Redskins Show Strong Priorities on Day 2 of the NFL Draft

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistMay 9, 2014

Virginia tackle Morgan Moses poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and former Washington Redskins' linebacker London Fletcher after being selected as the 66th pick during the third  round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Friday, May 9, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

Everything about the NFL draft is fluid and unpredictable. It's far from cut and dry. In that respect, you can screw up and succeed at the same time. So while the Washington Redskins might soon regret not addressing their terrible secondary in the second or third round of the NFL draft, Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden still came away winners on Day 2. 

How so? Because the 'Skins would not have been criticized for taking big right tackle Morgan Moses with the 34th overall pick in Round 2. But crafty Washington traded back 13 spots, gained a third-round pick from Dallas and still wound up with Moses as an absolute steal in Round 3. 

With that delayed second-rounder, the team grabbed an NFL-ready complementary pass-rusher who is coming off a 15-sack senior season at Stanford. Trent Murphy has the ability to contribute to that pass rush as a rookie, which could really help bread-and-butter edge-rushers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, as well as new pressure-savvy defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.

But that pick alone would have looked silly had the 'Skins not surrounded Murphy with two monster-sized offensive linemen in the third round by drafting the 314-pound Moses at No. 66 and 320-pound guard Spencer Long at No. 78. 

So are they left having to address cornerback and safety later? Yes. Could that lack of emphasis on the secondary hurt them? Absolutely. But at the same time, they did a masterful job of turning two picks into three and still winding up with three quality players who should deliver from the get-go. 

The key, though, are those priorities. Secondary was and still is a need, but is there anything more important to this organization than adding protection for Robert Griffin III

RGIII is this organization. He's the reason Washington wasn't able to pick second overall this year, 22nd overall last year and 39th overall in 2012. The 'Skins surrendered those picks to the St. Louis Rams so they could move up a measly four spots. 

That's how much keeping Griffin safe matters. They put nearly all of their eggs in his basket, and now they have to make sure they don't all crack.

Big Spencer Long will protect RGIII.
Big Spencer Long will protect RGIII.Eric Francis/Getty Images

Griffin stood little chance at staying healthy for the majority of his first two years in this league. Some of that is on him, and the team has to do its best to ensure that he stays out of harm's way. But the Redskins knew what they were getting into when they drafted him, and now it's their responsibility to ensure that he never again takes the type of beatings we saw him take as a rookie and sophomore. 

The reality is that Mike and Kyle Shanahan threw RGIII a bit of a suicide pass with that handpicked, undersized offensive line. And now Gruden and Allen are making it clear that they won't tolerate constant pressure in the face of the franchise's largest hope. 

They aren't leaving anything to chance. Not anymore. That's why they paid the bulky Shawn Lauvao big bucks in free agency. It's why Will Montgomery is gone and the puny (relatively speaking) Kory Lichtensteiger is being forced to move to center. And it's why Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus will each have to fight for their respective jobs, starting right now. 

Moses has 15 pounds on Polumbus despite being two inches shorter. Long is two inches taller and 11 pounds heavier than Chester. Both linemen have the ability to win starting jobs this summer, but even if they don't, the Redskins now have options right across the line.

They finally have size and depth. They finally have something more than Trent Williams and his four athletic sidekicks. 

I can promise you Griffin is thankful for that. And if RGIII is happy, the franchise that hitched its wagon to his right arm is doing something right.