The Washington Redskins struggled throughout most of 2019. They fired their head coach, groomed a rookie quarterback, dealt with a porous offensive line, and started many rookies during the season. After all, was said and done, they were able to hire the best coach for this young group of players, fire their general manager, and bring in an entirely new supporting cast of coaches and front office personnel. These changes have inspired hope in an otherwise distraught fanbase.
Bringing in Ron Rivera to coach the team was the biggest hire for this organization. Rivera has a good track record from his tenure at Carolina and has had plenty of success with a young quarterback. The fanbase was instrumental in the “Fire Bruce Allen” movement, and it has been deemed successful. Dan Snyder is giving full power to Coach Rivera in all decisions in regards to the draft before they bring in a general manager.
With the addition of Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator, the Redskins will be switching to a 4-3 scheme. The team is loaded with talent along the defensive line and will have the choice to draft Chase Young, barring a bizarre move from Cincinnati or a potential trade to move back in the first round.
What To Do With Current Players
Areas of need for this young team will be along the offensive line, the secondary, and adding another weapon in the receiving corps to make Dwayne Haskins’ job easier. Rivera wants to bring Trent Williams back, and I expect them to make an offer to try and resign right guard, Brandon Scherff.
There are also question marks at the tight end position with Jordan Reed missing the entire season due to another concussion. Reed could be the latest guy to retire due to injuries. The Redskins could still have him or Vernon Davis back in 2020 if they want to roll with a familiar face.
Ereck Flowers was a surprise for Washington after bringing him in from New York. After struggling as a tackle, he was moved inside to guard where he really thrived. Bringing back both guards, Flowers and Scherff need to be the two primary concerns when it comes to resigning current players from their own roster.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if the team decided to move on from former All-Pro cornerback, Josh Norman. After signing a big deal and coming over from the Panthers, Norman has largely disappointed. Norman played so poorly this year that the coaching staff and front office were willing to bring in guys off the streets to play ahead of Norman.
In limited action, he gave up big plays, including the winning touchdown to Greg Ward and Philadelphia on one of his rare appearances in the game. Norman is set to make just north of 15 million in 2020, so getting his salary almost entirely off the books by releasing him seems like the smart move here.
Potential Free Agent Signings
Robby Anderson (Wide Receiver, New York Jets)
Anderson has never really been valued as a true number one receiver in the Big Apple. He is a tall receiver with elite speed that will truly stretch a defense. In 2019, Anderson caught 52 passes for 779 yards and five touchdowns.
Byron Jones (Cornerback, Dallas Cowboys)
Jones is a true lockdown cornerback. He didn’t record a single interception in either of the last two seasons. However, in 2019 Jones only gave up 30 catches for 356 yards as the nearest defender on 60 targets. That placed him in the top ten among all players with at least 50 targets.
Austin Hooper (Tight End, Atlanta Falcons)
Hooper had a big year with Atlanta in 2019, recording 75 receptions for 787 yards and six touchdowns. Despite missing eight games due to injury. Hooper did not miss a single game in the two years prior to this season, leading me to believe that he can stay healthy. If Reed and Davis don’t end up in a Redskins uniform in 2020, Hooper can be not only a replacement but an upgrade.
Redskins Draft Day Needs
With the second overall pick in April, it is almost a lock that Ohio State star defensive end, Chase Young, becomes the newest addition in our nation’s capital. He is the number one player on many draft boards, including mine. Young can step in day one and challenge for defensive rookie of the year, with a great chance at taking home the trophy. He is a generational talent that will be able to excel in Jack Del Rio’s defense.
No Second Rounder
With the trade last year to move back into the first round to select Montez Sweat, the Redskins do not own a second-round pick in this year’s draft. The next selection by Washington won’t be until the 66th pick. Free agency will play a significant factor in the draft day needs for Washington. If the Redskins are unable to regain one or both of their guards, they may look at Ben Bredeson out of Michigan or John Simpson from Clemson.
The cornerback class also has some talented players throughout all seven rounds. The same goes for their counterparts at wide receiver. Jaylon Johnson (Utah) and Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State) are both options on day two if the Redskins decide to look for a starting-caliber corner, opposite Quinton Dunbar.
Late Round help
Washington owns five picks on day three if they decide to go after a wide receiver. Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty) is a big-bodied receiver who has a large catch radius. He also has an extreme knack at high-pointing the ball and overpowering any corner. Quintez Cephus (Wisconsin) is another powerful receiver who can be a go-to guy in the red zone for Haskins. A strong receiver that can cause mismatches against defensive backs will be crucial for the young quarterback.
We are still three months away from the draft, so the possibilities are endless. Stay tuned as I will continuously be updating you on what the Redskins might do during the off-season. There is certainly hope for this dedicated and loyal fanbase.
You can follow me on Twitter @Alex2TheSimpson for more football content.
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