While Brandon Scherff’s scouting combine performance this year put him on many people’s draft radars, his performance as an Iowa Hawkeye made him a coveted player for many teams months ago. His talent was rewarded in the 2015 NFL draft, with the tackle being selected fifth overall in Round 1 by Washington.
The draft’s top prospect at offensive tackle, Scherff will provide much-needed protection for whoever is under center in Washington, most likely Robert Griffin III. He will help open lanes in the run game. Scherff has the ideal upper-body strength and physical style of play to be an effective tackle in the NFL. He could also play guard if Washington is satisfied with incumbent tackles, including Trent Williams
Scherff isn’t without his risks, though. He suffered a broken right leg and a dislocated right ankle that cost him half of his 2012 season and he also tore his meniscus in 2014, an injury that required surgery. But that meniscus tear also serves as a prime example of Scherff’s toughness: Not only did he continue to play on the injury, he returned to practice the day after his surgery and played in the team’s next game, against Iowa State.
Offensive line may not be the flashiest use of a Round 1 pick, but for Washington, it could prove to be a crucial one. Even though Washington didn’t need an offensive lineman at pick No. 5, it’s hard to pass by what was easily the best player available when the team made its pick. Selecting Scherff will pay immediate dividends for Jay Gruden and company.
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