Evaluating the Redskins draft picks: Offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles
How Charles fits with the Redskins
It’s easy to see how Charles fits in with the Redskins long-term. The team is hoping that the talented fourth-round pick will eventually emerge as the starter at left tackle and take over for Trent Williams while continuing the long run of success the ‘Skins have had in the draft at that position.
Short term, the possibilities for Charles are a bit more open. He’s obviously talented, but will he be ready to start as a rookie? It’s possible, but the team also has to be ready for the possibility that he won’t quite be ready from a strength standpoint to see the field.
At the very least, Charles should be the swing tackle in Washington. Barring an unforeseen leap from Geron Christian, Charles will be the hot, talented, young tackle on the roster. Even if he’s not quite prepared to start, the Redskins should employ him as the swing tackle. That would get him valuable reps and would prevent the team from having to use a sub-par backup option like Christian.
It all comes down to how Charles fares in competition with Cornelius Lucas. The veteran from Kansas State signed with the Redskins this offseason after starting eight of 16 games for the Chicago Bears last season. The 6-8, 327-pound Lucas looked good in Chicago and the 28-year-old should be able to hold up as a well-built option with length if Charles isn’t ready.
All told, Charles should be expected to emerge as the starting left tackle by 2021. If he doesn’t in 2020, nobody will hold that against him. But the opportunity exists for the LSU product to prove himself early in his career, and the 20-year-old should certainly try to take advantage of that if he can.