So I’ve got a couple of second degree burns, but I’m surprised my pre-draft post has not been flamed to ashes at this point. I felt like I would go ahead and check back in with my general reaction to the draft. So here it is … after all is said and done, I am happy the Redskins drafted Trent Williams.
The bottom line is that neither Williams nor Russell Okung look like bonafide can’t-miss blue chip franchise left tackles. And when you are picking at #4, it would be nice to think you are getting a sure thing. But I have been screaming for the offensive line to be addressed in the draft for years, and I am glad they finally took a step in that direction. If they are choosing between Williams and Okung, I will defer to the paid professionals to determine which one best fits their scheme. But I still don’t think anyone should expect Williams to step in and be Orlando Pace or Jonathan Ogden or Tony Boselli.
Now of course, here I am giving my amateur bloggy opinion earlier in the week and Rick Maese has to come in post-draft and get all professional with his journalistic integrity and start throwing around statistics in the Washington Post! I did see the statement in his article that Williams was penalized only 5 times this season. Like I said, I didn’t dig through all of the stats. But I did watch every Oklahoma game this season, and it sure felt like more than 5 penalties to me over the course of the season.
Looking at the Nebraska game stats alone, Williams racked up 2 false starts and 1 personal foul. So if he truly only got flagged two other times all season, that is awesome and I will happily eat my words. The offensive line was a weak point for Oklahoma this season, and maybe I unfairly targeted Williams more than I should. He had seemed like a rock at right tackle for years and just was not at the same level on the left side.
The point I was trying to make was that I don’t think he is a guaranteed plug-and-play franchise left tackle. I think you would find that most other Oklahoma fans or people who watched most of the Oklahoma games this season would agree with that. Boswell’s column today says that the Redskins plan to pencil him in at left tackle “in the beginning,” which suggests that his versatility was a consideration. Which is great if he doesn’t work out at left tackle or needs to get his feet wet at another spot on the line.
As I stated in the original post, I will be happy to root for Williams. I do not dislike Williams. He has gone from my favorite college team to my favorite pro team. And I firmly believe in building from the inside out. So if Shanahan thinks he was the best offensive lineman available in this draft for the zone blocking scheme, so be it. I sincerely hope that all of the concerns I had are thoroughly invalidated.
In the end, the Redskins made an attempt to address their most glaring need and took the offensive lineman that they had rated the highest on their board. I am not going to complain about that. I think they had to go offensive line. As awesome as Berry looks, it is hard to imagine using another top-10 pick on a safety right now.