Where to begin with the Redskins. This is a team that had their season derailed by injuries for the second year in a row. Devastating injuries at key positions not only cost them 2019, but it could cost them for much longer. The Redskins have had recent success in the draft with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and high hopes for running back Derrius Guice. Heading into next season, it is important that they nail their first-round pick once again.
The laundry list is long in D.C. The quarterback position is an issue with Alex Smith out, despite the addition of Case Keenum. They have problems at linebacker and wide receiver. The Redskins could use an offensive lineman, and an outside pass rusher. Anything else? Well, a new head coach and defensive coordinator is on the horizon as well, but that’s a story for another day.
Another early off season for the Redskins has given them plenty of time to think about this pick. With just a couple short months until the big day, these are five players that could be wearing the burgundy and gold next season.
5. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Taking a quarterback at 15 would not be a smart move by the Redskins. Next season, the class will feature Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jake Fromm. But, it remains a possibility that the Redskins take their quarterback of the future here.
All of the hype is surrounding Dwayne Haskins along with Kyler Murray’s decision to pursue the NFL. The fact remains that Lock is the best quarterback prospect in this draft. Lock has throw for 7,462 yards over the last two seasons with 72 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He led Missouri to back-to-back bowl games. The offense that Missouri runs gives NFL scouts hope about Lock’s future in the league.
If he is available, and the Redskins decide to go quarterback, this is the guy. It is uncertain if he will be on the board as many teams in front of Washington need quarterback help. Other options include Daniel Jones from Duke, however he remains less certain than Lock. Again, even though the chances are there, the Redskins should hold off on a quarterback for another year.
4. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
It is unknown if D.K. Metcalf will be available at 15. If he is not, Brown is a nice alternative. The dynamic wide receiver has turned in two straight 1,000 yard seasons in a Sooners’ uniform with 17 touchdowns. He showed his ability to be a play maker, and legitimate number one threat.
Drafting a wide receiver in the first round twice in four years is a lot. This could be a tough sell to Redskins’ fans. The position was so poor this past season in Washington that the selection of a wide receiver at 15 could be justified. Josh Doctson is looking like a bust, Paul Richardson is a speedy receiver who is battling injuries, and Jamison Crowder could be leaving in free agency.
There are other needs that are more important for this team. There are plenty of other ways to go in the first round, however a wide receiver will fill a need in one of the worst positions in Washington.
3. Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
The Redskins have been lucky enough to have Ryan Kerrigan, but his time left is limited. Preston Smith is a free agent, and it is uncertain is the Redskins will want to bring him back. Their defensive line is strong with Allen, Payne and Matt Ioannidis. What is missing is a strong pass rusher on the outside to strike fear in opposing quarterbacks. That is where Sweat comes in.
The Mississippi State product stands at 6’6 which allows him to easily knock down passes at the line. His speed is unique for a player his size. His north-south ability is top-notch as he uses speed and strength to bully offensive lineman. If their is one knock, Sweat has trouble when being forced to move laterally. Regardless, Sweat has logged two straight double-digit sack seasons in the SEC. He has played against the best of the best in the top conference in college football. Sweat is looked at as a first round pick, and will make one team very happy.
2. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Redskins love for Alabama players is an obvious one. If there is one college team to build off, it is Alabama. Washington currently has seven former Crimson Tide players on their roster, five of which play defense. Here, they have a chance to add one on the offensive line. Williams is projected as a late first round pick.
Brandon Schreff missed the majority of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, Shawn Lauvao tore his ACL, and Morgan Moses has been battling ankle problems for the better part of two years. Williams will bring depth and options. The 6’4, 300 lb. Alabama product is listed as a tackle, but has the ability to play guard which is where the Redskins would use him. Scouts at Alabama said that they wanted to play Williams at center during his senior season. That did not work out as he remained at left tackle.
In Washington, Williams would play guard while logging some snaps at center. Despite his ability to play tackle, he will most likely be looked at as an emergency option at the position. His intelligence sets him apart from other offensive lineman in this draft. He has the size and mobility to be effective in both the run and pass game. Put all three aspects together, and the Redskins could have a strong piece on the offensive line for years to come.
1. Devin White, ILB, LSU
This is a player that if he is there when the Redskins are on the clock, their selection should not take long. The Redskins’ issue at linebacker is so huge that it made them go out and sign Reuben Foster. White is being touted as top linebacker in this year’s draft. Hey, no one thought Allen or Payne would fall to Washington either.
White is a difference maker. He is excellent in run defense. He has a nose for the football, and can use his burst to get on a running back quickly. White showed the ability to drop back in coverage and rush the quarterback as well when at LSU. Most importantly, White is a leader. Drawing Ray Lewis comparisons is no easy task. The fire and intensity that White plays with has him mentioned in the same breathe as the Hall of Famer.
There is a good chance White is scooped up prior to Washington’s pick. Alternatives include Mack Wilson from Alabama and Devin Bush from Michigan. They are currently not on the same level in terms of prospect ratings. If the Redskins are looking for an immediate three-down starter with can’t miss potential, which they should be, White is the guy for them.