NFL Draft: Washington Redskins Should Not Select First Round RB Unless They Trade Kirk Cousins
By Steve Herl
The Washington Redskins are considering taking a running back like Christian McCaffrey in the firstRound. They can only do it if they acquire an earlier pick to help their defense.
The Dallas Cowboys turned their team around by drafting Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4 in the 2016 NFL Draft. Dan Snyder likes to draft glamorous first round picks. The Redskins have only had three first round draft picks since 2012 and all of them have been offensive players. One of those picks, Robert Griffin III, is not on an NFL roster, one of them, Josh Doctson, has played in two games with two receptions, and the third, Brandon Scherff, has started 32 consecutive games.
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The talent level on the current roster is deficient because of the lack of first round defensive players since 2012. In 2017 the Washington Redskins need to draft a first round defensive player; a safety, a linebacker or a pass rusher.
Elliott did not turn the Dallas Cowboys around in a vacuum. The Cowboys had the NFL’s best offensive line waiting for him. If the Redskins had the Cowboys offensive line then a running back in the first round might make sense. But they don’t. Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook will not be able to dominate like Ezekiel Elliott until the Washington line is improved.
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It is imperative that during the upcoming draft that the Redskins show some discipline and stay out of the candy aisle. They need to spend their money in the meat section and build some defensive muscle. Stopping the run needs to be priority one not running the ball. Later in the draft if Washington can find a gem they should take a running back but not with No. 17. Unless No.17 is not their first pick.
Of course, there is only one way that No. 17 is not the Redskins first pick in the NFL Draft. That would be by trading Kirk Cousins to San Francisco or Cleveland. By trading Cousins, Snyder could have his cake and eat it too. With No. 1 or No. 2 he could take a dynamic defensive player and at No. 17 he can take the top remaining running back of Leonard Fournette, Cook or McCaffrey. As long as he returns to discipline for the remainder of the draft and improves the defense Snyder could have his new shiny sports car to drive at running back.
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Obviously, this scenario involves Dan Snyder being willing to pull the trigger on a deal potentially with a Shanahan. That would take maturity. Maturity and discipline are not being displayed in droves these days but miracles still occur. It comes down to this. Either sign Cousins to a long term deal and use your first round pick for a safety, linebacker or pass rusher, or trade him and draft a defensive playmaker and a dynamic running back with your first two picks.