Given the fact that the Washington Redskins are 1-9 through 10 games (and basically a yard away from actually being 0-10), one of the very few things worth talking about, when it comes to this team, is what they might be able to do with their first round draft pick that’s sure to be very high up in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Listening to the podcast of Redskins’ beat reporter John Keim of ESPN — which offers the perhaps the very best Redskins analysis you’ll find anywhere — after the miserable loss against the equally miserable New York Jets this past Sunday, he dropped a very telling point towards the end of the episode: that the Redskins’ front office is very well aware of the team’s lack of skill position talent around Dwayne Haskins, and that they will enter this offseason with one of their top goals being to upgrade the pass-catching talent around their young quarterback.
Taking a step back: at best, I think the Redskins finish with a 3-13 record, though I have literally zero faith that they’ll win either of their two most winnable games remaining (against the Jeff Driskel-led Detroit Lions this Sunday or the Daniel Jones-led New York Giants in Week 16). So let’s say they finish with a 1-15 or 2-14 record, miss out on the #1 overall pick (for which the lifeless Cincinnati Bengals still have the inside track), but still end up with the 2nd overall pick.
Assuming the Bengals secure the #1 overall pick, you have to believe they’ll be choosing between quarterback Joe Burrow of LSU, or maybe Justin Herbert of Oregon (it’s very difficult to imagine Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa remaining in the mix for the top pick after the brutal hip injury he just endured).
It’s unbelievably early to start speculating on things like this, but at least as of today, if the Redskins do end up with the #2 overall pick, you have to believe that wide receiver Jerry Jeudy of the University of Alabama would be Washington’s top target at that spot.
At this moment in time, you could have a legitimate argument as to whether Jeudy or Ohio State defensive end Chase Young is the best overall prospect in this year’s draft. Both of them are absolutely exceptional prospects, and near the top of every scouting big board.
For the record, i’m personally all-in on drafting Young. His combination of the lethal first step explosion off the line, overall athleticism, and the proven ability to convert speed to power makes him the most coveted edge rushing talent since Khalil Mack in the 2014. The Redskins haven’t had a truly dominating edge rushing presence since Ken Harvey or Charles Mann (note: I love Ryan Kerrigan, but we need to be honest with ourselves). And at the risk of utilizing a football cliché: even after investing a first round pick on Montez Sweat last year, you can never have too many good pass rushers on your team.
But the Redskins’ have never been one to “play poker,” in terms of not letting their personnel acquisitions become rather obvious. There was smoke around the Redskins interest in Da’Ron Payne as far back as January of the same year, prior to the 2018 NFL Draft. And the front office’s preference for Dwayne Haskins became painfully obvious in the days leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft.
Given the team’s penchant for taking players from the University of Alabama (they’ve taken at least one player from Alabama in four of the past five Drafts), their likely modus operandi of wanting to surround Haskins with a premier playmaker (or adding another stud receiver prospect next to Terry McLaurin), the fact that Dan Snyder loves picks that are more “sizzle” than “steak,” and the fact that Jeudy is such a highly-regarded prospect in general, you have to imagine that Jeudy would be at the very top of their 2020 NFL Draft target list.
There’s so much subject to change between now and next April, but if you’re a Redskins fan, and you’re not already familiar with him, Jerry Jeudy is a name I would keep a very close eye on.