The Redskins are in an interesting situation with what to do with their first round pick. Obviously a quarterback makes sense if one is still sitting there at 15, but if they are all gone where do the Redskins go? There are any number of positions the Redskins could target depending on what players are still available. One position of interest would be finally finding an interior linebacker who can be an every down elite talent.
The Redskins have gotten by with 2nd and 3rd tier linebackers, but the lack of top tier talent has been noticeable in tough match-ups. Players like Zach Brown and Mason Foster are adequate at best and Brown isn’t even a full time player. Reuben Foster has the upside, but he’s dealt with injuries, inconsistent play and off the field issues. Shaun Dion Hamilton showed some potential last year to be a starter down the road, but he has his own injury concerns.
With this draft using On the Clock the Redskins fixed their long need for a top interior linebacker and focused on building the rest of the team. As always you can follow along here: https://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/draft.php?d=xemirq
15: LB DEVIN WHITE, LSU
-White is the top LB in this class and has the upside to be elite at the next level. He was highly productive these past two seasons for LSU. White is an elite run defender with sideline-to-sideline range and is a punishing hitter. He is a an excellent interior blitzer, who does a nice job exploiting holes and generating pressure. White is shorter so some taller TEs could give him issues, but generally he’s good in coverage as well.
46: WR DEEBO SAMUEL, SOUTH CAROLINA
-Samuel is a weapon, with excellent speed, quickness and route running ability. He put on a clinic at the Senior Bowl and found his way open on nearly every rep. He can not only fill the role of Jamison Crowder in this offense, but he can play outside as well. He should make an immediate impact as a rookie, and could possibly be the Redskins top receiver next year.
76: EDGE JAYLON FERGUSON, LOUISIANA TECH
-Ferguson has good size and speed off the edge, that led him to dominate this past season with 26 TFL and 17.5 sacks. Ferguson was highly productive throughout his entire career, and should be able to contribute as a rookie. While he needs to refine his game, he should be a future starting EDGE rusher, with the chance to be pretty good. There is a chance he goes higher, but it’s a really deep EDGE class so it’s tough seeing him going before the late 2nd round.
96: TE DAWSON KNOX, MISSISSIPPI
-Knox was used sparingly these past two years as Mississippi favored throwing to their impressive receiving trio. Knox though despite limited production has extremely high upside. He’s got good size and elite athleticism, and has the potential to be a top tier TE at the next level. He is the future replacement for Jordan Reed and can learn the position as the number 2 TE this season.
154: G DRU SAMIA, OKLAHOMA
-Samia has 48 career starts at both tackle and guard for Oklahoma these past four years. He projects best inside, though the extra versatility doesn’t hurt. Samia has good feet and plays with nice power and technique. In another offensive line class he might be a top 100 prospect, but he will probably be more of a 4th/5th rounder in this deep class. Though he might not start as a rookie, he does have long term starting potential.
172: S WILL HARRIS, BOSTON COLLEGE
-Harris was a 3 year starter with Boston College and a highly productive in the box safety. He’s big, physical and does a really nice job finishing plays in front of him. He lacks great range, but he can run decently well with TEs and RBs. Harris can be a solid depth safety and will contribute on special teams as well.
207: CB JORDAN BROWN, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
-Brown was a 3 year starter and 1st team All-American at the FCS level this past season. He’s a long corner with good speed and production. While probably not a starter, he can have value as a special teamer and depth corner.
229: G ALEX BARS, NOTRE DAME
-Bars was a full time starter in 2016 at RT and 2017 at RG and entering last season was considered a Preseason 1st team All-American and on the Outland Trophy watch list. After 5 starts at LG, Bars suffered a season ending knee injury. He likely would have been more of a 3rd or 4th round prospect had he stayed healthy, so landing him is good value if his rehab checks out. Bars is a good size prospect who projects to play either guard spot and possibly RT at the next level. While he may need to start the year on the PUP list, or miss it entirely, he offers quality upside going forward.
I think overall this is a strong class, with the Redskins getting excellent value for the first four rounds. I see all four players being starters or significant contributors as rookies, and long term starters going forward. White has the potential to be an All-Pro talent, with Samuel, Ferguson and Knox as likely highly productive starters. All four players fill key needs for the Redskins and offer balance on offense and defense.
Beyond the top four I see solid depth and some potential starting ability as well. I believe both offensive linemen have some potential to develop as starters. Samia and Bars could both be long term starting options for the Redskins hole at LG. Though it might be a push for them to contribute in that capacity as rookies. Brown and Harris are less likely to be starters down the road, but they are capable back-ups and have value for the late rounds.
What do you think? Would you target Devin White in the first round? How about the other needs and picks?