The Redskins came out of the late-April NFL draft with a very promising rookie class for the 2019 season. The front office beautifully filled existing holes in the roster, starting with:
First Round Pick: QB Dwayne Haskins (15)
The hometown hero who went to high school just under an hour away from his new place of work, Dwayne Haskins is actually from New Jersey, but either way the team is happy to have him. Haskins flourished as a starter at Ohio State, flexing his immense knowledge of the game and more importantly, his cannon of a throwing arm.
Haskins fell to 15th after the New York Giants selected Duke QB and predicted second round pick Daniel Jones with the sixth pick in the opening round. Jones, whose appearance has been described as “the actor they’d cast to play Eli Manning in a movie about Peyton Manning’s life,” threw two fewer touchdowns than Haskins but more than three times as many interceptions, in fourteen more games than Haskins played in college.
In addition to a 54/9 TD/INT ratio, Haskins has an astonishingly high football IQ, evident to anyone who has watched him play. In high school, Dwayne played in my conference and I watched from the bleachers on multiple occasions as he picked apart defenses with the efficiency of a seasoned vet.
In college he develop his skills further, learning from one of the best programs in the country at Ohio State. With Alex Smith still recovering from a broken leg and an ensuing leg infection from surgery and with Case Keenum being… well…. Being Case Keenum, Haskins should get to start early in the year and take control of a team that has desperately needed a great QB for what feels like ages. Following the Haskins pick, the Skins traded to acquire another first round pick from the Colts.
First Round Pick: LB Montez Sweat (26)
The Redskins added edge rusher Montez Sweat to the big names on the defensive front with their second pick in the first round. Sweat is a relentless pass rusher who put up some of the most impressive combine stats for his position in recent history.
Sweat bounced around from Michigan State to Copiah-Lincoln, a JuCo in Mississippi, before going onto Starkville to play at Mississippi State. Sweat was let go from the Michigan State roster along with another member of the team after an incident allegedly involving marijuana. Sweat got a well deserved second chance at Mississippi State, where he proved his worth not only as a standout player but as a leader with command over the defensive unit.
Sweat, according to the coaching staff at Mississippi State, was talented enough to enter the draft after the 2017 season but decided to stay an additional year to mature as a player and as a man before taking the next step into the fast-moving world of professional sports. After adding some insurance on the defensive side of the ball, Washington rotated back to offense, looking for new weapons to add around Dwayne Haskins.
Third Round Pick: WR Terry McLaurin (76)
What better way to make sure your new first round QB has someone he is comfortable throwing to than drafting his college teammate and favorite target? No wide receiver in this draft class averaged more yards per target than McLaurin (14.3), and he came out of the combine defining himself as one of the more athletic receivers in the class.
He went under the radar and was a third round steal, with the added value of his experience playing with Haskins at Ohio State. Early in his college career, Ohio State played a more run-heavy offense, lacking a QB with the throwing strength and accuracy of prodigal son Haskins. Playing an important role on a very successful team, McLaurin was one of the crucial wheels and cogs that kept the offense churnin. McLaurin demonstrated himself to be an effective route runner as well as a powerful run-blocking wide receiver, something hard to come by in today’s league. Moving onto the fourth round, the Redskins looked to add another dynamic player to the offense. They did exactly that.
Fourth Round Pick: RB Bryce Love (112)
At Stanford, Bryce Love turned heads in the 2017 season, winning the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back, and earning strong consideration for the Heisman. Love was a force to be reckoned with, running circles around defenses at blazing speed.
During the 2017 season, Love put up cheat-code-like numbers reaching 2,000 yards on 263 carries to go along with his spectacular collection of 19 touchdowns. Love has a soft spot in the hearts of football fans everywhere, coming back this year from an ACL injury that brought an unexpected end to his illustrious college career in California.
Love worked his way back and has made nearly a full recovery, rehabbing on his own during the offseason and participating in speed and agility drills. He became part of a Redskins backfield that boasts the likes of all-time great Adrian Peterson, Swiss Army knife Chris Thompson, and former LSU Tiger Derrius Guice, who has yet to play a down in a regular season game following his own ACL injury last year.
These four studs make up part of what is no doubt one of the most well put-together draft classes the Redskins have compiled in recent years. The sky, or rather, the second round of the playoffs, is the limit this year with additional picks Wes Martin (G), Ross Pierschbacher (C), Cole Holcomb (LB), Kelvin Harmon (WR), and Jordan Brailford (EDGE) looking to make a noticeable impact and bring glory back to Washington Football. Barring the typical front office dysfunction led by owner and dunce Dan Snyder, which for years has led to regular team meltdowns, this looks to be a promising season for the Skins.