When the season ended a few months ago, it was basically written in stone that Chase Young would be Washington’s pick in the NFL draft. I dreaded it all this time, hoping, maybe, just maybe they would take an offensive tackle or trade out of the pick, but alas, they did not.
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Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
Chase Young’s NFL projection is pretty simple. The freakishly athletic pass rusher is going to step on the field for Washington as soon as possible and proceed to be a problem for the next decade. I don’t need to write too much about this pick, because it makes me sad.
I take solace in the inevitability of Dan Snyder somehow boofing this.
Antonio Gibson, Offensive Weapon, Memphis
Antonio Gibson was one of the draft’s most unique players. The six foot, 230 pound offensive player put up a highlight reel during his last season in college. Gibson made huge plays on every touch; averaging 19.3 yards per catch (38 catches) and 11.2 yards per rush (33 rushes). Gibson scored 12 times on only 71 touches from scrimmage and scored once more on a kick return.
Gibson’s NFL projection is easy in the modern league; he can line up anywhere on the field for a creative offensive mind to create mismatches. He is too big for slot cornerbacks to cover, too fast for most linebackers to cover and his rushing ability makes his down to down usage unpredictable.
Scott Turner comes over from the Carolina Panthers to coordinate Washington’s offense and if Gibson’s role is even slightly similar to Christian McCaffrey; he should become a dangerous offensive role player.
Saahdiq Charles, Offensive Tackle, LSU
Saahdiq Charles’ college career feels like a big “What If?”
Charles sprung onto the scene as a freshman, earning All-SEC honors while playing all over the offensive line. In his second season, the talented lineman started 10 games at left tackle but couldn’t finish the year due to injury. In his final year, Charles was a key contributor to LSU’s record setting offense… when he was on the field. Charles missed six games due to disciplinary reasons over the course of the season.
Apparently concerns about Charles’ character had some teams taking him off their boards, but Washington took a big swing by drafting him in the fourth round.
Charles is gifted and likely would have been a top fifty pick if not for off-field concerns: He is a massive, athletic tackle who is an outstanding run blocker. At only 20 years old, it is clear he has some growing to do on and off the field. Washington, newly in need of a starting left tackle, could win big if Charles can grow under Ron Rivera’s tutelage.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Wide Receiver, Liberty
When looking at small school prospects, it is important they are able to dominate week in, week out. Antonio Gandy-Golden was kicking ass when Liberty was in the FCS and kept kicking ass when they moved to the big leagues. The 6’4”, 225 pound receiver caught 10 touchdowns in each of his last three years and averaged almost 18 yards per catch in his final year.
Gandy-Golden is a big play threat because of size, strength and a “my ball” mentality when he’s targeted. He isn’t a burner by any means, but consistently made plays down the field due to outstanding ball skills.
It will be interesting to see him jump to the NFL from Liberty. He has the tools to start in the NFL, but certainly has to improve. You can’t consistently win in the NFL purely as a jump ball specialist, so it will be interesting to see if he can improve his route running ability.
Keith Ismail, Center, SDSU
This was a smart pick for Washington and indicative of their draft philosophy. Keith Ismail is a smart, high motor center who had guard experience.
It is obvious that Washington is interested in high motor players with positional versatility; especially on offense. Ismail is undersized and not a great athlete; but it’s clear he could make it into a starting position given his physicality and football IQ.
Khaleke Hudson, Linebacker, Michigan
Khaleke Hudson looked like a star after his sophomore year when he posted a wild 17.5 tackles for a loss and eight sacks. The safety/linebacker hybrid never really grew after that season, however, and ended up just being a steady contributor for Michigan instead of a year-to-year playmaker.
Hudson’s chances of being a starting NFL defender is tough projection because of his size. At 5’11”, 225 pounds; he is much to0 small to be an NFL linebacker, but he does make sense as a big nickel defender who can cover running backs and tight end.
What is most likely is Hudson being a difference maker on special teams. Hudson blocked five kicks during his career at Michigan. His hair-on-fire playing style fits well as a Specialist and that is probably what Washington is getting.
Kamren Curl, Safety, Arkansas
This is another depth pick for Washington. Kamren Curl is a hard hitting football player who was a three year starter at Arkansas. He is not a great athlete, nor is he a plus coverage defender. Curl is most likely going to end up as special teamer with a chance to be a third safety.
James Smith-Williams, Edge, NC State
This is a low-risk, high-reward pick for Washington. James Smith-Williams is a notably high character player who is also an excellent athlete. Smith-Williams never translated his talent into production at NC State however due to injuries throughout his career.
If Washington can get a healthy James Smith-Williams, they could end up with a possible rotational player for their deep defensive line; but that could be a long shot.
Grade Washington’s 2020 NFL Draft class
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