Redskins, NFC East 2020 NFL Draft grades: Washington has competition
By Ian Cummings
Round 1 – Ohio State EDGE Chase Young (A)
Round 3 – Memphis RB/WR Antonio Gibson (B)
Round 4 – LSU OT Saahdiq Charles (A-)
Round 4 – Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden (B+)
Round 5 – San Diego State OL Keith Ismael (C+)
Round 5 – Michigan LB Khaleke Hudson (B-)
Round 7 – South Carolina DB Kamren Curl (C+)
Round 7– NC State DL James Smith-Williams (C+)
The Redskins didn’t have the worst Days 1 and 2 in their division, but their consistent settling on Day 3 weighed down their draft grade a bit. They still edged out the Eagles, but fell behind the Cowboys and Giants, landing in third place for the NFC East draft rankings.
That’s not to say that the Redskins failed the NFL Draft; they most certainly didn’t. In Round 1, they stood pat and drafted the best player overall in Chase Young, achieving excellent value at that juncture. In Round 3, they drafted a versatile, exceptionally dynamic weapon in Antonio Gibson, and at the start of Round 4, they added a player with future long-term starting potential at tackle in Saahdiq Charles. Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden was also a good pick, as he profiles like a more athletic Devin Funchess.
It’s important that the Redskins’ best four picks were their first four picks; that means something, as that’s the most important draft capital to use correctly. The Redskins, at least on paper, did that. But later on Day 3, the Redskins seemed to settle. They selected interior depth in Round 5, which, while valuable, wasn’t necessarily needed. They drafted an essential special teamer later in that same round, and while Khaleke Hudson has some measured athletic upside, it’ll be tough for him to break through in a crowded linebacker group.
In Round 7, the Redskins’ options were more limited of course, but it remains to be seen whether their picks will move the needle. Kamren Curl is a safety with good size and versatility, but he doesn’t have any exceptional athletic qualities that might boost his chances early on. And James Smith-Williams, while in possession of an excellent combination of size and athleticism on the edge, joins one of the deepest defensive lines in the NFL. Some of these late-round picks might find their opportunities suffocated by a lack of space.
Still, it’s important to add depth, and the Redskins, at the very least, did that with their late-round picks. Ron Rivera has made it clear that 2020 will be more of an evaluative year, and players are bound to get chances with him overseeing the operation. For now, the Redskins get a solid “B” for their 2020 NFL Draft class. That grade, of course, could change drastically, for better or worse, based on later returns.
Draft Grade: B
What do you think about the 2020 NFL Draft grades for the NFC East? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below, and provide your own grades for teams as well!