2020 NFL Offseason: Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins (Last Year: 3-13)

2020 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Kyle Allen, RB Peyton Barber, RB J.D. McKissic, WR Cody Latimer, TE Richard Rodgers, G Wes Schweitzer, LB Thomas Davis, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Ronald Darby, CB Kendall Fuller.
Early Draft Picks:
DE/OLB Chase Young, RB/WR Antonio Gibson, OT Saahdiq Charles, WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, C/G Keith Ismael. Redskins Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Case Keenum, RB Chris Thompson, WR Paul Richardson, TE Jordan Reed, OT Trent Williams, G Ereck Flowers, CB Quinton Dunbar, CB Josh Norman.

2020 Washington Redskins Offense:
There was some speculation that the Redskins would either use the No. 2 overall pick on Tua Tagovailoa or sign Cam Newton. Despite what the media suggested, this was never an option because the Redskins like Dwayne Haskins and want to give him every opportunity to succeed.

Haskins certainly had his ups and downs as a rookie. He had a horrific debut against the Giants, but he shouldn’t have been judged on that because he didn’t have any practice time to prepare, and he was also playing behind an offensive line missing three of its starters. Haskins also struggled the next time he took the field – the second half against the Vikings – but was in another situation in which he couldn’t practice. Haskins wasn’t great in most games he started, but he improved each week. He was a solid 19-of-28 for 261 yards and two touchdowns versus Philadelphia and then was 12-of-15 for 133 yards and two scores before suffering an injury versus the Giants.

Haskins still has a long way to go, but he has great potential. He also has a terrific receiver at his disposal in Terry McLaurin, who took the league by storm as a rookie last year. He caught 58 passes for 919 yards and seven touchdowns, numbers that were impressive considering his inexperience and the chaos surrounding the quarterback situation. If Haskins can develop, McLaurin’s numbers will soar in his sophomore campaign.

The rest of Haskins’ receiving corps is a question mark. Steven Sims Jr. flashed on occasion last year. He’s raw, but has major potential. Two other young receivers, rookie Antonio Gandy-Golden and second-year Kelvin Harmon, are big receivers, but have concerns about separating from coverage. Trey Quinn, meanwhile, is a mediocre slot receiver. There’s not much at tight end either, as Washington never properly replaced Jordan Reed. Perhaps undrafted free agent Thaddeus Moss can fill in well.

The Redskins added one more aerial threat, selecting Antonio Gibson in the third round. Gibson has no natural position, as he can either line up in the backfield or play in the slot, but he’s a dynamic play-maker. He can serve Chris Thompson’s role. He’ll join Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson in a solid backfield. Guice has great upside, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy thus far.

Guice’s health is just half the problem. The other half is the offensive line, which lost two members on the same side this offseason. Of course, Trent Williams didn’t play last year, but there was a slight chance he would return. That didn’t happen, so now Washington has a huge hole on the blind side, which will be occupied by fourth-round rookie Saahdiq Charles. Left guard Ereck Flowers is also gone, and he’ll be replaced by the pedestrian Wes Schweitzer.

While the left side of the offensive line is poor, the right side is at least intact. Brandon Scherff is one of the better guards in the NFL, while center Chase Roullier and right tackle Morgan Moses are both solid. There’s a major issue, however, and that would be the health of Scherff and Moses. Both always seem to be injured, as Scherff has missed 13 games the past two seasons, while Moses didn’t seem like quite himself last year.

2020 Washington Redskins Defense:
The Redskins didn’t need an edge rusher entering the offseason, as they possessed Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat at the position. The talented duo would be good enough on its own, but the Redskins owned the second-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which meant Chase Young would be available. Young, quite simply, was too good to eschew. He’s a generational talent, and he’ll make Washington’s already-stout edge-rushing group even more potent.

This is essential for multiple reasons. First, the Redskins reside in a division with Carson Wentz, Daniel Jones and Dak Prescott, three talented, young quarterbacks who will be around for a while, so their pass rush needs to be as lethal as possible. Second, the Redskins have a flawed group of cornerbacks who need all the help they can get.

Washington has rostered some talented corners lately, but they’re all gone. Josh Norman was once the best player at his position, but he regressed rapidly over the past couple of seasons, and he’s now no longer on the team. Quinton Dunbar was the top corner last year, but the Redskins traded him to Seattle. Washington signed Ronald Darby to be a replacement, which can work if Darby remains healthy. He’s had trouble staying on the field, so that might be difficult for him. The rest of the outside corners – Fabian Moreau, Jimmy Moreland – were woeful last year. Kendall Fuller, meanwhile, is a talented slot corner, so that’s at least something.

The Redskins also have one talented safety, Landon Collins, whom they paid big money to last spring. Collins played well this past season, but wasn’t the dominant play-maker the Redskins were hoping for when they gave him $84 million. He might be better in 2020, but the same probably won’t be the case for the other starter at the position, the pedestrian Sean Davis.

There were concerns in the middle of the field elsewhere last season, as Reuben Foster suffered a gruesome knee injury. The linebackers were horrible, which would explain why the Redskins signed Thomas Davis. The former Panther and Charger is no longer the player he once was because of his age (37), but he still played well in 2019, so he should at least be a slight upgrade for Washington. He’ll start next to either Foster or the pedestrian Jon Bostic.

While the Redskins are weak at cornerback, safety and linebacker, the defensive line is dominant, much like the edge-rushing group. It helps that the Redskins spent consecutive first-round picks on the position, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne. Matt Ioannidis also played on a high level last year.

2020 Washington Redskins Schedule and Intangibles:
The Redskins’ fan base doesn’t show up to games, which would explain why the team is just 36-54 as a host the past 10 years.

Punter Tress Way ranked 28th in net average in 2017, but improved to ninth the following year. He was third in 2019, and he did a great job of pinning teams inside the 20.

Dustin Hopkins was 25-of-30 on field goals last year, which includes 2-of-3 from 50-plus.

Washington’s special teams was also excellent in 2019, pertaining to returns.

The Redskins’ beatable opponents this year are the Rams, Lions, Bengals and Panthers.

2020 Washington Redskins Rookies:
Go here for the Redskins Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2020 Washington Redskins Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2020 Washington Redskins Analysis: The Redskins have some pieces to eventually form a great roster, but there are far too many holes and concerns right now. The left side of their offensive line, the receiving corps outside of Terry McLaurin, Derrius Guice’s injury history, the secondary, and the linebacking corps are all major problem areas. Then, there’s Dwayne Haskins, who is still raw. It seems likely that the Redskins will have plenty of growing pains in 2020, but it could be worth it for the long haul.

Projection: 4-12 (4th in NFC East)

2019 Projection: 4-12. 2019 Actual Result: 3-13.
2018 Projection: 10-6. 2018 Actual Result: 7-9.
2017 Projection: 8-8. 2017 Actual Result: 7-9.
2016 Projection: 9-7. 2016 Actual Result: 8-7-1.

NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2020 NFL Draft: The Redskins have no desire to trade down, as they love Chase Young. The Ohio State star doesn’t fill a need, but he’s the best player available, by far, and the Redskins just need talent. Thus, they’ll have to address needs later in the draft. They must find some weapons and protection for Dwayne Haskins, as well as some talent for their secondary and linebacking corps.

2020 NFL Draft Accomplishments: As with the Bengals, the Redskins had a top-two prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft fall into their laps because other teams (i.e. Giants) won meaningless games late in the year. The Redskins didn’t need an edge rusher, but Young will make the stop unit so much better.

Given that the Redskins obtained Young, it was far from surprising that they spent their next four picks on offense. I wasn’t particularly keen on the Antonio Gibson pick, but I liked the other ones, Antonio Gandy-Golden in particular. Saahdiq Charles was a nice add as well, and he could take over for the traded Trent Williams at some point in 2020.

Besides the Gibson selection, the only thing I can find wrong with the Redskins’ haul is that they didn’t address their secondary until the final round. However, they did a decent job overall.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

2. Chase Young, DE/OLB, Ohio State – A Grade
The Redskins received trade offers from the Falcons and perhaps other teams, but they were never moving out of this spot. Charlie Campbell reported prior to the combine that Washington was absolutely smitten with Young and didn’t want to trade the No. 2 pick. The Redskins believe Young can average double-digit sacks per season, and they might just be right about that. He’s a supreme talent, and Washington would’ve been foolish to pass up the opportunity of having him on its roster for the next decade.

66. Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, Memphis – D Grade
Antonio Gibson is a dynamic weapon who can go the distance any time he touches the ball. However, he has no true position, so it’s difficult to constantly have him on the field. I don’t really like the fit here, as the Redskins already had Steven Sims and some promising running backs. Plus, this is a tad too early to take an athlete who isn’t a natural football player.

108. Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU – A- Grade
This is another solid pick to kick off the fourth round. The Redskins need to replace Trent Williams, and they’re getting a talented offensive lineman who easily could’ve gone in the second round had it not been for character issues. Charles will be a great pick if he can stay clean and work hard.

142. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty – A+ Grade
This is a steal. Antonio Gandy-Golden was projected to go in the first round once upon a time. That projection was obviously wrong, as concerns about separation arose with Gandy-Golden, but he’s a very good football player and could help the Redskins’ lackluster receiving corps.

156. Keith Ismael, C/G, San Diego State – C- Grade
Keith Ismael is someone I had in and out of my mock draft once I released my sixth and seventh rounds. He’s versatile, as he can play both guard and center, but he’s not ready for the NFL. His strength is lacking, but the athleticism is there for him to potentially make the roster eventually.

162. Khaleke Hudson, LB/S, Michigan – B Grade
Will Khaleke Hudson play linebacker or safety? Ask one team, and they may tell you something different than the next. Hudson is a good player, but he’s a tweener. Still, he’s a fine pick in the fifth round.

216. Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas – B+ Grade
Kamren Curl would’ve been a solid, mid-round prospect if it weren’t for speed concerns, but he’s a solid choice in the seventh frame. He might be able to provide nice depth in the secondary if he makes the roster.

229. James Smith-Williams, DE, N.C. State – A Grade
James Smith-Williams is a skilled and smart player, but injuries have wrecked his draft stock. He would’ve gone a few rounds earlier than this if health wasn’t a problem. It’s a shame, but maybe he’ll end up being a rotational edge rusher. I like taking a shot on him in the last round.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Season Summary:
This was another disappointing season for the Redskins, but there is some hope for the future. Washington has some promising, young offensive players, including Derrius Guice, Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims Jr., and also Dwayne Haskins, who put together a couple of nice performances late in the year. The Redskins need to find a good coaching staff to develop these young talents.

Offseason Moves:
  • Redskins sign CB Ronald Darby
  • Redskins sign WR Cody Latimer
  • Redskins sign TE Richard Rodgers
  • Redskins sign RB Peyton Barber
  • Seahawks acquire CB Quinton Dunbar from Redskins
  • Redskins acquire QB Kyle Allen from Panthers
  • Redskins sign TE Logan Thomas
  • Redskins sign RB J.D. McKissic
  • Redskins sign S Sean Davis
  • Redskins sign LB Thomas Davis
  • Redskins sign LB Kevin Pierre-Louis
  • Redskins sign CB Kendall Fuller
  • Redskins sign G Wes Schweitzer

    Team Needs:
    1. Left Tackle: The Redskins must protect Dwayne Haskins, so that would require finding a franchise left tackle. A replacement is needed for Trent Williams, who has vowed never to play for the Redskins again.

    2. Two Guards: More areas must be filled on the offensive line. Left guard was a disaster this past season, with Ereck Flowers starting there. Right guard was cemented with Brandon Scherff, but he’s an impending free agent who should be re-signed. Franchised Brandon Scherff; signed Wes Schweitzer

    3. Cornerback: Quinton Dunbar was a pleasant surprise for the Redskins in 2019, but the team had no other viable players at the position, thanks to Josh Norman’s sharp decline. Signed Ronald Darby and Kendall Fuller

    4. Linebacker: Here’s another dire position of need on the defense. The Redskins may not be able to count on Reuben Foster staying healthy in the wake of all of his injuries. Signed Thomas Davis and Kevin Pierre-Louis

    5. Tight End: Jordan Reed can’t stay healthy, so the Redskins need to finally move on from him. Signed Richard Rodgers

    6. Edge Rusher: Ryan Kerrigan turns 32 this offseason, and he has declined of late. The Redskins could pursue a young edge rusher to eventually replace him. An easy solution is to draft Chase Young second overall.

    7. Wide Receiver: The Redskins could use a veteran receiver to help develop some of the young, talented players at the position. Signed Cody Latimer

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2020 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Kendall Fuller, CB, Chiefs. Age: 25.
      Signed with Redskins

      Kendall Fuller didn’t perform that well this past season because of an injury, but he has been an excellent slot cornerback in the past. At just 25, Fuller figures to rebound.

    2. Ronald Darby, CB, Eagles. Age: 26.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year, $4 million)

      Ronald Darby used to be a terrific cornerback, but he was atrocious this past season. Darby has dealt with a number of injuries, which clearly affected his play in 2019. He’ll be a nice buy-low option for his new team, presumably on a 1-year “prove it” deal.

    3. Thomas Davis, OLB, Chargers. Age: 37.
      Signed with Redskins

      Thomas Davis played surprisingly well for the Chargers last year despite being a 36-year-old. He turns 37 in late March, so there’s a decent chance he regresses.

    4. Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB, Bears. Age: 28.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year)

      Kevin Pierre-Louis performed very well when given a chance to start late in the year. Perhaps this will convince someone to give him a chance to start next year.

    5. Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers. Age: 26.
      Signed with Redskins (2 years, $3 million)

      Peyton Barber is a pedestrian, plodding back, but he’s been given plenty of carries and starts over the past couple of years.

    6. Wes Schweitzer, G, Falcons. Age: 31. — Signed with Redskins (3 years, $13.5 million)
    7. Sean Davis, S, Steelers. Age: 26. — Signed with Redskins
    8. J.D. McKissic, RB, Lions. Age: 27. — Signed with Redskins
    9. Logan Thomas, TE, Lions. Age: 29. — Signed with Redskins
    10. Cody Latimer, WR, Giants. Age: 27. — Signed with Redskins

    Washington Redskins Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Brandon Scherff, G, Redskins. Age: 29.
      Franchised by Redskins

      Brandon Scherff is a very talented guard, but he’s had trouble staying healthy. He’s missed 13 games over the past two seasons, so he comes with huge risk with his massive reward.

    2. Case Keenum, QB, Redskins. Age: 32.
      Signed with Browns (3 years, $18 million)

      Case Keenum played well at times with the Redskins. He’s a high-end backup quarterback who can piece together some wins if he has to start for several weeks.

    3. Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins. Age: 29.
      Signed with Jaguars

      Chris Thompson is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, but he’s had trouble staying healthy. He hasn’t played more than 10 games since 2016.

    4. Josh Norman, CB, Redskins. Age: 32.
      Signed with Bills (1 year)

      Josh Norman was one of the worst cornerbacks in the league last year. He didn’t look like he belonged in the NFL, so it wasn’t a surprise that he was benched. I don’t think it’s impossible for Norman to rebound in 2020, so he’s worth a flier. However, it’s more likely that Norman is completely done.

    5. Paul Richardson, WR, Redskins. Age: 28.
      Paul Richardson signed a 5-year, $40 million contract a couple of offseasons ago. This was an abysmal deal, and you can read about some other horrible contracts in my book, A Safety and a Field Goal. Now that the self promotion is out of the way, Richardson still has some potential remaining at the age of 28, but time is running out for him to live up to it.

    6. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins. Age: 30.
      Jordan Reed finally cleared concussion protocol recently, but the Redskins opted to release him anyway. Reed is a major injury risk, and it’s not helping that he turns 30 in July. I’ll be shocked if he gets anything more than a 1-year “prove it” contract that isn’t worth very much.

    7. Ereck Flowers, G/OT, Redskins. Age: 26. — Signed with Dolphins (3 years, $30 million)
    8. Nate Orchard, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Redskins (1 year)
    9. Donald Penn, OT, Redskins. Age: 37.
    10. Vernon Davis, TE, Redskins. Age: 36. — Announced retirement
    11. Colt McCoy, QB, Redskins. Age: 33. — Signed with Giants
    12. Wendell Smallwood, RB, Redskins. Age: 26.
    13. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Redskins. Age: 34.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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