Washington Redskins: Breaking Down Scot McCloughan’s Draft History 2.0

The Washington Redskins are set to enter a second off-season with GM Scot McCloughan in charge of the upcoming NFL draft. Last year we created a guideline to help Redskins fans understand McCloughan’s draft-trends. That guideline proved to be right in line with how McCloughan drafted last year for the first time in Washington. So, with a year under his belt, below we’ll update the guideline to help project McCloughan’s mindset moving forward in 2016.


**** (updates)

After some heavy research and charting, we discovered a few “trends” that could help you further understand how Scot McCloughan drafts.

scot mcclouhanMcCloughan’s Resume Under The Microscope:

1994-1999: Scout, Green Bay Packers

2000-2004: Director of College Scouting, Seattle Seahawks

2005-2007: Vice President of Player Personnel, San Francisco 49ers

2008-2009: General Manager, San Francisco 49ers

2010-2013: Senior Personnel Executive, Seattle Seahawks (was hired after the 2010 draft)

2015-: General Manager,  Washington Redskins



  • From 1994-2009 McCloughan’s teams drafted at least one WR every year with exception of 2002. Only two were first round picks (both top 10 picks). ****This proved to be true in 2015 when McCloughan selected Duke WR Jamison Crowder in the fourth round. He also later took Ohio State WR Evan Spencer in the seventh round.
  • Tends to draft multiple DBs a year. **** This proved to be true in 2015 when McCloughan selected two DBs back-to-back in the sixth round (Kysheon Jarrett and Tevin Mitchell).


  • ****21 first round picks. Of the 21 only five have been top-10 picks. Those five top-10 picks consisted of two Wide Receivers, one Tight End, one Offensive Lineman and one Quarterback.


  • ****Scot McCloughan’s resume consists of 21 total first round picks (including his time as a scout w/GB). Of those 21 first round picks, only four were defensive linemen. Really, you could say three because Bruce Irvin was drafted as a Linebacker. He’s drafted more OL (7) and tends to place more value on skill positions (CB, WR, RB, TE).


New Notes:

  • With Kirk Cousins undoubtedly returning in 2016, the Redskins have a starting QB. But it’s still uncertain if Cousins is legitimately viewed as a true Franchise QB. Either way, he’s probably the only QB that returns which leaves the position as a need area. As you’ll read below, McCloughan-teams tend to draft QBs a lot (even with star QBs on the roster). Not to mention, of the three teams McCloughan has worked for, only one has selected a QB in the first round. Yet, both the Packers and Seahawks (twice) found other ways to solidify the position with Franchise players.


  • Running Back seems to be a hot topic among Redskins fans. It’s not certain if the team will move forward with Matt Jones as their starting back. McCloughan speaks highly of him and has even compared Jones to Marshawn Lynch. But if the team does opt to select a RB high, just remember that of the teams McCloughan has worked for — only one has selected a RB in the first round (Seahawks — Shaun Alexander).


  • Scot McCloughan favors SEC and Big 10 players. Over the past five drafts prior to McCloughan’s arrival (2010-2014) the Redskins have drafted 10 Big Ten athletes and  five SEC players. It only took one draft for McCloughan to draft 5 SEC players. Although he only drafted two from the Big 10 — I’d expect that to trend up in future drafts.


2015 (McCloughan): 

Big 10: 2

SEC: 5 


Big 10: 1 (Ted Bolser)

SEC: 1 (Zach Hocker)


Big 10: 1 (Jawan Jamison)

SEC: 2  (Bacarri Rambo, Jordan Reed)


Big 10: 3 (Kirk Cousins, Adam Gettis, Jordan Bernstine)


Big 10: 5 (Ryan Kerrigan, Roy Helu, Niles Paul, DeJon Gomes, Evan Royster)

SEC: 1 (Maurice White)


SEC: 1 (Perry Riley)

First Round Picks:

  • Aaron Taylor, G, 19 overall (6ft 4, 305 senior) Notre Dame
  • Craig Newsome, DB, 32 overall (6ft, 190 senior) Arizona State
  • John Michels, T, 27 overall (6ft 7, 300 senior) USC
  • Ross Verba, T, 30 overall (6ft 4, 305 senior) Iowa
  • Vonnie Holliday, DE, 19 overall (6ft 5, 288 Senior) UNC
  • Antuan Edwards, DB, 25 overall (6ft 1, 212 Senior) Clemson
  • Shaun Alexander, RB, 19 overall (5ft 11, 225 senior) Alabama
  • Chris McIntosh, T, 22 overall (6ft 8, 250 senior) Wisconsin
  • Koren Robinson, WR, 9 overall (6ft 1, 205 21 y/o JR) North Carolina State
  • Steve Hutchinson, G, 17 overall (6ft 5, 313 senior) Michigan
  • Jerramy Stevens, TE, 28 overall (6ft 7, 260 senior) Washington
  • Marcus Trufant, DB, 11 overall (5 ft 11, 199 senior) Washington State
  • Marcus Tubbs, DT, 23 overall (6ft 3, 320 senior) Texas
  • Alex Smith, QB, 1 overall (6ft 4, 217 senior) Utah
  • Vernon Davis, TE, 6 overall (6ft 3, 250 senior) UMD
  • Patrick Willis, LB, 11 overall (6ft 1, 240 senior) Ole Miss
  • Kentwan Balmer, DT, 29 overall (6ft 5, 317 senior) UNC
  • Michael Crabtree, WR, 10 overall (6ft 1, 217 22 y/o Jr) Texas Tech
  • James Carpenter, OL, 25 overall (6ft 5, 325 senior) Alabama
  • Bruce Irvin, DE, 15 overall (6ft 3, 260 senior) WVU
  • Brandon Scherff, 5 overall (6ft 5, 319 senior) Iowa


NEW (4/9): First Round Draft Trends: 

  • Of the 21 first round picks, only four were BIG10 players and three were SEC (two of the three were Alabama players, while the other was Ole Miss).
  • The smallest players were Shaun Alexander (5ft 11, 225 lbs) and Marcus Trufant (5ft 11, 199 lbs).
  • Only two of those 21 players were underclassmen. Both players were Wide Receivers.
  • Pretty clear that McCloughan teams like ‘em big and experienced (seniors) with no true trend on football conference. However, he’s only drafted two Wide Receivers in the first round and both were underclassmen.


****2016 NFL Draft Projected First Round Picks That Fit The Formula:

  • DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
  • Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
  • Jarran Reed, DE, Alabama
  • Taylor Decker, T, Ohio State
  • Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
  • Williams Jackson III, CB, Houston
  • LaQuon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
  • Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
  • Josh Docston, WR, TCU
  • Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
  • Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
  • Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
  • Karl Joseph, S, WVU (would be the smallest player McC has drafted round one, but is right on the edge of fitting the trend)


Schools Drafted From At Least Three Times:

  • LSU (SEC): 8
  • ****Alabama (SEC): 6
  • ****Florida (SEC): 6
  • USC (Pac 12): 5
  • Wisconsin (Big 10): 4
  • North Carolina State (ACC): 4
  • Penn State (Big 10): 4
  • Nebraska (Big 10): 4
  • ****Virginia Tech (ACC): 4
  • ****Miss. State (SEC): 4
  • ****Arkansas (SEC): 4
  • Georgia (SEC): 3
  • West Va (Big 12): 3
  • Texas A&M (SEC): 3
  • Kansas State (Big 12): 3
  • North Carolina (ACC): 3
  • Oregon (Pac 12): 3
  • Michigan (Big 10): 3
  • Tennessee (SEC): 3
  • Washington (Pac 12): 3
  • Purdue (Big 10): 3


Conference Breakdown (based on above draft trend):

****SEC: 8 schools (addition being Arkansas)

Pac 12: 3 schools

Big 10: 5 schools

Big 12: 2 schools

ACC: 3 schools


Amount of Players Drafted By Position (total from McCloughan’s career):

QB: 11

****RB: 14

****WR: 27

OT: 13

****C: 4

****OG: 12 (listing Scherff as a G)

FB: 2

DE: 14

DT: 17

****LB: 16 (listing Preston Smith as LB)

****DB: 34

TE: 7

K/P: 5



  • Scot McCloughan clearly values Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs. At each stop during his career, McCloughan’s teams have drafted multiple receivers and defensive backs in almost every draft. Of course, many of the receivers and defensive backs that were drafted, failed. However, the more you try, every now and then you will come across a Donald Driver or Richard Sherman. It should also be noted that a lot of the DBs/WRs McCloughan has drafted were 6ft/6ft 1 or taller. ****This, again, proved to be true in 2015. McCloughan found a gem in Kysheon Jarrett. He lost another DB to the Colts in Tevin Mitchell, who could be good if he stays healthy. However, as far as the size, McCloughan proved in 2015 that he also values “football players.” If a smaller WR like Jamison Crowder or DB like Kysheon Jarrett fits that “football player” bill — McCloughan isn’t afraid to draft him.


  • McCloughan does have a trend drafting QBs. Especially as a Green Bay Packer, they drafted QBs almost every year. Again, many of them failed. But that’s a premium position and sometimes you’ll come across a Matt Hasselbeck or Russell Wilson.


  • As far as schools, McCloughan’s drafts seem to favor the SEC and Big 10. But, McCloughan searches high and low for players. He’s taken from a lot of schools. With the Green Bay Packers, they even took a player from Morris Brown. That school has like one student now. So he’s very thorough in his evaluations.


  • McCloughan isn’t afraid to take a kicker or punter high in the draft if that player is capable of being a franchise guy at those respective positions. With Green Bay, McCloughan and staff took a kicker/punter in the third and fourth round.




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