It’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of Dan Snyder. I’ve been relatively quiet about it for the last few months, but ask me my thoughts on him and you’ll get an hour long rant plus a multi-page report breaking down every mistake Snyder has made.
But that’s neither here or there – today, I’m tackling his draft tenure. History has more than proven that when Snyder gets his money-grubbing grips on anything related to recruitment, things fall apart for the Skins.
Have we forgotten his move in 2012 for Robert Griffin III?
Sure, RG3 was a walking leg injury, and can you really pin that on Snyder? Yes, I can. Anyone can, really, because Snyder traded up for the second overall pick and gave the Rams three future first round picks – something that absolutely crushed the future of the program. No doubt, the Baylor product was worth something, but three first round picks? That’s ridiculous and it was a massive brain fart on the owner’s part. You would think that after a bust like that, Snyder would step back and let one of the best talent scouting coaches in the league make moves.
I have my own issues with Jay Gruden – I don’t think he’s a great play caller and I’ve at times said we need a full cleanse of the Skins’ leadership, but he has, without a doubt, one of the best eyes for rising talent.
But, as I’m typing this, it seems that Snyder has taken over the first round – and it’s potentially a big mistake.
Something else that isn’t a secret is that the Redskins are in dire need of a quarterback. According to one of CBS Sports latest draft stories, Snyder is considering trading up to grab a top-five pick. The issue, however, is that the Redskins have the 15th-overall pick, so a 10-pick jump would be crippling to the team if they don’t get their money’s worth.
The good news is that this year, Dwane Haskins is not Griffin-esque. Projected as a high-10s pick, Haskins could possibly go higher in the draft, except most of the first 14 teams don’t necessarily need a quarterback. The only three teams I would imagine to take Haskins before Washington would be the Giants, Raiders or San Francisco, but they all have other areas that need attention first. Apparently Haskins also has a personal connection to Snyder – he went to high school in the DC metro area with Snyder’s son.
With Kyler Murray the highly predicted No. 1 pick, and in the rare case that someone takes Haskins, another quarterback could fit the bill for Washington if they remain No. 15. Drew Lock, Missouri’s standout, could fit well in Landover.
And let’s say that for some reason, both guys are out – could Washington take a bid on West Virginia’s big man Will Grier? Personal bias aside, I believe he could dawn the burgundy and gold after the draft is over. But he won’t be a first round – the highest he’d go is mid-second round (pick 46 for Washington).
Reports are saying that New England has their eye on him though. Plus, it’s not like he’s a low-end quarterback, so other teams may have interest. His rough senior bowl and average combine performances could have impacted his stock, though. He may go third round, but more than likely no lower.
An athletic, multi-faceted edge or interior pocket destroyer
Washington also needs an edge. With Ryan Kerrigan getting older, albeit still a big hitting, jersey ripping threat, the Redskins need to boost their edge game. They need someone who can break into the backfield, but also someone who can roll out – and for that they should look back to Alabama.
The Redskins love picking guys out of Tuscaloosa – in 2017 they picked up defensive end Jonathan Allen and last year grabbed nose tackle Da’Ron Payne. They also picked up outside linebacker Ryan Anderson in 2017 and fellow linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton in 2018. As if that’s not enough Crimson Tide secondary manpower, inside linebacker Rueben Foster and safety Landon Collins are also on the roster.
On the line, Allen had a moderate 2018 season, picking up 35 tackles and eight sacks. The linebacker corps should be good, especially with the pick up of Foster through waiver wire. The leak link on the end for Washington was Preston Smith, who is now in Green Bay. With all of those factors, the spotlight finds its way to Christian Miller or Quinnen Williams.
Miller is a beast of an athlete – but he lacks consistency. He would be a good pickup for the edge in a later round pick. Williams, however, is one of the best, if not the best, player in the draft. He’s got everything as a defensive end – he’s a scary pass rusher and can stonewall a run on the interior.
The best bet for Washington would be to trade up, forego a quarterback pick up and get Williams. There’s plenty of talent in quarterbacks, and, like stated above, could get Will Grier or a someone on the same level in the second round.
Wide receivers, please, wide receivers
The biggest weakness for the Redskins right now is their receiver corps. The best hands on the team is Vernon Davis, their tight end and one of the oldest guys on the team, which should tell you a lot.
The draft is laden with top quality receivers – a lot who will be high-upside picks in the later rounds. As a quick example, I’ll go back and start with WVU.
David Sills V, who was one of the best receivers in college football, will likely be drafted in the fourth round, or if luck is on his side in the third. Gary Jennings will likely go in the fifth round. Terry McLaurin (Ohio State), who’s ranked 37th overall coming off of a 1,251 yards, 11 touchdown season, will probably be a low-second or high-third round pick. It seems like receivers don’t get the credit they deserve, unless you’re a D.K. Metcalf or Marquise Brown. For a league that’s so pass heavy now, you’d think a few of the top receivers would be higher than the 18th overall rank.
When it comes to drafting tactics, it does work out in some teams’ favors – you bargain for a deep rank and sometimes strike gold. And if not, oh well, you’ve got a decent corps.
Washington, however, doesn’t have that luxury.
Other needs will be ironed out
As always, Washington needs offensive linemen and other positions filled – like a backup for Jordan Reed and Davis. Those will be ironed out eventually, but they aren’t as immediate as the other three I’ve listed.
The only thing we can do now is watch come 8 p.m. tonight. Just pray that whoever the Skins do pick, they make it out of practice and the preseason unharmed.
Talk to you after the draft.