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Redskins Select Brandon Scherff With No. 5 Pick

The Washington Redskins used their first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, the reigning Outland Trophy winner.

Check out these photos of Universtiy of Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, the Redskins' fifth-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Tough, physical, nasty.

All three are attributes associated to new Washington Redskins offensive lineman Brandon Scherff's name, as the 6-foot-5, 319 pounder is a player head coach Jay Gruden can contribute immediately.

Scherff also brings a tenacity to the trenches that only the best offensive lineman possess.

"If you're talking about offensive linemen, you're talking about a big, physical guy, and we want to bring that mentality back to this football team and it starts up front," he said. "We addressed the defensive front a little bit in free agency, and I think we had to address the offensive linemen, the offensive line room, and we did that tonight."

Scherff echoed that sentiment, saying players want certain labels.

"I think that's what everybody – every lineman – wants to be known for," Scherff said of having a nasty demeanor. "They want to be known for tough, nasty, physical [play]. I think that just goes to show what Coach Brian Ferentz says back at the University of Iowa."

While Scherff's game is projected to translate rather easily to the NFL at both tackle and guard, Gruden said the Iowa product will start out working at right tackle.

"That's the exciting thing about Brandon. He's very versatile," he said. "Heck, he could probably play center if he wanted to. But I think Day 1, we start him out at right tackle. Obviously we have a Pro Bowl left tackle. We'll start him out at right tackle, see how he does and I'm sure he'll pick it up quickly."

The reigning Outland Trophy winner, given to the nation's top collegiate offensive lineman, Scherff appeared in more than 40 games, with his last 26 appearances starting at left tackle.

While the Redskins are set at left tackle with perennial Pro Bowler Trent Williams, Gruden believes Scherff is "athletic enough to move over to right tackle."

I don't think that will be an issue," he said. "So when you go through the process, Coach [Bill] Callahan has been a line coach for a very, very long time, he sees that it ought to be a very smooth transition for him, and we trust in the fact that it will."

The Redskins had been looking to add to their offensive line depth this offseason, as they struggled at times keeping their quarterbacks' jerseys clean.

In Scherff, they're getting a player who has "a non-stop motor [that] plays every snap."

"He's good in pass protection," Gruden said. "There's some things he can clean up. Obviously, he's not a finished product yet, but he's the closest thing we saw on tape. He can pass protect, he's great in the run game. His double teams are ferocious. Physical, and most importantly, you can tell he has a great passion for the game."

NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF BRANDON SCHERFF

  • Scherff is the first selection in the tenure of General Manager Scot McCloughan and the ninth selection of the Jay Gruden era.
  • Scherff is the 440th selection made by the Redskins in the Common Draft era (since 1967) and the 26th first-round selection in that time frame. He is the 57th first-round selection by the Redskins all-time since the institution of the draft in 1936.
  • Scherff is the third offensive lineman selected by the Redskins in the first round since 2000. The Redskins' last two first-round offensive linemen – Chris Samuels (No. 3 in 2000) and Trent Williams (No. 4 in 2010) – have combined for nine Pro Bowl selections.
  • Scherff's selection at No. 5 represents the highest the Redskins have selected an offensive lineman since drafting Williams with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
  • Scherff is the fourth offensive lineman drafted by the Redskins in the first round in the Common Draft era, joining Williams, Samuels, Andre Johnson (1996) and Mark May (1981).
  • Scherff is the 15th University of Iowa product selected by the Redskins all-time, joining B Al Couppee (1942), B Jim Smith (1947), E Herb Shoener (1947), T Don Winslow (1950), T Hubert Johnston (1952), B Don Dobrino (1957), G Frank Bloomquist (1958), QB Mitch Ogiego (1959), E Bill Whisler (1962), B Paul Krause (1964), T Paul Laaveg (1970), RB Ladell Betts (2002), G Adam Gettis (2012) and CB Jordan Bernstine (2012).
  • The Redskins' 15 all-time selections from Iowa are tied for 14th-most from any school in team history.  Scherff is the fifth Iowa Hawkeye selected by the Redskins in the Common Draft era (since 1967).
  • Scherff's selection at No. 5 marks the highest the Redskins have taken an Iowa Hawkeye, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Krause's selection at No. 18 in the 1964 NFL Draft.
  • Scherff is the second player selected by the Redskins at No. 5 all-time, joining Redskins Ring of Fame S Sean Taylor (2004).
  • Scherff is the first Big Ten Conference product selected by the Redskins in the first round since LB Ryan Kerrigan in 2011. He is the sixth Big Ten product selected by the Redskins in the first round in the Common Draft era, joining DT Bobby Wilson (1991), WR Desmond Howard (1992), T Andre Johnson (1996), LB LaVar Arrington (2000) and LB Ryan Kerrigan (2011). 
  • Scherff won the 2014 Outland Trophy, presented annually to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman on either side of the ball. Scherff is fifth Outland Trophy winner selected by the Redskins all-time, joining Chris Samuels (drafted in 2000), Mohammed Elewonibi (1990), Tracy Rocker (1989) and Mark May (1981).

NFL.com PROFILE:

OVERVIEW:

As a senior left tackle, Scherff won the Outland Trophy (most outstanding interior lineman). Voted first-team All-Big Ten and named a Permanent Team Captain and Most Valuable Player at Iowa's awards banquet. He has been a member of Iowa's Leadership Group the last four years. In 2013, was named second-team All-America by the Football Writers Association (FWAA). He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches and was Iowa's offensive Most Valuable Player. He started the first five games of the 2012 season, but suffered a broken fibula and a dislocated ankle in the first quarter of the Hawkeyes' game against Penn State and missed the final five games of the season. Played 10 games at left guard in 2011. Loves the outdoors and has several videos of his weight-room exploits. Played offensive and defensive lineman during final two seasons at Denison (Iowa) High School after playing quarterback as a sophomore. Was four-year varsity letterman in baseball and earned all-state honors. Also played basketball, tennis and competed in track, winning state title in shot put as a sophomore.

STRENGTHS:

Weight-room star who can lift a house. Powerful run blocker with exceptional power in hips and legs. Moves well laterally and rarely allows defensive ends to set edge against him. Consistently gets push. Rolls hips under him at contact and will bring feet with him. Recognizes twists and delayed blitzes. Gets into set position with flat back when delivering punch. Respectable change of direction in pass pro and on second level. Shows second effort and recovery ability in pass pro. Able to hit moving targets in space. Swings hips into position in cut-off blocks. Improved cut-off blocking from junior to senior year. Exhibits composed, efficient movement.

BOTTOM LINE:

Like former Hawkeye Riley Reiff, Scherff has measurables and traits to play tackle in the league but might be better suited to play guard. More powerful than explosive, Scherff is not a scheme-specific talent and can maul or move in run game. Road-grader with pancake-man potential, but has holes in his pass protection that will be exposed on the next level -- especially at tackle.

*This story will be updated throughout the evening. *

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