instincts, but he could develop into a very nice nickel package defender for Washington.
Measurements: 5'10", 195
Key Stats: Only allowed one catch in his match up against Mike Williams. (Pro Football Focus)
Holsey played all four years at Auburn, getting moved around from safety to cornerback and holding his own at both positions. He is a solid player with decent athletic ability, nice physicality and high football IQ, but his lack of size probably hurts his NFL outlook. This was a good depth pick for Washington who needs more competition in their secondary.