Offensive tackle Brandon Scherff possesses all of the traits Scot McCloughan sought in his first pick as Redskins general manager, he said Monday.
“He’s the whole package,” McCloughan told reporters at Redskins Park. “That’s what I look for. …I’ve seen players succeed [who] have that much ability. But also throw in the character, the passion, the competitiveness, the toughness that he has, I wanted my first pick to be, no matter what, somebody that’s not just an impressive player but an impressive person, and somebody you can build around.”
He added: “Not only does he come in as a good football player, guys around him will be better because of the way he approaches the game.”
McCloughan is as high on Scherff's ability on the field as he is about Scherff's leadership off of it. But the general manager was also quick to point out that the former Iowa standout still must earn a spot in the starting lineup.
“The thing about it was as soon as we drafted him, everybody was like, ‘Okay, he’s going to be your starting right tackle,” McCloughan said. “No, no. He’s got to come in and earn the job.”
Assuming Scherff does claim the starting right tackle job, McCloughan sidestepped what that could mean for Morgan Moses and Tom Compton. At the NFL owners meetings in March, Coach Jay Gruden said that he expected Moses, a 2014 third rounder, and Compton, who started the final nine games last season, would battle it out. But that, of course, was before Scherff's arrival.
Asked if Moses might be moved to guard, McCloughan said: “Certainly. The worst-case scenario is, Morgan doesn’t get a starting job. Now you’ve got a really good backup. You’re going to need him. Guys get nicked.”
Who plays where will be sorted out during OTAs and training camp. But it certainly sounds as though McCloughan expects Scherff to be the starter Week 1 at right tackle—and for several years after that.
“He’s going to succeed not just because of his athleticism and size and toughness but his instincts for the position,” McCloughan added. “He knows how to play tackle. …You can’t teach instincts."