A new era in Washington has begun. Like most teams, the Draft plays an important role in building an NFL roster.
This is the most important draft in recent memory for the Redskins. The second pick in the draft has immense value. Many teams have changed the direction of their franchise with this type of opportunity.
A key factor with building a successful roster is obtaining players that are capable of outperforming their contracts. Rookie contracts are structured to be valuable. An organization has 4-5 years to utilize young players on rookie deals. Drafting players that can contribute is great, but getting impactful players that can outperform their contracts, that can lead to winning.
The Redskins’ second overall pick is about value. But what determines value? Value is very much speculative and can vary from organization to organization, coach to coach and fan to fan.
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It’s important to remember as we enter this period of evaluation that coach Rivera was not only brought in to coach the team, but to work with closely with VP of Player Personnel, Kyle Smith. They could both see value differently, so how they work together is key.
We’ve seen in Washington what happens when the front office isn’t in line with the coaches, the results are poor and the direction of the team becomes muddled. Creating an identity is essential to success. Drafting players that fit the vision of the team is just as important as talent.
The Redskins are using a “coach-centric” approach with Rivera as the lead man. But that doesn’t mean Kyle Smith isn’t key to the process. Kyle and his staff have done a great job in recent years with the draft board and orchestrating draft day trades to provide the Redskins with the best opportunity to draft quality players.
The ability of Rivera and Smith to be on the same page will be key. It’s something we should follow closely during the off-season free agency period and through the draft.
There’s been a lot of speculation concerning what the Redskins will do with the No. 2 pick.
Chase Young is graded by many analysts as a generational talent. ESPN’s Todd McShay has Young atop his overall big board and he is one of many with that ranking.
But that doesn’t mean Coach Rivera and Kyle Smith have a similar grade on Chase. As fans, we can’t get caught up by what the “experts” give us in these mock drafts. Even the best personnel guys miss on guys.
Examples: Ryan Leaf was considered a can’t miss prospect in the 1998 draft, with many draft experts rating him higher than Peyton Manning. Leaf was selected No. 2 overall and is considered one of the worst draft busts of all time because of a poor work ethic and bad attitude. Tony Mandarich, a Tackle from Michigan State was graded as one of the top offensive tackles in draft history and also drafted No. 2 overall. He was out of the league after a few years due to a number of issues including drug and alcohol problems.
The bust potential for Chase Young may be minimal, but the impact he will have at the NFL level is certainly up for evaluation by Rivera and Smith. If they grade Chase as the best edge rusher of the past 10 years, it seems rather obvious he should be the pick.
But if Rivera & Smith grade him as anything but the best generational talent of the past 10 years, then trading out of the second pick becomes an option. Obtaining an RG3-type haul seems unlikely. But there is certainly value with the second pick this year and the Redskins would potentially add some additional high draft picks that could be used to fill multiple holes in the roster. It’s important to remember that impactful players can be found in every round of the draft. Having some extra darts is never a bad thing.
Does the value of a bundle of picks outweigh what Chase might bring? That’s the million-dollar question facing Ron Rivera.
It’s impossible for any evaluator to get it right every time. But having a vision and executing a plan that allows the team the best opportunity to succeed is how to obtain true value. And it’s also something that has been missing from the Redskins for far too long.
There are many roads to travel to get to the same result. Don’t let previous dead ends scare you from supporting the new driver. Until Rivera proves reckless behind the wheel, I’m going to be in the front seat. I’ll just have my seat belt on just in case.