ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his second mock draft of the offseason, and once again he has the Redskins selecting Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick.
But this time, he added something extra in his evaluation of Young: he believes the Redskins could have a big turnaround in 2020.
"Am I crazy to think the Redskins aren't that far away from being a contender in the NFC East?" Kiper wrote in his mock draft. "They have some nice defensive pieces such as Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and Landon Collins."
Young is widely believed to be the best player available in this year’s draft class. He has the size (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) and stats (30.5 sacks, 98 tackles and eight forced fumbles) to back up those claims, and there are even some who believe he could be better than Joey and Nick Bosa, both of whom won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In his first mock draft, Kiper wrote that he didn't feel as if getting a pass rusher was a top need for the team. The Redskins have addressed the defensive front seven in the past three drafts by selecting Montez Sweat, Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. They also have Ryan Kerrigan, who is 1.5 sacks away from capturing the franchise record.
And yet, barring an overwhelming offer from another team to trade down for more picks, Kiper felt the Redskins simply can't pass up on Young.
"With 16.5 sacks in 2019, Young was truly dominant, and he'll make an instant impact at the next level," Kiper wrote in his January mock draft.
Kiper's new mock draft features much of the same praise for the Buckeye. He said Young is likely to remain the No. 1 overall player from a talent perspective on his Big Board until Draft Night, and the Redskins are "in a great spot to add an edge rusher with All-Pro potential."
Plus, Kiper believes drafting Young would go a long way towards improving the Redskins' standing in the NFC East (they finished the 2019 season 3-13 and last in the division.)
"He had rare physical ability and outstanding production, two traits that aren't always a guarantee at the top spot of the draft," Kiper wrote.
Kiper also mentions an instant improvement will require the Redskins to answer some lingering questions on offense. There is still no answer regarding what the team will do with Trent Williams, and three-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff is set to be a free agent in March. It also depends upon how quarterback Dwayne Haskins will perform in his second season.
If all those factors fall in the Redskins' favor, Kiper likes the their chances of being a division contender with Young rushing quarterbacks.
"If they can sort out their offensive line issues -- bring back Trent Williams and re-sign Brandon Scherff -- and get a Year 2 jump from Dwayne Haskins, [head coach] Ron Rivera's team should be much improved in 2020."