Hail to the Redskins, indeed.
We asked our listeners and readers in our weekly Talk of Fame Network poll which NFL team had the best draft, and the Washington Redskins won with an overwhelming 67.2 percent of the vote. The Dallas Cowboys were next with 12.4 percent, and the Cleveland Browns finishing third in the vote at 10.5 percent.
The Bengals, Buccaneers, Chargers, Ravens and Steelers all received single-digit support.
Washington needed to fix the NFL’s 28th ranked defense to close the gap on the Cowboys in the NFC East and did just that in the draft, using their first three selections on defenders and then addressing the safety position later in the later rounds.
Two of the draft picks come from Alabama, a program that has become steeped in defensive tradition under Nick Saban. The Redskins selected end Jonathan Allen in the first round and pass rusher Ryan Anderson in the second.
Washington then claimed UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau in the third round at a discounted price. He was projected to be a second-round pick but tore his pectoral muscle at his campus workout and will not be ready until July. That should not keep him out of the starting lineup of a defense that finished 25th in the NFL in pass defense.
The Redskins then took safeties Montae Nicholson from Michigan State in the fourth round and Josh Harvey-Clemons from Louisville in the seventh. Washington also addressed an offensive weakness, using a fourth-round pick on Samaje Perine, the all-time leading rusher at Oklahoma. The Redskins finished 21st in the NFL in rushing last season and a set of legs will complement what Washington has with Kirk Cousins’ arm.
Talk of Fame Network host Rick Gosselin voted for the Browns, but Ron Borges and Clark Judg agreed with the poll.
“I’ll side with the majority,” said Borges, “even though we all know nobody knows what kind of draft they really had until five years from now … by which time it’s too late to fix it!”
“Love that they started with two guys from the Alabama defense, with Allen a steal at 17,” said Judge. “The only problem is that they didn’t add the other nine starters from that defense.”
The Redskins got the nod over their NFC East rival the Cowboys, who drafted three potential walk-in starters on defense with their first three picks in end Taco Charlton (first round) and cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie (second round) and Jordan Lewis (third round).
Cleveland also was in the chase for the best draft with three first-round starters, all of whom project as walk-in starters: Pass rusher Myles Garrett, safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoka.