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2020 NFL Draft: Redskins can’t get cute, must draft Chase Young

Chris Gharagozlo
USA Today Images

There are a few things that every single NFL coach, front office and fan base dreams of. Winning a Super Bowl and landing a generational talent. The Washington Redskins have dreamed of a Super Bowl for three decades, but their hopes have yet to become a reality.

However, the Redskins have a chance at something else. An opportunity to select a generational talent with the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. This unbelievable phenom’s name is Chase Young. Will the Redskins drop the ball like they are notorious for doing, or will Ron Rivera usher in a wave of change in the nation’s capital? 

Drafting Chase Young: The Redskins are under a brand-new regime. Ron Rivera comes into an organization that has been crippled by a hated former front office led by Bruce Allen. Rivera recognized this and completely cleaned out the coaching staff and front office. 

One of his most notable hires was defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who has an impressive resume of working with elite pass rushers. 

  • In 2002, Del Rio was a part of the Carolina Panthers’ staff when they drafted Julius Peppers with the second overall pick.
  • In 2011, the Broncos drafted Von Miller with the second pick. A year later, Del Rio becomes the defensive coordinator. 
  • It is often said that “history repeats itself.” Peppers and Miller were each selected early and went on to win a Defensive Rookie of the Year. Furthermore, they combine for 17 Pro Bowls, and Miller is a former Super Bowl MVP. The Redskins have the chance to select a generational pass rusher, just like Peppers and Miller. If Washington decides to go down that path, history will be on its side.

Drafting a Quarterback: The Redskins drafted Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 pick in 2019. While he had a relatively poor rookie season, his supporters argue it was due to the mid-season coaching change, a porous offensive line, underwhelming play-calling and a lack of weapons. Meanwhile, his critics pointed to Haskins missing wide open receivers and making poor reads. With that said, he was only a rookie.

  • Joe Burrow is expected to be the No. 1 pick in April. The Bengals seem locked on making Burrow their franchise quarterback, but there have been rumors that he will refuse to play for them. It’s worth noting that Burrow is from Ohio, and stated he is willing to play for any team that drafts him. 
  • The other top quarterbacks available are Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love. Will the Redskins really take any of them? The 49ers are a perfect example that you don’t need an elite quarterback to go to the Super Bowl. The Redskins might be more inclined to build the offensive line while relaying on Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson, and Chris Thompson to carry them to some wins. 
  • In 2018, the Arizona Cardinals selected Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick. A year later, they drafted Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. A year after finishing 3-13, their record only improved by two wins to 5-10-1. The Redskins might see this and understand there is more to a football team than just the quarterback.

Trading Down: In 2012, the Redskins made a historic deal by trading up to the No. 2 pick to select Robert Griffin III. Now in 2020, they own the same pick in a quarterback rich draft class. Will a team like the Dolphins entice the Redskins with a trade they can’t refuse? 

  • The Redskins have a lot of holes on their roster. Their offensive line has potential, especially if Trent Williams returns after holding out last season. But even if Williams returns, their line needs help. Even more so if they want to mimic the 49ers’ ground-and-pound formula.
  • With the release of Josh Norman and given Quinton Dunbar’s frustrations,the Redskins are extremely thin at corner. Trading down could provide them with an opportunity to fill multiple needs instead of just one.
  • The Redskins do not own a second-round pick. Trading down could provide them with multiple first-round picks in the future, and a second-round pick this year.

The Bottom Line

The Redskins must draft Chase Young. There are plenty of options for the franchise, but the smartest decision is sticking with the generational talent 

Putting Young on a defensive line that already features Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Daron Payne, and Montez Sweat could make one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Del Rio has a proven history of molding elite pass rushers. The Redskins should not get cute with this decision and make the obvious choice.