2011 NFL Draft (Bruce and Mike)
Washington loaded up with 12 picks, though most of them came in the later rounds.
- BEST: Ryan Kerrigan (1)
- WORST: Leonard Hankerson (3)
- VALUE: Niles Paul (5)
Mike nailed his second straight top pick with Kerrigan, but continued Vinny’s penchant for blowing receiver picks with Hankerson. Hankerson kept getting hurt just when he seemed to be building some momentum.
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There were a lot of decent later round picks, including the second-to-last pick Chris Nield. But Paul was the best, transitioning from wide receiver to become a serviceable tight end and standout special teamer.
2012 NFL Draft (Bruce and Mike)
The Robert Griffin III trade colored everything. It actually wasn’t a bad draft, with a few big misses.
- BEST: Alfred Morris (6)
- WORST: Josh LeRibeus (3)
- VALUE: Alfred Morris (6)
If you don’t want to pick Morris twice, you could go with fourth-rounder Kirk Cousins as your best player. He is still in the middle of his career while Morris is essentially done. But I prefer Morris, who played at a very high level for a number of years.
And you could obviously choose Griffin as the worst pick, but to me, LeRibeus, who was chosen 73rd overall and was not really an NFL talent, was a bigger miss.
2013 NFL Draft (Mike and Bruce)
No first-rounder this year, but a couple of good players in the other early rounds.
- BEST: Jordan Reed (3)
- WORST: Phillip Thomas (4)
- VALUE: Chris Thompson (5)
Reed may have also been the best value in the draft, but Thompson was highly productive. Thomas missed his entire rookie season with an injury, then had a few undistinguished appearances in year two. Then he was gone.
2014 NFL Draft (Bruce Allen)
Shanny was gone, and Bruce used several executives to pick up the player personnel slack. But Bruce was running the show. The results looked good at first, but began to look worse over time.
- BEST: Morgan Moses (3)
- WORST: Trent Murphy (2)
- VALUE: Beshaud Breeland (4)
Moses was the clear gem of this class. A lot of guys showed some talent for a couple of years, but eventually fizzled. That is certainly true of Murphy, who played well for a while but ultimately was a disappointment after being drafted in the top 50.
Breeland was a bit hit-or-miss, but he is still around and won a Super Bowl with Kansas City in 2019.
2015 NFL Draft (Scot McCloughan)
For the first time since Charley Casserly, Washington had a real general manager. McCloughan’s picks were far from spectacular, but he put it on a more professional course, in which football professionals began to take greater control of football matters.
- BEST: Brandon Scherff (1)
- WORST: Matt Jones (3)
- VALUE: Austin Reiter (7)
Scherff was drafted as a tackle, but has been a perennial Pro Bowler at guard. Reiter never played for Washington, but he is the second straight value pick who would eventually start on a Super Bowl-winning Kansas City team. Jones was a major swing and miss.