The Redskins made their third-consecutive selection on the defensive side of the ball Friday, selecting cornerback Fabian Moreau with the No. 81 overall pick, their third-round selection.
Moreau, who played five years at UCLA, is speedy and physical. The 6-foot, 206-pound former running back ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and is happiest winning one-on-one matchups on the outside.
“His change of direction, his ball skills, speed, I think upside is the key to Fabian,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.
Moreau, who was honorable mention All-Pac-12 as a redshirt senior in 2016 after recovering from a Lisfranc injury that kept him off the field for most of his 2015 season, defined himself by his aggressive traits.
“I’m a physical, press corner,” Moreau said. “I like to get in the receiver’s face. I like to challenge them. I like to make plays, and just be that dog out there helping my team win.”
Moreau tore his pectoral muscle bench pressing at his Pro day on March 22 and required surgery. He was considered a fringe first-round prospect, so the injury may have helped push him down the board to the point that the Redskins were able to take him in the third round.
“I just wanted to go out there and compete and compete with my teammates one last time. I just wanted to show everybody that I’m the top corner in this draft. Obviously I got hurt, but I just took it one step at a time,” Moreau said.
Moreau said he was told that his rehab process would take five months. He hopes to be back in time for training camp, which begins July 27. That’s just over four months after the injury, so Moreau would have to beat his prognosis in order to do that. Gruden said that his expectation was for Moreau to be back by September.
Pectoral tears do not typically have long-term impact, however and Moreau, if healthy, projects as a player who could make an impact on Washington’s secondary in his first season.
“This is just everything to me. I’ve been wanting this my whole life,” Moreau said. “I’m just ready to contribute, ready to win and ready to be a Redskin.”
With the pick, Washington continued to bolster its needy defense. The Redskins had already taken a pair of Alabama defensive players in defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and outside linebacker Ryan Anderson in the first and second rounds, respectively.
The last time the Redskins selected three defensive players with their first three picks was 2009, when the team took DE/LB Brian Orakpo in the first round, CB Kevin Barnes in the third round and LB Cody Glenn in the fifth round. The last time the Redskins selected a defensive player in each of the first three rounds was 1997, when they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones and LB Derek Smith.
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