NFL Draft Retrospective, Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins 2016 NFL Draft Retrospective

How does the Washington Redskins 2016 NFL Draft class look three years later?

Prior to the 2016 NFL Draft, things were starting to look up for the Washington Redskins. They had won the NFC East with a 9-7 record and while they didn’t find success in the playoffs, it looked like they were en route to becoming a solid team and potential perennial contender. Still, they had some holes that they had to address.

The Redskins had a glaring weakness on the defensive line, lacking talent outside of Chris Baker, and their linebacker corps and secondary lacked talent as well. Prior to the draft, they needed talent at every level of the defense, and they also needed help at center and running back on the offensive side of the ball. Still, the priority should have been to shore up a leaky defense that had given them issues the previous year. Fixing that could have led the team to be a well-rounded team. Instead, the Redskins were unable to do that, and their 2016 NFL Draft class ended up being, in large part, a failure.

Original Grade

Sports Illustrated: A-

Sports Illustrated gave the Redskins a favorable grade of an A-, citing Josh Doctson’s potential as a No. 1 receiver, Su’a Cravens’ potential as a hybrid weapon, and the late-round run upgrades the team made in Steven Daniels and Matt Ioannidis. Only one of those players has panned out.

FanSided: C+

The Redskins earned a C+ from FanSided which is, retrospectively, a solid grade. This was based largely on the upside of Josh Doctson and the fact that the team ignored their front seven for most of the draft.

Draft Class

Round 1 (No. 22)

Josh Doctson

WR, TCU

Current Team: Washington Redskins

Receiver wasn’t an obvious need for the Redskins at the time of this pick, as Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Jamison Crowder were all on the roster. However, it’s clear that the team was preparing to move on from the former two veterans and were hoping to groom a quality replacement. Doctson, a big-bodied pass-catcher from TCU, was supposed to help with that, but his career to date has been disappointing.

Doctson has never developed into the quality starter that the team had hoped. He has shown flashes of ability as a No. 2 guy, but he hasn’t been consistent and has struggled with drops. His stats through three years—81 catches, 1,100 yards, and eight touchdowns—are merely decent. He’ll have one more chance to prove himself in 2019, but if he can’t make the leap, it will become apparent that he is merely a fine backup at the NFL level.

The Redskins probably should have taken Michael Thomas if they wanted a receiver at that point. Thomas was in the running to be one of the top wideouts picked in that class, but he slipped to the second round.

Round 2 (No. 53)

Su’a Cravens

LB, USC

Current Team: Denver Broncos

Talk about a disaster. Cravens showed flashes of superb coverage ability as a linebacker during his rookie season with the Redskins. He had an interception, five pass defenses, a sack, and 33 tackles as a rotational player through 11 games. He was expected to move to safety ahead of the 2017 season and start there, but he abruptly retired shortly before the season. Cravens would eventually come back the next offseason, but the Redskins offloaded him for a swap of Day 3 draft picks and an extra fifth-round pick.

Making matters worse, perennial Pro Bowler Kevin Byard went off the board just 11 picks after Cravens. So, if the team had really wanted an upgrade at safety, he would have been the guy to pick (though Cravens was certainly regarded as the better prospect at the time of the draft).

Round 3 (No. 84)

Kendall Fuller

CB, Virginia Tech

Current Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Fuller had a great two-year run with the Redskins, developing into one of the league’s best slot corners in 2017, grabbing four interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He was traded in the 2018 offseason along with a third-round pick to obtain the services of QB Alex Smith. In Kansas City, he functioned as a solid starter for the team and is arguably their best corner now.

Round 5 (No. 152)

Matthew Ioannidis

DT, Temple

 

Current Team: Washington Redskins

Ioannidis was the best player that the Redskins got in this class by a long shot. After spending time on the practice squad as a rookie and functioning mostly as a reserve upon being called up to the roster, Ioannidis has made great strides under defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Ioannidis has totaled 58 tackles and 12 sacks over the course of the past two seasons and has become the starter on three-man fronts next to Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. Ioannidis is one of the best, young interior pass rushers in the game, and he should have a chance to get a big payday in the 2020 offseason.

Round 6 (No. 187) 

Nate Sudfeld

QB, Indiana

 

Current Team: Free Agent

Sudfeld actually has a Super Bowl ring, but that’s obviously not from the Redskins. Sudfeld was cut after one season in Washington and eventually worked his way onto the Eagles roster. Sudfeld has 156 passing yards and a touchdown on 25 career pass attempts, all with Philadelphia. He was a developmental prospect for the ‘Skins, but they gave up on him very early on, and that’s part of why they lack young talent at the quarterback position right now.

Round 7 (No. 232)

Steven Daniels

LB, Boston College

Current Team: Free Agent

Daniels tore a labrum in his first training camp with Washington. That ended his season prematurely. He would be cut following the 2017 NFL Draft and never played a down in the NFL.

Round 7 (No. 242)

Keith Marshall

RB, Georgia

Current Team: Free Agent

Marshall stayed on the Redskins’ roster for a couple of seasons, but injuries took their toll. He was unable to get on the field his rookie season due to an elbow injury and then tore his patellar tendon the following offseason. Like Daniels, he never played a down in the NFL.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but it’s pretty abundantly clear that this one of the weaker Redskins drafts of the past five years. They got few true impact players and didn’t even pick up that much depth. Their hauls in 2017 and 2018 were far more impressive, and those deserve much more credit than Scot McCloughan’s final draft with Washington.

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