Grading the Washington Redskins picks from the 2020 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 17: S/LB Khaleke Hudson, Michigan
The Redskins met with Khaleke Hudson in the pre-draft process and seemed to be interested in him. And lo and behold, they did end up selecting the Michigan product with the 17th pick in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Hudson figures to be a linebacker at the NFL level though he mostly played safety in college. He was a hybrid player in Jim Harbaugh‘s defense and is a solid athlete. He could be a nice fit at linebacker as a downhill playmaker.
Last season for the Wolverines, Hudson totaled 101 tackles and 1.5 sacks. But two seasons prior, he had a ridiculous season in which he posted 77 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and two interceptions for the team. He was all over the field and simply was able to make plays when he was near the ball.
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Hudson isn’t a particularly great athlete. And his lack of size (5-11, 224 pounds) could make it difficult for him to ever really fit in at the linebacker position, especially considering that his coverage skills are just okay partially because his speed is merely decent.
But where Hudson may make his money is on special teams. Hudson is a good punt blocker — he blocked five in college — and may find a way to contribute on special teams. And despite his lack of elite-level skills, he plays hard and was a team leader at Michigan. That will be enough for him to have an impact in the locker room, which is something that Ron Rivera will appreciate.
Hudson may have a tough time finding a true home at the next level, but if he can produce on special teams, he’ll be worth this pick. And if he meshes well with other players and becomes a positive influence in the locker room, that could be great for the squad.