The 2020 NFL draft gave Washington Redskins’ head coach Ron Rivera and vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith an opportunity to place their stamp on the organization. Selecting Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second overall pick of the draft was a no-brainer. Young’s addition will facilitate Washington’s transition to the 4-3 defense. If Young’s collegiate resume is any indication, the Redskins will have a Hall of Fame cornerstone at defensive end for years to come.
The Redskins’ later picks were more about substance than style. Washington selected University of Memphis wide receiver/running back Antonio Gibson in the third round. Gibson will probably serve in some capacity of special teams, particularly the kick return game. Gibson scored 13 total touchdowns in 94 touches (which includes carrying the ball, pass receptions, and punt returns) for Memphis in 2019. This is the kind of productivity Washington definitely needs to score points in 2020.
Washington also selected wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden in the fourth round of the draft. Gandy-Golden left Liberty University as the program’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The Redskins traded perennial All Pro tackle Trent Williams to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2020 fifth round pick, as well as 2021 third round pick on Saturday. That move prompted Washington to select Louisiana State tackle Saahdiq Charles in the fourth round.
To add further intrigue, the Redskins signed Charles’ teammate at LSU, tight end Thaddeus Moss, as a free agent. Moss is the son of former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss, who compiled a stellar NFL career from 1998 to 2012. The younger Moss went undrafted in 2020, and will compete for the starting tight end position with veterans Jeremy Sprinkle, Logan Thomas, and Richard Rodgers in Washington.
Aside from Young, the other members of the Redskins’ 2020 draft class aren’t assured starting positions. They’re not even assured roster spots. They will be given opportunities to show what they can do, which serves notice to Redskins’ veterans that they will be replaced if they don’t buy into what Rivera is trying to build. Considering that many of those veterans contributed to Washington’s abysmal 3-13 record in 2019, they better buy into Rivera’s plan fast.