By: Ryan Cooley
Round 1, pick 2: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Round 3, pick 66: Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis
Round 4, pick 108: Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
Round 4, pick 142: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
Round 5, pick 156: Keith Ismael, C, San Diego State
Round 5, pick 162: Khaleke Hudson, LB, Michigan
Round 7, pick 216: Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas
Round 7, pick 229: James Smith-Williams, EDGE, NC State
EDGE Chase Young: A+
It is hard to give a team anything but an A+ grade for taking the best player in the draft. Young is one of the best edge prospects we have ever seen. In only 12 games, he recorded 16.5 sacks while forcing 7 fumbles.
He will now be paired with four other first-round picks on the defensive line. I expect big things from Washington’s defense, especially with Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio running the show.
RB Antonio Gibson: B
Many were caught off guard when the Redskins took Antonio Gibson, who was called a RB, with their second pick. However, Gibson is not a traditional RB. He is a “swiss army knife” due to his versatility. He recorded 38 receptions and 33 rushes in his last year at Memphis.
Gibson was special anytime the ball was in his hands. He averaged 11.2 yds/carry, 19.3 yds/reception, and posted 12 total TDs in 2019. He is listed as a RB, but he really does not have a position, and Scott Turner will most likely line him up anywhere and everywhere.
OT Saahdiq Charles: C-
This pick came in as soon as the news broke that Trent Williams had been traded to San Francisco. Charles has potential, however, his off-field issues are worrisome. He missed six games for LSU last season due to suspensions.
Rivera had talked to LSU head coach Ed Orgeron about his suspension, and Charles seemed to regret his actions. Rivera demands discipline, so this might have been the perfect place for Charles to get his act together.
He has a lot of potential. I am not sure he will be able to play right away, but if he can develop, he may be able to anchor down the left side of the offensive line.
WR Antonio Gandy-Golden: B+
Standing at 6’4 and 235 lbs, Gandy-Golden flew under the radar for a lot of teams. Liberty University is not a college that usually produces NFL caliber players, but Gandy-Golden has the potential to be a very good WR for the Redskins.
His last year at Liberty, he put up 79 receptions for 1,397 yards and 10 TDs. He also received an 89.4-grade from Pro Football Focus. Gandy-Golden still has some work to do, but I think Redskins fans should be excited.
OL Keith Ismael: B-
Ismael is not a plug and play lineman. It is going to take him a while before he is ready to play in the NFL, but he has potential. It will be interesting to see if he used as a center, where he played all last season, or at guard. He has trained at all three interior positions.
Ismael received an 88.8 pass-blocking grade last year from PFF. He only allowed one sack in 474 pass plays last year for the Aztecs. He keeps a great base and is very patient in pass protection. His biggest weakness is strength. There were too many times he was thrown into the backfield.
Much like Wes Martin, who was drafted last year, he will need some time to develop, but the payoff could be worth the wait.
LB Khaleke Hudson: C-
The theme of this draft for Washington was versatility. Hudson is listed as a LB but played all over the place for Michigan. He might be too small to play LB, so do not be surprised if he used more as a CB. He is very athletic, finishing in the 99th percentile for the 10-yard split, 95th percentile for bench press, and 92nd percentile in the 40-yard dash among all LBs in this draft.
He had success covering TEs for Michigan, so Del Rio will most likely use him a lot in coverage.
S Kamren Curl: C+
Curl was drafted in the seventh round. He is yet another player that can play more than one position. He played CB in his first year at Arkansas, and his coverage skills translated well to safety. I think he will end up playing FS for the Redskins.
He has a lot of experience as he started all three years in college. He played very well his last year, as he earned an 87.6-grade from PFF. I am not sure how much playing time Curl will get, but I think he has a lot of potential for someone drafted in the seventh round.
DE James Smith-Williams: C-
I was a little confused with this pick as there really wasn’t a need for a DE. Smith-Williams played well in his junior year, but couldn’t he capitalized on that his senior year. Between not having a need at DE and the fact that Smith-Williams was not what I would call a sleeper, I think they could have gone somewhere else.
This was not an awful pick by any means. He has all the tools to be successful, and Del Rio could turn him into a solid player, but it will take a lot of work.
Overall Grade: B
Ron River and Kyle Smith seemed pressed on drafting versatile players. Four of the eight draft picks do not have a specific position. Outside of Chase Young, they didn’t go after a high profile prospect, which is not a bad thing.
Terry McLaurin was not a high profile WR either, but we now know what he can do at the NFL level. I like that they drafted for talent and not need. They needed a TE and CB but drafted neither.
I have high hopes for Antonio Gandy-Golden and think he could be yet another WR the Redskins took in the mid-rounds that ends up contributing a lot.