20 of the active 53 players currently on the Washington Redskins roster were acquired by new General Manager Scot McCloughan. That, of course, means that 33 players on the 53 man roster are products of the past regime.
Seven of those 20 McCloughan-acquired players came via the 2015 NFL Draft (one undrafted). Three of those rookies are starters for the team (if you include Kysheon Jarrett in nickel packages). Preston Smith and Matt Jones are key contributors to the team — rivaling and/or overtaking the team’s starter in snaps at their respective positions. In all, at least 11 of the 20 McCloughan-acquired players have become key contributors or starters for the team.
Scot McCloughan is getting instant production from players acquired outside the first round. I can’t recall the last time that’s happened. Each player McCloughan has added is contributing in some form to the new attitude of this ball club.
Notes on key contributors/starters:
RG Brandon Scherff: key starter — he’s been a major upgrade over former starting RG Chris Chester. Scherff hasn’t been perfect, but he’s done a good job so far.
RB Matt Jones: key contributor — Jones needs to shake the fumble-prone tag off his back. However, he’s a tempo setter and packs an attitude when he’s in the game. He’s rivaled Alfred Morris for snaps and has proven to be a guy who is always a threat to score TDs.
WR Jamison Crowder: key starter — Crowder just received the nod to start for the Redskins, but he’s led the team in targets through the past two weeks. Crowder plays a lot bigger than his 5ft 9 frame, and is proving to be a safety blanket for the QB.
S Kysheon Jarrett: key contributor/starter — Jarrett has taken over the role as nickel CB with DeAngelo Hall injured. Jarrett has played very well and has surprised coaches considering he’s a natural safety.
OLB Preston Smith: key contributor — The Redskins are going to continue increasing Smith’s reps. He a very big athlete with the explosion they otherwise don’t have. Smith is still very raw, but can win off that raw talent.
CB Chris Culliver: key starter — Culliver has been Washington’s best Cornerback, although he’s coming off a poor game (injured). Culliver plays mad and has brought some of that Harbaugh-coached 49ers attitude to Washington.
NT Terrance Knighton: key starter — Knighton has played very well against the run. He takes up a lot of space and clogs running lanes.
DL Ricky Jean-Francois: key in rotation — RJF has played well when he’s on the field. He’s done a much better job at creating pass rush with the Redskins.
DL Stephen Paea: key in rotation — Chris Baker and Paea are pretty much 1a/1b in rotation. Paea, in my opinion, is still the best natural pass rusher on the team. He needs to do better against the run.
TE Derek Carrier: key contributor — you might as well call Carrier a starter. Some may not even realize when he’s on the field — but he’s played very well from a blocking standpoint. He is also a good receiver and I’ve been waiting to see him get utilized in the regard. Really — that’s his strength. We’ll see if he gets more targets with Jordan Reed’s injury.
S Dashon Goldson: key starter — Goldson has surprised me with his level of play so far this season. He’s not doing anything special, but he hasn’t done much bad. Compared to what Washington has had in the past — that’s a major upgrade. He’s been a vocal leader and has been pretty good in each facet of the game.
Imagine a team full of McCloughan-acquired players. In one off-season, McCloughan has already changed the attitude and culture of this team. If it continues, the Redskins will be setup for on-field excellence. This is the first season McCloughan can watch each player on the team up-close and personal. He’s a scout at heart and this will allow him to further understand exactly what the team needs. The Washington Redskins have to feel very comfortable knowing a football-mind is finally heading football operations.
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