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2020 NFL Draft Grades: Draft Experts Pleased With Redskins 2020 Draft Haul


The Washington Redskins now have their full picture for the future by drafting eight new players, and draft experts like what head coach Ron Rivera and vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith are trying to build in Washington.

They started off by taking Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick, which was universally praised with straight A grades. With arguably the best player in the draft secured, they began to address their areas of need by taking the likes of LSU tackle Saahdiq Charles, Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden and Arkansas safety Kamren Curl.

Here's how draft pundits graded the Redskins' 2020 draft class:

Analysis: "Washington decided to pick the draft's best defender in Young instead of an uber-talented quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. The progress of last year's first-round pick, Dwayne Haskins, will determine whether the franchise ultimately made the right choice. Gibson, an all-purpose threat out of Memphis, may remind coach Ron Rivera of a mid-round version of his former player with the Panthers, Christian McCaffrey.

"The team lacked leverage in their stand-off with Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, and thus will have to settle for the 2020 fifth-rounder (Ismael at No. 156 overall) and 2021 third-rounder they received from the 49ers. They selected Charles to fill Williams' big shoes -- and he has the potential to do so based on his athleticism. But he'll have to prevent the disciplinary issues that plagued him at LSU from following him to the NFL. Gandy-Golden's big body could be a problem for NFL cornerbacks down the field. Ismael, who could play guard or center for Washington, is a solid pick who will play for a long time. Hudson will provide depth in the secondary or at linebacker and should be a special teams demon. Edge rusher Smith-Williams could have been picked much earlier, so he's a relative bargain in the seventh round."

Analysis: "Washington entered this draft with many needs, and pass rusher was not one of them. Tenth-year veteran Ryan Kerrigan still offers quality burst and bendability, and the team spent a first-round pick last season on Mississippi State's Montez Sweat. Inside, defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis is coming off a quietly strong 2019 season, and alongside him are relatively recent first-round picks Jonathan Allen (2017) and Da'Ron Payne ('18). So no, Washington did not need Chase Young, but that doesn't make them wrong for taking him. Sometimes talent is too immense to pass up. Many scouts see Young as the type of explosive difference-maker who only comes along once every few years. No team has ever rued having too many quality pass rushers, especially not if that team runs a 4-3 gap-based, zone-oriented scheme like new head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are expected to install.

"With Washington's second-round pick being sacrificed in last year's trade up to get Montez Sweat, Rivera's next move was not until early in the third-round. He took Memphis tailback Antonio Gibson. Why? When healthy, you can argue that scat back Chris Thompson has been one of Washington's three most valuable offensive players. The problem is Thompson has not been healthy nearly often enough, missing at least five games in each of the last three seasons. So, Washington drafted a younger version of Thompson; a dynamic receiving back can be a good friend for a young pocket passer like Dwayne Haskins.

"So can a sound offensive line, which Washington is trying to piece together after their trade of Trent Williams to the 49ers officially leaves them with one of the least steady left side O-line situations in the league. It's not inconceivable that mid-round selections OT Saahdiq Charles and even C Keith Ismael could see playing time as rookies, especially considering they're both capable of lining up at guard."

Analysis: "It's hard to get a bad grade when you start the draft by getting the best overall player in the class anywhere after the No.1 overall pick. That's what Washington did with Ohio State defensive end Chase Young at No. 2 overall. And it set the tone for a solid weekend.

"Without a second-round pick due to last year's trade-up for Montez Sweat, the Redskins had to wait until the third round, but they still landed a dynamic playmaker. Memphis do-it-all weapon Antonio Gibson is a big-play machine, and could be used much like we saw Deebo Samuel in San Francisco last year.

"LSU tackle Saahdiq Charles has potential if he can avoid off-field troubles, and Day 3 brought great value, with the likes of Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round and Michigan safety/linebacker hybrid Khaleke Hudson in the fifth. A solid start to the Ron Rivera era in Washington."

Analysis: "Young, along with the pick used on Sweat, is the key to this draft. If those two rushers thrive, it's a win. If not, did they miss an opportunity bypassing Tua Tagovailoa? Would things have been different under normal offseason conditions? They got this right.

"The rest of the class is a mixed bag, with Gibson a potential specialty weapon and some interesting picks later (Gandy-Golden, Hudson, Curl, Ismael and Smith-Williams). It's not a one-man class, but one man — Young — will determine if this group is great or not."

Analysis: "Even though it adds to the team's strength already, drafting defensive end Chase Young with the second overall pick was the right move by Washington. He is the latest superstar pass rusher to go highly in the draft and is a similar prospect, in terms of quality, as Jadaveon Clowney, Myles Garrett, and Joey and Nick Bosa.

"Washington wisely added wide receiver help to go with 2019 third-round pick Terry McLaurin. The team added Antonio Gibson of Memphis in the third round and Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round. Gibson is a player who can line up at multiple positions and gives Washington a versatile piece. Gandy-Golden is an outside threat who has size and athleticism. The big question about Washington's draft is whether or not it did enough to replace left tackle Trent Williams. The team took LSU's Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round, and he'll need to be coached hard."

Analysis: "After Young, they did a nice job landing running back Antonio Gibson from Memphis and tackle Saahdiq Charles with their next two picks. Both guys were on my Better-Than team. Fourth-round receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden has a chance to be a solid player."

Analysis: "Chase Young is the best non-quarterback prospect we have ever evaluated here at PFF. He shattered the PFF pass-rush grade in 2019 by posting an absurd 96.4 mark on those reps and is best described as a freak of nature. Everything about Young as a pass-rusher is elite. Burst, power, hands, size — he has it all.

"If you're going to take any running back 66th overall, they should possess elite receiving ability, and Antonio Gibson checks that box.

"Dwayne Haskins now has a target to throw to with an enormous catch radius in Antonio Gandy-Golden. He had incredible downfield production at Liberty, which helped pave the way to an 89.4 receiving grade in 2019, but he's more of a big-bodied possession receiver at the next level due to poor change of direction and straight-line speed."

Analysis: "Young will be a superstar and was a no-brainer for Kyle Smith and Ron Rivera. Although Gibson and Gandy-Golden can be dynamic, it's unsure how they'll mesh with their QB situation in Scott Turner's offense and may have been speed-based reaches. The Redskins should have considered more defensive players earlier and didn't address a big need at tight end."

Analysis: "With a new coach (and 3-13 season) comes roster turnover, and Ron Rivera has worked hard this offseason to bring in veterans to help the team on both sides of the ball. And with no second-round pick after the old regime traded back into Round 1 last year to take Montez Sweat, Rivera & Co. were left with only the No. 2 overall pick in the first two rounds.

"So you shouldn't be surprised when I say I like that Washington got my top-ranked overall prospect in edge rusher Chase Young, one of the most NFL-ready pass-rushers to come out of college in the past decade. Yes, this team has now drafted a defensive lineman in the first round in each of the past four years (Young, Sweat, Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen), but it couldn't afford to pass on Young, who has All-Pro talent. Rivera is a defensive coach, and he has a really good front seven to build around. "It would have been very, very hard to convince me that somebody else would be as impactful as the guy that we drafted," Rivera said on Thursday night. I agree, though really Young fell into their laps.

"The Redskins also got an interesting running back/wide receiver prospect with Antonio Gibson (66), who caught 44 passes and also averaged 11.2 yards per carry on 33 rushes last season. A smart play caller will get him 10 touches a game. Antonio Gandy-Golden (142) is a 6-foot-4 raw wideout with a massive 77-inch wingspan. He attacks the ball in the air, though he'll need some time to develop. Saahdiq Charles (108) looks like a starting-caliber NFL offensive tackle, but the tape didn't match his talent."

Analysis: "Snagging Young at No. 2 overall was a gimme pick, though one that obviously helps their draft grade. He's a top-notch edge rusher who'll contribute from day one. The Redskins defensive front is suddenly one of the best in football. The Redskins announced Gibson as a running back, which makes him the sixth one on their depth chart. He's not a bad player but it's a bad pick if they want him to be a running back.

"Gandy-Golden is a perimeter-only player right now, but one who comes with tremendous upside. He was a great pick in the fourth round, though I thought they could've added another wide receiver later. They didn't address tight end in the draft, though they did snag Thaddeus Moss as an undrafted free agent. If he didn't just have surgery on his foot, he would've been considered in the fourth round. Some teams reportedly had high grades on Charles, and the Redskins need to hope that he pans out after trading away Trent Williams. There were some hits from their draft, but there could also be some big misses."

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