Redskins select Alabama OL Ross Pierschbacher with No. 153 overall pick
By Ian Cummings
There’s that Alabama connection again.
The Washington Redskins had drafted four Alabama Crimson Tide players in the past two NFL Drafts, but in the 2019 NFL Draft, they started out their first five selections with no players from Nick Saban’s school.
Of course, we all knew that couldn’t last for long.
With their first fifth-round selection of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected Alabama Crimson Tide center Ross Pierschbacher, quickly double-dipping on the interior offensive line with another experienced blocker.
Like the Redskins first offensive line selection, Indiana guard Wes Martin, Pierschbacher was a four-year starter at Alabama who accrued experience all over the offensive interior, though his primary position was center. Pierschbacher offers good size at 6-foot-4, 305, and with his experience and modest athleticism, he should provide some versatility for Washington.
Pierschbacher does have some limitations, in terms of converting strength to power on the field, but he’s a fairly polished lineman who has enough functional movement ability to be a decent starter. How he progresses remains to be seen, but at the very least, he provides depth, and the Redskins needed that.
Now, with both Martin and Pierschbacher in the fold, the question of who starts at left guard remains. There are plenty of names in the mix, from Ereck Flowers to Martin to Arie Kouandjio, but it’s hard to see anyone separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Perhaps time will yield the answer. The good thing to take away from the selection is this: The Redskins won’t be scrambling for players to fill their roster like they were last year, in the midst of a wave of line injuries.
Now, the Redskins will wait until their next fifth-round pick, which sits at No. 173 overall. They can still stand to add a safety, as well as a tight end, a developmental tackle, and potentially another wide receiver to target. With just four picks left, their opportunities are waning. With Pierschbacher, they don’t have to worry about adding to their interior anymore. One could say they’re scouting the helmet a bit too much, but Pierschbacher provides value, nonetheless.