The Washington Redskins needed a change in attitude along the offensive line and they got that in the form of former Iowa Hawkeye road grader Brandon Scherff at fifth overall.
Scherff is the fifth offensive lineman selected in the first round in team history. Sixth if you count TCU’s I.B. Hale, a tackle drafted eighth overall in the 1939 NFL Draft.
The others tackles taken? Mark May (1981 – 20th overall), Andre Johnson (1996 – 30th overall), Chris Samuels (2000 – 3rd overall) and Trent Williams (2010 – 4th overall).
The Redskins addressed defensive line this offseason with the additions of Ricky Jean Francois, Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton but the team did not sign a newcomer to the offensive side of the ball.
Scherff started all 26 games of his last two seasons at left tackle but Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said in a conference call with reporters Thursday night that Sherff will start at right tackle, replacing free agent Tyler Polumbus.
The whole league saw the culmination of the Dallas Cowboys drafting an offensive lineman in the first round in three of the previous four years. Selecting tackle Tyron Smith (2010 – Ninth overall), center Travis Frederick (2012 – 31st overall) and tackle Zack Martin (2014 – 16th overall) resulted in a career year for running back DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014.
Redskins running back Alfred Morris voiced his opinion of the team’s newest addition on Twitter.
The 6-5, 320-pounder from Denison, Iowa brings a high upside to a team that has long sought improvement along the offensive line for years.
- Plays with a mean streak and finishes off blocks, often pancaking opponents on second and third efforts.
- Dominant run blocker known for driving defenders into the sidelines.
- Beat out Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown and Auburn center Reese Dismukes to win the 2014 Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s best interior lineman.
- Athletic and has quick feet for someone who weighs more than 300 pounds.
- Willing to play any spot on the offensive line.
- Lacks ideal frame and arm length for a tackle position. Body type more suited for guard.
- Needs to improve pass protection.
- Adjusting from left tackle to right tackle could take some getting used to.
- Some holes in his mechanics with hand and foot placement.
- Missed second half of 2012 season with a broken right leg and dislocated ankle. Suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in the first half of a September 2014 game versus Ball State but returned in the second half and only missed one practice.
- As a high school quarterback, he was 100 pounds heavier than his 170-pound center.
- Was played trombone and was a five-sport high school athlete having played football, basketball, track and field, tennis and baseball.
- He worked at a Christmas tree farm and was nicknamed “Paul Bunyan” by one of his high school coaches.
- He once bagged 11 coyotes on a hunting trip.
Scherff may be best suited for either guard position based on his frame and his ability as a run blocker but his two seasons at left tackle bode well for his transition to right tackle. His aggressiveness gives the Redskins an identity that new offensive line coach Bill Callahan loves. He should give the Redskins a Jon Jansen-like run at right tackle.