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#HailMail: The 2020 NFL Draft Is Here


The 2020 NFL Draft is here, and the Redskins will be making their first draft selection of the Ron Rivera era in just a few hours. Here's what Redskins fans want to know:

Are the Redskins going to stick with the draft broad and draft Chase Young at No. 2? -- Kevin W.

This question has been debated ad nauseam over the past few months, but it's draft day, so let's lock in an answer. Based on everything that's been happened in recent weeks, it appears very likely the Redskins will select Chase Young with the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. When picking in the top 5, Rivera stressed the importance of adding an impact player; no non-quarterback is expected to make a bigger impact than Young.

On paper, the Redskins do not need Young. Their defensive line already includes four former first-round picks. But they are lacking truly elite players, and that's what many talent evaluators expect Young to be. For instance, graded Young as a "perennial All-Pro"; Washington has not had a first-team All-Pro since punter Matt Turk in 1996.

So there you have it. Draft the best prospect in this year's draft and move on. The Redskins will be happy they did.

It appears that our 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.

The Redskins will be drafting the best player available based on need, Rivera said at a virtual leadership luncheon April 16.

"I've heard the expression, 'You don't want to shop hungry,' so keeping that in mind as we go through the board," Rivera said. "We have to be really, really honest with ourselves in terms of where we see players and what our needs are."

Rivera and Kyle Smith, the team's vice president of player personnel, agreed the Redskins addressed many of their "positions of focus" during free agency. By doing so, they'll have even more flexibility during the draft.

"Free agency, what we've done, we've added competition, we've added depth, we've assigned value, and obviously value in terms of money as well and contact length," Smith told Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael on Monday. "So we feel good about our free agents, and that has now set us up for the draft to not have to go in with a ton of pressure of saying, 'We need this, this and this.'"

Is there a complimentary player to Terry McLaurin currently on the Redskins team? And if not, where will Coach Rivera look for that player? -- Andrew M.

As of now, there is not a proven complement to Terry McLaurin, the 2019 third-round pick who starred immediately in Washington. Steven Sims Jr. and Kelvin Harmon both have a chance to become No. 2 wideouts, but they did not show enough as rookies to earn that distinction.

During free agency, the Redskins were dead set on signing four-time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper and "chased very hard all the way up to the very end," with "substantial money," according to Rivera.

Ultimately, Cooper decided to return to Dallas, but the Redskins' pursuit made it clear they're not done trying to bolster their receiving corps.

"That's a tough one. We would've loved to have him as part of what we're trying to do," Rivera said via videoconference April 7. 'We believe he would've been a great veteran presence in the room, especially for those young guys that played last year and had success with this football team. We would've felt good about having a veteran guy like that who's had success in this league as part of what you're trying to do."

The next best chance to add a playmaking wideout is in the draft, and there are plenty options in what has been referred to as an "infinitely deep" class.

Look for the Redskins to select at least one receiver over the next three days.

If the Redskins draft wide receiver Chase Claypool in the third round, could they use him at tight end based on his size and skillset? Similar to what the Giants have done with Evan Engram?? -- Rich M.

Claypool, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds, could certainly be moved to tight end. But if the Redskins select the Notre Dame wide receiver, it would likely make more sense to keep him at that position.

As was previously mentioned, the Redskins are looking for someone to complement McLaurin, and Claypool fits that description. He's a big-bodied, physical option who can make plays downfield and serve as a possession receiver.

Oh, and he ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, which ranked seventh among wide receivers.

"He's a vertical challenger outside, a possession receiver as a big slot, an outstanding run blocker and immediate coverage ace on special teams," analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in his draft profile of Claypool. "His elite traits and diverse skill set could allow him to create a unique footprint as a pro."

Do you anticipate the Redskins prioritizing tight end and/or offensive line? If so, which round or who are some names you've been hearing that could be in play? -- Gus D.

I wouldn't say prioritizing, but the Redskins will almost certainly add a tight end and at least one offensive lineman in the draft.

Round 3 options at tight end include Dayton's Adam Trautman and Florida Atlantic's Harrison Bryant, while Devin Asiasi (UCLA), Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt), Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri) and Colby Parkinson (Stanford) could all be available in the middle rounds.

As for offensive line, Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn), Matt Peart (Connecticut), Hakeem Adeniji (Kansas) and Lucas Niang are widely seen as Day 2 tackle prospects. The Redskins could also look to add a tackle in rounds four through seven. Some options include Saahdiq Charles (LSU), Cameron Clark (UNC Charlotte) and Trey Adams (Washington).

A lot of questions will be answered and then asked after the NFL draft, which starts tonight, but how set do you think the Redskins are at left guard (starting and depth)? -- Tim F.

Losing Ereck Flowers was a bummer, but the Redskins appear to be in decent shape when it comes to left guard.

Expect there to be a competition between 2019 fourth-round pick Wes Martin, who started five games as a rookie, and newcomer Wes Schweitzer, who has appeared in 46 games (36 starts) since entering the NFL in 2016.

The Redskins also signed offensive lineman Jeremy Vujnovich, who was out of the league last season but started all 16 games at left guard for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017.

And there's always a chance the teams adds another interior offensive lineman either during the draft or afterwards.

I like this cornerback Reggie Robinson out of Tulsa. Wonder if the Redskins had him on there radar? -- David B.

Not sure what the Washington's talent evaluators think of Robinson, but the Redskins need cornerback depth with starting upside, and Reggie Robinson II could offer that. He's an enticing Day 3 prospect.

The 6-foot-1 Robinson is strong, speedy and athletic, which was evident at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ranked tied for first among cornerbacks with 22 bench press repetitions and finished near or in the top 10 at his position in almost every other drill. Robinson was also highly productive at Tulsa. In 33 appearances (22 starts), he totaled 132 total tackles, 34 passses defended and four interceptions. All of his interceptions came this past season, when he earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors.

"He has average instincts, but his length can be a disruptive factor in close quarters," analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in his draft profile of Robinson. "If he can crank up his run-support intensity, he might get looks as a zone corner or a safety."

Do you think Trent Williams will be traded before the draft, during the draft or after the draft? -- Francis F.

If you asked me this a few days ago, I would have said during or after the draft.

Then on Wednesday, rumors began to circulate about possible trade suitors for Williams, and it almost seemed inevitable he'd be dealt before Thursday night.

But as of this writing, mere hours away from the draft, Williams remains with the Redskins.

If I had to guess when a trade would happen, I'd say at some point on Friday. Tackle-needy teams will see how the first round unfolds, and if it's not to their liking, it could motivate them more to complete a deal for Williams.

What is the most draft capital we can get from Trent Williams now that we are just days away from the draft? -- Silvanus B.

There's no consensus on what the Redskins would get for Williams if he's traded. There are several possibilities. It could be a Day 2 pick, it could be multiple Day 3 selections or it could be a combination of picks and players.

At this point, multiple mid-to-late round selections seem to make the most sense. Something that add ups to the value of a second-round pick.

Now that O.J. Howard is available for trade, do you think he would be a good fit and a possibility for the Redskins? -- Michael B.

Depending on what the Redskins would have to give up to get him, adding Howard could happen and would makes sense.

Howard, a former first-round pick in 2017, has not performed as well as expectations, but he's still averaged about 31 catches for 485 yards over his first three seasons. No Redskins tight end has come close to matching those numbers during that stretch.

Howard would also provide another downfield threat for Dwayne Haskins Jr., which is evident by his career average of 15.5 yards per catch.

Rivera has expressed confidence in the tight ends currently on the roster, but at the right price, Howard would add another dimension to the Redskins' passing attack.

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