2018 NFL Draft: Washington Redskins viewer guide – Day Three

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Strong safety Montae Nicholson #35 of the Washington Redskins makes an interception over wide receiver Amari Cooper #89 of the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Strong safety Montae Nicholson #35 of the Washington Redskins makes an interception over wide receiver Amari Cooper #89 of the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

It took so long for the 2018 NFL Draft to arrive. And now, just two days after it started, it will soon wind to a close.

The Washington Redskins have been active and effective over the first three rounds, and many would say they’ve aced the draft thus far. In Round 1, they bolstered their defensive front by selecting defensive lineman, and former Alabama team mate of Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson, Da’Ron Payne. Some would say the Washington Redskins should have chosen Derwin James, but Payne, at that pick, was the best blend of ability and need.

In Round 2, most of the Washington Redskins preferred players left the board before No. 44, and so when it came time to pick, they instead traded back with San Francisco, falling to the No. 59 pick. In exchange, the Washington Redskins gave up their early fifth-rounder, and acquired a new third-rounder.

The move would prove to be a stellar one, as when it was time for the Washington Redskins to make a decision at No. 59, there was one top-tier talent left remaining at a crucial position of need: Running back Derrius Guice. He became the pick, and now he could soon become the Washington Redskins next premier running back.

With two immediate starters in tow, the Washington Redskins decided to go with depth at offensive tackle with their newly-acquired third-round pick, selecting Louisville tackle Geron Christian. An athletic specimen with imposing height and length, Christian has first-round potential, and learning behind Trent Williams could be of great benefit to him.

It’s safe to say that the Washington Redskins have hit on all three of their picks. But, of course, it is early, and we’ve yet to see either of these players suit up in burgundy and gold. When they do, the anticipation will be palpable.

With all the excitement that happened yesterday, it feels like the draft should be over. But there’s still more to watch today, in Rounds 4 through 7.

Here is a rundown of what to watch on day three of the 2018 NFL Draft for the Washington Redskins:

  • The Washington Redskins made lots of progress on Days 1 and 2, but there are still a number of areas for them to address on Day 3. They still lack a clear starting left guard, and while whoever they pick today might not immediately separate from the pack, adding that competition could be crucial. Tyrell Crosby and Wyatt Teller are two options that stand out, but there are other suitable players available, such as Cole Madison and Will Clapp.
  • The Washington Redskins also have a void in the slot on defense. At this point, it would be brash to expect Joshua Holsey to grow into that role in year two, even though he did impress early on, before being relegated to special teams duty for most of the regular season. The Washington Redskins, at the very least, should add another cornerback to the roster, and they could also look to add depth to the safety unit. A utility player who can perform both roles could be ideal. Players that fit this description include Jacksonville State DB Siran Neal and Villanova DB Malik Reaves.
  • The Washington Redskins lost a Day 3 pick yesterday in a trade down with the San Francisco 49ers. That pick was their early fifth-rounder. Now, the Washington Redskins have the No. 9 pick in the fourth round, the No. 26 pick in the fifth round, the No. 31 pick in the sixth round, and the No. 13 and No. 23 picks in the seventh, a total of five player selections in the last four rounds. With a stock of trade ammunition available in next year’s draft, the team could move around a bit today if they’re in love with particular players.
  • With the No. 9 pick in Round 4, the Washington Redskins will be picking early today, and thus, they could have an opportunity to grab holdover talent from Day 2. Some highly-rated players in this category include edge rusher Josh Sweat, guard Tyrell Crosby, defensive lineman Maurice Hurst, linebacker Shaquem Griffin, wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, and edge rusher Duke Ejiofor.
  • Another name to keep an eye on today: Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand. Hand remains available, and because of the cursive “A” on his helmet, it’s easy to imagine Bruce Allen growing enamored over the possibility of reuniting Hand with his college team mates, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne.
  • Picking Da’Shawn Hand would further inject the defensive line with depth, but at this point, Maurice Hurst would be a far more valuable option. Hurst, regarded as a top ten talent by some, has fallen due to a minor heart condition. He could be very worth a gamble this late, but some teams have eliminated him from their draft board entirely. The Washington Redskins, because of their injury issues last year, could be one of those teams.
  • In recent drafts, the Washington Redskins have favored traits prospects over low-upside players in the later rounds. They had success with this last year, picking their starting free safety Montae Nicholson in Round 4. One should expect this trend to continue; the Washington Redskins can afford to pick developmental players who can wait in the wings and serve as depth in the later rounds.

Next: Washington Redskins: Re-mocking the final four rounds

The Washington Redskins started out very strong through Day 1 and Day 2. Now, can they end the 2018 NFL Draft with an exclamation point? Tune into NFL Network or ESPN at 12:00 P.M. eastern standard time, and see who the Washington Redskins select to round out a very critical draft.