Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

#HailMail: Trades, Picks And Other Draft Predictions


The 2020 NFL Draft is now just a week away, and the league is getting ready for one of the most unprecedented events in its history. Here's what Redskins fans want to know:

Which position do you see us drafting with the No. 66 pick? -- @Phillip61940858

This question has been on my mind for quite some time now, and the more I think about it, the more I believe offensive line might be the logical option.

There is certainly a chance the Redskins could go after a tight end here, but head coach Ron Rivera has said he likes the players already on the roster, including newly-acquired Logan Thomas and Richard Rodgers. If they do decide to take a tight end, it will likely be with a later pick.

Wide receiver is another avenue they could take, but almost every draft analyst loves how deep the position is this year. The Redskins could possibly get a quality No. 2 receiver as late as the fifth round.

That leaves offensive line, particularly left tackle. That's a position I don't feel gets enough attention from analysts, particularly with Trent Williams likely getting traded in the near future. Whoever they get might just be depth at this point, but they could develop into a starter over time. I say take the best left tackle available and then move on to other needs.

Many of us fans are concerned about the quarterback situation. Who is the starting QB? -- @ronaldharveyjr

You and the rest of Redskins Nation can rest easy on this question, because I can confidently tell you that Dwayne Haskins Jr. will be the starter entering training camp.

With that being said, Rivera still wants Haskins and Allen to compete for the job. He's not going to annoint Haskins as the starter until he has earned that right.

The move makes sense for everyone. Haskins has starting-caliber competition that has been in this new offense before and will push him, and the Redskins get a quality backup who they can put in there if Haskins goes down with injury. In the end, I think this decision will make the team better.

Did Rivera's offensive line get drafted early when he was in Carolina or was there a real pattern? Did they draft third to fifth rounders and make it work? -- David S.

That's a pretty accurate prediction, David. You're mostly right when it comes to Rivera's choices at offensive line.

Rivera drafted nine offensive linemen as the Panthers' head coach. Three of them were picked in the second round, but the rest were taken in the third round or later. Many of them turned out to be either backups or never played in a game, but he has found some quality starters in that group.

Trai Turner is by far the best offensive lineman Rivera has drafted up to this point. He's started every game he's played in since 2015 and has been to the Pro Bowl five straight times. Other players like Daryl Williams and Taylor Moton, who were taken in the second and fourth rounds, respectively, have also turned into reliable starters.

Turner was not a highly-touted lineman when he was drafted. In fact, according to his draft profile, Rivera made a gamble by taking him in the third round when he was projected to be picked in the sixth. So, even if Rivera takes that philosophy this year, there's a good chance he'll find a good player later in this draft.

Do you believe there is already a trade in place with another team as the reason why we haven't heard anything from Trent Williams' camp or the Redskins recently? -- Flash F.

I guess there could be a scenario where that has happened, but I seriously doubt it because there is little, if anything to gain from it.

Williams has made it clear that he wants out of Washington. Rivera and the Redskins seem to be willing to trade him.

For whatever reason, a trade has not materialized yet, and I believe that is why there hasn't been any news from either party. There is simply nothing new to report on that front. That isn't necessarily a good or bad thing. It simply means that a deal has not been done yet.

But don't worry: if and when a trade does happen, there will be plenty of coverage surrounding it.

Will the Redskins think about trading up in the second round to draft a tight end? -- Nicholas W.

There's a chance the Redskins could trade back into the second round, but I don't think it will be for a tight end.

Once again, I'm going to defer to Rivera's comments on the subject. He was asked about the team targeting a tight end in this year's draft by local media in a video conference on April 7. He wasn't necessarily dismissive of it, but it sounded like the position was lower on his list of priorities.

"Can we target them? Yeah, we could," Rivera said. "But we also feel that there are some other positions in this draft that are available and would really fit some needs for us as well."

The Redskins seem to feel quite strongly about their tight ends They like both Thomas and Rodgers. Rivera even said he sees some flashes of Greg Olsen's skillset in Thomas.

I still think they might draft a tight end, but I don't see it happening in the second round.

How is the team able to interact right now, especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic keeping people apart? -- Nick S.

To put it simply, they're going to get creative with it.

There is no getting around social distancing. That is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended, and that is how teams are going to act going forward.

However, the NFL has figured out a way for teams to maintain some semblance of an offseason workout program. The league and players' union have agreed to a virtual offseason program that includes sessions on learning playbooks, workout programs and non-football education programs. That is set to begin on April 20 for some teams and April 27 for others.

Some players have found it difficult to find adequate places to train, but others seem to be training outdoors. Haskins has been posting his workouts on his Twitter account regularly. He was even able to get some work in with Derrius Guice.

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing everyone to alter their routines, but the NFL has found a way to make things work so far with few, if any missteps.

The Lions put out that they are open for business at the No. 3 spot in the draft and have received multiple calls from trade partners. Why aren't the Redskins putting this information out to drive up the value of the No. 2 spot? -- Matthew K.

I think the biggest reason that the Redskins have not taken this approach is because that's not how Rivera likes to do things.

It's pretty clear that Rivera has a plan on how to structure this team. He wants to build around the young players he already has through the draft and complimentary pieces that can be starters. That does not mean he is going to just reveal every step of that plan to people outside of his staff.

Rivera has said all options are available in regards to what to do with the No. 2 pick. That includes trading down. That's a valuable spot to have in this draft with quarterbacks like Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, both of whom are players teams might want to trade up to acquire.

Maybe they have taken some calls about a trade; maybe they haven't. Either way, Rivera prefers as few people as possible to know the Redskins' plans.

Have you looked into Jalen Hurts at quarterback? -- Kenny M.

I personally like Hurts a lot. I think he has the leadership skills and talent to be at least a quality NFL quarterback. However, I don't like him for the Redskins because they already have a starter in Haskins.

As I mentioned before, the Redskins seem set to let Haskins earn the right to be franchise quarterback. That move makes sense to me; they used the No. 15 overall pick on him, and it's hard to say what Haskins is or isn't based on seven starts. They want to see what they have in Haskins, and it looks like they have confidence he will rise to the occasion.

If the team does decide to draft a quarterback, I don't think it will happen until the seventh round. They might even sign an undrafted free agent next week.

I think Hurts is really going to shine as a professional quarterback, but it will have to be with one of the 31 other teams.

As enticing as Chase Young would be, wouldn't trading back and getting the best wide receiver, getting a second-rounder in this year's draft and a first-rounder in next year's draft be better? -- Bill H.

That would certainly be an interesting move and would solve a couple of issues, but it might not be the best move for the team right now.

Rivera has a philosophy when it comes to making trades: the player they take in exchange for the player were originally going to draft has to offer equal value.

"Because if Player A is going to play for you for 10 years, and Player B might not, did you really get value or did you just get a whole bunch of picks?" Rivera said.

So, there is a chance that trading out of the No. 2 pick might work out, but there is also a chance that it doesn't in the way that the Redskins need. Rivera wants a player who can change the team from Day 1, and if whoever he decides to pick at No. 2 is that kind of player, there's a possibility he's just going to take him.

It appears the Redskins will choose Chase Young in the first round. Going forward from that point, are the Redskins going to draft "the best player available," or is there a plan in place? -- Charles D.

If I had to guess what the Redskins' plans after the No. 2 pick will be, I would say they will likely do a combination of both those options.

I have said before that I believe Rivera has a plan in place, even though he isn't going to share it with us until he wants that information known to the public. I believe he has a very clear idea which positions need more attention and which ones are fine as they are right now.

Sure, the Redskins will pick the best player available, but I believe it will be the best players at the positions that they need. It's clear Rivera wants talented players for this roster, but they have to fit in the plan he wants to unfold and not the other way around.

Now, maybe some underrated talent falls to them at a certain pick. That happens all the time in the draft, and they might draft that player if they feel like it would be a steal. Either way, Rivera wants to take his time and take the players he thinks are best for him and the team.

Related Content