Sports

Redskins ‘Moving in Own Direction’ After Draft, Williams Trade

The Washington Redskins drafted eight players, including arguably the best player in the 2020 NFL draft.

With the second overall pick, the Burgundy and Gold chose former DeMatha Catholic High School and Ohio State University defensive lineman Chase Young.

“I feel like I’m the best player in this draft,” Young said. “It was after I put it on film because I know at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters is how you play football. So you know, I was just real precise and real technical in the things I did in the game to try to be the best player that I could be.”

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive lineman played in 38 games for the Buckeyes from 2017-19, recording 99 tackles, 42.5 tackles for loss, 30.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles.

The Redskins did not have a second-round pick this year after receiving defensive lineman Montez Sweat via trade during last year’s draft. It marked the 10th time (since the seventh-round draft format was established) Washington did not make a selection in the second round.

In the following round, the Redskins selected University of Memphis running back Antonio Gibson (66). The 6-foot-2, 220-pound speedster was extremely versatile, appearing at both running back and wide receiver.

During his time with the Tigers, Gibson hauled in 44 receptions for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for 369 yards on 33 carries averaging more than 11 yards per carry.

Redskins head coach Ron Rivera compared Gibson to Carolina Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.

“We started really diving into who he is and what he does and what he’s capable of with the multi-faceted offense style of offense we use,” Rivera said. “You know, Scott Turner really feels that this is a guy that can come in and be a very versatile player for us. Plus, he has special teams value. He’s a very good fit, we believe, into what we do and how we want to do things.”

Since 2011, the Redskins have now selected a running back in 10 consecutive drafts, passing the team’s previous high of drafting a running back in nine consecutive drafts from 1983-91.

However, there is currently stiff competition in the running back room, including the likes of Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson and newly acquired free agents Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic.

One of the biggest stories of the draft was the trade of perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams to the San Francisco 49ers. The Redskins received a fifth-round pick for San Diego State University center Keith Ismael and a third-round pick in the 2021 draft.

The Washington Redskins traded perennial Pro Bowler Trent Williams for a fifth-round selection in the 2020 draft and a future third-round pick in the 2021 draft. (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)
The Washington Redskins traded perennial Pro Bowler Trent Williams for a fifth-round selection in the 2020 draft and a future third-round pick in the 2021 draft. (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)

Williams did not play a single snap last season. He will play for his former offensive coordinator and new head coach in Kyle Shanahan to potentially replace 35-year-old tackle Joe Staley, who informed the 49ers he is retiring due to health concerns.

“Obviously, with the Trent stuff, it’s been a long process,” said Kyle Smith, Redskins vice president of player personnel. “You know, I think everybody is a little bit, you guys as well, think we’re all relieved that it’s over, that it’s done.”

“From day one that we got into this, it’s a unique situation, where, a lot of different layers to it, and we did the best that we could,” Smith said. “We opened it up to the agent to find a partner and all that stuff, and finally, we’re to the point where it’s over, and we’re all moving in our own direction. We wish him the best, and I think [Rivera] does as well, and we’re moving forward.”

Washington snagged LSU tackle Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round, who became the first player ever selected at pick 108 in the organization’s history.

Charles was part of a unit that was named the 2019 Joe Moore Award Winner which given to the nation’s top offensive line, and he appeared in 32 games with 28 starts in three seasons was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team in 2017.

“The moment was amazing, a dream come true, a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid,” Charles said about being drafted. “Rivera called me and told me I’m going to be a Redskin. I was just thanking him.”

The Redskins added more depth to the wide receiving corps in the fourth round taking Liberty University’s Antonio Gandy-Golden (142). The 6-foot-4, 223 receiver finished his career appearing in 45 games with 240 receptions for 3,814 yards and 33 touchdowns.

“I think I can take the roof off, but also just being able to be physical in the run game and also in the pass game with my blocking, being able to high-point the ball and bringing my secure hands with me,” Golden said.

With the final fifth-round selection, Washington picked University of Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson, who appeared in 52 games with 37 starts and registered 237 tackles, including 26 for loss, 12.0 sacks, and two interceptions.

He also holds a Michigan single-game record and tied an NCAA record for total tackles for loss in a single game when he registered eight against Minnesota in 2017.

Washington did not have any sixth-round pick selections this year, but they did choose two notable players in the seventh round. University of Arkansas safety Kamren Curl (216) and North Carolina State University James Smith Williams (229) were taken to wrap up the draft.

Curl appeared in 34 games with 33 starts and registered 175 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two tackles for loss. Smith-Washington appeared in 43 games with 18 starts and recorded 87 tackles and eight sacks.

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