While initial reactions to Stanford outside linebacker Trent Murphy were mostly negative, it's hard to not like this pick for the Redskins. Sure, they have might have had bigger needs they ultimately needed to address, but this is still a fantastic selection.
In fact, the Redskins hit an absolute home run in the second round with Murphy.
Shortly after the pick, ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen had this to say about the former Stanford player and the Redskins:
Trent Murphy #WASPick Led all FBS players with 15 sacks. Joins Orakpo and Kerrigan at OLB. Redskins 30th in scoring defense in 2013— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 10, 2014
There are a handful of points to take away from this tweet. The first is that Murphy led college football in sacks last year with 15. No matter how you slice it, a team can never have too many pass-rushers on their defense. If you don't believe this to be true, just ask the Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers.
Secondly, Mortensen points out that Washington finished No. 30 in the NFL in scoring defense last year. One way to slow down opposing offenses is to get pressure on the quarterback, pick up sacks and force your opponent into long-yardage situations.
While Murphy may not be the most athletic player in this year's draft, he has one quality that you can never count out: a non-stop motor. It's that desire to outwork everyone that caused CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler to compare him to defensive end Jared Allen.
In that scouting report, Brugler had this to say about Murphy:
Plays with a degree of toughness and physicality that every coach will appreciate...but like (Jared) Allen (6-5, 260), he's one of the tougher, more ornery players I've come across...I think he'll ultimately out-play his draft selection...
Simply put, Murphy is a guy who has the skills and mental makeup to consistently produce for the Redskins. If there is one thing that a team like the Redskins can never get enough of, it's consistent production.
Another reason this pick is a home run is because Washington also thought of its future early in the second round. It'd be foolish to ignore that Murphy will play the same position as Brian Orakpo.
With Orakpo costing the team a cool $11.455 million this year, according to Spotrac.com, Washington needs similar production at a cheaper cost. It's definitely possible that the Redskins made this pick with the assumption that they'd be unable to afford Orakpo next year.
Even Ian Rapoport of NFL.com thought the pick was a warning to Orakpo:
If Murphy can perform at a high level and light a fire under Orakpo, the Redskins will be in a win-win situation. They'll get a career year out of Orakpo this year and will have someone to replace him next year at a much lower cost.
Even if the Redskins do figure out how to keep Orakpo, they'll still have three extremely talented pass-rushers. The combination of Murphy, Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan would be one of the best pass-rushing trios in the league for years and years.
So, any way you look at the selection of Murphy, the Redskins come out on top. They've got a player who should produce right away from a premier position in the NFL and provide a cheap option at outside linebacker for Washington to build around for the foreseeable future.