The Washington Redskins haven’t always been accustomed to getting immediate returns from their draft selections. This year’s class could provide a pleasant change of pace.
The first two rounds stand out immediately. The Washington Redskins bolstered their defensive line by drafting Da’Ron Payne in Round 1, and later, they received a very generous stroke of luck, as Derrius Guice, one of the most talented running backs in the entire class, fell to them at No. 59.
Those first two players figure to be key contributors for the Redskins from day one, with the latter likely to start and flourish at running back. But while we rave about those selections, the later picks should not be forgotten. All of them have a chance to have important roles early on.
Fourth-round safety Troy Apke helps bring depth to a relatively thin safety core. He has the raw speed to serve as an effective special teams player, something the Washington Redskins will need after losing players like Niles Paul and Chris Carter. Meanwhile, fifth-rounder Tim Settle, who hails from Virginia Tech, should seamlessly enter the suddenly stacked defensive line rotation as a backup nose tackle. Settle was viewed as a second-rounder in some corners, and the fact that the Washington Redskins got him in Round 5 is very impressive.
In Round 6, the Washington Redskins spent their pick on a linebacker known for his smarts and his shaky health. Shaun Dion Hamilton could have been a Day 2 pick, had it not been for the consecutive ACL tears he suffered in college. Hamilton has the potential, provided that he can stay healthy, to be the captain of the defense in due time; his signing likely spells doubt for Martrell Spaight’s future, as Dion Hamilton can walk in and take his role.
In Round 7, the Washington Redskins addressed the thinly-reinforced cornerback position by taking another Virginia Tech Hokie, Greg Stroman. Stroman was underrated throughout the draft process; he needs to add weight, but he has natural coverage ability, and he should press the current cornerbacks for playing time in the slot right away. Oh, and he can return punts, too.
And last, but certainly not least, the Washington Redskins snagged SMU wide receiver Trey Quinn with the very last pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Quinn was the NCAA leader in catches last year, using his savvy route running skills and sure hands to cement his status as the most effective receiver in that unit (which is notable, considering Courtland Sutton went in Round 2). Quinn perfectly fits the mold of Jay Gruden’s (and Bill Belichick’s) wide receiver. Don’t be fooled by the pick he was acquired with. He will be on the field on Sundays.
The Washington Redskins have a draft class that will contribute from top to bottom. There aren’t any holes in this class, and while the position of left guard will remain unaddressed for some time, the roster around that position has been strengthened over a span of three days. There is a realistic scenario where all eight of the Washington Redskins’ draft picks make the roster. That hasn’t happened in a long time.