With the 78th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected offensive guard Spencer Long out of Nebraska. Long will join a Redskins roster with guards like Chris Chester, Josh LeRibeus and new free agent-signing Shawn Lauvao. Long has the potential to start for Washington with his versatility and toughness.
There is a red flag, however. Long is coming off surgery after tearing his right MCL against Purdue last season and did not perform at the NFL Scouting Combine because of his recovery. Either way, head coach Jay Gruden was happy for the team's selection and is optimistic that Long will be ready to play.
"We feel very good from his recovery [from MCL/PCL surgery]. We do a lot of work on medical research on all of these players," said Gruden, "and he has the passing marks, so we feel like he's going to come in and be healthy and ready to go." (Credit: The Washington Post)
Long is also built like a NFL lineman at 6'5" and 320 pounds. He's another big guard that Gruden looks for in his offensive linemen and he has the strength to create a push in the running game. Long is also a good pass protector, something that quarterback Robert Griffin III will probably like out of him. Like Morgan Moses, the offensive lineman the Redskins drafted before him, Long has big hands, bigger than any other offensive lineman in the draft, according to NFL.com. Before the injury, Long was quick with his feet for a guy his size and showed a lot of energy. Gruden hopes that he can have that same kind of quickness once the regular season gets underway.
"Tough, tenacious offensive linemen are hard to find – big, physical guys that love football," Gruden said. "That's kind of the motto."
Here is a fun fact about Long: he wanted to be a surgeon. At Nebraska, Long was planning to attend medical school and majored in Biological Science. He has also never lived in a big city, so the Washington D.C. area will be something different for the former Cornhusker. Long will also join former teammate and current linebacker for the Redskins, Will Compton. For now, Long will have to compete during training camp to get the starting job in Washington. He has the most experience as a right guard, but is also willing to play on the left side as well. His versatility also enables him to play at the offensive tackle spot. For more information on what Jay Gruden had to say about Spencer Long and the other 2014 NFL Draft picks, click here to go to the article at The Washington Post.
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