JOSEPH WHITE AP Sports Writer
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) – General manager Bruce Allen said the Washington Redskins have “no gaping holes,” and he backed it up with his first selection in the draft.
The Redskins on Friday traded down, then selected outside linebacker Trent Murphy of Stanford in the second round at No. 47 overall.
The Redskins arguably had greater needs at several other positions, including the offensive line, but instead they opted for another pass-rusher whose 15 sacks last year led the nation. He joins a roster already stacked at his position with a pair of recent first-round picks who’ve been to the Pro Bowl – Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.
“Hopefully I can find a role in that rotation,” Murphy said.
The Redskins didn’t ignore the o-line. In the third round, they selected tackle Morgan Moses of Virginia at No. 66 overall and guard Spencer Long of Nebraska at No. 78. Moses could compete with Tyler Polumbus for the starting right tackle job, while Moses could challenge for a starting guard spot by the end of the year.
The Redskins were slated to have the 34th overall pick, but they traded it to the Dallas Cowboys for Nos. 47 and 78, reflecting Allen’s stated strategy of trading down to accumulate more selections.
Murphy, 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, has earned nicknames such as “Rhino” and “Yeti” from teammates over the years. Depending on the speed of his development – including the ability to line up as a defensive end in passing situations – Murphy could give defensive coordinator Jim Haslett some creative options with Orakpo and Kerrigan for various formations beyond the team’s 3-4 base scheme.
Murphy finished with 32½ over four seasons with the Cardinal, and he returned both of his career interceptions for touchdowns. He majored in science, technology and society at Stanford with a minor in political science.
Moses, 6-foot-6 and 314 pounds, played right tackle for two years at Virginia before moving to left tackle in 2012 and 2013. He didn’t lift weights at the NFL Combine because of a bothersome left shoulder, but he said the shoulder is now fine.
Long, 6-5 and 320, was a regular starter at right guard for two-plus years for the Cornhuskers before tearing the MCL in his left knee six games into last season. Long said his knee is fully recovered and that will be able to take part in rookie minicamp next weekend.
The Redskins didn’t have a first round selection, having traded it to the St. Louis Rams as the final piece of the deal that allowed them to pick franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III two years ago.
This was the first Redskins draft in which Allen had final say in the selections, leaning heavily on director of player personnel Scott Campbell with input from new coach Jay Gruden. Coach Mike Shanahan controlled all personnel decisions before he was fired after last year’s 3-13 season.
In wake of the last place finish, Allen started rebuilding with offseason signings, particularly three-time Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson, and he said the draft would focus on players who could make an impact in 2015 and 2016.
“We’ve been active in free agency, so we feel there’s no gaping holes on the roster,” Allen said before the draft.