Washington Redskins: Why Matt Jones was far more than a failed draft choice
By Desmond Lee
Lost opportunities in the draft
The draft pick the Redskins used in selecting Jones was the product of swapping third round choices with the Seahawks. Seattle traded up for Washington’s higher pick (No. 69 overall) and took Tyler Lockett, who won Rookie of the Year honors that season. The Redskins, who traded 26 picks down in that round, chose Jones.
This draft-day two-step with Seattle marked the beginning of at least two critical gaffes in their quest for another franchise running back. The first was McCloughan’s relinquishment of the team’s original third rounder. Had McCloughan simply retained the Redskins’ original No. 69 overall selection, he could have picked another ball carrier on the board at that time: David Johnson. Johnson, who was selected by the Arizona Cardinals just 17 picks later, was voted as a first-team All-Pro running back in 2016.
McCloughan also drafted two players – Arie Kouandijo (fourth round) and Martell Spaight (fifth round) — before the Miami Dolphins took Jay Ajayi, a Pro-Bowl running back, later in the fifth round. Kouandijo is no longer with the team and Spaight is, at this time, no more than a rotational middle linebacker.
Must Read: Matt Jones waived by newest team after 1 week
Some lenity on the Johnson and Ajayi misfires would be in order if Jones had provided the Redskins any meaningful return on their draft investment. But the wide chasm in production between those two, on the one hand, and Jones, on the other, only amplified the draft malpractice McCloughan committed.