Both local NFL teams took a major step forward this past weekend by adding some intriguing young talent to their rosters. Let’s take a look at the haul for each team.
1 (6) Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame | Highlights
2 (42) (from Miami) Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State | Highlights
3 (70) Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU | Highlights
4 (104) Tavon Young, CB, Temple | Highlights
4 (107) (from Miami) Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati | Highlights
4 (130) (from Denver) Alex Lewis, OT, Nebraska | Highlights
4 (132) Willie Henry, DT, Michigan | Highlights
4 (134) Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech | Highlights
5 (146) (from Jacksonville) Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State | Highlights
6 (182) Keenan Reynolds, RB/WR, Navy | Highlights
6 (209) Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia| Highlights
Day 1: The Ravens got things started on Day 1 of the draft by selecting Notre Dame LT Ronnie Stanley with the 6th overall pick. Due to their struggles in the secondary last season, the Ravens attempted to trade up in the draft to select Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but did well to acquit themselves with the 6’6″, 312-pound Stanley. Stanley’s mammoth size belies his quickness, a trait that will come in handy when trying to fend off speedy edge rushers. And with incumbent LT Eugene Monroe in the fold, the Ravens will be able to take their time bringing Stanley along until he’s truly ready to perform.
Day 2: Baltimore’s biggest move of the day was undoubtedly trading the 36th overall selection to Jacksonville–which the Jaguars used to select highly-regarded but injury-prone UCLA linebacker Myles Jack–in exchange for picks 42, 107 (4th round), and 146 (5th round). With pick 42, the Ravens selected Kamalei Correa, an undersized, but productive, defensive end from Boise State. Correa will give the Ravens another outside pass rusher to complement veteran stalwarts Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. After playing as a 4-3 defensive end in college, Correa will have to adjust to being an outside linebacker in Baltimore’s 3-4 scheme. Regardless of the position change, the Ravens believe Correa’s pass-rushing skills, which helped him net seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss last season, will help the Ravens improve upon what was an anemic pass rush last year. With their other Day 2 pick, the Ravens added some further muscle to their front seven with the selection of 6’6″ BYU DE Bronson Kaufusi. Kaufusi had an impressive college career, but is already 24-years old due to a two-year mission trip he took during college. Due to his advanced age–relatively speaking, of course–and the release of DE Chris Canty, the Ravens hope Kaufusi will be ready to step in and make an impact right away. For a savvy team like the Ravens that likes to win at the margins, Kaufusi’s NCAA-leading four blocked kicks last season surely was an added bonus.
Day 3: The Ravens had an extremely hectic Day 3 of the draft, selecting a whopping eight players overall. I won’t bore you with analyzing every pick of guys who, quite frankly, I am unfamiliar with. Instead, I’ll highlight a few interesting picks. With pick 104, the Ravens finally landed a cornerback, Tavon Young from Temple. A few picks later, which was one of the picks the Ravens acquired by trading down, Baltimore nabbed Cincinnati WR Chris Moore, a polished receiver who has a knack for making big plays. Moore was 8th in the country last season with an average of 21.1 yards per catch. He should fit in quite well in Baltimore’s vertical passing offense and compete with 2015 first-rounder Breshad Perriman and 2015 starter Kamar Aiken for snaps opposite the speedy Mike Wallace. The Ravens also selected RB Kenneth Dixon, who’s highly regarded as a complete back, and converted Navy QB Keenan Reynolds, who set records in college but will have to change positions in the NFL. Overall, I thought the Ravens had a phenomenal Day 3, landing players at needed positions such as Moore and Dixon in Round 4 who I thought had Day 2 caliber talent.
1 (22) (from Houston) Josh Doctson, WR, TCU | Highlights
2 (53) Su’a Cravens, S, USC | Highlights
3 (84) Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech | Highlights
5 (152) (from New Orleans) Matt Ioannidis, DT, Temple | Highlights
6 (187) (from New Orleans) Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana | Highlights
7 (232) (from Tampa Bay) Steven Daniels, ILB, Boston College | Highlights
7 (242) Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia | Highlights
Day 1: The Redskins made an unusual move with the Texans, trading down one slot to pick number 22 while acquiring a 6th round pick in the process. Either way, the Redskins got their man, landing TCU WR Josh Doctson, who provides Washington with depth at the receiver position in the short-term and insurance for impending free agents Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in the long-term. Doctson is not a burner like Jackson, and is more of a route-running technician like Garcon. He has been compared favorably to Eagles WR Jordan Matthews by NFL Network analyst and former NFL scout, Daniel Jeremiah. If the Matthews’ comparison proves to be apt, Redskins fans will be very happy with this pick.
Day 2: The Redskins turned to the defensive side of the ball, selecting USC SS/OLB Su’a Cravens with their second-round selection. Cravens was “asked to do a lot at USC” according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, playing both safety and linebacker. The Redskins are listing Cravens as a safety for now, but you can expect Washington to deploy him in various defensive packages at different positions depending on down and distance. Cravens will wear number 36, the rookie number of the late Sean Taylor. If Cravens proves to be half the player Taylor was, Washington fans will remember this pick fondly for a long time. The Redskins continued to bolster their secondary with their next pick, selecting Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller. If the Fuller name sounds familiar, that’s because Kendall Fuller has three brothers already in the NFL: Kyle, Corey, and Vincent (retired). The youngest Fuller brother is teeming with talent, but had his draft stock curtailed due to a season-ending knee injury that required microfracture surgery. The Redskins team doctor performed that surgery so it’s evident the team feels very confident regarding his prognosis moving forward. Prior to his injury-laden junior season, Fuller displayed excellent ball skills for a corner, notching eight interceptions and 24 passes defensed during his first two collegiate seasons. He also showed impressive versatility for a corner, grading well in both the outside and the slot. Due to his recovery from major knee surgery, he Redskins would be wise to tread carefully with Fuller, which they should be able to do with one of the game’s best cornerback tandems in Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland.
Day 3: The Redskins entered the draft hoping to improve the interior of the defense, but did not select a defensive lineman until Temple DT Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round. That fact is a little disappointing for Redskins fans, but it’s better, from my view point, to pick the best players available rather than overdrafting a player to fit a short-term need. Ioannidis played all across the defensive line in Temple, and was productive everywhere he played. He fits the Scot McCloughan mold as a high-energy, tough, and intelligent football player. At just 300 pounds–again, relatively speaking–Ioannidis doesn’t fit the profile of a nose tackle, which the Redskins sorely need if Chris Baker plays a 3-4 end like he did last year in his breakout season. However, the Redskins were still smart to grab a hard-nosed, highly productive football player who, as a three-year starter in college, should be able to contribute in his rookie year. The other Day 3 pick that caught my eye was the selection of Indiana QB Nate Sudfeld in the 6th round. As a Terp fan and former football employee, I’m keenly aware of Sudfeld, the former quarterback of a Big Ten rival. While I question his raw arm talent, there is no questioning Sudfeld’s toughness, which seems to be a glaring trend in McCloughan’s selections. It will be interesting to see if Sudfeld proves capable of being a long-term answer at backup QB behind presumptive long-term franchise QB Kirk Cousins. The Redskins also drafted a running back, Keith Marshall, who, as his draft position would suggest, is nothing more than a lottery ticket, albeit an intriguing one. Injuries and a loaded Georgia running back corps limited Marshall to a measly 155 snaps over the last two years, but was drafted due to a lightning-quick 4.31 40-yard dash time and an impressive 25 repetitions on the bench press. Perhaps the Redskins found a diamond in the rough here; maybe they didn’t. Either way, it would be worth your time to keep an eye on Marshall at Training Camp.
Contact Corey Chaconas at firstname.lastname@example.org.