The NFL draft is over and the instareaction grades are here. The Redskins were declared early winners of the 1st round for their selection of Ohio State DE Chase Young. On the second day of the draft they went offense, picking up Memphis WR/RB Antonio Gibson.
The Redskins went into Day 3 with 5 picks, but added a 5th round pick(and a 3rd next year) when they traded LT Trent Williams to the 49ers. That brought their draft total to 8 players for 2020.
They were able to add a WR, two offensive lineman, an ILB, a S, and another DE. There were value picks and head scratchers for some people. But the consensus is that the Redskins had a good draft on paper, and the team improved.
Washington Redskins 2020 Draft Picks
Round 1(#2): Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Round 3(#66): Antonio Gibson, WR/RB, Memphis
Round 4(#108): Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
Round 4(#142): Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
Round 5(#156): Keith Ismael, C, San Diego State
Round 5(#162): Khaleke Hudson, LB, Michigan
Round 7(#216): Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas
Round 7(#229): James Smith-Williams, DE, NC State
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-
Washington decided to pick the draft’s best defender in Young instead of an uber-talented quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. The progress of last year’s first-round pick, Dwayne Haskins, will determine whether the franchise ultimately made the right choice. Gibson, an all-purpose threat out of Memphis, may remind coach Ron Rivera of a mid-round version of his former player with the Panthers, Christian McCaffrey.
The team lacked leverage in their stand-off with Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, and thus will have to settle for the 2020 fifth-rounder (Ismael at No. 156 overall) and 2021 third-rounder they received from the 49ers. They selected Charles to fill Williams’ big shoes — and he has the potential to do so based on his athleticism. But he’ll have to prevent the disciplinary issues that plagued him at LSU from following him to the NFL. Gandy-Golden’s big body could be a problem for NFL cornerbacks down the field. Ismael, who could play guard or center for Washington, is a solid pick who will play for a long time. Hudson will provide depth in the secondary or at linebacker and should be a special teams demon. Edge rusher Smith-Williams could have been picked much earlier, so he’s a relative bargain in the seventh round.
Give them credit for not letting a team like Atlanta entice them to trade the No. 2 pick used on Chase Young – widely touted as this draft’s top prospect and a man who should elevate a defense teeming with potential. Third-round RB Antonio Gibson, fourth-round OT Saahdiq Charles and fourth-round WR Antonio Gandy-Golden are intriguing prospects for a team that needs playmakers, and any could have been taken sooner. TE Thaddeus Moss was signed after going undrafted. In sum, nice job by new coach Ron Rivera. As far as the previous regime, Washington should’ve gotten more in the trade of LT Trent Williams, but give credit for mortgaging this year’s second-rounder in order to get 2019 first-round DE Montez Sweat.
The Redskins’ new regime, led by head coach Ron Rivera in a personnel sense, came away with a few aces here. Taking Ohio State edge star Chase Young with the second overall pick was a no-brainer, but things got interesting in the third round, when Washington selected Memphis RB/WR Antonio Gibson, who I believe to be the single most explosive offensive player in this draft class. Gibson had a relatively small sample size in college, but he’s a speed-burning, tackle-breaking monster, and Rivera might like to use him as he did with Christian McCaffrey with the Panthers as a do-it-all guy from the backfield to a wide receiver alignment. And LSU left tackle Saahdiq Charles, taken in the fourth round, has a ton of first-round tape that was negatively mitigated by disciplinary issues in college. If he cleans that up, and becomes more consistent on the field, Charles could be one of the best offensive linemen in this class.
Even though it adds to the team’s strength already, taking defensive end Chase Young with the second overall pick in the draft was the right move by Washington. He is the latest superstar pass rusher to go highly in the draft and is a similar prospect, in terms of quality, as Jadeveon Clowney, Myles Garret and Joey and Nick Bosa.
Washington smartly added wide receiver help to go with 2019 third-round pick Terry McLaurin. In the third round the team took Antonio Gibson of Memphis and in the fourth added Antonio Gandy-Golden. Gibson is a player who can line up at multiple positions and gives Washington a nice versatile piece. Gandy-Golden is a nice outside threat who has size and athleticism.
The big question about Washington’s draft is whether or not they did enough to replace left tackle Trent Williams. The team took LSU’s Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round, and he’ll need to be coached hard.
Washington entered this draft with many needs, and pass rusher was not one of them. Tenth-year veteran Ryan Kerrigan still offers quality burst and bendability, and the team spent a first-round pick last season on Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat. Inside, defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis is coming off a quietly strong 2019 season, and alongside him are relatively recent first-round picks Jonathan Allen (2017) and Da’Ron Payne (’18). So no, Washington did not need Chase Young, but that doesn’t make them wrong for taking him. Sometimes talent is too immense to pass up. Many scouts see Young as the type of explosive difference-maker who only comes along once every few years.
No team has ever rued having too many quality pass rushers, especially not if that team runs a 4-3 gap-based, zone-oriented scheme like new head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are expected to install.
With Washington’s second-round pick being sacrificed in last year’s trade up to get Montez Sweat, Rivera’s next move was not until early in the third-round. He took Memphis tailback Antonio Gibson. Why? When healthy, you can argue that scat back Chris Thompson has been one of Washington’s three most valuable offensive players. The problem is Thompson has not been healthy nearly often enough, missing at least five games in each of the last three seasons. So, Washington drafted a younger version of Thompson; a dynamic receiving back can be a good friend for a young pocket passer like Dwayne Haskins.
So can a sound offensive line, which Washington is trying to piece together after their trade of Trent Williams to the 49ers officially leaves them with one of the least steady left side O-line situations in the league. It’s not inconceivable that mid-round selections OT Saahdiq Charles and even C Keith Ismael could see playing time as rookies, especially considering they’re both capable of lining up at guard.
Strong stuff, here, starting with the decision to stay put to draft “The Predator” Chase Young. Washington then shot the moon on upside plays with Gibson, Charles, Gandy-Golden, et al, but they did so in appropriate value slots. I particularly loved the Gandy-Golden pick.
It’s hard to get a bad grade when you start the draft by getting the best overall player in the class anywhere after the No. 1 overall pick. That’s what Washington did with Ohio State defensive end Chase Young at No. 2 overall, and it set the tone for a solid weekend.
Without a second-round pick due to last years’ trade-up for Montez Sweat, the Redskins had to wait until the third round, but they still landed a dynamic playmaker. Memphis do-it-all offensive weapon Antonio Gibson is a big-play machine, and could be used much like we saw Deebo Samuel in San Francisco last year.
LSU tackle Saahdiq Charles has potential if he can avoid off-field troubles, and Day 3 brought great value, with the likes of Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round and Michigan safety/linebacker hybrid Khaleke Hudson in the fifth. A solid start to the Ron Rivera era in Washington.
Day 1: Chase Young is the best non-quarterback prospect we have ever evaluated here at PFF. He shattered the PFF pass-rush grade in 2019 by posting an absurd 96.4 mark on those reps and is best described as a freak of nature. Everything about Young as a pass-rusher is elite. Burst, power, hands, size — he has it all.
“Since I started doing draft analysis I’ve called one prospect a future Hall of Famer (Quenton Nelson). I am ready to make that two with Chase Young” – PFF Lead Draft Analyst Mike Renner
Day 2: If you’re going to take any running back 66th overall, they should possess elite receiving ability, and Antonio Gibson checks that box. Gibson hauled in 38 catches in 2019 and broke a tackle on 17 of them. He got only 33 opportunities as a ball-carrier in 2019, but he broke a tackle on 16 of those and produced a 10-plus yard run on 11 of them. His receiving ability, explosiveness, overall athleticism and elusiveness make him a nightmare to defend. And he can do It from all over the field. The Redskins got two freaks of nature in Young and Gibson.
Day 3: Dwayne Haskins now has a target to throw to with an enormous catch radius in Antonio Gandy-Golden. He had incredible downfield production at Liberty, which helped pave the way to an 89.4 receiving grade in 2019, but he’s more of a big-bodied possession receiver at the next level due to poor change of direction and straight-line speed. Gandy-Golden can thrive in that role with his nuanced releases and ability to win on underneath and intermediate routes.
The Redskins did the right thing by staying put at No. 2 and taking Chase Young. He’s a game-changing pass rusher, and those don’t come around often. The Redskins finally resolved the Trent Williams situation by trading the disgruntled seven-time Pro Bowl LT to the 49ers, but they received a relatively modest return (a fifth-round pick Saturday and a third-rounder next year). Even so, it’s better to have closure, and the Redskins moved quickly to add a potential replacement in fourth-round T Saahdiq Charles.
Best Pick: It has to be their first pick, defensive end Chase Young. He is a big-time pass rusher who will become a Pro Bowl edge player early in his career – maybe even as a rookie.
Worst Pick: They didn’t have a second-round pick because they traded back into the first round to get pass rusher Montez Sweat last year. They better hope he becomes a good one.
The Skinny: After Young, they did a nice job landing running back Antonio Gibson from Memphis and tackle Saahdiq Charles with their next two picks. Both guys were on my Better-Than team. Fourth-round receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden has a chance to be a solid player.
Goals Entering the 2020 NFL Draft: The Redskins have no desire to trade down, as they love Chase Young. The Ohio State star doesn’t fill a need, but he’s the best player available, by far, and the Redskins just need talent. Thus, they’ll have to address needs later in the draft. They must find some weapons and protection for Dwayne Haskins, as well as some talent for their secondary and linebacking corps.
2020 NFL Draft Accomplishments: As with the Bengals, the Redskins had a top-two prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft fall into their laps because other teams (i.e. Giants) won meaningless games late in the year. The Redskins didn’t need an edge rusher, but Young will make the stop unit so much better.
Given that the Redskins obtained Young, it was far from surprising that they spent their next four picks on offense. I wasn’t particularly keen on the Antonio Gibson pick, but I liked the other ones, Antonio Gandy-Golden in particular. Saahdiq Charles was a nice add as well, and he could take over for the traded Trent Williams at some point in 2020.
Besides the Gibson selection, the only thing I can find wrong with the Redskins’ haul is that they didn’t address their secondary until the final round. However, they did a decent job overall.
Washington added an intriguing piece in Antonio Gibson, who produced 12 total touchdowns in his final season at Memphis. Gibson was the second-best rusher for the Tigers and played at wide receiver, so he could be a versatile option in the Redskins offense.
His positional flexibility should help the Redskins spread the field in support of Terry McLaurin, but Washington still needs more offensive weapons.
Washington has five picks Saturday to bolster those positions and round out the draft class behind Gibson and Chase Young.
Washington came away with a solid, if unspectacular, 2020 class. As the consensus top overall prospect, Young should immediately terrorize opposing blockers, while Gibson, Gandy-Golden, and the two offensive linemen help improve Dwayne Haskins’ supporting cast. We especially love Gibson as a versatile weapon. Overall, the Redskins nabbed a handful of potential contributors while addressing most of their weaknesses.
Young will be a superstar and was a no-brainer for Kyle Smith and Ron Rivera. Although Gibson and Gandy-Golden can be dynamic, it’s unsure how they’ll mesh with their QB situation in Scott Turner’s offense and may have been speed-based reaches. The Redskins should have considered more defensive players earlier and didn’t address a big need at tight end.
Key Picks: Chase Young (DE, Ohio State), Antonio Gibson (RB/WR Memphis), Saahdiq Charles (OT, LSU)
Analysis: Young is the best overall player in the draft, but no second-rounder and a reach for Gibson (14 touchdowns on 77 touches in college) early in the third leaves a lot to be desired.
The Redskins got an interesting running back/wide receiver prospect with Antonio Gibson (66), who caught 44 passes and also averaged 11.2 yards per carry on 33 rushes last season. A smart playcaller will get him 10 touches a game. Antonio Gandy-Golden (142) is a 6-foot-4 raw wideout with a a massive 77-inch wingspan. He attacks the ball in the air, though he’ll need some time to develop. Saahdiq Charles (108) looks like a starting-caliber NFL offensive tackle, but the tape didn’t match his talent.
Young was a bit of a gimme pick at No. 2, and without a second-rounder I’ll stick with a C+ for Washington.
The Redskins’ grade is hurt by acquiring only a 2020 fifth-rounder and 2021 third-round pick in exchange for seven-time Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams, then exiting the draft without anything resembling adequate protection for Dwayne Haskins’ blindside. The Skins also gift-wrapped top CB Quinton Dunbar to Seattle for a fifth-round pick. Williams and Dunbar were disgruntled, but those situations arise far less for functional franchises, and neither trade netted dysfunctional Washington a favorable return. As for the actual draft, Young was a no-brainer pick at No. 2. After handling only 77 college touches, Gibson was better suited as a day-three luxury pick for a competitive team than a top-70 selection by a rebuilder. Charles was suspended six games for disciplinary reasons in 2019, and his short arms will likely force Charles to convert from tackle to guard. Small-school day-three receivers with 4.6 speed like Gandy-Golden have nonexistent hit rates. Washington entered the draft with glaring holes at offensive line, defensive back, tight end, and wide receiver, and did very little to fill them.