As the Redskins’ eight draft picks take the first steps in their NFL careers there is plenty of optimism about the career prospects for each of them. But history tells us that some of them will work out and some of them will not. Here is how I see the best-case scenario for each draft pick and what the worst that could happen during their NFL careers (barring injury in both cases).
OLB Trent Murphy
Best—Murphy has a steady part-time role on defense, gets four sacks, and becomes a key special teams player. In 2015 Brian Orakpo moves on and Murphy becomes a starter, eventually becoming an eight to 10 sack per year player, making several other big plays each season.
Worst—He really can’t get a foothold on defense and plays just a few dozen snaps during the year. That’s not enough production for the organization and they spend big to bring Orakpo back. Murphy develops into a special teams demon but only gets a few sacks a year due to an irregular role on defense.
OT Morgan Moses
Best—Moses beats out Tyler Polumbus for the starting job at some point before the second half of the season. He becomes a very solid player and while fans annually wonder why he’s not picked for the Pro Bowl but the truth is that he’s not quite good enough. Moses and Trent Williams are bookends on the line for the next six seasons.
Worst—Polumbus holds on to the starting job and Moses plays very little. Polumbus leaves as a free agent after the season but the Redskins don’t quite feel that Moses is good enough to slide into the right tackle spot. They use their first-round pick on a “sure thing” at tackle and Moses is a reserve for his career.
OL Spencer Long
Best—One of the interior lineman misses a few weeks of training camp with an injury, Long steps in, and can’t be unseated. His relentless play and nasty streak makes him a fan favorite for the next 10 years.
Worst—Long doesn’t get an opportunity to get on the field this year and the interior of the line plays well. The starters are all under contract through 2015 and Long can’t crack the lineup.
DB Bashaud Breeland
Best—Tracy Porter can’t stay healthy and Breeland steps in to the nickel role. After a couple of years, DeAngelo Hall retired and Breeland takes over as the starter.
Worst—His physical style of play leads to him getting too many penalty flags thrown against him. Special teams play keeps him in the league for a while but he never earns a steady role on defense.
WR Ryan Grant
Best—He makes the 53-man roster and after being inactive for a few weeks his ability to get open during practice makes it impossible to keep him off the field. Grant lines up in some four-receiver sets. Throughout his career he’s one of those guys who doesn’t make very many catches but it seems that every catch either comes in a critical situation or is worthy of a SportsCenter highlight.
Worst—His smarts can’t overcome his lack of speed. He spends on 2014 season on the practice squad and he can never establish himself on the 53-man roster.
RG Lache Seastrunk
Best—He performs well enough in training camp and the preseason to warrant getting several carries per game. Between now and the 2015 season he learns pass protection and receiving well enough to become a solid third-down back for the next several years.
Worst—His big-play ability is negated by his inability to perform his role when he doesn’t get the football. Seastrunk spends his career as more of a novelty than a consistent weapon.
TE Ted Bolser
Best—He is, in the words of Jay Gruden, a true “war daddy” on kick coverage and that gets him a spot on the 53. He develops into a passable alternative to Jordan Reed for the occasional game that Reed might miss due to injuries.
Worst—Bolser spends the 2014 season on the practice squad. In the second round of next year’s draft the Redskins take a tight end that is just too good to pass up and Bolser rarely plays on offense.
K Zach Hocker
Best—He consistently booms kickoffs out of the end zone and the team has to carve out a spot on the 53-man roster for him. Kai Forbath sufferers another leg injury during the season and Hocker does well filling in for him. Next year, Hocker wins a full-out kicking competition.
Worst—His kickoffs are good but some injury situations at other roster spots make it impossible to keep him on the roster. He gets an occasional tryout and is in training camp with NFL teams for the next couple of years but he never really catches on.