Jay Gruden says Dan Snyder would 'come off his yacht and make' draft picks for Washington

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

We might finally have an explanation for why the Washington Football Team hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2005 season. Despite coaches and executives carefully planning out how to approach the NFL draft, team owner Dan Snyder would occasionally “come off his yacht and make” selections, according to the Washington Post.

That quote comes courtesy of former Washington head coach Jay Gruden, who said the team’s coaches would work with vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith on draft strategies only for Snyder to make a pick at the last second.

“Every year that I was there, we had a pretty good draft class, with a couple exceptions,” former coach Jay Gruden said. “[Smith] was really good about listening to the coaches because the coaches also did evaluations. ... When it came our time to pick, we’d always talk about the picks, where we’d like to go, what happens if [the player] is gone, and did all our scenarios. And then [owner Daniel Snyder] would come in off his yacht and make the pick.”

Smith left the team Friday to take the same position with the Atlanta Falcons. Smith had a big hand in Washington landing Terry McLaurin in the draft, among other players, but was not interviewed for Washington’s open general manager spot. That may have led to Smith leaving the franchise.

Dan Snyder was reportedly responsible for Dwayne Haskins pick

One of the picks made by Snyder was former Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins, according to the Washington Post. Snyder was reportedly set on selecting Haskins with the team’s first-round pick in 2019. Coaches and team executives reportedly did not want Haskins, viewing him as a long-term project, but Snyder overruled them.

Haskins lasted less than two seasons with Washington. The team cut him in December after his second COVID-19 violation of the season. Haskins made 13 starts, completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Haskins signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers in January, where he’ll look to reestablish himself as a promising prospect.

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