The Washington Redskins have had a tumultuous off season as wholesale changes were made to the front office and coaching staff by owner Daniel Snyder. That said, the 2020 Draft is upon us and the Redskins currently do not have a General Manager under contract, nor a President of Football Operations.
This leaves the question: Who will be controlling the draft board for the Washington Redskins in this year’s draft?
It has been reported that current Vice President of Player Personnel, Kyle Smith will be taking the lead, and make final decisions on who the Redskins select and/or any transactions that occur during the draft. Redskins' fans should also expect Senior Vice President of Player Development, Doug Williams, and first year Redskins' head coach, Ron Rivera to be involved in the selections as well.
The Redskins currently have 7 total selections in the 2020 NFL Draft including a first, third, 2 fourth, 1 fifth, and 2 seventh round picks. There are a number of ways the Redskins can approach this draft. They can stock up on defensive depth or they can address the offensive ineptness by drafting offensive line depth and by acquiring another receiving weapon. Each one of these picks will be very important considering the team has so many holes to fill personnel wise. The Redskins could look to acquire additional picks via draft day trade with that in mind. There are needs this football team has, but they will not be able to fill them all in one draft. The hope is the schematic and cultural changes will assist in getting more production out of the players already on the roster.
With the number 2 pick overall in this year's draft, the Redskins are expected to take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. The Redskins also need to recoup this year's 2nd rounder after trading back up into the first round to take defensive end Montez Sweat with the 26th pick in the 2019 draft. The team is currently holding out hope that they will be able to trade offensive lineman Trent Williams for a second round pick. It will take some wheeling and dealing for the Skins to acquire a second rounder in this year's draft, but Kyle Smith will definitely have a chance to earn his proverbial stripes by doing so.
If the Redskins draft Chase Young number two, then they need to get a security blanket at tight end that can get open and catch the football in the open field. You can get a quality tight end value in the 3rd and 4th round so the Redskins could hold off and draft the best player available at wide receiver, safety, cornerback, or they could look to fill the void at left tackle by eventual "former" Redskin Trent Williams. The key for the third round pick is getting the bang for their buck, or in this instance, the best impact player at a position of need.
The Redskins currently have two fourth round picks (108/142) including a compensatory pick for Jamison Crowder from the New York Jets. The Redskins have some flexibility with their fourth rounders. They can possibly use them as trade bait and move up or they can draft depth at some key positions. If the Redskins stay put with both picks, look for them to add a defensive back here that can not only play multiple positions, but that can also play special teams. The Skins could also draft a wide receiver/kickoff/punt returner with the other selection if they see the value on the board. They may hold off on drafting a wideout until a little later with the emergence of rookie Steven Sims Jr. last season and the promise of Kelvin Harmon. This could also be a spot where they address the left guard position after Ereck Flowers departed via free agency. Another possibility here would be for the Redskins to attempt to trade one of these picks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end OJ Howard. Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, but the Bucs had to give up a fourth round pick to acquire him. Tampa will most likely be looking to move Howard after the Gronk acquisition. A Redskins trade may be in play with them needing a tight end and Tampa wanting to recoup the 4th rounder they gave up for Gronkowski.
In the fifth round (162), the Redskins should have one thing on their mind...TALENT. With this selection, they need to get the best playmaker they can find on either side of the football. The Redskins have been the void of playmakers in recent memory. On offense, they have lacked that one guy that is a threat to go all the way any time he touches the football. On defense, they have lacked the type of player that is always around the football whether the ball is in the air or on the ground. The Redskins should look to grab the best dynamic talent on the board with this selection.
With their 7th round picks (216/229), the Redskins will be looking to fill whatever positions they did not address in the earlier rounds with the best depth they can find. They will look for situational specialists that excel on special teams and in specific down and distance circumstances. There is a fine line between an undrafted free agent and 7th round pick. These selections often times are about players that have dropped because teams passed on them for various reasons or because they went to smaller schools and were not in the larger viewing markets. The Redskins will look to find a "diamond in the rough" with one or both of these picks. You may also see them package one of these seventh rounders in a deal to move up in the draft or in a trade for a player.
The Redskins have a lot on their plate, but they also control some of what goes on during the draft from Thursday-Saturday. The main thing they want to be able to say after the last pick is made is "we are now considerably better talent wise than we were before the draft started". After that, it’s about filling additional holes via cut players from other teams and undrafted free agents. The draft is always a fun time for all fans because at this point in the off season, everybody believes their team has a shot at going to the Super Bowl. It's going to be an uphill battle for the Redskins in that regard, but they have a chance to set a foundation going forward that will increase their chances of being a much better football team in 2020.
The 2020 NFL Draft marks the beginning of a new era in Redskins' football. As a fan, you can only hope that you leave the draft with optimism and hope versus frustration and/or anguish while having that "more of the same" feeling. There are going to be a lot of eyes watching how the Redskins approach this draft as it will be the cornerstone and foundation for the Kyle Smith/Ron Rivera era. One thing is for sure, we will all be watching anxiously waiting to hear those infamous words on Thursday night,
"With the 2nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select.."
As you were...
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